Meet real traders in real life
Polite conversation usually includes the question, “So, what do you for a living?”. It’s a question that I usually dread.
It would be so much easier if I could say doctor or teacher. When I worked as a forex broker five years ago, I managed to squeeze my answer into a 30 second type of elevator pitch.
“You know about day-trading? The guys that sit there all day clicking buy and sell in their brokerage accounts?”
“I work in forex, which is the currency market. You can trade currencies like stocks. My job is like a stockbroker.”
That explanation worked until I started OneStepRemoved. Now I have to explain currency trading and software development at the same time.
People nod like they get it. They don’t. They’re being polite.
A real traders network
It’s so nice when people understand what you’re saying. Words like pip and EUR/USD don’t sound like an exotic foreign language to other traders.
Those relationships don’t happen by accident. They involve putting yourself in places and situations where you get the opportunity to meet real people.
My forex network happened largely through fate. I started my career in trading. Many of my closest trading buddies are former colleagues.
Most people reading this aren’t lucky enough to get paid while building a network of other traders to share their pain and ideas. It usually takes work to develop something as valuable as a personal network.
The Meetup group Dallas Algorithmic Trading invited me to give a presentation next week on Thursday, February 21, from 7-9 pm. If you’re in the neighborhood, I’d love to meet you in person.
Meetup.com is a great place to create relationships with other traders. Many of you live in spots with unusual concentrations of forex traders: London, Gold Coast Australia, Singapore, etc. There’s a good chance that you can go meet like minded folks without having to venture too far from home.
The groups are pretty small – usually 10-15 people. You can socialize without having to really throw yourself out there.
Meeting people in person at these type of events are one of the few places where you can naturally speak about your hobby. Everyone that shows up to these things shares the same interest as you.
Trading conferences and expos
Big conferences are also a great place to meet people. But, it does involve more effort to chit chat comfortably with other people. The conferences are usually free or low cost and packed with traders. The Traders Expo in New York, for example, starts in a few days and is free to attend.
If you enjoy traveling, it’s often a good excuse to go somewhere. Depending on your home country and how seriously you trade, it’s also a tax write off.
Last month, two new clients used us for a project that they’ll both use. How did they meet? Virtually!
These guys trade every day together over Skype, but they’ve never met in person. They started talking on an online forum 5 years ago. They’re great friends. They split the costs of their programming projects, share trading ideas and most importantly, they have someone there to help them ride through the ups and downs of trading.
Trading and emotions go hand in hand. People often think of automated trading and EAs as solutions to emotional trading. They aren’t.
If you don’t feel totally confident in your system, you will eventually pull the plug. It might be an EA or your trading altogether.
The best defense against doubt is to bring yourself out of isolation. Go meet people. Share ideas. Talk about markets and trading.
How did you meet your trading buddies? I’d love to hear other ideas in the comments section below.