Responsible Trading?

After a lot of back and forth, including a difficult time of job-hunting in both Singapore and Jakarta, a terribly long summer separated from my girlfriend by 10.928,33 km, a lot of hours working overtime as an accountant, trekking up Mount Rinjani, sleeping and snorkling on Gili Islands; I am back in Jakarta. This time I am finally for the first time in my life able to focus professionally on the one thing I have known for 10 years that I enjoy the most and that I have built up some experience and skill in: trading stocks. I am currently focusing on life as a daytrader and there is an amazing amount of challenges to be faced and lessons to be learned through this process. Future plans include starting a trading office in Jakarta and being able to teach my complete responsible market philosophy to young and bright Indonesian minds.

Call it daytrading or investing in a short-term perspective, but the bottom line is that I am attempting in different variations what any merchant or trader throughout history has desired: buy low and sell high.

I have decided to revisit the idea of blogging because my goal is ultimately the same: To make an inpact for the better in this world. The recent crisis has brought to the surface many of the toxic attitudes and morals (or lack thereof) that existed in our financial and political system. These morals are still here, but I feel a much stronger need for the "product" that I am looking to introduce; responsible trading.

Taking responsibility in new ways for the trades done and the impact each trade makes. I hope to explain this closer as time passes and I am able to blog more. For now let's begin with my immediate challenge, my internal feeling of responsibility for the outcome of each individual trade.

The market moves, and you do your best to follow. You make a profit, the market is doing what you want or expect it to. You suffer a loss, the market is working against you.

Is this not the most common chain of thought when approaching stock-trading? This is how we are wired from early in our lives as human beeings. For every action there is a reaction, when we manipulate our surroundings, they change. You turn on the light, the room brightens up and visibility is increased.

The markets do not react to the size of trades that "mortals" operate in. The market does not follow logic or react a given way to events that occur. They do sometimes move in measurable patterns that can be recognized and allow us to somewhat predict a likely outcome. But a lot of the time, markets move counter to our expectations and counter to the positions we have chosen. Who is at fault? When is it time to recognize that you were wrong and that the market ALWAYS is right. If the market is not right according to you, then the market still may never change to please you or to fulfill some set of predicted responses.

If you want to take credit for all gains, then you would also have to accept blame for all losses. The markets movements are not your responsibility or your doing, they simply are. How we react to these movements is the only thing we can truly manipulate. Trading for a living is not done by pushing the right button at the right time, but by achieving a peace with the markets and a peace with yourself.