Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Intellectual Hobby

Lazy Trader (though I'm sure he's not) said

Just read the Dr J thread, thought you were opposed to those dick waving profit type threads :)
It is true that I don't see the value of blog posts or threads that simply give a regular P&L update, but the post from Dr J wasn't of this type. He had reached the milestone of £200k (although he has slipped back below this number since posting) which to my mind at least is certainly an achievement, and to mark the occasion, he wrote, in my opinion at least, a post that came across as honest, humble and inspirational as well as offering advice on how success can be achieved.

Lazy Trader continued:
Think the thing it highlighted for me was the difference between being a part timer and full timer of which I've been both. Part time, especially with a decent enough paid job, it's very much an intellectual type hobby where you're happy to pits your wits against the best and the rewards are secondary. Full time it's simply about money and you'd rather be pitting your wits against the worst players.

My situation was pretty much similar to Talkbets where I was self employed able to take time off now and then to play. It was only when circumstances changed and I went full time I really stepped up a gear mainly because I needed to.
I think the key here is the statement "it was only when circumstances changed..." In what way did circumstances change? If your full-time job comes to an end for reasons beyond your control, or the bottom falls out of the contracting market (as it tends to do from time to time), then that's one thing. If you've had success on the exchanges as a part-timer, then that option is certainly a viable one, but that's quite different to voluntarily giving up a "decent enough paid job" to trade on the exchanges. That enjoyable "intellectual type hobby" would soon become a high pressure job.

As for "stepping up a gear", it's reasonable to assume that if you can make a certain amount part-time, that you could increase that amount at least somewhat, but I seriously doubt that I could ever increase it by enough to cover the lost income and more importantly the investment in your future income that a decent job gives you. I already cherry-pick my strongest markets as a part-timer, and going full-time would only mean more time available for sports that I'm not very good in. Could I improve in these? Almost certainly. Could I improve enough to justify going full-time? I'm not so sure on that question.

While there are many full-timers around, there are not many who appear to have given up decent careers for it.

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