Episode 86: Because the Finish Line Is More Difficult Than the Starting Line

by robbooker on October 3, 2012

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In this very candid episode, Rob Booker dedicates the entire show to answering a question from a listener named Jeff, who asked Rob whether he should quit his pursuit of a Computer Science degree — while only a year and a half away from finishing — in order to pursue trading full-time. For those who are familiar with The Traders Podcast, Rob’s answer will probably surprise you. If we ever recorded a must-listen episode, it’s this one…

We thank Jeff for his question, and we welcome anyone to write to us at Producer@TradersPodcast.com.

Please subscribe to our podcast, if you haven’t already. And please write a review in iTunes about The Traders Podcast. Thank you.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

RadioRaider October 4, 2012 at 11:52 pm

So true, Ep 1 is easy, it’s when you hit Ep86, and keeping it as fresh as Ep1

Nice work!

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ron October 6, 2012 at 1:19 pm

For a tech not so savy old man – where is the leave a comment for your Podcast on I tunes ? Find the reviews just fine! thanks

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J Verbrugge October 8, 2012 at 8:27 pm

This was an awesome episode! I completely agree with the advice given to the Comp Sci student. I’m also a software engineer and trader, and the convergence of these two disciplines is where the future is headed.

Thanks for the inspiration, Rob.

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Chris April 19, 2013 at 3:35 pm

Jeff’s story is almost the same as mine! I just finished my last day of college yesterday, also a Computer Science degree (majoring in Information Systems, to be exact), and still have 4 final exams left to go. And I have been feeling the same thing for the past year now. It felt terrible, like dragging my feet through the 2 last semesters of a degree I haven’t given a sh*t about for so long I can’t even remember.
My advice for anyone in the case of Jeff is that if you wanted to trade so bad, you should open up a small tiny micro account and start trading while in college. If you’re day-trading, it would take you 2-3 hours per day. If you’re trading 4-hour or daily chart then you would only have to spend 1-2 hours screen-time per day. And spend your evening back-testing, and back-testing!
Think about it. Trading is not supposed to be taking so much time, otherwise you might as well be an investment banker and make so much more money right after graduation. Most people have to start trading with a small account while having a full-time job. So if you can’t grow a micro account while in college, you might not be able to do it for real anyway!
One side note: As a fellow college student, I personally think college is the best time to trade. We have so much free time. Anyone who say they’re spending more than 3 hours per day studying is a total liar. Now that I’m about to graduate, I’m beginning to afraid that my full-time job will take away my precious back-testing hours.

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Joe February 7, 2015 at 6:51 pm

I agree 100%! Being a Computer Science graduate I found that it took an extreme amount of effort to finish. I had to prove that I could. I was not the most gifted student, so the large amounts of programming, logic, math, physics and electronics were a huge amount of stress. Not only does the diploma opens doors, I had to prove to myself that I have the intelligence, and determination to complete it. No, its is not a guarantee, but rather its another tool in your toolbox that you have when needed. After school one finds that you need many different tools to complete the work. Therefore you have proven to yourself that you can open a book and learn, you have the intelligence and skill to THINK and solve new problems – no matter what they are. Take effort in your education (either formal or self-taught) and self-development, no matter what direction you choose. Do something!

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