This past Tuesday I wrote a post titled Why Being an Investor Is an Ideal Career Path. Now, I’m going to take the opposite stance, and explain the difficulties of being a full time, professional investor.
You’re fighting against yourself.
We all know the “buy when others are fearful, and sell when others are greedy” line. But how many of us can actually do it? Most can’t. It’s in our nature to be fearful when others are fearful, and greedy when others are greedy. Investing is all about fighting against yourself; your own weaknesses, your flaws, the things that deter you from success. No one likes to be proved wrong, hence are too stubborn to admit that they’re wrong. But as far as investing goes, stubborness is fatal. Hence, you’re fighting against your own nature. Most people lose this war, but the successful win.
The stress…. it’s killing me!
As a full time investor (even if you’re part time, but more-so if you’re full time), the stress is nerve wrecking. There will be nights when you can’t fall asleep, nights when you wake up in a startle, only to find that it’s still only 2:30 a.m. No pain, no gain. That’s why, my ultimate stress remedy is (drum roll please)…… Buddhism! Buddhism is more of a way of life than a religion. Many successful entrepreneurs, like Larry Ellison and Steve Jobs, are devout Buddhists. Buddhism forces you to calm your heart, clear your mind, release your stress, and focus on what really matters (in other words, get your life back in order).
You will be pissed off at yourself.
When you lose money off the markets, you will go through deep, deep pain. “How could I have been so stupid??” “Why is the market acting like this???” “There’s no way I should have been wrong!” “This is fucking retarded!” You will be mad at yourself for losing money, mad at the world, and just plain angry. You will obsessively, like a demented person, try to find a reason for your failure. Truth is, there is a reason (1 out of a million reasons), but most likely you won’t be able to find it. So if there’s something really bothering you, but you can’t find the answer to it, just let it go. Let it go. Seriously. If you don’t stop, you will drive yourself insane (literally). Investing is a soul punishing experience. Also, you can be mad at yourself for missing a profitable opportunity. “How could I have missed that!???” Once again, let it go.
Investing is a lonely occupation. It’s best not to work with others, or work the phone gossip all day, because it does nothing but distract your attention, and ruins your conviction. There’s really no one to talk to, because no one will understand your position. Also, if you’re a good investor, that means you’ll be ahead of the trend. So when everyone’s in bubble-mode, you’ll be bearish. As a result, your friends will think of you as a crazed professor of doom.
As you can see, my “Why You Shouldn’t” arguments aren’t as great as my “Why You Should” arguments. Also, as of today, I plan on including 1 infographic into every post. Why? Because I installed a great plugin on Investorz Blog titled Magic Magnify. Just hover your mouse over the image below, and watch the magic. Or, click here for the full size image.