I officially entered the revolution when I began trading the stock market in 2008. I just happened to catch the second day of a triple digit sell off on the news… watching and laughing as those called 'leaders' in what is called congress ( some would call them hired hands ) were running back and forth with money men in backroom deals to stave off system collapse. I read opportunity among the large red numbers on the teevee news and having some cash on-hand but no stock market experience; I figured it couldn't be too difficult, eh? I was about to find out the hard way. The price of arrogance is quite high.
My first revolutionary battles were bloody and left me in the red, sweaty palms and all.
So I went headlong into the abyss of ignorance despite my arrogance… and lost quite a bit of money in penny stocks, turning a blind eye and ear to the advise to not even get involved with them if I didn't know exactly what I was doing. I figured it couldn't be that difficult. I had a button where I can press 'buy' and later 'sell' and what happens in between would be just as I imagined it. I could fire off several rounds of buying low to later fire off one big round of selling high. How childlike we can be sometimes… as innocent and clueless as a child. Such are those who perish in a revolutionary war or any war for that matter.
I did make some money every now and again trading Citigroup and some others. Looking back I am sure it was the wrong time for a newbie to learn a new industry. The volatility was ridiculous, but I didn't have any experience to gauge it by. I was in the heat of battle with unseen foes, all striving to win their battle at their virtual helm while not losing all their gun powder in the process.
As I would listen ever closely to what government employees would say publicly and how the market would react instantaneously and quite violently, I quickly learned how there was no free market and logic played no part in this particular game. I had entered this particular revolution ill prepared and believing platitudes and phony promises. I was on the frontline without a helmet of knowledge. And just like any other war before, only the most vigilant would live to see tomorrow and write down a memoir.
When I thought I had witnessed the bottom several times in late 2008, I was soberly corrected, for I had no clue as to the numerical significance of the actual bottom on 03/06/09 and the S&P's bottom of $666. That was enough to creep some people out, but it actually spurred my desire to game this unfathomable new venture of mine. I saw it not as coincidence but a purposeful act of manipulation. All I knew at that time was that I desired to now trade my time and that phony fiat for more fiat ( a means to an end some would call it )… in order to buy me more leisure time for myself and my worldly aspirations… and hopefully dominate my fear of the unknown "invisible hand" of the market.
After blowing the first few wire deposits to my stock broker ( what I thought I would easily double or triple in a few week's time ), I figured I should just wait until I read a bit more about this new venture I was taking. I had just come from the real estate world where although you had to act fast for some things, the market was not as fast as this virtual game of chance called the stock market.
I continued my study and writing of what money was and what it was not. I desired to look beyond the physical manifestation of money, of markets and what it truly meant to have debt, have money, be 'rich' and what property ownership really was all about. I would later find out that money is debt ( a note ) and some other mind boggling facts which sound like fiction when spoken out loud.
I continued working my little bread and butter online business and enjoying my weekly Harley Davidson rides with my buddies every so often, using terms such as "I'm short on ___ stock today" to sound sophisticated, but I was really just crossing my fingers my hunch would prove true. What I really desired was to go beyond the physical business world and somehow capitalize on the virtual… I wanted to be an expert trader, amassing a virtual fortune and living frugally off the quarterly dividends or managing my portfolio a few minutes in the early morning hours in my pajamas with sleep still in my eyes. I had no clue what I was getting myself into. I don't like to quit and I don't like to lose… unless it is an argument which I know I am right and for the sake of the other person or listeners present, to simply concede the debate with a smile ( only to continue the debate it in my mind while preparing the winning points for a rebuttal at a later time… you know, the definition of pride ).
I must say: it's a funny thing when you have and hold a losing trade ( I know this funny feeling and all the related emotions all too well )… you begin to pay more attention to not only the security ( what a misnomer, a "security" ) you are holding but you read everything about it. You also begin what should have been your due diligence before pulling the trigger and entering a position. I still occasionally jump in the pool before checking how hot or cold the water is… sometimes forgetting to also check if it is deep enough for a jackknife or a belly flop. Yet my discipline is catching up with my ego… I'm sure.
My foray into the revolutionary economic war is still evidenced by my ditching the blue collar world and going from employee with a musket and some loose powder to a sergeant with a virtual army of soldiers dressed as digital numbers in my trading platform account.
Today my weapons of choice are renewable energies and endeavors which resemble the Tom's Shoes phenomenon. I love taking the chance to short those too big to fail conglomerates when they are overbought and obviously over bloated. I utilize my vocal sword and take to the virtual social networks to induce the good will conscience or endure debilitating guilt. I call upon my arsenal of digital fiat soldiers and deploy them in key option positions. I prepare for the continued economic revolution which will succeed in producing a more equitable environment for both the market participants and those clueless who would rather watch on the sidelines and ask for a job. I am a career soldier in this economic revolution.
Many have failed, many have fallen… many are in fear and many more are furious… but this man is finally at ease with his decision to take the road less traveled.
Disclosure: I am long SCTY.
Additional disclosure: I am short HSBC