Being a gunslinger in the old west sure was… cool. The hero. The quick draw. The cool-headed risk taker. The hand of justice. How exciting! Billy the Kid, Wyatt Earp, Wild Bill Hickok… there’s a reason that you remember those names. Being a gunslinger is badass!
But being a badass–at anything–takes a lot of practice. And being a badass trader is no exception.
So where do you start? What does it take? Can anyone become a badass trader?
You’re not going to be a successful or even be a profitable day trader overnight, just like Wyatt Earp didn’t become a famous gunslinger overnight. In fact, many of the gunslingers of days gone by first went through difficult times and risked life and limb–literally–to achieve their greatness.
The first few months at day trading can leave a newbie reevaluating their sense of risk and reward with every loss, of which there will be plenty to document in bank accounts, tax returns, and personal diaries.
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But you have to start somewhere. First, a gunslinger needs a gun. That sound silly, but it’s easy to forget the important tools you’ll need to do your job. And as a newbie trader, what you’ll need to start out is cash. Those who have completed the climb to financial stability as a full-time broker will give you varied estimates on the size of the stack of cash you should pile up before handing in your resignation from a stable job. Some say the right number equals six months of living expenses; others push for a full year, with enough left to make some risky trades.
The ideal amount of cash to save for ‘emergency funds’ is up to you, of course, but having a side hustle should be part of the financial diet of any trader, no matter if they are at the novice, intermediate, or advanced skill level. Next up, you’ll need to do some studying, and we have just the thing for you so you can become a badass at making money.
Table of Contents
You Are A Badass At Making Money
Jen Sincero’s self-help book You are a Badass at Making Money–currently topping the New York Times’ Best Seller’s List in its category–will teach you how to keep the money flowing during a bad trading day, whether or not you were the one to blame.
Herself a recovering freelance writer who used to make the equivalent of just a few dollars an hour at age 40, Sincero’s sense of humor makes the novel a quick and entertaining read—even if you’re not brave enough to read the sizzling book in public.
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In the introduction, she argues that sex and money are taboo topics for the same reasons: “you’re supposed to know what you’re doing and be all great at it, but nobody teaches you anything about it, and you’re never supposed to talk about it because it’s inappropriate, dirty, not so classy.” But the “unthinkable pleasures” of both supposed vices make the world go around. No society without money, no people without sex. It’s that simple, she says.
For a new trader, a side hustle can keep a tense marriage alive by infusing cash into a dried-up diaper budget, or offer enough pocket cash for a fancy dinner. This book will teach you how to amass the grit to create financial success in your new career as a day trader and any other side businesses you form alongside it.
There are seven billion people on this beautiful blue earth. Accordingly, there are seven billion reasons people choose NOT to live the lives they live in their dreams every night. Some face familial or social pressures of the most sinister kind: years of friends and family members – who themselves struggle with creating the vision of a personal and professional career they had as children – telling them what they want, or what they should want. In general, people are vulnerable to the words of their closest peers, who often kill dreams of freedom and self-actualization with kindness in their hearts.
Those same friends and family members will be happy seeing you financially stable. To be rich means to be “able to afford all the things and experiences required to fully experience your most authentic life,” Sincero’s thesis says, sincerely. Pursuing this kind of personal wealth does not have to mean abandoning all family obligations or spiritually fulfilling ventures. The reality is just the opposite: finding your true calling will entail bearable hard work that will feel more like play than labor. True innovation, whether it be in the arts, engineering or health sciences, requires passion that cannot be derived solely from a degree. Self-generating wealth, the kind earned by the top entrepreneurs, scientists, and political leaders, cannot be maintained without this level of passion.
To drive this point home, Sincero peppers her badass book with corny quotes. Be ready to encounter gems like:
“All of Mother Nature’s creatures are designed to fully flourish before they drop dead.”
“There is no such thing as too much awesome.”
And, finally: “We all have seeds of unthinkable badassery inside of us, yet only some of us will allow ourselves to grow.”
Part of the disallowance mentioned in the last quote comes from an unhealthy attitude about money — likely a setback faced by many prospective day traders who just cannot seem to make the switch from the 9-to-5 job that makes them miserable.
For this malady, Sincero’s prescribes a simple ‘Money Mantra’ activity. If you’re too lazy/unmotivated to read the book, completing just this exercise will set you on the track Jen imagines for all of her believers. It’s a simple list-writing task: write down 10 reasons you deserve money, 10 great things that happened in the world because of the existence of money, 10 amazing things money would add to your life, and 10 ways you having money would have a positive impact on those around you.
And then, fill in this blank: “I’m grateful for money because ________.”
That’s it. The formula is short and sweet and takes about an hour to complete—with no pressure. You’ll be surprised at how quickly your motivation to do well and stay well will build as you reread your own scribbles. (We recommend recording your lists by hand because it adds a tangible quality to your words that typing them out just does not.)
Whether you’re sure you want to be a trader, but need a little more oomph in your attitude to make your new venture a monetary success, or you’re still on the fence about taking to the stock markets–and the tremendous rewards it offers–by the horns, reading Sincero’s badass book will lead you to resolve to your capital conundrums.
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