New Fatherhood and Trading

They say that fatherhood changes everything and I can confirm that it does.  At 42 my life changed completely when Luke entered the world.  How you ask?

My downtime is gone. After work I used to enjoy some downtime with Hardball, PTI and the Yankees.  Now as soon as I walk in the door, I get the immediate hand-off from my wife, like she’s a young Troy Aikman.  Change his diaper, play with him and then feed him please. From trading to waiting on Luke like a busboy encapsulates my entire day.

Expect blow out earnings for buybuyBaby (bought by $BBBY) I say sarcastically.  I have done everything in my purchasing power to lift their earnings.  We own every baby sleeping contraption, game and educational invention for those under 6 months they sell.   I am a baby entrepreneur’s favorite person.  I recently went to return one sleeping devise and came back with the Ferrari of them- the mamaRoo.  From store credit to a bigger credit card bill in a few hours.  Now my wife forbids me to visit the store without her spending screening presence.

I am getting stupid.  Night-time reading is a thing of the past.  I have nothing to say on anything written in the WSJ, NY Times, Atlantic, Politico, Time, Newsweek, Businessweek, or my favorite blogs because I haven’t read anything since he was born.  Do not engage me in conversation right now as I fully admit I have nothing interesting to add to any conversation about anyting.

My back hurts again.  Two years ago I ruptured three discs in my back and have spent considerable time rehabbing.  I strengthened my core, lost some weight, and watched my back carefully.  Now I pick my son up from a stranding position, bend over and exercise his legs to relieve his gas, hoist him in the air (his favorite game with “daddy”) without concern for my back.  This has caused me to throw it out three times manifesting after-days with a forced walking gait resembling a very strange person.

I find myself randomly going up to new parents and chatting.  Young children and their parents have become the most interesting people in the world to me.  If I see a new toy or game from one of these other parents, I scold myself for missing that at buybuyBaby and plan a secret father mission there without alerting the wife.  In Singapore, a Danish mom and I talked for 3o minutes on the best gas remedies for our children.

Running and lifting have been replaced by nanny exercise activities.  I have taken up walking.  Well walking to push Luke around so he stops crying.  My new 1.5 mile trek around Riverside Park has nothing to do with exercise and everything to do with giving my wife a break and getting him to calm down.

When it comes to business, I am not as willing to do anything small or one-offish.  Business has to deliver solid margins, a considerable ROI and recurring revenue.  As a serial lecturer, accepting most engagements, now I can be found in back offices doing new fatherhood math:  The visit reward must be > (Lost trading revenue) + (Lost revenue from the desk with my absence) + (Time away from my kid).

Order The PlayBook

When it comes to trading I have no interest in shorter term intraday trading.  It does not fit with my new life.  I do not have time to scalp.  I can only position trade.  I am mostly interested in only that which I can trade with size and for a real trend move.  Also while trading I cannot help but think, how am I going to afford to send my son to Riverdale, the nanny, that closer NYC parking spot, our newest and much larger apartment mortgage, my wife potentially wanting to work less, music and language tutors, etc.

My trading psychology has warped from more easily on tilt to super-chill. I have journeyed from much more irritable as a trader when he first arrived (new fatherhood non-sleep) to ultra-calm, as who really cares about a $900 loss in $WTW when it intraday reverses?

I am much more corporate.  I was so called during a meeting this Friday.  After you have a child you think about your words and actions representing your little one.  That trading floor frat humor, the cussing, the openness about things private genuflect to corporate sponsor of your first born child.

Most importantly, with all of this newness, in the end there is one thing during the day above all else that truly matters- seeing my son smile.  Everything else is just the stuff that comes before the most amazing joy imaginable- his big beautiful life-changing smile.

Now back to changing diapers.

You can be better tomorrow than you are today!

Mike Bellafiore

One Good Trade

The PlayBook

No relevant positions






6 Comments on “New Fatherhood and Trading”

  1. A young child can make any problem, issue, or stress in a career seem trivial. Their happiness and the happiness they bring you becomes paramount. Their discoveries of life’s most basic qualities is all new to them & watching them discover things is priceless. And as you watch them discover this world, you are reminded of wonderful things as adults we have forgotten. The development of balance in life is the hardest thing to accomplish and like becoming a good trader – the journey to get there and learn it never ends. When you make the child happy – it becomes your greatest accomplishment. When you have to sacrifice time away from them and any of their “life moments” – it feels like you have been robbed – whether self caused or or out of your control.

    Nice post Bella.

  2. Great post Mike, it raised some smiles and memories. After the birth of my first child, 13 years ago, I divided life into LBB (life before birth) and LAB (life after birth).

    As to solutions for a crying/awake baby – much like trying to treat a common cold, lasts a week if you treat it and 7 days if you don’t. Babies have their own incomprehensible rhythm (like the market?) and often the only real value of interference is to make oneself feel productive and useful. That said I didn’t quit trying.

    The most effective technique I found (for a while, since it continually changed) for inconsolable crying was an fm radio tuned into white noise, at a high volume. Unfortunately that was often worse than the yelling! Baby headphones might have been an idea but I didn’t go that far.

    Next surprise/shock/perceptual shift might be your first family “vacation”.
    Lots of FUNN. (functional understanding not necessary)
    Keep up the good work.

  3. Andrew,

    We are talking about the first family vacation now. Lots of ideas are being scratched.


  4. Children make your life important. ~Erma Bombeck

    We worry about what a child will become tomorrow, yet we forget that he is someone today. ~Stacia Tauscher

    Children make you want to start life over. ~Muhammad Ali

    (This one is different)Youth is a wonderful thing. What a crime to waste it on children. ~George Bernard Shaw

    I am fond of children – except boys. ~Lewis Carroll

Leave a Reply