Why Aren’t You A Millionaire From Trading?

One of the nice things about having a blog is the interaction it brings with those who read it.  I enjoy the comments, emails, and tweets I get each week about my posts; and I am happy to say that 99% of them are positive.  However, every now and then I get an outlier like this…

I think it’s best if you don’t try to do chart analysis on your site and just stick to your little stories.  I mean seriously, If you were so good at charting how come you aren’t a millionaire from trading?

That’s a fair question, and one that deserves an answer.  Sometimes other things happen outside of trading in our lives that effect our net worth.

First off, I am on my third marriage and the previous divorces pretty much cleaned me out each time.  Also, in the late 80’s and early 90’s I had a massive coke habit and snorted tons of money up my nose.  Lastly, I severely under-budgeted for my gender reassignment surgery, so that really hit me hard in the pocket-book as well.

HAH…..I got ya!  The truth is, I have only been married once and I’ve never even tried any kind of illegal drug.

This comment does raise an interesting point though….”What the hell do you want from the other traders you interact with?”

Last week there was what only could be described as a “hit piece” put out on a very well-known member of our trading community (don’t ask me to go into more specifics on it or who it was about).  The author is well-know dick so I don’t really give it much credence; but it also made me wonder why he went to all the time and effort to write a piece on somebody who a far as I can tell (and the story confirmed) hasn’t done him any wrong.

People are often confused about what the purpose is of social interaction, especially so when it comes to the area of trading and finance.  True, there are a lot of people out there whose advice (and motivation) are suspect at best and criminal at worst.  There are also a lot of people who have great insight and are well-respected on subjects ranging from trading to craft beer selection.

But at the end of the day, none of them are asking you to babysit your kids or watch your house with their wacky fraternity brothers while you go out-of-town for the weekend.  The vast majority of them are throwing out free content that you are under no obligation to listen to.

Yet I still find that a lot of people feel a need to obsess over these interactions and are continually acting like they are Chris Hansen on “To Catch a Trading Predator.”

In poker there is a term called “table police.”  This is a guy who makes it his business to get into everybody’s shit whether it involves him or not, and he designates himself the arbiter of what is “correct” and what isn’t at the table.  There are too many of these types in the world of trading as well, and I find that they tend to fall into four different categories….

The Checker –  This is the guy that “fact checks” every thing you say and in the process completely misses the forest for the trees.

“Um…yeah, so last week you said you said you were going to buy $AAPL in the low 630’s, but it only went down to 634.00 which is the ‘mid’ 630’s, so how can you be long the stock this week?”

The Doubter –  This guy doubts EVERYTHING you say.

“So you are telling me that you need to breathe air in order to live?  Hmmm….I find that as unlikely as when you said you sold your $JPM last week.”

The Investigator –  Wannabe “Magnum P.I.” types (a private investigator TV show from the 80’s for you young punks).

“From what I found out, it looks like you once sat next to a guy in high school whose sister’s boyfriend’s father once sold a bagel to Bernie Madoff’s chauffeur.  You sir are a low-life stock scam artist.”

The General “Dick”– You can’t satisfy this person no matter what you say, they just want to harass and harangue you.

“Sure, you took  three hours out of your trading day to walk me through those charts you posted, review my recent trades, and give me the formula for the proprietary scans you spent fifteen years developing.  And yeah I traded two of your recent free picks for big wins, but there is NO WAY you could seriously be a trader because you actually talk about non-trading things on you blog at times.  It’s so obvious.”

In life an interesting phenomenon begins to take place as you get older.  You find that your resources are not infinite.  Financial resources, physical resources, mental resources, and time resources become more limited, not because you have less of them, but because you begin to realize the things that are important in your life and tend to focus your resources more exclusively on them.

Wasting your resources on fighting Quixotic battles with “trading enemies” is a losers game so I am going to give you a quick and easy test to tell whom to trust and whom not to so that you can avoid those battles.

Here it comes…..drumroll please……..

Is the content that they put out valid?  That’s it.  It’s that simple.

But what if they are not really trading?  If their content is good, you should not care if they are really faking it.

What if they are a liberal, a conservative, an ex-con, a commie, a Bieber fan, a penny stock operator, a Kardashian, or an alcoholic drug using carney who once punched the Queen of England in the face?  What the hell do you care?  As long as you are not trying to become their real world BFF or have a GFE with them then your main goal is to find good content and use it to your advantage in your trading.

And if their content is crap?  Unfollow, unfriend, or unsubscribe and move on.  Or just interact with them about craft beer.

By the way, how do you know that I’m not a millionaire from trading?

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  • Senor Jewjuan

    You sir, are a douche lord.

  • Jeff

    Are you transgender? You didn’t retract that! Not that it matters, I’m a trader and reader who happens to be gay. … And well written. Your critics are the same who haven’t given the new yahoo CEO a chance to be CEO yet!

  • Turdtrader

    Oh so that’s why Tim Sykes & Fous, et all ACT & SHOWOFF like millionaires, so they can fool the fools

  • Nice post Brian. One that needed to be written.

  • See the “author” of that comment represents the “dick.”

    I represent the person the dick is trying to get info out of.

    My policy is never to reward the dick with what they want, but to make fun of them and annoy them.

    DON”T REWARD DICKS!!!!

  • TheNumb47

    I was really starting to feel like a kindred spirit and then…”HA, ya got me”. Oh well, no point dwelling on the past. A very good post, and while it could probably be transposed to almost any social media circle, very much on the money in this StockTwits age of financial and trading blogging.

    • Sounds you have some good material for a blog 🙂

  • Despite the let down about the coke binging divorcee story being untrue, I found this post on the money. ( traders like saucy stories too )

  • Rex

    You could be the next Warren Buffett and you would still have to deal with jerks, idiots and asinine comments. For proof of that just go read through the old Michael Burry posts on Silicon Investor. One guy replied with this gem to Burry, “you’re a doctor, ipso facto a lousy investor.” Of course that guy is now the moderator of the value investing forum Burry started. Burry at that time was not a millionaire, so using this individuals flawed logic, Burry was not worth listening too.

  • thewife

    Your’e not a millionaire ? ;~)

  • S0UTS

    Well written article. I’m sorry that this is the first piece of yours I have read. Subscribing… there is an acute deficit of common sense in this world.

    • Hey, thanks for subscribing, I appreciate it.

  • My answer is usually “because I blew up my account n+1 too many times”. Unless they are annoying, then I say “because I spent too much on hit men for people who ask that question”

  • yo

    ok, you don’t have to tell us who the hit piece was on or what they said, but could you tell us where we could read it at?

    • Hah….come on, that would be the same thing 🙂

      Ask around, and you can probably find it.

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  • As we scour the internet for worthwhile tidbits, who you follow determines the quality of your ideas and your productivity level.

  • That’s a brilliant post that is 🙂

  • Millionaire? Big deal….Try retiring on that. It’s the new poverty.

    • Boy ain’t that the truth….

  • A-hole thinks everyone should trust everything he’s saying. Someone needs a wake up call. WAKE UP

  • 809trader

    As always great blog, people like you is the reason why people like me enjoying so much this game, keep up with the good work bro!!

  • You nailed this one, Brian. I hope you can continue to filter out the negativity and keep this going. Why do they bother? Rest assured that there are many more of us who appreciate your social media efforts.

    • Thanks for the nice comments, they are greatly appreciated.

  • You forgot the “I follow you because you’re cute, but you don’t know shit” category – or is that general dick, perhaps?

    • I know, I get that all the time too. But really, I’m not that cute.

  • MGoing

    You probably don’t need to hear positive, affirming praises from a wannabe trader like me but… your blog is excellent and I learned something every time. I especially appreciate your candor. Please keep up the good work!

    • No..no..no…I will definitely take positive, affirming praise from anybody 🙂

      Thanks for reading.

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  • nwa

    If you are going to talk about legacy trades why not use his name? Gro some balls!

  • Much easier to lose a small fortune trading than make it!

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Brian C. Lund

Brian C. Lund

Great father. Good friend. Decent trader/writer. Lacking husband. Solid drummer. Sometimes funny. Often A-hole. Terrible poker player. Too smart. Punk rock. Work in an ice cream shop.

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