What Seeing My Kids After 14 Months Reminded Me About Trading
By: Steve Smith
After 14 months apart due to COVID-19, my kids were finally able to make the trip down to Florida for a visit this week. The first thing that my son Ethan said upon seeing me was, “I’m taller than you.” He turns 14 on Sunday 😉
Sure, I’m happy that after a few rough trades that hit Options360, such as losses in JD.com (JD) and Salesforce.com (CRM), we’ve rebounded with winners in Visa (V), which I shared in real-time with Option Sensei readers here and delivered an 80% return overnight. Also, a recent entry into Skyworks Solutions (SWKS) on Thursday made an adjustment today — already giving us a near-free trade.
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However, I’m absolutely ecstatic about being together with my children. Interestingly enough, the rewards of both trading and family have come by way of a similar path; time, patience, pain, discipline, and a lot of self-deprecating humor.
I’ve shared how my trading career started at my Daddy’s knee when he put me on the trading floor as a runner at age 12 with — over the years — myself witnessing wild success along with some serious suffering in terms of his financial situation. But, whether we lived on Park Ave or Lexington (thankfully, we never fell to the Bowery), he was always working hard, maintained his love of life, and made it clear that family was the most important thing in his life. From him, and frankly his mistakes, I’ve learned valuable lessons in risk management; whether that is simply hedging, maintaining proper position size, or having the discipline when things get rough to set back rather than recklessly plow ahead going on tilt. So, recently when Options360 had some less-than-ideal trades, they were all manageable losses. By slowing down, making a few trades for a week or two, and only taking measured positions, I felt offered the best risk/reward.
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Likewise, my children have been my greatest joy. However, due to a less-than-amicable divorce, in which I discussed how even a Divorce Made me a Better Trader, the path was not always easy. It took work, doing the big and small things (or sometimes doing nothing at all), to build and maintain a solid and loving relationship with my children.
It has paid off in spades. For all of us. I’m so proud of the young adults Natalie, soon to be 16, and Ethan has become. Even after 14 months apart, we slip right back into our easy rapport of goofing around and showing affection. But, whereas a few years ago it was mostly my responsibility to keep the communication open and the love flowing, they now willingly do the same. As the song goes, “he ain’t heavy, he’s my brother.”
Just as time, patience, pain, and I’d like to think emotional intelligence, has helped my trading to where I can now step outside my office and into the ocean for a swim anytime I want (if it’s been a bad morning I might try for the horizon, but I always turn around and come back), it has rewarded me doubly with two fantastic children who are on the verge of bringing their own brand of crazy beauty to the world.
Have a great weekend!!
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