I always get asked by fellow students, friends and traders why I decided or how I got into becoming a trader. Was it by accident or after watching the Wall St movie by Michael Douglas / Charlie Sheen? Maybe it was the promise of becoming filthy rich or having a prestigious occupation filled with risk and excitement? Nope! It was none of the above.
I got brought up in an Asian family who believed that hard work, a solid education background and working for a stable company were the keys to financial success. Playing or working in the stock market field was never really an option. The perception of too much risk taking and lack of stability were the reasons. When I was young, I was fascinated by how the stock market worked but never really thought that it was a good fit for me. I graduated from university with a Business degree with a specialization in Accounting and Marketing. Upon graduation, I immediately got an offer to work for a major electronics retailer in their accounting department. I enjoyed the experiences of working for such a large organization because I had an opportunity to learn many different things.
However, I didnt really enjoy having to every month try to balance the accounting ledger and not to mention, the politics of a large corporation. So I left the firm and went on to pursue quite a number of different entrepreneurial ventures. These ventures led me to discover the Internet during the late 90s and I was hooked by the possibilities. My travels led me to Toronto where I discovered the power of the stock market. For those who remember the late 90s, we were in the middle of one of the biggest stock market booms in history. This period was the technology and dot com boom when companies like Amazon, Yahoo and Pets.com were the high performing stocks. In fact, it didnt really matter what stock I bought as long as it was a tech stock, I knew it would make me money.
At that time I was working for one of Canadas fastest growing tech company. There was a six month period where I witnessed my shares in the company jump from $ 2 to over $ 15 a pop an astounding 750% increase!!! Then I started researching and buying other small technology stocks. I sat in amazement when I tripled my stock portfolio value in one month. I couldnt believe that it was so easy to make money. That did it for me the success that I tasted made me hungry for more, and soon enough I was generating more income than my salary from actively trading technology stocks. Little did my employer know that I was spending most of my time at work day trading stocks and making huge profits every day.
As we now know, the technology boom became the technology bust. Investors watched as some of the highly inflated stock prices of tech companies settled back to a mere fraction of their values; others had become completely worthless. Fortunately, being more disciplined than a lot of other traders, I had managed to hold onto some of my gains. Right then and there, I made a decision to leave the corporate world and become a full-time trader. This led me on a path of compulsive determination to learn and experience everything about the stock market: how it worked, the emotional highs and lows, the successes and failures. At first, it was a constant struggle to be consistently profitable.
I must have read hundreds of books about the stock market. I practiced my trading techniques seven days a week. While my friends were out partying on the weekends, I was at home studying the markets, completely determined to make it as a successful trader. At one point, I was about to give up on my trading career because I was not making any money, in fact I was losing a lot of money. I had no job, no income, rent and bills to pay and growing frustrations from my friends and family telling me to quit trading and get a real job. I almost quit but I never gave up on it. I asked myself one question. If money was not an issue, would I still continue to trade? Did I enjoy the process of trading? Most importantly, was I still passionate about trading and the markets regardless of success or failure? I thought about it and I answered yes!!! That one important decision probably changed my life and made me not give up on something that I truly enjoy.
If trading is your passion, dont give up on your dreams if things dont work out the way they were supposed to. Life is a journey and enjoy where your trading may take you.