Day trading is a very difficult journey, but certainly one that can be very rewarding and one that is likely going to change your life.
Hello everyone, my name is Shay, a.k.a. humbled trader. I started day trading in my early twenties and have certainly matured as a trader and a human being over the last seven years. It was never easy, and I have sacrificed a lot to get here.
Day trading has been with me through some of the most transformative years of my adult life. In this article, I want to share with you some of my personal stories about how day trading changed my life.
I also want to share with you what I’ve learned over the years as I matured and grew up as a trader and as an adult. Because believe me I was little sh#$ head in my early twenties.
By the end of this article, you will be able to decide whether this journey of day trading is worth it for you to continue. While it is very difficult indeed, it’s certainly very rewarding and is potentially life-changing for both better and worse.
Let's start with the low-hanging fruit and what everyone thinks about first when they see the biggest benefit of day trading: The financial freedom and independence from a nine-to-five office job. For me, it was more like a nine-to-seven, sometimes six-to-seven days a week office job.
Even though this aspect isn’t the biggest positive change learning to day trade has done for me, I cannot deny that financial independence is indeed a very crucial benefit.
As I’ve mentioned before in some of my videos on my Youtube channel, I was grinding away in an unstable job in Film & VFX for many years before quitting that job to day trade full time.
I was unhappy working at my job, due to the long hours, the dark environment, the negative and sometimes even hostile culture in the industry that became extremely depressing. Even though I slowly worked up my salary overtime from starting at 50K a year to 100K, the contracts in the VFX industry were never consistent, and there would be many months in between where I would have zero income.
That’s the reason I started learning to day trade in the first place. It was my part-time hustle starting in my early twenties. Fast forward many years later, and all the hard work had paid off.
Because of trading, along with all my savings from my job, and living frugally, I was able to quit my 9-7 job, pay off all of my student loan debt, and purchase my first home in 2016.
The beauty of day trading is, once you get through the first few years of struggle and losses, you learn about what strategies work, how to manage your trades, and most importantly, you start understanding how and when to scale up.
That’s why for beginner day traders, it’s so important to have a solid foundation in risk management. It’s from there that I started seeing exponential growth in my trading account.
Learning to day trade has helped me reach financial independence. I no longer need to worry about whether a film production decides to extend my contract, or whether my boss would grant me a $2,000 raise at the end of the year.
When you are day trading full time, your earning potential is no longer capped by the number of hours you work, but by whether you have the skills to capitalize market opportunities.
Financial independence from day trading has also allowed me to give back as well. What most people see in the financial rewards of trading is often portrayed in big mansions, private jets, or fancy cars. I personally don’t find meaning or happiness in any of those materialistic things.
However, I am extremely grateful to be able to support my immigrant parents and other loved ones in my life, as well as supporting many social causes around the world that I care deeply about. It makes me very happy and fulfilled to give back financially, and you cannot put a price on that feeling.
Okay now that we got the financial freedom aspect out of the way. We can finally dive into the real, and more substantial benefits of day trading
The second-way day trading changed my life is that it forced me to look inward at my habits and my own emotions and character. In other words, day trading is the best and most expensive self-development program you will ever enroll in. Because of day trading, I have never been more content and at peace with myself. Let me explain…
As day traders shorting the volatility in the market, we see the deepest human emotions in ourselves within a span of a few hours, emotions that most people would need the rest of their lives to experience.
These include all the highs and lows, as well as the fear, greed, and euphoria. The market magnifies all of those emotions and serves as a mirror for all traders to reflect on first hand.
In order to succeed in trading, you need good control of your emotions and discipline. I was forced to look inwards and really analyze my personality flaws.
I used to have some deep-rooted anger issues. While I dont think that’s something I can ever completely fix, trading has forced me to acknowledge those flaws early on in my career, and I’ve since been consistently working on them.
Trading forced me to grow up and really assess my own self so that I could observe situations in a calm manner. If you are a mess inside, your trading is going to be a mess as well.
If I lost money trading, it wasn’t because of manipulators or market makers; It was likely because I was a young 20-year-old angry sh#$ head who lost emotional control.
This is just one of the many instances where trading has forced me to take charge of my own self-improvement, and I want to argue that this is probably the case for most successful day traders as well.
If you want to maintain discipline and self-control, you have to look inward and take responsibility. Otherwise you won’t make it as a day trader.
Day trading has also magnified my personal strengths. I am the kind of person who naturally sees a glass half full rather than half empty. I think I had lost a lot of that positive outlook during the years I was grinding away in my former career in VFX, but because trading got me out of those dark times, I am so grateful to see the light again.
I see the daily volatilities in the market as an opportunity to prosper. Every day is new, different, and exciting. Even if you didn’t have a good day, the market will still be open again tomorrow.
That being said, day trading has taught me to remain humble. Anytime you go all in and get too overly confident, the market will destroy you and your trading account.
As a day trader for over seven years now, I’ve definitely understood that the more I learn about day trading, the more I realize how much I don't know.
That's why the market consists of traders and investors who are humbled, and those who are about to be humbled. Hence my business moniker, the Humbled Trader.
Besides making me a better person on the inside, the third way day trading changed my life is that it has shaped my outward appearance into a more confident and independent person. No, I’m not talking about the superficial stuff like it afforded me to drive flashy cars or wear Gucci belts and seem like I'm above everyone else.
Day trading has enhanced my critical thinking and enabled me to make real-life decisions independently without relying on other opinions or outside approval.
You need to learn how to make your own trading plans and not be sheep by following chat room alerts. If you practice this daily in trading, the skill will carry outwards to your day-to-day life as well. This is very true for my personal relationships, friendships, and certainly on social media.
At the end of the day, I have to do things that I genuinely enjoy. This is the reason I’ve always dressed the way I feel most comfortable, I drive the same old car many people criticize, and I don’t care to consistently show off my profit or losses from trading.
Even if you post your statements online, there will always be people who say those are fake because it doesn’t include your legal name or address.
The person you should spend the most time assessing and working hard to seek approval from is yourself. Once you’ve truly acknowledged your own shortcomings as well as achievements in trading, you have made it not just as a trader, but also as a mature adult.
On a very personal note, ever since I immigrated to Canada from Taiwan, I’ve always struggled with self-image and lack of confidence. I was always the odd one out, the kid who has less than everyone in every sense of the word
Therefore, I was always the last choice for everyone. Whether it was school projects, team sports, or prom. Spoilers, I didn’t go to prom, because nobody picked me.
Because of that lack of confidence, I’ve had so many toxic friendships and relationships in the past. When you don’t think you are good enough, you don’t know that you deserve any better.
This is perhaps the most substantial and positive way day trading has changed my life. No matter who you are, I think this is something you can certainly relate to as well.
Because of trading, I finally started to embrace myself and grew to be the positive person I am today. I became confident, taking risks in the market and in real life.
I became more proactive in meeting people, in trying out extreme sports like pole fitness, and I started my YouTube channel in 2019, which is something that a 19-year-old Shay never would have had imagined.
While I know I may never be a perfect trader nor a perfect human being, I am confident in my own ability to day trade and thrive in the market volatility. I am confident that if I approach each new day with a positive outlook, life will give back in many unimaginable ways to me and those around me.
When you’ve proved to yourself that you CAN do this, you CAN day trade, and you have done the inner work yourself, you don’t need to seek outside validation or settle for anything less than you deserve.
We are all humbled traders. Day trading is a difficult journey, but certainly, one that has been very rewarding and is likely going to change your life.
If you’re interested in learning more of my trading strategies and especially risk management, feel free to check out the Humbled Trader Academy on my website.