What advice can you give to someone who’s in their 30′s and wants to begin a career in trading, but doesn’t know where to start?

Antonio Bailey ‏@DB0pink


What advice can you give to someone who’s in their 30′s and wants to begin a career in trading, but doesn’t know where 2 start?

One time in 2003 I lost money on the day before. I had a systematic way of trading. Only software-based. I followed my signals and nothing else. I loaded up all the stock market data and would look for patterns. Like if it’s the first day of the month and the last day of last month was down, what tends to happen 99 times out of 100. If many patterns suggested the same high probability trade then I would make that trade. Maybe I was managing about $50 million. Because the trades were (historically) such high probability, I rarely had a down day. And I would only trade with a small portion of the portfolio so even a down day was small.

But one day I was down. And that night I couldn’t sleep. So around 4am or so I got out and went on the swingset at the local school. Then I got a basketball and played basketball by the river. then I went to breakfast around 6am at the local cafe. Played some scrabble there to get my mind off the trade that was on. Then I went to…church. I got down on my knees. I prayed to Jesus. I’m Jewish/Hindu/Buddhist/Taoist/Muslim/Catholic. It doesn’t matter to me. I’m a praying slut. I’ll pray to Zeus if I have to. I prayed for about a half hour. Please make this trade work Daddy.

Then I went in. Futures were already against me. Every second I could feel all the blood pulsing in and around my body. It was like I was bowling and leaning my body over to make the ball go in the right direction after it’s already been released. Please Daddy pleasedaddy please please. Please ZeusJesusAllah.

I called my business partner. “Let’s just hire a factory in New Jersey and put together the ingredients for some diet pill that combines with protein. I can build a website. We’ll get some porn star to do the informercial.”. please daddy please please.

I forget if the trade worked out. I didn’t have the psychology for it. I was down maybe 0.25% at worst. Less than 1%. I hated losing people’s money. I had no problem losing my own money. I was an expert at that. But I never wanted to lose anyone else’s money.

Here’s the problem with trading. I won’t argue with you. Everyone has their heart set on a dream and sometimes dreams turn into nightmares but you are entitled to your dreams.

There’s a saying in poker, “If you can’t find the fish at the table then it’s you”.

Here’s who is at the table with you when you trade: Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, Carl Icahn, Vladmir Putin, Ben Bernanke, Sheikh this and that, Hugo Chavez, Timothy Geithner, and what my business partner and I used to call “The Gimp” after the Pulp Fiction character. The Gimp was the guy they keep locked up in the dungeons underneath Goldman Sachs. He’s got a mask on and he’s chained all up and they feed him once a day. And when they really need the markets manipulated they let him out of the cage and there’s nobody better. It’s you versus him.

Good luck.