“Life is too short to waste time” ~ Me
When I first started attempting to learn about finance it was the fall of 2007. I had always been interested in finance, but didn’t realize it until all hell was breaking loose in September/October 2007. These occurrences, which were happening everyday, just piqued my interest for whatever reason. I had always thought of myself as the engineering type. I have always been interested in physics: electricity, mechanics, and things of that nature. Never ever really thought of finance/business. I used to think it was a boring subject, and really had no positive connotations of it at all. Reality is I had not done my research on the subject and just thought I knew what I was talking about. Obviously I did not.
Then comes this little weird project that I had to do for one of my first college courses in fall 2007. It was a computer literacy class, so the aim here was to use PowerPoint and Word cohesively to create a presentation. We were to amass a group of stocks that we would purchase and explain why, obviously in line with current events of the time. My personal list was a disgustingly, poor put together list that included companies that I knew and thought produced quality products. A very laymen way of doing things? Yes. However, I knew nothing else. We all presented and no one sounded like they knew what they were talking about, including myself :). This bugged the living hell out of me to be honest, as I do not like to be on the same footing as others. Not that I think better of myself than others in a defamatory way. I just choose to identify that I can be better than others and find an approach to becoming better, and becoming better everyday is what matters to me. For example, this blog is a tool that I will use to become a better trader.
Now, I have always been a watcher of financial news and geopolitics for some reason or another, I love history and have always had this admiration for math, but nothing ever clicked in my head that maybe I should look into the subject. For example, when I first came across the publication, “The Economist,” I was 18yo, and have not put it down since. Point is I thought I knew what “right” was supposed to look like and sound like (obviously financial media is generally incorrect as well, maybe for another piece). From this personal embarrassment is where my journey truly began into the world of finance.
So how did I attack this subject, and how did I arrive at trading futures? Well this could comprise a book because of the time and effort it has taken me to get to this point. Fact is everybody has a different way of doing things, and I am very methodical and detail oriented in the way I approach things, which while it elongates the process, it is also more thorough and precise. I guess majoring in Math fitted my personality after all: this statement is very relevant in the process to my figuring out what I wanted to do in life, and why I would suggest you think about taking a similar approach to things. Especially when it comes to trading, where knowing yourself is a key part of the process to becoming a successful trader.
I realized, during my search as to what I wanted to do with my life now that I was in college, the most important thing one can do to start the process is to know one self. This is the utmost important part of the process in my opinion. As it allows you to understand what you are capable of putting up with on a day to day basis, given what your personality is like, among other things. If you like a repetitive process, you find something that fits that and go from there, for example. The main thing is knowing who you are as a person. This was step one for me, and it was also the hardest step. It required a lot of thought and deliberation with family and friends. Talk to people that know you, they might know more about your personality than you think. That happened to be the case for me. So step one: soul searchin’.
In conjunction with that I looked into all fields of finance and just read job descriptions. I think that gave me a better understanding of what the knowledge base had to be given a specific position within finance, and that allowed me to find further details to research. Finding more granular details to research was really the key in my process, due to the fact that I realized that I wanted to be able to pick something that I know I would want to do for FREE. YES, FREE. My line of thinking is that if you want to be happy working, it should not be work, at least not in your eyes and especially not in your mind. Trading for me is not work and I can do stuff related to it 24/7. I do take breaks, do not worry :).
Research, research, research. This is the way I decidedly came upon many of the prime positions in finance. You know, the “prestigious” front office jobs, and so on. I found those, looked them up and to be honest, I didn’t find trading to be all that interesting (sell side vs buy side here, so for another post). I digress, the key here is that I assaulted the internet. I used Google to research, research, research. It has been the best tool in this process for me. From one link to the next, I just let it take me through the web to find what I was not looking for. I say that becuse I really did not know, I was just looking. You might never know until you find something and research that specific topic. That process will allow you to better determine whether you like what you are finding, and if you do not, you can ask yourself why you do not.
The main point is that you must be determined to search not only within yourself, but also within the world, because what is for you, more often then not is not in front of you. If it is, odds are you don’t even see it. Therefore, to summarize, soul searchin’ and Googling are the beginners tool’s.
I hope this helps all aspiring traders out there, and those looking to figure out things in life in general. Thanks for reading and write to you soon.