9 Things you need to know when you’re dating a trader

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In the spirit of making my writing more close to everyone’s truth and not just limited to my personal opinion and bias, I have gathered a few people from ZFT to ask for their opinion.

The opinions were based on a very solid few principles or grounds with a little difference along the way. It was exciting to see them happy to contribute, and hopefully I’d get a more structured process the next time I seek their voice.

1. Trading is our passion.

Other people found their passion over something more common and palatable. It must be strange to be told that sitting in front of a computer for hours in a day, and avoiding the daylight in the process was something someone could feel ‘strongly passionate’ about.

The word passion triggers an image of either something adrenaline-filled with Mission Impossible background music or dirty, brown clothes in a feeding program.

Understand that we feel strongly about these things too, and trading actually makes it possible for us to not just volunteer to be a part of a charity drive, but to fund one.

All the more reason why we love this game.

As Musashi said, “If she loves me enough to give me time for my passion… I’d do ANYTHING for her din.”

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2. Trading rewards us well. Especially you.

Riding a bagger stock is incredibly amazing. It can change someone’s life in an instant.

Robert Sy, one of ZFT’s mentors, was able to fund his new home from his DAVIN trade.

Another one of them, Alpha Centauri, usually gets his wife a new luxury bag each time a trade goes very well.

“I want my SOs to know that I’m doing my best for them. That I’m not just sitting there and doing nothing and doing it for the sake of myself.

Gusto ko malaman nila na I’m spending time in stocks so that in the future, we could spend more quality time without worrying about the expenses and kung ano pa.” — ZF

If you can stick through the bad times, the good times will be worth it.

Stock trading enables us to have more time for you and our family in the long run. Sure we might need more time to study and dissect now, but understand that most of us didn’t go to college and earn a degree for this.

So on having less time for his significant other, Tin Nitus commented: “If you’re still on the process of learning, yes. If you’re already consistent then no it does not take your time away from them. Learning how to trade is in itself trading your time now so that you can have more of it later. So I guess support is very important from one’s significant other while he or she is still on the process of mastering the craft.”

We’re both studying and practicing. It’s double the effort at a small amount of time, with the stakes high.

3. Having said that, we need to focus on making this work.

Timmy said, ‘Trading is just like any other business. May time din na hindi pwede ma-disturb kasi work din yun. Kelangan naka-focus. So pag trading hours work. kasama na din if may sariling business. Syempre may take home work din, like trading andun din yung pag chart. Pag after na yung mga yun… dun na ung play-play’.

Another one from Alpha Centauri who might have one of the best married lives in ZFT claims his wife does not disturb him during trading hours.

“What most people (general population) fail to understand is the fact that trading is a profession that needs 100% commitment and focus. Kasi naisip nila asa harap ka lang ng computer so available ka anytime.”, he continued.

But others were quick to add how having such mindset is a danger to the trader’s practice.

Jay G. agreed. He recounts a memory where he missed out on a ceiling play because of this. “Isang beses nagalit ako dahil namiss ko yung FOOD ceiling dahil may pinagawa sila sakin, sabi ko kung di nya ako inutusan at nakabili ako nung stock na yun worth 100k kumita sana ako ng 50k sa isang araw lang.” He claimed his family didn’t repeat that crucial mistake.

For others, the only option was to leave the house.

Finally, Lance, one of the new mentors, added that ‘Trading is my passion and trading is where I get what we need and want, pati yung future na rin ni baby. kaya dapat do not disturb me during trading hours’

Unless you would like to take the blame for the missed opportunity? or the late cut which translates to a significant amount of money?

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4. Being a trader makes us largely misunderstood.

Fact: 1% of the Philippine population invests in the stock market, and within that 1%, those who do are divided between investors who buy-and-hold and those who actively buy-and-sell.

Mentioning to my father that I would like to be a trader as a profession, he didn’t understand what I meant. He thought I would have a phsyical shop where I sell what I bought and he asked if I could sell some of his solar panels, a business he wanted to start upon his retirement. I was quick to correct him that I meant stocks, and the deals will be done online at a brokerage account.

One of the ZFT mentors, Henry Tan had his visa application for Japan rejected because of his assets that they claimed ‘were not properly explained’. To most people, even to the government itself, we look like we’re unemployed.

It is part true, because after all we’re not someone’s employee. We are our own boss.

Being unique and misunderstood, however, makes things tricky for us. But we don’t mind as long as the people who matter do.

“Sometimes they think i’m always playing or just sitting and doing nothing productive. Kasi siguro iniisip nila kelangan physical labor para ma-consider as work? So parang tambay tingin nila.”– ZF

5. Sometimes, though, we don’t need to watch the market like a hawk.

This is normal too. As much as there are times we couldn’t do anything but keep our focus, there are days where we can be lenient. Just like any day job, there are times where there isn’t a lot of action.

Ser Tor recounts a memory where nothing much happened in the trading day. After all, we are all just participants of the market and if there’s nothing happening, then there’s nothing to participate in.

He said, “pag feel mo matumal market pos maglakad lakad ka lang sa bahay sasabihin ‘oh bat ka nakatayo, sinasabi mo lang busy ka pag inuutusan ka e’ ”

Lance added, “meron naman pag EOD trade ka tapos nanunuod ka ng movie ‘Bakit di ka nagttrade?’ ”

Please understand that sometimes, having no trade is better than trading a potentially losing one, just for the sake of doing something.

In the trading community, we say, “Cash is also a position.”

6. We become walking contradictions with money.

Once you go financially literate, there is absolutely no going back. Add to that is the notion that every cent can make a huge difference to our position.

Buying a stock at 0.74 and selling it at 0.8 makes only a 1 cent difference, but oh what difference does that make. Incredible to say the least. It made us value money more.

So, in a peculiar manner, we become more careful with our spendings. Like Lance said, “Hindi araw-araw kumikita.” making us value our little cents and big wins more.

Everyone answered a resounding “Yes!” when I asked them if their partners became less careful with the monetary gain though. It’s because the concept of making that win look so easy to outsiders. Hey, just a bunch of buttons and selling at a higher price right?

But as much as we would want to claim it to be ‘easy’, any set-up has the probability of failing. Even a 99% chance of win rate, still has that 1% losing probablity.

Being careful with the money we gained is subtly telling us you value how hard we worked to make it happen, and everybody wants to be appreciated for their sacrifice.

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7. We love you, but we crave to be understood.

Asked whether they would rather date a trader and none of those who are already in a relationship said yes. They had different rationalizations as to why, one according to Musashi is this, ‘This reminds me of a movie, yung same workplace silang dalawa. Hey.. you know what happened to Fred? Oh wait, you were there… You know who got fired? Oh, you already know… Something funny happened at the office… Uhm… you saw it too?”

Chester took the other side of the coin, “Ako gusto ko turuan para mas maraming pwedeng pagusapan.”

For Timmy, however, his reason was more about the risk. “Sa financial side lang naman iniisip ko. Pag may fixed other income pwede. Pag wala kasi medyo alanganin, di natin maiiwasan magkakaron talaga ng months na bagsak. Pag nagkataon bagsak kayo dalawa medyo mahirap.”

However, being misunderstood has made some of them re-consider. One of them answered yes, if only he could, because she would ‘get’ his struggles more.

For ZF, it’s all about being able to spend quality time with each other. “I’ll date a trader. If for long term and pakasal and she understands the risks she’s gonna take in dating a high risk trader, then why the heck not? I think gusto ko nga kasi if i’m travelling, masasama ko siya, eh kung di yun trader tapos may day job, patay.”

When I asked if they would teach their current SO instead, Lance brightened up at the memory of his wife scribbling down notes as he tries to teach her. But the real struggle is how far the other person is willing to take on for the sake of understanding their world or becoming a trader themselves. As Akio Kashiwagi said, “Almost lahat ng close sakin, gusto ko turuan. Pero ang hirap humanap ng taong gusto talaga mag trade.”

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I guess if you can’t be like them, at least respect and understand them for their difference. Besides, it can bring in loads of cash.

Some people’s passion can drain the household finance, this one can make it grow.

8. There are downsides to this story too.

A very important aspect of this game is being unemotional, and for women this is a wild idea of their husband or boyfriend coldly controlling their feelings. After all, isn’t how they felt about us that makes them love us?

This was one of the large misunderstandings Lance have mentioned, “Pagiging unemotional ko na, kasi nagimprove na rin yung pagiging manhid ko not just in trading but in my surroundings as well”.

But we are reassured, Chester said “kung di kami makausap during trading hours or during studying or for others na nagging manhid na kakacut loss na it affects na rin yung relationships, kindly understand muna na there are times na ganun lang talaga. Hopefully hindi naman all the time walang time or wala nang emotions.”

When ZF had a bad day in trading where he’d lose a bothersome amount of his port, his first line of defence was sleep. “It didn’t help when I wanted to restart my mindset but I was being forced into conversations about some gossip of the day. Ofcourse, I’d tune out and when I do, that gets me into trouble. I’d try to ask for some time just to shake it off, but I wasn’t allowed that.”

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A giant part of being a successful trader is the mindset and the ability to stay hungry and desiring even when the odds haven’t been in our favor. One of our ways is learning how to make bad days (which are a lot) not get to our psyche. If someone stops us from practicing that, we risk spreading their inner turmoil to the next trade.

I remember the time I told my ex about trying to recover 200,000 php of my money I have lost. By then, I was already hopeful and cheerful despite going through a rough patch in trading. I had lost money in $TA twice. Still, I was feeling unperturbed. His face betrayed him, however. He sounded more worried than I am and this eventually transferred back to me.

Should I be worried too? Oh no, was it really that bad? It started a chain reaction of anxious trades again, since his doubt crept on my mind as well.

But hey, if you want the rewards of dating someone who could make that much money at the comforts of your own home, we must be prepared for the inevitable days where your love and faith for him will replace and fill his own doubts.

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This one is from Alpha Centauri: “Having my wife’s support even in my worst was the key to my success. Na kahit sobrang wasak na wasak ang port ko nung lowest ko, sabi lng nya, get up and do something about it.” Is anyone else inlove with Mrs. Alpha yet? Because I surely am. Listen to this guy who milked incredible baggers last year.

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9. You can choose to be the reason for our success or failure.

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Our partners will largely determine who we will become as a person in general. This still runs true in trading. Can you imagine being the difference for the person for him to either be a hopeful, determined trader who lost money versus an insecure, doubtful man who is the supposed provider of the family?

You could either bring him some warm snack in the middle of trading, give him a peck on the cheek, and wish for good tidings or you could make things harder and more stressful for the man who’s already playing a zero-sum game. It’s ultimately your choice.

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It’s not hard to make us happy. We already love you, even when you aren’t doing anything, a simple back rub or ‘Hon, are you comfortable? Do you want to pad the chair?” would be intensely appreciated.

Instead of, “Charting nanaman? Stocks nanaman?”, encourage it. That could be a very good play with a 20% upside. A 20% upside of a million is 200,000. That’s enough to pay for a trip you’ve been wanting to go to AND your child’s tuition. Why not say, “Did you chart na? Are you ready for Monday? Do you have everything you need?”

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Do you pull him up or do you push him down? His journey is your journey too, so don’t sabotage the man/woman who is only doing his/her best for you at a sector he feels so passionately about.

This is, after all, for you.

Forever yours,

Celeste

Part 2: Just get in, I’ll drive

 

There is nothing else to lose in life but death.

 

I don’t know what else we could be afraid of if we’re still breathing. There is no finality to any mistakes or to any triumph, unless my body decays six feet below the ground.

 

 

The majority often forget that every day we live, we also simultaneously and slowly die, until the fateful day that the battle is won by death itself. Ultimately, we are equalized as all humans, with flesh and bones like any other, but did you even live before you’ve died?

 

 

So what is there to lose? Take the jump, make that road trip, listen to nostalgic music and feel your blood coarse through your veins. There is a reason the present is called the ‘present’.

 

 

 

Did you want to die? Did you feel hopeless enough that taking your own life to cease the pain was the best option? Then good!

 

 

 

You must be fearless.

 

 

You have nothing more to shed, not one breath to spare.

 

 

Take your biggest risk in life and do your leap of faith.

 

 

 

There is nothing else to lose in life but death, when the chance to see more sunsets are gone, and the opportunity to make something of yourself ends.

 

 

 


 

There’s a reason why the present is called the present. 

 

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I dont even think God judges us or pressures us as harshly as we do to ourselves.

 

In the end, we are all still His children and we are loved. Who cares about the rest of the world? Mocking me or judging me? What am I so scared about?

 

We weren’t made so He can criticize us. We were made with love and joy.

 

I had to remind myself that. We were given this life to live.

 


 

I made the impression to everyone at work that I was extremely stingy. It made for a depressingly boring look at my life.

 

You have got to give it down to me, after all.

 

I wouldn’t bring money to work, nothing. Nada. Nil. Zilch. I either had food with me or eat whatever free food there was at work. There was always something given, not because I looked like I was starving but because every one had too much. I could be standing at the canteen and someone would decide to pay for my lunch. The blessings were abundant, and I was practicing frugality at an extreme.

My first 6 months as an OFW, I saved almost 99% of everything I have ever made. Everyone else was blowing off their money. They were off flying to the most beautiful places. I couldn’t check my  public facebook account so I wouldn’t see what I was missing. Try as I may, even if I was happy for them, I was also a little sad for myself.

 

Every payday, I would send my entire paycheck to my bank accounts in the Philippines. I leave myself the 0.01%. and I live within that. I never really found out how to get some of those money transferred back in case I needed more.

 

I never needed more.

 

2 years into this life, I have enough assets to live by and start a radically new life for myself at 25. The ability to do it isn’t anything superhuman. I was pretty much lazy, and I knew if I sacrificed now, I can spend the rest of my life being comfortably languorous just by growing on the backbone of a few years of intense hard work and dedication.

 

This 2017 is the year I go back home and restart in a field I have not been trained for.

 

Does it scare me? Absolutely. But what is the point in living when you are too scared to meet what this world has to offer? My fears limit me. I’m deciding not to.

 

It is still better to feel something than nothing. Would I have liked to live a life where I didn’t feel the pain, the happiness, and then be gone?

 

A heart with erratic lines of ups and downs is still better than a flat line. After all, it’s still beating and alive.

 


 

 

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The most memorable death experience I had wasn’t even the death of someone close to me.

 

It was a mother at the age of 52.

 

She had her hair cut short like most women at that age. She looked every bit like a mother, even her flowery dress that they didn’t have time to change.

 

She came to me that morning, I was expecting her. She wasn’t breathing on her own anymore, someone had to lug in the machine she was plugged in. Her heart was so very weak the moment I checked it. I had to work fast. By the time her back reached the bed, I knew it stopped.

 

I raised my voice and called for more help. I knew exactly what to do. I climbed the bed and placed my hands on tops of her chest, using all of my force, trying not to stop. The worst part about it was staring down at their faces. Her eyes were lifeless, staring back at me.

 

Was it me almost straddling her she last saw? Or was it all the dreams that would never come fulfilled?

 

There was a blur of people running around us, it was a quiet dance of harmony as we try to bring her back from the thin of line of life and death. There was a number of voices shouting out commands. “Get the line!”, “I need one shot now!”, “Order ready, push now!”.

 

And then I heard it.

 

A young man, no older than 11, wailing at the hallway. The see through doors showing him in his full glory. It was a contained environment but they were allowed to see her settle in. His batman shirt stood out like a sore thumb in the environment of blue uniforms.

 

He called out to her mother, he called out to God, he pleaded, bargained, cried to anyone who would listen.

 

“Please don’t leave me, mommy.”

 

We all had goosebumps. Time started to slow down. Even as everyone frantically paced around the dying woman, no one said another word. The fluorescent light reflecting his tear-stained face as he tugged on his father’s sleeve.

 

He knelt in front of him and begged his father to do something.

 

I couldn’t see the man’s face. His head was slumped down. He didn’t cry, but his whole body slumped against the wall as he slowly, slowly crumbled down the floor in prayer.

 

Everyone called their mothers a few hours after that.

 

“There is nothing else to lose in life but death.”

 


 

During my first week at my first job in the career I chose, I was crying to my mom telling her I didn’t expect it to be this harsh and hard. I was 20 years old. I felt like I enthusiastically and accidentally ran into hell thinking it was chuck filled with art and bliss, and there was absolutely no way out.  The door disappeared the moment I shut it. There were no windows. There was no air.

 

There was only the rest of my life in agony and torture, eased only by acceptance of defeat and total submission.

 

Every one else in their rooms said, “This is kind of okay… I’m already lucky. I shouldn’t complain.”

 

Oh, but I did. I complained and cried and in my desperate terror of an unhappy life stretching beyond me, I started to chip at the walls with my fingernails until it bled.

 

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Slowly, slowly, the light slipped in a tiny crack. In a few months time, I can finally tell you that I fought my way out. I can almost taste it now.

 

Freedom.

 

 

 

Forever yours,

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Celeste

 

 

P.S.

Listen and have more than just a little faith.

 

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