Trading v Life

Just wanted to share my thoughts about trading and lifestyle and to let you know how it works for me, and some challenges I have faced.

When I started trading more seriously in 2004 onwards it was relentless. I lived and breathed it. If I wasn’t at work I was trading or doing something trading related. Everything else fitted in. That hard work paid off as I was able to trade full time after I was made redundant from my job in July 2006. Imagine having an ATM in your spare room, where you could help yourself to cash, without the balance of your bank account being affected. That’s how it was.

Friends call around, it’s so obvious you want them to fuck off so you can get back to trading, it makes them uncomfortable after a few visits, they stop coming. Friendships ended, Invitations dry up, family engagements become unpleasant. funerals missed, holidays forsaken, relationships destroyed, families broken. For what? This was my situation.

The pursuit of money, greed for want of another word. The question I ask myself often was was it all worth it? No, it wasn’t. if I had those 10 years again it would be very different. But at this point in my life, I can make different choices.

The expectations of what a “pro trader” is or isn’t are often open for debate on forums and Twitter. I have read some frankly ridiculous statements lately, About what constitutes a “Pro Trader”. How much they should earn to be classified as a Pro, whether or not they pay higher rate Premium Charge and even one first-class numpty trying to say that a true pro would never miss a Saturday trading. A true pro would be involved in the markets every single day, What a load of fucking shite!

You never hear me bragging about how much I do or don’t make. I have stated I am in Betfair’s’ higher rate Premium Charge bracket. You may see a few videos showing decent wins, and the odd screenshot too. But you will have also saw some videos of red screens from me. It’s all part of the game. You will have NEVER seen a Betfair PL shot of my account and you never will. Frankly, it is of no one’s business but my own. My credibility to teach other traders has nothing to do with how much money I make. My ability to explain how to do is much more relevant. Now I can wheel out 100’s of people that will happily testify that I can do that pretty well. The bottom line is this. Come to a workshop or don’t come. I hold 6 a year and that will never increase, currently, I have 20 people at a time. This is a number that works for everyone. It allows the interaction required, and I can comfortably answer every question asked. I often joke at the start of a workshop that no one is leaving until every question has been answered, even if we are still here at 9:00pm tonight! they are always full, without exception. I often turn people away.

In the last few years, I have made some pretty big changes in my personal life. I don’t want to detail them all, because they are personal. But there are some I want to share, because they may help someone reading this, both to understand a little more about me and what drives me as a pro trader.

My workshops and education have been a big part of things for 5 years now. I don’t write too much these days, and rarely make videos for public consumption. But I do have a vibrant community that I look after. I don’t trade every day, in fact, I have completely changed the way I work. I now have a diary where I allocate time slots to different tasks. So when I am answering emails – I answer emails, in that time allotted. When I am trading, I trade. But in the time I have set out. No more and no less. This structure means I get much more done, and I have my life back.

The result is I am very happy with my life now, I can do the things I want. I am happy to trade when I want to, and take time off to do other things when I want to. Trading supplements my life, it doesn’t dictate it anymore. Does this mean that I am unable to articulate how to trade to others? Does this diminish my ability? have I forgotten 14 years worth of knowledge and experience? Seriously?

If you feel you cannot escape from a life that is dominated by gambling or trading. If all you can think about is trading and money, please talk to someone, please reach out for help. I am happy to give my time freely to talk things through with you and try to help or advise some professional councilling. Trading is a fabulous hobby, and even a profession if you get good at it. But please keep in mind that there are things outside of this that are more important.Please keep this in mind. Stay safe.


9 thoughts on “Trading v Life

  1. Very thoughtful post, Steve and reinforces your reputation in the trading community as not only being a hugely knowledgeable trader, but also a decent human being, too.

    Great to hear that you are happy in your life as well – long may it continue.

  2. Hi Steve

    You really have inspired me with this post; the part where you say about relationships suffering I understand you; There was a time not so long ago my daughter wanted to go to the park she’s 4 and I sacrificed that to get an afternoon of football trading in as it was a Saturday, I’ve honestly never felt so guilty and like such a failure as a parent; I Know it was only one Saturday but I do think was it really worth it?, my answers the same as yours no it wasn’t this really reminds me to take that time back away from the sometimes black hole of trading and really enjoy life. Thank you so much for this amazing post.

    • Hi Heather, Don’t be hard on yourself. I am guilty of so much more. The odd lapse is forgivable, 10 years isn’t. I wrote this piece as lately, I have managed to break free. It’s important that someone with a high profile stands up and actually talks about this. It’s easy to read the crap out there written by people with only their own self-interests at heart. The message they put out is irresponsible, disingenuous and dangerous. You don’t need me to remind you how precious it is to spend time with your kids. We can all hide behind the “I am trying to make a better life for them”. Money doesn’t give a better life, time does. Heather, I really do appreciate both your openness and kind words.Cheers Steve

  3. Hi Steve

    What an excellent post. First time visitor to your site and this is the first thing i read!! And can really relate too. Im at the start, trying to make extra money from betting and eventually trading. I have been guilty on countless times of my head being in trading and betting when i should be paying more attention to my son and the here and now. You cant get that time back.

    Whilst im desperate to get a big enough bank to allow me to learn trading/scalping etc your post has made me realise that i cant let that dominate my life. My job already revolves around betting as it is so a break from it is needed. And your idea of allotting periods of time for certain activities is a great idea, something i may well try once ive eventually learned how to trade.

    I bought, a year ago, a video course from a known trading company but have never given them the time of day, so now ill allocate an hour an evening (if my son isnt here) to slowly watch and learn.

    Thanks again Steve for that post, very refreshing to read something like that and im glad you managed to turn things around and make trading work for you and not you for it!

    Look forward to perusing the rest of your site now

    All the best


    • Ben, I really appreciate those kind words. I love to help people with their trading, but if what I say and by sharing some of my own experiences I can save just 1 relationship. Then that’s job done for me. Cheers Steve

  4. This is a really great post. I’m fairly new to trading but I’m an experienced programmer; I’m learning to trade alongside writing the software to trade exactly as I would if I was watching the market (and only the market action) for the sake of my sanity and my available time. I could easily have that same 10 years and I am hoping to avoid the same traps!

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