How To Set Yourself Free
Money Magazine Australia|September 2020
How To Set Yourself Free
Here’s a survival guide for anyone who wants to retire from the rat race to become a full-time trader
Marcus Padley
One of my clients retired at 50 to become a full-time trader, hoping he could shrug off the rat race and the typical work-sleep-work life.

Fifteen years later he is still “retired” and still trading full time. Now he calls it what it turned out to be: trading not investing. That’s what happens if you do it daily. There is no set and forget – it’s just a series of individual stock-based battles and if that’s investing, so be it, or if that’s trading, so be it. It’s just an endless, but enjoyable (for him) financial survival exercise, in any stock over any time frame.

He says long-term investing is mostly born out of denial, a convenient high-brow excuse for doing not a lot of research, doing a moment’s stock picking and then a lot of hoping. “Being a bad investor is for rich people,” he says.

He is not rich, but he owns himself, which includes playing a lot of tennis and golf and being “free” to do what he wants when he wants. “There is a lot of good stuff to do between Monday and Friday when everyone else is busy,” he says.

He has written an unpublished “book” about how to survive as a private investor, a beginner’s guide as it were. It would never make it past the publisher in its current form because it wasn’t written to sell, it was written to clarify his thinking. And as he will tell you, there are more talented traders, better systems and superior wisdoms out there, but this will do him, and it might just interest you.

It was written by a man, for himself, without boundaries. You might find there is something in it for you. Here are some of his themes:

• It’s not gambling. Understand the difference between what you’re trying to do and gambling. Gambling doesn’t deliver because it revolves around luck, and luck is doomed as a means of reliable progress. If the government wants everyone sucking on the state pension, then it has done the right thing. It has made superannuation savings accessible to often unqualified and impatient individuals who are now bombarded by investment platforms with endless advertising dollars that say clicking buttons on your mobile phone, and betting on currency and stocks, is smart and clever and it is easy. It is all the utter opposite of the truth.

• If you want to gamble, gamble. There is nothing wrong with that – most people love a bet – but don’t gamble with super money. Far better you open an online betting account and lose $10,000 a year fulfilling your gambling urge in the open than you take the same approach to the money that has been painfully collected over decades to buy groceries and pay electricity bills when you are a retiree.

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September 2020