Why trading is a harder job than people give it credit for

Now, I might not seem like I know much about this, being only 14 and all, but from my limited experiences of trading, it is not like the job that many people look at it as, with rose-tinted glasses. It’s all well and good that you can stay at home and work, but how far will that get you?

Firstly, you can’t take a day off sick. What if you have a few open positions that are losing you thousands of pounds? It is simply impossible to “not work” on a day because you have a cold, as I’m pretty sure the vast majority will value their thousands of pounds over a simple sneeze and cough. While in any other job, the fight can continue on without you, trading is the most individual kind of job there can be – it brings a whole new meaning to the term “self-employed.” Who knows, maybe even an hour without staring at that screen might bring you to a margin call.

That brings me nicely to my next point: your income is not fixed. While most other employees have a fixed hourly or day rate, traders might be earning $10,000 one day, and losing $5000 the next. The mental tension of not knowing how much you will earn the next day, or even if you will earn anything, must certainly be unbearable. What if there is an unexpected quarterly report of low profits and the company going ex-dividend? Your earnings of the past week would be wiped out immediately. Now, compare that to a normal 9 to 5 job where you work, come home and relax knowing that the money is in your account. Traders have no such luxury.

My final point is that traders never know when their livelihood could be snatched away from them. It may seem like a large exaggeration on my part, but imagine if you invested in Shell when it was at 2,600! The price right now is hovering around 2,200. A large portion of your savings for your children’s education or your retirement could be wiped away in an instant.

Put simply, the sheer mental anguish is why I will never trade for a living while being self-employed. As a casual hobby, yes, it’s all well and good, but as a job, no way JosĂ©.

By Shrey Srivastava

A finance and economics enthusiast, and someone who wants to share his views with the world.

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