First, let me clarify “Wall Street”, I consider that as anyone in finance. I have been seeing at least for some time many post from people within growing cynical. Cynicism is natural and unavoidable by anyone who thinks. When you get so close to something you are going to see flaws. A diamond is never perfect to a microscope. (I do not know if that is true or not but I hope you get my point.) The humanness of a market makes it easier to see those flaws as all humans are inherently flawed. Women, booze, and money have a way of revealing any flaws. We expect our fellow human beings to be their best at all times but it doesn’t work that way.. I do believe most people are, a majority of the time, good but it only takes one idiot to force us to rethink everything. If you are feeling overwhelmed by cynicism the follow could be the reason why.
This is the second thing that I have done in my life, collegiate athlete is the first, where I was told that I got too much. That I didn’t deserve the things that I worked for. Yes, clicking a mouse is not hard. Many neglect to realize what it took to get to that point and how many others have failed before me. Yes there is a greater chance of getting “lucky” in finance but lucky pays less often than sacrifice. I have given up a lot and put my life on hold to be able to click the mouse. Maybe I will share those sacrifices in a different post. But chances are you too have made some sacrafice that seems “normal” at this point that those, who do not think you are worth it, have no idea about. When someone says you are over paid, politely remind them how many things you are not allowed to take for granted. Tell them how a moment in your life was muted or put on hold. Tell them how many people you have seen come and go.
Once again, I am not saying I save lives but I have accepted the bad and I have a chance to reap the good.
There has been many changes and there will forever be changes. Nothing on Wall Street stays the same but a few things never change. Part of our job is to adapt to that change and that is part of the reason why we have the potential to make more than other jobs. We have no control over the change but we can control how we react to that change. There is comfort in that if you allow it. Those that last in this business fight change the least.
Lack of making sense
What no one seems to realize is that when everything lined up it was a correlation not causation. The economy and the market are not the same thing. A stock can do whatever it wants. A market can take good news and make it bad. The world can be ending and we still rally. If you are learning to trade right now you are learning at the best time ever. Things not making sense are how markets are set up. Yes there is manipulation, but there has always been manipulation. I do not think the market is set up to extract the most out of many but it forces you to be flexible and learn each day. There is always something that is working and you need to find what that is. The well runs dry frequently these days. Once again, if you are not willing to change than you are going to get hurt. The market does not have a defined set of rules that it follows, it is human nature to try to force those rules. You must get comfortable with the uncertainty and find certainty in your process. Making or losing money does not mean you are doing something right, keeping it does. It will return back to “normal” one day and you will have to adjust to that too. But it will be a cake walk by then if you continue to learn and are still around.
If cynism is ruining your performance or life, it is time to take a break. The best thing any Wall Streeter can do is leave on their terms. It is not easy to change careers and do something else but sooner or later they will get you. That is one of the few things written in stone. See if the grass is greener on the other side, it might not be but at least you will know. I am not an eternal optimised either, I was just never promised the world was perfect. I consciously am aware of the good and bad and always reserve the right to move on if necessary.
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