I’ve been an entrepreneur since I was 16 years old. I started investing and playing poker when I was 17 years old. One day I skipped school because I bought warrants for 1 200 USD and I wanted to monitor the situation. Within 3 hours I made $5 000. I sold it quickly and went to school. During a sociology class in high school, I played heads up for $1 000. I lost, but it was fun, and my friends were watching. I know about the “urge” to earn money quick. It gives a kick; your adrenaline starts pumping through your veins. It becomes an addiction. It even get’s fun to lose money. This is very dangerous.
I must admit that I see a lot of the same “rookies” in our community on Workplace. My guess is that many of our members are chasing profits on a daily basis and get kicks out of watching the prices move up and down. I cannot blame them either, as I was, and probably is, like that myself. I’ve always been impatient. It has been both a blessing and a curse. It has made me a lot of money, it has made me lose more money, it has made me miss huge gains and I’ve been struggling with FOMO (fear of missing out).
Also read: Dealing With The Fear Of Missing Out
Humans aren’t wired to trade
I believe that humans aren’t made to trade. It’s not something we have in our DNA. It is something we must learn how to do, and how to disconnect our human emotions. People that lose a trade tend to risk more on the second trade to earn back what they already lost and then some. It’s a far too common mistake, which I have done myself many times. You have to be able to disconnect your emotions and to follow a strict strategy that you stick to no matter what. You are allowed to change your strategy and tactics, but that should not be something you do daily.
My biggest mistake?
I sold all my bitcoins (800) in 2015 when they were at their lowest (200 USD). I made a lot of money on trading cryptocurrencies, but I was too obsessed with it. I was watching the charts daily (like most of you are doing now). And when the prices started to gain traction in 2016, you can believe I felt an intense FOMO. However, I had decided not to go back in as I wouldn’t want to become obsessed with the charts once again. If I had invested my bitcoins in ethereum in 2015, I would have had more than 50 000 000 million USD today. Chew on that for a few seconds.
But I’ve realized that I didn’t need to watch the charts on a daily basis. I could simply have told myself that: “I want to hold these bitcoins for three years no matter what.” Or that I wanted to buy ethereum for all my bitcoins and then leave them for four years or more. Then I would be able to disconnect myself from the daily charts and probably have reached “financial freedom” by the age of 26.
As you might imagine, it has been hard to see that your prediction back in 2014 and 2015 came through, bitcoin reached 3000 USD, and ethereum is killing it. I’ve been working with myself on getting over the fact that I could have made 50 000 000 USD. What comforts me is that these opportunities happen all the time. I know there’s thousands of investors that have experienced the same. Not only with cryptocurrencies, but with stocks (look at Tesla), commodities and so forth.
You don’t earn money; you steal money
Another interesting aspect of trading and investing is that you are not making money on good trades or investments. You are taking money from other traders and investors. The price of bitcoin is purely based on supply and demand. I bet you can find a person that wants to sell you a bitcoin for 10 000 USD, if you buy that bitcoin then it is worth 10 000 USD. But you have to be able to sell it again to capitalize on the asset.
Investing and trading are money changing hands. Nothing more, nothing less. Money isn’t created, money isn’t lost.
What I’ve learned
The most important lesson I can teach you is to have patience.
HPS! (Have Patience Stupid!)
Create a strategy that you think will win, and stick to it. Don’t be obsessed and follow the charts minute by minute, it will only drive you crazy. When I talk about patience, it could be one-year horizon or even a ten-years horizon. Not a daily horizon. We have a famous saying in Norway:
TTT (Ting tar tid = Things take time)
Members ask me why we don’t have more trading recommendations on hacked.com. We could make tens of thousands of trading recommendations every day, but how good would they be? Opportunities in the market aren’t something that appears on demand. We do not want to give our members recommendations that are destined to fail. As I’ve explained previously; never lose money.
Also read: Never lose money
What I’m doing now
I’ve managed to distance myself from being obsessed with trading, whether it’s trading cryptocurrencies or CFDs on IG (e.g.). It has made me more happier, more comfortable and less stressed. That is an important factor to take into account for creating a good life.
Also read: What makes a good life?
I’m more experienced, more patient, more intelligent. I’ve learned the hard way, and you should learn from what I’ve done (and not done). Now I’m only focusing on the following:
- Increase my monthly income
- Invest 33% of my monthly income in different assets (see the 33% club)
- Reduce stressful projects and schemes
- Spend more time with family and friends (still working on this)
- Start working out and eat healthier (still working on this)
Since I stopped trading on a daily basis, I’ve become a lot happier and satisfied with my life. I was able to take a breather and shift my focus. Hacked.com and its community is a direct outcome of my shift in focus. And I’m glad that so many members enjoy our information and that I can at least help a few people to avoid the same mistakes I’ve made.
When that is said, I’m not saying it’s bad to day trade, but you need to follow a strict strategy that you stick to and not let your human emotions decide for you. I will most likely return to day trading when I get more time, but I’ll do it differently next time.
In this article I talk mostly about trading and investing, but the same rules can be applied to entrepreneurship and starting your own business. Patience is as important here.