What motivates us???

Discussions about personal psychology for the individual trader.
Post Reply
Sir G
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 243
Joined: Wed Apr 16, 2003 12:21 am
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah

What motivates us???

Post by Sir G » Wed Apr 23, 2003 4:55 pm

I received a very nice email earlier from one of the members of this forum. It gave birth to this thread..

What motivates us to trade? And how can those motivations be satisfied and utilized to the greater good of our goals?

For example, I had a series of lunches with a fella and it quickly became apparent that one of his motivations for trading, among other "selfish things," was to tick-off his wife, who he found ticked-him-off. You can imagine the outcome.

Is it money that motivates? Is it the things that money can buy that motivates, or is it the things that money affords you? Is it not money related? Is it risk related? Is the time you spend researching/trading keeping you from spending time elsewhere that is painful? Have you noticed other desires are fulfilled through trading?

My hopes are, the more we question these things, the more we get these things out of us, the more others can banter about them, the bigger the benefit of self discovery, the sooner we have a say in how things fall into place.

Sir G

Jimmy S
Full Member
Full Member
Posts: 13
Joined: Tue Apr 22, 2003 1:21 am
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Post by Jimmy S » Thu Apr 24, 2003 11:56 pm

My motivation of learning trading changes through the years. At first it was the profit then the challenge of the intelligence. Gradually I learn psychology and knowing myself are far more important. Now I see learning trading as a journey of life and also part of my own spiritual evolution.

Sir G,
I am deeply grateful to you for your advice. I have been reading your past posts many times and contemplating on what you have taught us. I have learned a great deal from you.
Many thanks for helping us, the little guys, the silent majority.

Regards

Jimmy S

Kiwi
Roundtable Knight
Roundtable Knight
Posts: 513
Joined: Wed Apr 16, 2003 1:18 am
Location: Nowhere near

Post by Kiwi » Fri Apr 25, 2003 4:22 am

My initial motivation was to get my share of the bull market (I missed the top of the 87 bull market because I was paying off a mortgage). This lead to a fascination with the markets and a discovery of diversification. Because I missed the 87 top I was fascinated by the oncoming top which meant that I missed some profits in the final run up but did sell all of my share options at the top.

My current motivations are:
- to earn enough trading so that I can live when and where I want
- to be wealthy by my family's standards
- the fascination of figuring out different ways to take money from the markets
- to understand and master those aspects of myself that trading exposes

The challenges:
- trading execution, when I do it right, is boring
- recognizing and mastering aspects of myself that can cause trading problems.
- I feel a need to make a bigger contribution but I'm not sure that I can do that thru trading directly

John

bloom
Senior Member
Senior Member
Posts: 35
Joined: Thu Apr 17, 2003 12:45 am
Location: SARS infested HONG KONG..ahh

Post by bloom » Fri Apr 25, 2003 5:27 am

As William Echkart has said in MW..

trading is such a emotionally painful experience that I personally can't imagine anyone doing it other than for monetary gain...

damian
Roundtable Knight
Roundtable Knight
Posts: 815
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2003 8:43 pm
Location: dusseldorf

Post by damian » Fri Apr 25, 2003 7:15 am

deep down for me the drive is freedom. I do not fit into the corporate world.

Money: yes, but just because you trade does not mean you are/are going to become filthy rich. It would be great if it were the case. In the meantime I am happy to trade my own account for a living and earn half my current salary from trading. Freedom is income that can't be taxed, income is a by-product that has no value at death.

There is also something in me that just enjoys trading. So far it is THE ONLY job (that requires a seat at a desk) which I am interested in. Any other desk-type job bores the pants off me, like my current employ.

So what is that something in me that "just makes me enjoy trading" It is going to sound funny, but you are probably getting used to that from me by now:)

I am not 'perfect'. I have plenty of faults. A certain type of person would get rid of all of these faults so as to optimise their lives. I do to some degree, but I also enjoy being me, so some of the faults stay as my characteristics are part of being me. Many of these characteristics are otherwise harmless, but are sure faults when it comes to trading. The thing I like about trading is it gives me an honest environment to get rid of all my faults. when I have my trading hat on, I am far more 'perfect' than when I have my natural hat on (don't get me wrong, obviously as a trader I still have many characteristics that I need to work on). The excellent spin-off is that as time passes I might transfer some of these trading-hat qualities into my natural-hat world as life goes on. In fact, I already have.

A quick example:

in natural-hat world I do the odd irrational thing.

In trading-hat world I try to remove all irrationality from my character, and here is the key, I enjoy the fact that for a while I can remove myself from the irrational*.

Finally I like the idea that trading lets me think differently. There is 'the market' + there are my thoughts. No one can judge my think-different ways. The only judge is my PnL and my level of happiness, and as I mentioned above, huge profit is not required for happiness, freedom is.

*disturbingly, it is irrational to admit irrationality and its weaknesses and yet enjoy being rational for the benefit that it brings.

Jimmy
Senior Member
Senior Member
Posts: 39
Joined: Wed Apr 16, 2003 11:31 am

Post by Jimmy » Fri Apr 25, 2003 2:47 pm

There are a number of different factors that motivate me towards a life in trading, but here are the top 2:

1) Trading is a never ending learning process. Having been turned off by prior work experiences where I quickly became bored, the challenge of mastering (well, understanding at first…baby steps) the myriad of information available and more importantly my inner self greatly appeals to me.

2) To echo Damian’s motivation of freedom, I too have always longed to break free from the confines of the corporate world. Graduating from university a few years back, my number one motivation was how much money I could make. I was willing to put in the atrocious hours required by a career in management consulting to earn the all mighty dollar, but I am at a different point in my life where my priorities lie with my family. I am just as motivated to work the hours, but now it’s for the goal of bettering myself…not all for the money.

The great thing about this is that if I am true to my motivations and I continue to work towards building my knowledge base about the markets and myself, I believe I will one day be able to attain the freedom I desire by trading.

rayv696
Contributor
Contributor
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Jun 17, 2003 7:48 pm

Re: What motivates us???

Post by rayv696 » Wed Jun 18, 2003 2:39 am

i agree with damian.....freedom...but also money and last but not least a love for the markets
Sir G wrote:I received a very nice email earlier from one of the members of this forum. It gave birth to this thread..

What motivates us to trade? And how can those motivations be satisfied and utilized to the greater good of our goals?

For example, I had a series of lunches with a fella and it quickly became apparent that one of his motivations for trading, among other "selfish things," was to tick-off his wife, who he found ticked-him-off. You can imagine the outcome.

Is it money that motivates? Is it the things that money can buy that motivates, or is it the things that money affords you? Is it not money related? Is it risk related? Is the time you spend researching/trading keeping you from spending time elsewhere that is painful? Have you noticed other desires are fulfilled through trading?

My hopes are, the more we question these things, the more we get these things out of us, the more others can banter about them, the bigger the benefit of self discovery, the sooner we have a say in how things fall into place.

Sir G

Nathan
Roundtable Knight
Roundtable Knight
Posts: 127
Joined: Sun Jul 13, 2003 3:52 am

Post by Nathan » Tue Sep 09, 2003 1:33 am

I think what originally attracted me to the markets was the sense of opportunity. I had heard people say that futures trading was "dangerous", ect. I have a tendency to be a contrarian, so when I heard that I thought "hmm, perhaps that means there is opportunity there." I have always been interested in making money/business/entrepreneurship, so to some degree I was attracted to trading by what could be called greed.

This may seem strange, but I think my fear attracts me to trading. In some ways I am a fearful person. I see all the crazy things governments do, and I worry how that could hurt my future. People respond somewhat blindly to the incentives of their particular era, and often grow either rich or poor depending largely on lucky or unlucky timing. I hate the idea of being (what I perceive to be) a pin ball blown around by all these macro forces that are beyond my control.

I see speculation/trading as a way to be an entrepreneur at the point of maximum abstraction. You can very rapidly shift away from danger and towards new opportunities. THrough trading you can not only protect yourself from macro changes (alleviating my somewhat paranoid fears), you can actually take advantage of them and profit.

Since I was a little kid I have always enjoyed winning. I grew up being a perfectionist, always wanting to be perfect. The hard lesson I’ve had to learn is how also to accept losing. That has taken time, and I am still learning it. I know this sounds superficial but to a large degree (perhaps the largest degree?) I just see trading as another avenue to pursue my need to be a competitor and to win at things. Preparing, planning, then carrying out a plan successfully for me is the most exiting thing in the world.
Nathan

Douglas
Full Member
Full Member
Posts: 12
Joined: Sun Dec 21, 2003 10:39 pm
Location: Canada

Post by Douglas » Tue Jan 13, 2004 9:50 pm

My motivation in life...

I’m an engineer, so I like to create things.
I also enjoy learning about areas that I previously did not know about.
I enjoy trying to accomplish feats that many others cannot.
I like to be quantitative about my successes (and failures).

Now, all I need is a blank canvas...

Trading seemed to be a natural outlet. I want money in addition to the above desires. I realized that I would have to research and learn how to do this. Many people want money, but few want to work/think hard about how to get it. Fewer want to create their own way of making money. Trading lends a natural scorecard: money. If you have more money over time, your system works because you’re winning the game. Thus, my motivation is fulfilled. I created something that works. I learned about some area of life I didn’t know about before. I’m doing something that few can accomplish. I have a natural, built-in method of keeping score.

I created a system.
I had to research how to make my system work.
I’m making money.
I can measure the success of my creation.

I think I pegged it.

D

Post Reply