Jul 31

13 Things They Didn’t Tell Me About Being A Trader

1. They never told me trading was hard.  Or anything that resembled work at all, really.

2. I never got told that 90% of traders fail – in fact I got told anyone could trade, and that it was especially lucrative if you did it while lounging by the pool.

3. They failed to mention that I would have to dig into my past, unravel my mind and battle a few demons in order to have any chance of succeeding.

4. Or that trading would generously provide me with the most hideously earth-shattering moment of my life.

5. They must’ve forgotten to tell me that it’s not possible for trading to provide the startlingly ecstatic opposite of Number 4; that those amazing moments come from things that aren’t, in fact, things.

6.  I must’ve glossed over the bit where it said that I would have to morph, at times, into the epitome of nerdiness – the likes of which have previously only been observed in accountants and mathematician.

7.  Also hidden in the fine print was the fact that I would become proficient in coding Excel.  Makes me gag in horror at the reality of it, to be honest.

8. I missed the bit where it said that finding real people (who you can actually sit next to) to talk to about trading is extraordinarily difficult.  Especially for a woman.

9. They didn’t tell me that it’s easier to tell people you’re an alien than it is to tell them you’re a trader.  At least being an alien is a conversation starter.

Or, on the flip side – that every clueless yokel within a 3 mile radius will feel compelled to tell me their hot tips at Saturday afternoon barbeques.

10.  They neglected to mention that no matter how brilliant your teacher or mentor is, you really do have to get up off your butt and do the work.  That your mentors can hand you the uniform and bat so you look the part, but it’s up to you to hit the ball.

11.  I wasn’t told that there is no magic bullet; in fact I was told the opposite – that there is a magic bullet and it costs $2999.  They didn’t tell me that my best weapon is the plan I’ve developed for myself and the strength I have to implement it time and time again.  That’s as magic as it gets.

12. I sure missed the memo about the labelling and name calling – I’m sure there was nothing in there about getting slapped with everything from a gambler and a materialistic money-freak to horribly selfish, greedy, and a rich cow simply because I trade.

13.  But they especially didn’t tell me that I’d happily put up with all of the above because contemplating life without trading is akin to having my head shaved and my legs lopped off.

Hideous, and entirely unthinkable.

*Hat tip to Louise Bedford, you can read her take here ;)


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  • Sebster

    Vague and not informative, feels more like the beginning to a self-help book.

  • robs

    wait are you successful at it? what machine do you use? plus500?

  • http://twitter.com/davidskysummers David Skysummers

    Haha what made you continue to be a trader still?

    • http://www.roguetraderette.com/ Jessica Peletier

      The lifestyle, the challenge, the self-mastery, and just passion for the job, really :)

  • Katherine147

    Miss ur blog

    • http://www.roguetraderette.com/ Jessica Peletier

      Hi Katherine! I’ve been flat out this week testing the system I’m working on – but I’ve finished the core testing so I’ll be back writing soon! Glad you missed it :)

  • Ordersixsix

    >> I would have to dig into my past, unravel my mind and battle a few demons in order to have any chance of succeeding.<<

    I just came to the realization (literally 3 days ago) that this exact concept is the true challenge to trading successfully (unless of course your one of the .5% of people who are pre-programmed to do well in a market environment).

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  • KatheTheron

    Great post! Keep it going Jess

  • Cheryl Tully Stoll

    You mean I’m not supposed to put it all on red?

    • http://www.roguetraderette.com/ Jessica Peletier

      I literally had someone say that to me once. I was talking to someone else, and they overheard and yelled “Put it on black!”


  • Cath

    Hi Jess!! re: number 12, have people actually called you those exact names? how many??? and who ARE these people? people that don’t know you from Adam (cos people that do know you, even a little bit, wouldn’t be that rude surely?!?)? I guess every occupation gets it’s negative stereotype labels tho (lazy public servants; arrogant pilots; grumpy librarians; bullying chefs; nerdy maths teachers etc etc) – doesn’t make it any easier to hear, but is perhaps some consolation!! :(

    • http://www.roguetraderette.com/ Jessica Peletier

      Hey Cath!
      It’s usually implied, more than people yelling at me on the street :)
      But it is definitely a job that most people have hang-ups or misconceptions about..for example I had someone say to me they thought it was really sad that people could sit and look at their money all day. Which isn’t, of course what real traders do. They deal with money the same way that a bank does, to an extent.
      But that’s not the perception.
      I have been called all of those things, to some extent, over the last few years via comments like that. :) But it’s fine, I put it down to peoples misconceptions more than personal attack on me.

  • Amanda Hudson

    I just started trading. I hope I am not the 90% in #2.

    • http://www.roguetraderette.com/ Jessica Peletier

      Thankfully, it’s you that makes that decision, so if you really don’t want to be in the 90% – don’t be!

      Just be prepared for a lot of hard work. And while that’s the stat that goes around, I don’t know if an actual study has ever been done…the truth is that a lot of ‘traders’ flee when they find out it’s not a ticket to instant untold wealth with zero work.

  • Demetris

    Roguette, I hope you’re right on Louise, I ‘ll check her out ‘n hope she comes across as sincere.
    Btw on 9, I usually go all in and say ‘Speculator’, capital S for the inevitable ‘stun’ effect. Sounds richer!

  • traderjoe_0369

    Great post as always…love your blogs! Keep up the great work :-)

  • Jordan Pang

    #9 Maybe I should just say I make $$ being a traitor. That should really be a conversation starter

    • http://www.roguetraderette.com/ Jessica Peletier

      Feels like it sometimes, especially when everyone elses portfolios are heading down and I’m making money being short.
      Ah well!

  • Mikesinder

    Wonderful list! Definitely like the how easy it is, and the lounging by the pool part!

  • Bob

    I would love to hear about your #4.

    • http://www.roguetraderette.com/ Jessica Peletier

      Pretty typical, I think – clueless newbie with WAY too much money involved, writing puts on a bank in 2008. Next thing, have lost 25% of account in the space of a week, and left literally shaking in horror. Hadn’t crossed my mind that it could happen.

  • Azim Riaz

    Reason why most fail is that they dont plan or have a long term vision to become a better trader rather if no success in a few month chuck it and go back to the rat race not knowing if they stuck at it like anything else in life e.g a degree they would retire in a few years!

  • steve0617

    I’ve either gone all in and said DAY TRADER! Which of course turns them off, which is fine with me. Or my newest one (which was good for a while, but kind of died out), it ‘Private Equity Fund Manager.’ ‘Course, it’s MY funds. And I’m quite private. #8 is a big thing for me too.

  • Caromusa

    Hi, great post. I suffer number 8! and 12…

  • Cheryl Tully Stoll

    It is much easier to tell people you’re an alien than a trader–even though their own buy and hold strategy has performed so well for them the last decade??

    • http://www.roguetraderette.com/ Jessica Peletier

      When I tell people I’m a trader, quite often I get “what’s that?” as a response, which is fine until they hear the word stock market, or worse – foreign exchange. Then come the glassy eyes, and the blank nod that tells me I’ve lost them :)

  • http://www.crowdedminibus.com/ David Chin

    Yup, been burned myself by one too many #11-type training programs.

    • http://www.roguetraderette.com/ Jessica Peletier

      I got burned by one, then hit gold with the next one. The good one actually did tell me about having a plan – it was run by Louise, who’s link is above. I’m not affiliated, just lots of respect :)

      • http://www.crowdedminibus.com/ David Chin

        Thanks for that – I’ve just registered at her site.

        • http://www.roguetraderette.com/ Jessica Peletier

          You’ll love her newsletter, it’s always got great stuff in it.

      • Bob

        So did I.

        • http://www.roguetraderette.com/ Jessica Peletier

          Great! You’ll get some gold just from her monthly newsletters :)