The year is 2006, it’s 3 a.m. on a Sunday, and my work shift just started. Graveyard shifts are always hard on my system and I’ve had barely 2 hours of sleep within the last 24 hour period. Needless to say, I feel exhausted, lifeless, and on edge.
Yet I’m there, in this casino, busily opening every slot machine in the establishment, taking the cash boxes out and getting ready for the next step – the counting.
The work is mind-numbingly repetitive and boring, and physically draining. By 11 a.m., the counting is done, only to realize that something doesn’t add up. $20 is missing.
The casino can’t allow that. If they do, then next time it might be $200 (or $2000) that goes missing. It’s a basic house rule. So, for 20 fricking bucks, we have to go through the whole counting process again. Sometimes, it’s a couple million that have to be counted and sorted again. What a pain in the ass!
What kept me sane, at that time, was the belief I had in myself. I had a clear vision of what my soon-to-come future would look like. My plan was to quit that shit job and trade full-time. But first, I needed to save up some cash, and fast!
A couple of months later, I finally quit that job, full of hope and confidence, and I began trading for a living. I knew I would be successful doing this, though, in hindsight, I was delusional about the time frame in which I thought this would happen. Oh yeah. Big time!
5 years later, I was fast approaching a total decimation of my $100 000 trading account and my state of mind was at its worst.
18 months later (2012), I made a total U-turn.
Nowadays I am running a profitable trading business that is providing me the kind of freedom that I’ve always dreamed of.
What the hell happened?
Well, a lot of things…
For those familiar with my work, you know the whole story… But here are a few things that I’ve learned but have never shared before (at least, not ad nauseam):
1. If you want to create wealth, you have to take some risks in your life
This can mean a lot of things. For me, here’s what it meant: Quitting my job at the casino and working on becoming self-employed. You see, no matter the struggles I went through when I began venturing full-time into the trading world, someplace deep inside of me, I knew I had made the right choice. Because no matter how little I made at first, or how much I lost, I knew I was working towards something that would belong to me in the end — I wasn’t working on building someone else’s business or empire.
Now, is this going to work for most of you? No, I don’t think so. Most of you would be better off if you kept your day job at first, just so you have some income while you get your trading activities in profitable grounds. For me, quitting that job was the right choice because it gave me the kick in the butt I needed to get moving and change my life. It’s scarier this way because the falling can be disastrous, but there’s no better motivator. Trust me.
Again, if you know my story, you know that I took a lot of time to become profitable, and the amount of despair I felt at one point could have annihilated me for good. Still, quitting that job was one of the best decisions I’ve ever taken for myself.
But whatever you decide to do, know this: A life without risk is a life unlived.
2. In order to build wealth, you must create the habit of living on less than what you earn
This is something that took me quite some time to realize and I go through it in great detail in my new Trading For A Living course. My trading business earns upwards of $6000 per month on average. Guess how much I pay myself? You don’t know? Well, I’ll tell you… $2000. Sometimes a little less, especially if I took a couple of losses and I’m down for the month. Sometimes a little more, when I have some outlier months where I make a lot. But $2000, for me, as wage, is the sweet spot.
Then, you may ask: “Why do you pay yourself that amount when you earn much more?”
Well, because I don’t need more. I’d rather maintain a lifestyle where I’m spending much less than I earn so that when hard times come (and they almost always come, for EVERYONE) I know I have enough cash flow to sustain my minimalistic lifestyle.
And you know what? I’m sure most Americans could live really well with $2000. Absolutely! The problem is that people love to buy and accumulate things that have no real value or that aren’t useful just because those things provide short-term emotional gratification.
In fact, it’s not just Americans, 99% of all people fall into this category. They just cannot bring themselves to deny themselves anything.
If you find yourself in this position, take heart, because at some point in your life you will either become sick and run out of money, lose your job and run out of money, or file bankruptcy because you ran out of money. I promise you that any one of those three will wake you up. But I sincerely hope you can wake up BEFORE any of those happen.
When you wake up, you will see how this mentality of spending more than you have is such a bad strategy for creating a prosperous trading career and life worth living. The earlier you wake up, the earlier you can change.
3. Be careful when you use debt
I’m not saying debt is bad, all I’m saying is this: stop using debt to acquire depreciating assets! That means no more credit cards — or at the very least, I recommend a strategic use of them. If you need them for business and travel, for instance, then, by all means, use them. But treat them as charge accounts. That means you pay them off as soon as the bill comes in.
4. Keep trading, diversify as much as possible, and let the power of compounding work its magic
You do that by reinvesting back into your trading business making sure your activities cover a wide range of assets – some of them based on market fluctuations, some of them not. Rinse, repeat… in a few years you will become wealthy.
Let’s review this…
✔ So, the 1st step of wealth creation is to take some risk in your life. No risk, no wealth. Simple as that. Work on building a business that belongs to you.
✔ The 2nd step is to create a pool of surplus money by spending less than what you earn.
✔ The 3rd step is to stop using debt to acquire depreciating assets – cars, home electronics, and clothing being prime examples.
✔ The 4th step is to keep trading while diversifying as much as you can and using the power of compounding to your advantage.
That’s it… The boring nitty-gritty of wealth creation for traders
If you throw yourself completely into that process, every breath of air you take in will be that much sweeter, and you will enjoy your life so much more as you greet each day with optimism and hope instead of fear and doubt like most struggling traders do.
If you want to see how I run my trading business, from A to Z, and without the bullshit, more info here.