The world of retail trading is often filled
with hopefuls who call themselves ‘traders’
without actually having the credentials: I am
guilty of that too.
As the pit-trading, open-outcry days of
the CBE and CME, where fortunes have
been made and lost, has slowly been
replaced almost entirely by computer
trading, the boundaries of ‘professional’
versus ‘amateur’ trading have become
The university or high-school graduates
formed a fresh supply of pit traders a few
decades ago, whereas the professional traders
of now are more likely to be people with
coding/programming skills etc. - a different breed.
What about us, clicking orders from our home laptops?
Are we ‘traders’?
Technically we are…but, culturally, no,
and vocationally neither… What I say
I ‘do’ when I meet other people is never
‘trader’… I would be a bit insincere if I
made out to be a trader, when I do not
earn my living that way…
I often use my bicycle, for example, but
I do not label myself as a ‘cyclist’: equally,
I trade online but I do not call myself a ‘trader’…
More and more, in fact, reading the hundred of
newbie posts on BabyPips where beginners label
themselves as ‘traders’, I wondered about my own
idea of what a ‘trader’ is in the retail sense, and
whether the old distinction between ‘professional’
and ‘amateur’ even matters anymore.
Before I end to let people leave their
comments, I also wish to add this:
if you were an ‘amateur’ musician
playing in a band in your spare time,
but not actually making your living
from that (but, for example, by working
a 9-5 office job trough the week), would
you go around telling people that you were
‘a musician’? I guess what I am driving at is
that a lot of beginner traders (and I speak for
myself here too) probably call themselves
‘traders’ as a sign of an ambition, but it could
in the end be to their own detriment…
I just noticed in my own, 3.5 years of being
involved with trading financial instruments,
how the better I have become at managing
this activity, the least likely I have felt
inclined to call myself a ‘trader’.
So the question is: in the retail world,
is it mostly beginners who flash around
their ‘trader’ identity? I would be particularly
interested to hear from ‘old timers’ on here,
to see how they identify themselves with
regard to their trading activities.
Sorry for the long post.