Spiderman 3: Who’s doing the trading?


Spiderman 3, which is getting rave reviews, has an interesting parallel with trading.

In the film, Spiderman has to fight the usual external battle as he comes up against a litany of villains. This time around, however, the superhero also wages war with his inner self as he contends with a new black suit that brings out the darker side of his personality. The suit enhances his powers; he can run faster, jump farther, and throw his web with greater power. But these new abilities exact a great cost. Spiderman’s moral compass becomes skewed, and he becomes more vengeful and egotistical. He is more powerful than ever before, but also more dangerous.

Several years ago, when I first started trading, I would take positions in stocks that I expected to deliver a reasonable rate of return. I used an on-line retail brokerage and would sometimes phone through my orders. My positions were small, I didn’t have the ability to go short, and there was no leverage. I imagine this is how most traders got their first taste of the markets.

Now that I trade the currency markets, I can go short or long in an instant. I also have a previously inconceivable level of leverage, with the ability to control over £1m in underlying currency. This new power gives me strength and opportunity. But it also comes with great responsibility, because the risks from ego, addiction, lack of discipline etc, are all magnified. I am stronger and yet I am more vulnerable to my own weaknesses. 


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