Some days it feels like you have a sign pinned to your back that says “Kick Me!”
And then under that, another sign that says “I Ran Over Your Puppy (and it was fun!)”
I had that yesterday.
Clean out of nowhere, I was happily chatting to this cunning chap who ended up subjecting me to quite the Number 12 – style ambush.
Get Used to Random Acts Of Kickedness.
If you want to trade, you need to be prepared for people – even people very close to you - to a) not understand what you do or why you do it, b) have zero desire to find out, and c) despise it anyway.
Peoples ideas and feelings about money run deep.
Often, their feelings are the product of not having enough when they were growing up, thinking money is the root of all evil (to be accurate, the love of money is the root of all evil, but somehow that seems to be conveniently left out), having seen money be the cause of family arguments, having been envious of other people’s wealth, and hearing people being referred to as ‘filthy rich’.
There’s also the ethical story. Money evokes greed which in turn gives birth to squirming brokers selling CDO’s.
If you work with your money, other people’s default perception is that you’re greedy. You must be – if you use money to make more money, to make more money until you can bathe in its glorious crispness…well that’s just pure greed. Actually, in reality it’s pure paper-cut. Don’t ask me how I know, I just do.
You can’t really blame people for their misconceptions, because the industry does have a lot to answer for. Greed is prevalent; and let’s be honest – greed is probably what initially got us to the markets in the first place.
But whether greed is still an accurate representation of your motivation for trading is not a given by any means.
In my experience the lure of fast and easy money does not take long to dissipate and for the hard reality of trading the markets to set in. But onlookers rarely see that side of things.
All they see is a shrivelled little person hunched in front of their computer, rubbing their hands together gleefully as they stealthily glean their profits from the pockets of poor, unsuspecting market participants.
Common Perceptions of The Pre-Kick Variety
If you are a trader, you are undoubtably -
- Morally bankrupt
- A gambler
- Not ‘earning’ your money through real work
- And not adding value to society
Unfortunately, that’s just the way it is for us and possibly with good reason. There are people who trade or are involved in the markets that do embody those traits.
If being called any of those things is offensive to you – and they should be, it’s a bit of a worry if they aren’t – you need to make sure that you’re confident you don’t have those attributes, and more than that, that your trading and life practices don’t reflect those things either.
Sometimes those things can sneak into our trading very quietly, and before we know it, we’ve stopped volunteering for things and we’ve stopped giving to charity like we used to.
Sometimes an ambush can be a timely reminder to actually re-assess and find out if you are, in fact showing the signs of everything that’s grimy about our industry.
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