I am starting a blog written anonymously about day-trading. Of course many posts will cover day-trading; but I envision some posts will also be about my general lifestyle– that is, day-trading as a means to pay rent, buy groceries, and pay bills. When you’re just a normal, regular prole trying to day-trade for a living, you’ll find that it’s not a 9-5 job. It’s more a like a startup you’ve self-bankrolled that’ll engulf your entire life and every waking moment. Even when you’re not trading, you’re thinking about trading. Or you’re preoccupied with a massive position you’ve taken on that’s moved against you. Or about half-a-dozen other things on your many to-do lists. I’ve transferred just about every last cent out of my Citibank and Chase accounts into my Fidelity brokerage and am putting it all on the line. It’s not some abstract number in some 401k that blithely moves up and down which you see every other quarter or maybe even once a year. This is real life. As John Hoynes would say, “Welcome to the NFL.”
Why written anonymously? Well, while my closest friends will know my true identity, I’m confident they will remain discreet. And generally, it just makes me more comfortable. In person, I’m usually reluctant to share personal financial details (I was always taught that it was bad taste and a faux pas to do so in polite society) but if this is a blog that’ll largely be about my adventures (or misadventures) in day-trading, then it’ll simply be unavoidable disclosing some personal financial information. I’ve thought about this lots and have made my peace with it. I love writing. I love programming and finance. Combining the two –at least for now– makes sense to me.
This blog serves two main purposes, equally weighted in my mind. The first is a selfish, personal motivation. I love writing and sharing. Writing’s always been a hobby for me and while, historically, I’ve mostly privately journaled or shared among a close circle of friends, recently it’s struck me as a peculiar question whether my writing would interest a larger audience? Because I’ve never tried before, I thought this may be high time to give it a shot. In particular, I was very much influenced by the long-running Whatever blog that the writer John Scalzi has kept for twenty years (and counting!) now. I think it’s really neat that just by slowly doing a little each day, over two decades Scalzi has amassed a mightily impressive body of work that also serves as a snapshot of any particular moment in time of any given day. I would love to have something like that twenty years from now. Especially as I grow older, the years seemingly fly by increasingly quickly. And to do something, anything, to chronicle this passage of time so I may one day look back and fondly reminiscence strikes me as an attractive and worthwhile project.
Secondly, I think it’s possible that some of this content may be helpful to folks. What I’m trying to do is essentially day-trade for a living and as I’m just an amateur myself learning the ropes, I believe this blog will be highly accessible for complete beginners. This is a project that many have attempted and that most have spectacularly failed at. Indeed, if it were easy, no one would ever work a salaried, 9-5 job ever again! Just buy low and sell high, right? Who doesn’t want to just roll out of bed in the morning, sit at their computer in their pajamas, key in a few trades, and call it a day by noon? (Or by 9:40a EST on some days?) So while I fully recognize that this may be a fool’s errand and end in flames, tears, and heartbreak (and an empty bank account), I nonetheless still feel a calling from on high that I need to at least try. And moreover, I need to try and share my experience with the world at large. When I was in my early twenties (eons ago), I went through a period where I was enamored with reading autobiographies. I had it in my head at the time, I distinctly remember, that I want to be successful. So if I just read about what other successful people have done, then surely that’d help me know what to do. I read a ton (one, in particular though, that has stuck with me through the years is Robert Rubin’s In an Uncertain World) and while specific details have long since faded from memory, the one commonality across all the biographies I read that I remember is that all of these super-successful people never had a job; they always felt a calling. Anyway, I’ll write more about this later in a future post. This is only the “Welcome Introduction” so I don’t want to get too sidetracked! Let’s put a pin in this for now.
So, in short– yes, it’s hubris and I possess completely undeserved and unearned confidence. My schooling background is in Computer Science (also eons ago) and I’ve never been formally trained in neither mathematics nor finance. But even if this project ends in catastrophe, then maybe even this flaming wreckage of an endeavor may benefit someone, somewhere, out there, in the great wide world. At very least, it’ll be a warning to folks out there with similar day-trading aspirations of what not to do.
To, again, be crystal clear: Content on this blog is not advice or instruction on how to day-trade. I am not qualified in any way, shape, or form to give such guidance. If you’re looking for such material, Google or your local library is your friend and I’m sure there are countless books out there on the subject. This blog will just be a place where I periodically post what I’ve been personally up to and the lessons, mistakes, and catastrophes that I’m sure I’ll encounter and hopefully overcome along the way. (And if I don’t overcome the catastrophes that I’m sure are to inevitably follow, then you’ll have a front-row seat to me personally going bankrupt.) I’m guessing bits and pieces of what I write may be useful to folks aspiring to be day-traders. But reader beware, yada, yada, etc, etc.
So if you’re still reading, I welcome you along for this ride which I’m sure will be plenty wild. Along the way of reading about my adventures (or again, misadventures) in day-trading, there’ll also likely be bits and pieces about parts of my personal life too. Again, I’m writing anonymously so there won’t be any personal photos or things like that. And I’m actually a pretty private person so I almost never share that kind of stuff with strangers anyway. (Sorry, no offense, but I –in all likelihood– don’t know you.) But my goal with this project is to make a living day-trading. I’m not looking to become fabulously wealthy or the next Warren Buffett who graces magazine covers. My aims are infinitely more humble: I’m trying to pay rent, put gas in my car, and put food on the table. Also: I’m trying to make life work for me and my friend here in America. She has categorically refused me all permission to write about her in this blog, so you’ll never see her name written here. But just know that she’s the love of my life, we met last year abroad, and are living together here in America now. I’ve also proposed to her several times now but she’s rejected me each time; I’m a pretty determined person though so I figure I’ll just keep trying. Because it’s difficult though to write without proper nouns, for the purposes of this blog, her name will be, “Bagel.” Just… don’t ask. Simply know it’s a term of endearment for which there exists a backstory. Though, if everything goes right, she’ll never read a word of this blog. Bagel categorically condemns my day-trading and doesn’t support me one iota in the endeavor. (You may notice a pattern that Bagel is a very categorical person– many things are very slam-dunk, black-and-white with her. Love of my life!) She recognizes that day-trading is currently a necessary evil or else we won’t be able to pay our bills moving forward (because I’m unfortunately unemployed due to some health reasons– [more about this later in a future post]), but she still possesses the utmost contempt and disdain for day-trading (which she doesn’t view as a profession at all either, FWIW). Anyway, Bagel is a foreign national and has come to America penniless with zero support from her family. So it’s solely up to me, unemployed, to make ends meet and provide for the both of us. So that’s the expository. If you’re still interested, stay tuned! Hopefully see you next time!