One of my life philosophies I try to follow these days is to be a humble and modest person. Keep your chin high but don't brag about your success or act arrogant.
When I was in my early 20's working on Wall Street making as much money as Fortune 500 company executives, I was all wet behind the ears to this new money wealth game. I acted pretty arrogant and my proprietary trading success at such an early age was getting to my head. Now in the 40's, married with kids, I can look back and see that I was "young and stupid" by acting so pompous.
These days I take on a more humble approach to my life and my trading skills. I try not to 'brag' about how much I made on trades and certainly don't want to act like the invincible daytrader. I know the markets can always humble you with a big loss so there is no point to feel overly confident about your trading skills. I usually find that when I do feel that daytrading is so easy, I end up getting smoked. After a big trade emotions can take over and I admit sometimes I do tweet some bragging rights. Everyone is human and we always do some things we reflect back on that we wished we hadn't.
One of the reasons why I don't like to post up P&L screenshots on Twitter is because I don't want to brag about the money I am making. I'm making nowhere close to being 'liquid' as Gordon Gecko quoted in WallStreet, but enough to make the average American wonder if he or she has the talents to be a successful day trader. I don't feel like I have to prove myself to anyone and keeping it humble makes me feel better and more focused. There are times I do relunctantly post P&L screenshots on Twitter but those are more for marketing purposes for the site.
I know there are differences among bragging, sharing, and rewarding yourself with your success. For example, when I bought my Ferrari 360 Modena back in 2000 it was to me more of a show-off buy. I wanted people to know that I was banking big. I would even purposely leave my keys resting on tables to let people know I had money. These days if I were to buy another Ferrari it would be to just reward myself for my success. I would keep the keys in my pockets instead of on the table and still act like a regular good honest guy.
I know there are very young successful traders who subscribe to the MookTrader chatroom. This post is for them. Don't be so cocky if you are making it big trading. Keep yourself humble and live a life that you can look back on and smile at. It will make you a more focused trader too.
- Hubert Tsai