PHO TOGRAPH: DAN SAELINGER | ILLUSTRATION: RANDALL WATSON
• DURING THE 1990s tech boom/stock
market melt-up, practically everyone
with a pulse and a brokerage account
called themselves “traders.” And
when the bubble burst, most fell off
the radar. Those who survived the
wreckage when it all came crashing
down were the champs. But were they
At what point can you call yourself
a trader? It’s difficult to come up with
an answer when there are no criteria
to meet, nor a clearly defined path
to follow. It’s a bit of a “to each their
own” type of profession, which makes
it more difficult to know if you’ve
made the cut.
Like other professions, in trading
you have to take baby steps to get from
beginner to pro. But it may not be very
clear cut. Initially things can be chaotic,
trading short-term volatility. But at
some point, you’ve gotta dip your toes in
the water—being careful that you don’t
throw yourself in at the deep end.
So, what merits the “trader” title?
Our feature article, “I Trade, Therefore I Am,” on page 16 suggests three
boxes to check off before you can call
yourself a trader. But don’t worry, if
you can’t check off all three, it’s not
a be-all, end-all. It simply gives you
something to work toward.
Once there, you evolve, adapt, and
expect change to happen—market
caps might increase, robots could take
over the market, and virtual curren-cies may even become trendy. And you
might even try trading products you
never considered. Learn about futures
I Dub Thee …“Trader”
TALK TO US!
Ask a question,
tell us a joke, or just
give us your feedback
Write to us at
options; they act a lot like equity
options, but they have unique characteristics, which you’ll learn about
in the article “Futures Options Unpacked” on page 24. Once you figure
out how they work, it could open up a
new world of possibilities.
And who wouldn’t want that?