Genuine thanks to everyone for their helpful comments and to Brett Steenbarger for linking to my blog from Trader Performance. Brett speaks with many years of direct experience in the industry:
‘I would estimate that, since moving to Chicago in 2004, 80-90% of traders I’ve known at various firms are no longer in the trading business. Think about what that means in terms of lost money, accumulated debt, dashed dreams, and disappointed family members. Why do no trading coaches talk about those personal tragedies and losses? Why don’t the stories of the vast majority of traders ever grace the pages of trading magazines and trading books?’
There must be so many people like me out there but they are not proportionally represented on the net or in any other media. Our voice is not loud (most people sing when they are winning), many of us don’t want to be heard as we are in the midst of failure, and I imagine many of us just want to leave this chapter behind and get on with our lives. And then there is the question of whether an audience will want to listen to a story of complete failure without a turnaround. Yet we are the majority. Perhaps, after many traders blow up their accounts, they don’t want to go anywhere near trading again, much in the same way that a recovering alcoholic may not want to step back in to a pub. It must trigger feelings of depression and anxiety for many traders. Also, a blog about a trader that blows up isn’t going to update all that often. My position is that I am near failure, and if I do blow up completely, there will be nothing left to post.
On his site, Brett provides a link to a song titled ‘Needle and the Damage Done’. I listened to it for the first time. It is an excellent but very sad, haunting song about addiction.