This week I am dusting off my rusted trading skills and giving futures trading a shot with a new platform. Inevitably, that led me overthinking and ultimately getting depressed.
My history in trading
Ever since I began making money by betting on sports and specifically trading the betting odds, I dreamt of trading the stock market. How different could it be, I thought? After all, the same principles apply. People are buying and selling. It’s a battle between supply and demand, a psychological war.
It turns out converting from a sports trader into a stock or forex trader required adapting. And I learned that by putting real money on the line. Money that I eventually lost.
Markets can stay irrational longer than you can stay solvent.
JOHN KEYNES, THE FATHER OF KEYNESIAN ECONOMICS, SHORTLY AFTER BLOWING ONE OF HIS TRADING ACCOUNTS EARLY IN HIS CAREER.
For years I had quit the thought of ever trying again to trade financial markets. Becoming a dad, getting involved in a real business, and failing before were the main reasons for avoiding them. Last week, though, this happened.
After many years I logged back into my betting exchange account. The account that I used to trade sports with. That brought back memories from 15 years ago, and I began talking to a friend about that. He sympathized with me and asked me why I haven’t tried futures trading. He steered me into a futures broker that he believed would be a good fit.
I was instantly hooked.
Gambling vs smart decision-making
I’m far from the gambling addict you might have in mind. When I was counting cards at blackjack tables, I hated watching people around me throwing away their money. I had figured out how to beat the casino and wanted to scream at other players to at least stop wasting their time and money. To this day, I cannot think like a recreational gambler. Every bet I make needs to have a positive return. Or at least, estimate it has a positive expectancy, has expected value. Be a +EV bet.
This futures trading platform made me think that I could potentially make +EV trades. Easier said than done. I need a trading strategy to begin with, not to mention managing my capital correctly and, of course, to learn the platform inside out.
Practice makes perfect
For five days now, I’ve been trading daily using a demo account. I even traded in the weekend, thanks to the Replay feature, which allows me to trade on previous days’ real data!
Trading with paper money is a lot different than trading with real money. But it’s a great way to get the hang of it. To learn how the software works, set up charts and keyboard shortcuts, and prepare for the real battle.
Will I succeed? I doubt it.
But the potential is there. And it can be huge. As long as I can beat trading bots, lifelong pros, and keep me disciplined, we are talking about hundreds if not thousands of dollars in daily profit.
The caveat for me is that being a profitable futures trader means generating an active income. And you must already know by now how much I love passive income. It was why I quit playing poker a few years ago.
Overthinking and getting depressed
So, should I devote my time to this new platform? Should I spend days, if not weeks trading futures with demo or even a real money account?
If I lose, I will have lost weeks of not being productive. I won’t write that much on this blog; I won’t make that many YouTube videos if any. I will abandon what I’ve been building this year. Time isn’t infinite. One can only make that much during the day. I already feel this way right now that I’ve only traded for just five days.
And what if I manage to make money? I need to alter my schedule. I need to fit this trading thing into my daily routine. And I need to adapt my family to the market’s opening hours.
And the worst thing would be that the days I won’t be able to trade, the income stream dries up. Instantly.
If you run a business that generates income in your sleep, the mere thought of that sentence alone can paralyze you.
And let’s not forget that I’m not creating value. I’m not helping people. By the time I log out of the trading platform, I haven’t created anything. I have nothing to show for it. Just mindless clicking buttons, hopefully generating income.
Once again, I’m overthinking. Which usually leads me to depression. The state of mind where I see no point in anything I do. That everything is futile. And I’ve been in that state occasionally in the past twenty years.
So when you see me not writing much, not posting on social media, or not uploading a video for weeks, you can bet I’m depressed. Like I feel nowadays. This journal entry is me taking action on feeling better. Thanks for reading!