In Episode 568 of The Traders Podcast, your hosts Rob Booker and the producer Jason Pyles talk about fear and how bad experiences with trading can haunt you and tend to affect your perception of yourself and your ability to trade successfully.
Jason cites singer-songwriter Glen Phillips who sings about this victim-mentality rut in his song, “Professional Victim.” Technically, the possibility of success always exists, so it’s never completely impossible to make money. Unfortunately, sometimes we convince ourselves of the defeatist C-3PO perspective that “we seem to be made to suffer” and that being an unprofitable trader is just “our lot in life.”
Join us for Episode 568, so Rob can explain how to break out of the victim cycle of abuse from the currency markets. Thanks for listening to The Traders Podcast. We release new episodes every Tuesday and Thursday. Subscribe free in iTunes and leave us a review!
Links for this episode:
Subscribe to Rob’s YouTube channel here: https://youtube.com/robbooker
Rob on Twitter: @RobBooker
The Traders Podcast on Twitter: @TradersPodcast
Jason’s movie podcasts:
Movie Podcast Network A group of eight movie-related podcasts covering new movie releases and many genres: sci-fi, horror, western, etc.
Full Episode Transcript:
Rob Booker: Jason, have you ever punched anybody in the mouth?
Jason Pyles: No, actually I have not.
Rob Booker: Okay. I got in one fight when I was in 7th grade.
Jason Pyles: Oh, yeah? How did it go?
Rob Booker: One kid, a little bit larger than me, pushed another kid into the lockers and the other kid was disabled. I don’t know. I just flipped. All of a sudden, I just flipped and I punched this kid in the mouth and then he beat the tar out of me.
Jason Pyles: But still you were trying to help someone and I think that’s admirable. That counts. I mean that counts and you probably got a lot of very positive attention from people after that.
Rob Booker: Okay. True that. That’s very true.
Jason Pyles: That’s right.
Rob Booker: Now, what do you think the ordinary reaction is, kids on a school ground, kids on a playground, the usual reaction if one kid who is smaller gets punched in the mouth and beaten up by a kid who is bigger? What’s the usual reaction the next time the little kid sees the bigger kid?
Jason Pyles: Oh, just runs away. Fear.
Rob Booker: Runs away.
Jason Pyles: Yeah. Fear.
Rob Booker: Fear. Trading is the only profession in which something punches you in the mouth and then somehow you wake up everyday and you can’t wait to go see that person again. I don’t understand why that is, but I think that there are elements of … It is difficult to understand why some people continue to trade, especially when we get punched in the mouth so often. It’s an interesting profession, Jason. We get ground into the dirt by a currency pair or a stock or an options contract and then we get up and we go back straight at it all over again with the expectation that we’re going to get back at it.
Jason Pyles: Glen Phillips refers to this as a being a professional victim. It’s that whole abusive relationship syndrome where the abused is, for whatever reason, just compelled or addicted to stay within that relationship. It’s interesting.
Rob Booker: Is he related to Glenn Frey?
Jason Pyles: I don’t believe so.
Rob Booker: Smuggler’s Blues is one of my all time favorite songs and it’s just not a very good song but… Tell me more about Glen Phillips. Let’s investigate this idea.
Jason Pyles: Okay. You got it. Glen Phillips is from California. He’s the lead singer of Toad the Wet Sprocket, went off on a solo career for a long time but Toad the Wet Sprocket, the band that had that Walk on the Ocean song. You’ll probably remember from the ’90s. Anyway, he’s a good dude like a genuinely nice guy. You could tell by talking to him and he’s thoughtful. Anyway, he has a song called Professional Victim and it’s about that sort of relationship. It reminds me of what you’re talking about with trading, Rob, where someone knows that this is happening to them and it’s not all positive. A lot of what they get from a relationship is negative but maybe a little positive but they keep ending up finding themselves in that same circumstance because they’re a professional victim.
Rob Booker: That’s interesting. It’s so important as a trader if you are continually getting punched in the mouth or left for dead by a currency pair to walk away from it. I don’t want to make any comparisons to abusive relationships necessarily. Those are serious. If you find yourself in that kind of situation, you need help and you need to know that there are people that are ready to stand at your side and protect you from that kind of thing. I don’t mean to make light of any of that kind of stuff and it’s a real problem in society today and I don’t want to make light of it.
In the world of trading, however, what I find is that because we don’t see immediate physical ramifications and consequences for going back to and repeating the same behaviors, what we will do is we will put ourselves in a situation where we allow ourselves to be hurt by financial instruments that we don’t need to have in our life. We don’t have to trade those financial instruments. I see this time and again and I’ve done it myself where a currency pair in particular will cause me a lot of stress and then I will be found months later trading that same financial instrument again against my own best interest knowing that generally I don’t do well at that financial instrument and I will go back to it as if there is something that I can prove to it or something that I can change about it or something I can change about myself.
Meanwhile, off to the side, there’s a financial instrument that has done well for me repeatedly over and over and over again. An example for me is about two years ago I decided I would never trade the Japanese Yen again. Then I traded the Euro, Yen again. Then I lost a bunch of money. Then I traded the Euro, Yen again and I lost a bunch of money. Then I traded the Euro, Yen again and I lost money. Then it swung back and I had a huge win and it was a huge emotional high. What am I doing right now? I’m stuck in a Euro, Yen position again. Why? Because I just can’t stop myself from … I can stop myself but I don’t. Meanwhile, I’ve got the Australian dollar, Canadian dollar which I have just a really simple methodology for getting into a trade on that financial instrument and having a lot of success with it.
Jason Pyles: I have a theory here, Rob.
Rob Booker: All right. I’m ready for it.
Jason Pyles: Seriously I think this is … Unlike the example we were talking about, I think with trading, I think somebody sees the Euro, Yen, for example, they see that and they say, “You know what? Somebody can make money at this.” It’s not impossible, right? There is a way that it can be done. I think it’s the very existence of that possibility. Well, obviously, I got to get this figured out and I’ve already invested so much time and effort and money thus far. It just seems like that they do it because it’s something that you could potentially make money in.
Rob Booker: Right. The danger of having sunk costs.
Jason Pyles: Right.
Rob Booker: That’s really true. That causes so many problems because you’re like, “Well, I already invested all this time and now I have to get a return from it or otherwise it’s embarrassing.” No, you actually don’t.
Jason Pyles: It’s weird to think about because I presume there’s not a currency out there that’s impossible to make money from, right? Or is there, Rob? Is there something that’s impossible?
Rob Booker: Oh, we joke about it but, no, that doesn’t exist. We joke about it but no. It’s possible theoretically to build a trading system that will work on any currency.
Jason Pyles: It’s that possibility I think that lures people.
Rob Booker: That causes the problem.
Jason Pyles: Yes, yes.
Rob Booker: Ain’t that the truth?
Jason Pyles: I sense you’re saying this from experience.
Rob Booker: I certainly am. If you’ve got a story of a currency pair that keeps causing you problems, Jason, how can someone reach the show?
Jason Pyles: Oh, here’s the thing. Well, you can text Rob in his cellphone. His personal cellphone is 304-281-8332.
Rob Booker: I’m holding it right here, banging it on the table right there.
Jason Pyles: That’s right. That’s right.
Rob Booker: Can’t wait to get your message. You can find me on the Twitter. Also I’m back on arguing with people about politics and trading and whatever else. You can find me @robbooker on the Twitter. I would love to hear from you there. Jason, what can we plug for you today?
Jason Pyles: Oh, I’d just love if they check out moviepodcastweekly.com. We review the new stuff that’s currently in theaters.
Rob Booker: Hurray. The upcoming movie that you’re most excited about?
Jason Pyles: Let me see here. Well, I guess it would be Star Wars. I got my tickets, Rob. Did you get your tickets?
Rob Booker: No, I couldn’t get them. Literally, everything was sold out. It just happened so fast.
Jason Pyles: I know.
Rob Booker: I don’t know what I’m going to do now.
Jason Pyles: It’s ridiculous, isn’t it?
Rob Booker: Yeah. It is ridiculous.
Jason Pyles: It’s very frustrating. It was 12 hours into the sale and I’m like, “Whatever. I’ll get it after work.” Then people at work are saying, “Yeah, right. They’re gone.” I found the theater where I could get two seats for my son and me. But, man, it was close.
Rob Booker: I needed five or six seats and I just couldn’t get them.
Jason Pyles: Oh, wow. Yeah, I could see that. Anyways, it’s insane.
Rob Booker: I probably could have gotten one and then been disowned by my family.
Jason Pyles: Yeah, you’ve been like, “I’ll tell you if it’s good.”
Rob Booker: Oh, my gosh. You’re not going to believe how good that was. It will not go over well. It’s pretty funny. Oh, man. All right. Well, have the best day ever. This has been fantastic explaining time with you again. I talk to people all the time now, Jason, that just say how happy they are to hear your voice on the podcast.
Jason Pyles: Oh, I’m glad. Thank you. Thank you. It’s good to be back here.
Rob Booker: All right, everybody. We’ll see you next time. I’m Rob Booker. On behalf of Jason Pyles, the producer, you’re listening to The Trader’s Podcast.