Recently, we have a lot of new, interesting markets to skyrocket, including cryptocurrencies, marijuana pots, and others. This gave me an incentive to search out for passive income in these markets. There is no comfort zone in academia, contracts are short and you are never guaranteed that there will be another spot for you - or rather, that you will get your dream next job right after you are finished with your previous contract. But, when I entered the world of trading, I didn't know how difficult and disturbing my new life can be. Apart from the fact that the market is overly crazy, that major corrections happen at pseudo-random moments and your assets can grow and shrink by as much as 30% a day, it is a serious test of personality and will power.
Are you a strong person? This is a disturbing question as anyone would prefer to think of themselves as someone strong on their mind. However, investing on a volatile market can easily expose all your weaknesses. For instance, it is a good habit to constrain yourself from buying into currencies or stocks that already are on the exponential growth trend for a while; in most instances, it is a losing practice and if you do so, you are almost guaranteed that the trend will reverse as soon as you get in. Although you most likely know about this, it is terribly hard to say ‘no’ to this urge of clicking once you see a few pretty green growing candle bars in front of your eyes. And, to resist running once you see red bars on the other hand.
Also, internet is full of false or misleading information. It is increasingly hard to find useful information as most on the news on forums or even in press online are simply a scam. Some people just do not know enough in order to formulate a good advice, while others evoke mess on purpose, for instance to pump and dump some asset and make profit on it. Therefore, it is hard to find out what to invest in after all - even if you spend hours on reading every day.
In such a situation, on one hand, you are pushed to fight against your natural instincts to keep yourself safe and on the other hand, you are exposed to a lot of external dangers related to the information chaos online, and a crowd of not-so-much-trustworthy journalists, youtubers and bloggers. Also, the market is live 24/7 which means that there is never a true weekend, true vacation, true moment of peace and quiet - unless you consciously decide to ignore the world around you for a period of time.
I can honestly say that stress-wise, trading is much more demanding and challenging than doing research. Researchers often complain that there is no comfort zone in academia, but the level of discomfort in academia is nowhere near to what you experience in trading… If you make any trading decision, either go in or go out from any position, you can never be sure you will eventually make a profit, no matter how many trend indicators, and how much insiders information you are using. It is always only certain probability, and you will never have a feeling that you did the right thing after you pushed the ‘buy’ or ‘sell’ button. You have to be alert for the whole time, and you never have a day of self-satisfaction and chillout.
For me, the beginnings were extremely difficult as I was blaming myself for wrong decisions I had taken, plus I was making a lot of impulsive moves. There is a phrase saying that stock exchange is a platform to transfer the money from the impatient to the patient, and this is definitely true. With time, I managed to tame myself somehow, and to develop a little bit of patience. I no longer harm myself with compulsive jumping onto the trend. However, there is still a long way before I can ever call myself a trader. This year will be very interesting, but also very hard as trading can be nerve-wrecking. I treat this experience as a self-development though; I believe that trading can make you grow as a person, and help in developing a thick skin that you need in daily life, whenever you do research or any other profession. And, this is how I approach it.