I received advice/encouragement from two different sources while I was on vacation. One from a book and the other from an interview I was able to listen to on one of Michael Covel‘s podcasts.
In between driving up the scenic Maine coastline, I was able to read Jon Acuff’s book ‘Quitter.’ I’m not going to say that this book changed my life or revealed to me something I never knew about myself. I didn’t. But it was very well written and incredibly witty and it did reinforce the idea that I don’t have to give up my day job to chase my dream of trading. Acuff basically says that you need your day job to provide enough security in your life to make your dream job possible.
I love my day job. I wake up every day excited to go to work. I also love to trade stocks and study anything related to them. These things are not mutually exclusive. One area of the book I found particularly interesting was the section where he discussed the fact that his day job / dream job combo meant that he couldn’t spend an entire weekend watching Real World marathons. This really hit home as I have made a passionate effort to rework my priorities this year. I have retired from fantasy baseball (1-3 hours per day, 6 month per year), I didn’t fill out an NCAA Tournament bracket this year, and I have eliminated my mid-day naps. This has resulted on improved focus at both my day job AND my dream job.
As all this was floating around my head, I listened to an interview Michael Covel did with Nick Radge. Towards the end of the interview Radge says “Go and get a job. Have a career. Do this on the side. Don’t focus on wanting to be a professional trader, there’s probably nothing more boring in your life. Go and do what you want to do. Get a degree. Get a career. Just do this on the side and give it 10-15 years and you won’t have to work again.”
This just continued my line of thinking. I don’t want to quit my day job to work at my dream job. My dream job is not wearing a suit every day and “working on Wall Street.” I’m convinced that those people who do that don’t really have a clue. I don’t want to run a huge hedge fund. I just want to quietly beat the market over the next 20 years so that when I get tired of my day job I’m not still relying on it for income.