Well seeing as how it’s “the day after Black Friday” in the USA, I suppose I should probably write something about being thankful. But rather than launch into all the things I’m thankful in my personal life, I’m going to keep this about trading. And the truth is that I’m eternally thankful for one relatively simple, and fundamental idea. That of the “free market.”
Now it’s quite easy when discussing such a concept, to devolve into discussions of specific definitions and forms of free market ideals. And there are many! But the only element I care about for the purposes of this article, is the one that enables trading between two parties without needing to know one another.
And really how amazing a concept is that? And now with technology having advanced to where it has, we have the ability, no – privilege! – of being able to sit in the comfort of our homes, a coffee shop, an office, a beach, or really just about anywhere, and receive all the information we need in order to make a decision as to whether to push a button, or not. And when we make good decisions we can be rewarded handsomely for it, while bad decisions can cost dearly. Although part of the rub in the markets is that at times even a bad decision can reward us, and a good decision can cost. But that’s all just part of the thrill of this particular game isn’t it?
Jeff Mayem, one of TRG’s co-founders, likes to refer to trading as “the ultimate meritocracy” and I have to agree with that excellent sentiment. In a world where the idea that the best and most fit for purpose should rise to the top, seems to have become something offensive, I find this extremely refreshing. Want to make money in trading? Then get good at it.
Will it be easy? Will it happen quickly? Will you make more money than you could possibly imagine? The answer in all cases is almost certainly “no.” But then how many people have ever earned a lot of money in a career and had it happen quickly or easily? It’s generally only after many years, sometimes decades, of hard work and dedication to a profession that anyone gets to a point of earning large sums, so why should trading be any different?
So today I am very thankful to be able to dedicate myself to this craft. This art. This skill. It’s the hardest, most grueling thing I’ve ever undertaken, with the most depressing setbacks and frustrating delays. But it’s also the most satisfying thing to know that when I’ve made real progress, it’s been through my efforts, my willingness to continue even when it’s difficult. There are no shortcuts, and there is no “easy button”. You put in the work, you devote the time and energy, you pay what’s required, and maybe, just maybe, you get good.
I’ll leave you now with a great video I posted once some time back, but that I feel applies here too perfectly not to post it again. Replace “game” concepts with “trading” ones instead, and this couldn’t fit better. Enjoy!
Until next time, good trading!
Jonathan van Clute
Community Manager, Trading Research Group