Tag Archives: trading

Stock Traders are Cowards

I know I have only been an adrenaline-fuelled, risk-it-all, balls-to-the-wall, living-on-the-edge stocktrader for about four months but I have decided to ostracize myself already by slagging of other traders. That’s just the way I roll. I take no prisoners these days. It gives me the edge. It’s where I have to be.

For some reason reason though, the whole trading lark makes me want to talk almost entirely in cliche.  It’s apparently part of the cut and thrust, the in it to win it mentality. I’ll stop now though as I’m pissing myself off.

So what have I learned with my vast new knowledge of the markets?

The first thing is don’t invest your tax money just before a global financial meltdown. It really blows when the taxman wants his bloodmoney and your investments have just tanked. Fortunately I work freelance, so was able to work myself into the ground and not have to sell my shares and still pay the goverment. It’s been awesome.

The second thing is that it isn’t quite as exciting as it is on the TV. Maybe it is if you’re a daytrader but they’re the ones who chuck themselves off skyscrapers when markets crash and I don’t want life to be that exciting. The first few weeks I was clued to little graphs and indices that flickered in exciting colours. Now I’m a bit more casual and just keep a vague eye on things throughout the day. That changed today though when my shares rocketed skyward, so maybe I’m talking shit and just can’t take bad news.

The main and most unexpected thing I have discovered is that independent investors like myself are the most optimistic people on Earth, while big movers-and-shakers trading types are jittery little girls. I once spent a sad hour reading the forums about a share that was worth 7p to start with, and then slid to 1p over a period of six months. It was sad to see the misplaced optimism the poor investing saps had in this share and they constantly bolstered each other’s confidence with ‘Company reports next week! Good news I hope! This share is about to skyrocket IMO’. Then the following week another drop. This unbridled optimism is almost touching.

On the flipside, this optimism combats the cowardly pussies that work for the big trading markets. These guys are like anxious meerkats on coke. For the first month I traded, I was caught off guard by the market’s temerity. One minute the news stated there were worries that Greece might default and suddenly the markets tumble. They are just worries that it might, you cowards. Any bit of news like this and all the major players suddenly shit themselves and cause a minor crash and then act all depressed.

‘There’s a rumour that the economy might not expand as much as previously estimated next year? Holy shit! Sell!’ Then the FTSE drops like a stone. The next day:

‘China’s economy is still strong though? Fuck! Buy any share!’

To be fair, whenever a guy who works for a big company does grow a pair, a bank seems to go down and they are led away in handcuffs.

I could be wrong in my colossal ignorance on practically everything that happens in the market but it feels like this is what’s going on. To be honest, a lot of it feels like barely informed guesswork.

So what have I learned? Not much, but from what I can tell, I’m not alone. It’s still fun though.

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Stock Market Trading and Me.

Sell!!!!!!!!

Buy! Sell! Adrenaline! Men in ties stressing out! Brokers swilling champagne or chucking themselves out of skyscrapers! Yup, that’s my new life. Apart from pretty much everything I just mentioned. I have started trading – something I never thought I would do or even say.

Why have I never traded before?

I was always a little jealous of stockbroker types because they are absolutely fucking loaded. That was the only source of envy though. There are a few negatives that just don’t appeal. I would never work anywhere I had to wear a suit and tie. I would never want to work Monday to Friday, 9 to 5, it’s just too soul destroying. Also, if a lot of young trader types you see in the city are anything to go by, then I wouldn’t want to have to hang around with so many arrogant, hair-gelled, self important pricks. Maybe I’m being unfair but fuck it, it’s fun to generalize. There has always been an even bigger stumbling block however.

I find anything to do with finance or the economy really, really dull. I was reading a paper once and wasn’t paying any attention to the headings and as I read a fresh page I suddenly realised that I had gone from interested to bored. I then discovered that I had stumbled into the business section.

So why am I trading now?

Why the sudden change of heart? Several reasons really. The interweb makes trading an absolute piece of piss. Plus there are cool graphs and flashing indicators and flickering pages full of data. That means I can work from a coffee shop or in a park or even a beer garden. Any work that can be done in a beer garden is good work. If only alcoholism itself would pay. Maybe that’s why I have always enjoyed working as a writer and get pissed off working in a windowless room in the TV industry. Also, the ridiculous money is quite appealing. More so as I approach 40 and inexplicably find myself not being a millionaire.

But what about the main stumbling block? The horrible dullness of finance?

This is where I had the biggest surprise. I can explain this by using an analogy. Have you ever been to one of those pubs in the afternoon that is full of old men smoking roll ups, drinking real ale and watching horse racing? It is a pretty dull and soulless experience. On the other hand, have you ever been to the horses or even in a pub and had a flutter? Horse racing is suddenly the most exciting thing ever. Maybe it’s just because I like gambling but once I bought my first load of shares I have loved the world of finance. It can be really exciting. I bought some shares in a small mining explorer and they suddenly found a load of iron in West Africa. All my little indicators and graphs went mental and I made £140 in two days. I was leaping around in excitement. Then there were some troubles with the government in Cameroon and the shares started to drop. I panicked and suddenly hated dealing as my profits dropped to £100. I sold them and was happy to see the prices drop still further. Finally they bottomed out and the problems were solved. I bought back in and am currently watching them climb again. I’m like Gordon Gecko!

Except I can do it on my couch. Unlike the horses though, you tend to only lose a little as you can set up automatic sells if the price drops too much.

I have made a few mistakes and lost as well as gained. I still have no real idea what I’m doing but it has been an exciting learning curve. I’ve only invested £2000 so it will probably be a few months before my first million. While I’m an optimist, I’m also a realist. Now leave me to daydream in peace.

Just a few more months....

 

 

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