This is a topic that has been turning over in my head for a week now and the reason why it has stuck in my mind will become apparent. Every now and then I get a cluster of emails from people whinging about how hard trading is and I agree trading is a difficult profession. Every decision you make is quickly graded as being right or wrong. There is no real possibility to deflect blame onto either someone else or some external circumstance as there is in many other professions. Your success and failures are your own but as they say success has a thousand fathers and failure is an orphan and this is generally the case with people who email me. What I am get from their emails is not a dialogue about problems and possible solutions but rather them vomiting up a well of self-pity and an inability to accept responsibility for their actions. Mixed into this emotional soup is a belief that trading will save them from whatever ails them, as such they have attached a desperation to trading that it was not designed to handle. Trading is not that important, and it will not save you – if you have attached this level of import to it then you are bound to be disappointed.
The reason these emails have irked me more than usual is that as LB and I were just about to board in Hong Kong she received and email from her son’s school saying that the year 10 formal had been cancelled due to the death of one of their students. When we landed, we found out that this young lad had taken his own life. At the tender age of 15 he had decided that his future held so much darkness that it was preferable for him to leave this world. All that he could have been, all the dreams he had, all the possible future versions of him have been lost to the universe. I don’t know the circumstances of why someone so young would take such desperate action, but I do know that it places all other things in life into context. It has rattled around in my brain because he is the same age as LB’s son – someone who has been part of my life since before he was born. The thought that someone his age would take their own life has haunted me all week. The universe is a lesser place whenever we lose a child, irrespective of the circumstances.
So please don’t email me and tell me you think trading is hard. If you do it indicates that your sense of perspective and context is out of alignment with reality for it is only a game. Sadly, other parts of life are not.