I received an email recently from a gentleman who accused me of not really making a living off my trading. My response to that is “Guilty as charged!”
Let me state it clearly for the record. I do not now, nor have I ever traded for a living – and I do not anticipate ever doing so in the future. A long time ago I realized there was nothing about trading for a living that interested me.
While I love the markets and the opportunities they provide, I do not want to have to spend long periods of time on a daily basis focused on them trying to make a living. It’s not for me. There are too many negatives related to my trading effectiveness, my health, and my overall personal well-being.
I’ve learned how best I operate in the markets, and doing it full-time with my livelihood constantly in play is not it. If you’ve read The Essentials of Trading, you know I talk a lot about the need to have your trading mesh with your personality in order to be really effective.
The thing that really irked me about the email I received, though, is how the author implied that if you don’t trade for a living, you are not a “real trader”.Â That sort of arrogance and narrow-mindedness makes me really angry.
I trade the markets to build wealth. I want to grow my assets. It’s that simple.
Although trading for a living and trading to build wealth require different approaches, they have a lot of fundamental similarities. It’s still trading, after all. One must still identify good trading opportunities, have strong risk management, and handle positions well.
Neither is necessarily better. Trading for a living is about trying to make x-amount each day or week, while trading to build wealth takes a longer-term view toward growing a portfolio. Only you can make the determination which is better for you.