Taking My Trading to the Next Level - Caucasian - CycleBlaze

Taking My Trading to the Next Level

Long story short, I started trading in late August 2023 as a way of taking back control of my wealth management from out of the hands of the so-called "financial planners" who duped me with a classic insurance scam.  Read all about it here.

One thing you have to keep in mind, I knew absolutely nothing about trading when I started.  The prospect of doing this by myself scared me silly yet there was no other way forward since others couldn't be trusted.  The whole process got me to realize how overly reliant we are on these "experts" to plan our wealth management and the fact that we don't learn any financial literacy in school do these things on our own.  It's downright deplorable the lack of knowledge and skills that most of us have, and yet the problem is easily correctable.  It is a combination of learning this stuff as early as possible, and challenging the conventional idea that we need to rely on others to manage our wealth.  

For trading to work on your own, you need to spend a lot of time reading, learning strategy, trying things out on paper, backtesting, but most importantly it comes down to having the balls to take some action.  Typically, those "expert" planners are going to ask you a bunch of questions, gauge your risk level, and have you invest in funds that pay them the highest commissions.  What you need to do instead is take that risk meter out and smash it on the table.  You won't be needing it.  

It's been 10 months into this and my portfolio is holding steady with a 20% earnings growth rate.  You could argue that I'm just matching the S&P 500 in a bull market and could have easily done the same with just index funds but that's not really the point.  It's about the skills being learned with active trading.  I was not expecting to learn so much so quickly, but the fact is my trading account is pushing the $100k mark already.  If this keeps up, it won't be long until I double the money that I cashed out from the insurance last year.  

They say new traders always fail in the first half year.  Initially that was looking to be the case for me too, but somehow I was able to turn it around and pass this 'probation'.  How it happened I don't really know, but I believe it's past the point where I could fail now.  Is it all just beginners luck by starting in a bull market cycle?   Maybe, but with the continued reading and learning I'm doing there is definitely a plan in place for market downturns and I'm confident I can weather those when they come.

Having gotten used to the volatility in stock trading, I then stepped it up by trading options.  This has introduced a whole new level of risk, but also some returns that have added on.  Even still, the volatility is super scary.   When the portfolio now swings $5000 each way on a given day, it can be nerve wracking for sure.  But as time goes on you learn to keep your emotions in check as well as get better at managing fear and greed.  

Overlying all this is the need to remain humble and not let all this get to your head.  There are plenty of people I follow who give great advice on this.  But as I continue to look at the data one thing is becoming very clear:  trading started out as a hobby, but is now a business.  With my skills getting better, this has potential to be a reliable side hustle.  It's that passive income that will accelerate my way out of the rat race.  

The other day while riding my bike it suddenly dawned on me:  I'm making on average about 1/3 of my salary by trading at current levels with realized profits.  When it comes to managing fear and greed, I'm not one of those guys to let his Nvidia stock just sit there and keep going up without selling in the hope of making more and more.  If my stock is making bank then I'm taking partial profits and saying enough is enough.  But with my analysis it won't be long until I'm able to double my account and then make 2/3 of my salary.  See where this is going?

With these thoughts in mind, and getting through yet one more day of shitty work with people I can't stand, the breakthrough came about:  I actually don't need this job.  Well sort of.  This is still the beginning stages and I won't quit right away.  But I have enough funds, even now, to take several years off, go to Cambodia, figure shit out, and solve this midlife crisis while trading at the same time.  Just like that inspirational German guy I met in Kampot last trip.  

There is a lot more to it than this, and the trip itself will go into things more detailed.  But it was more than satisfying to assess my options (pun intended) and see the multiple potential paths forward from here.

While chatting to a friend at Starbucks just last night, we talked about someone who became a multi-millionaire doing exactly this.  This is not to say I will be too, although it is not out of the realm of possibility.  But then maybe it's possibible the whole thing will go south and this trading career crashes and burns while I'm stuck in a job that I hate for the rest of my life.  So if we're going to speculate, then scenario A sounds more favorable.

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