When The Sharks Come Out

I am reminded, in moments like this, at how many people are suddenly experts at financial markets. They are connoisseurs of all things easy and fast money. Out of nowhere, there is a new group of people telling me about “double bottoms” “big bottoms” “stocks to buy” and “these things called call options.”

I find it amazing that we can send rockets to outer space and have them land safely in the middle of the ocean. Or that we are making breakthroughs for Coronavirus cures in record time. But, after a few hundred years, people still get scammed by ads that say How To Get Rich Day Trading.

No industry does a better job of attracting the illusion of instant wealth than financial markets. People seem to have this image in their mind of champagne and grapes from the heavens, expensive computers and 10 monitors. When in reality, it is quite the opposite:

Trader Meme.png

Wealth, lambos, and private jets… Perhaps we can trace this image all the way back to the rise of Gordon Gekko. There is no get rich quick scheme, anywhere, and especially in financial markets. You don’t just open a brokerage account and cash out. Most of you reading, however, know it does not work like that. It’s more like:

  1. Hear stories of billionaire traderz
  2. Think you becomes billionaire
  3. Get one big winner it’s too E Z
  4. Suffer 5 crazy losses
  5. Blow up account

Some of you reading will know exactly what I am talking about. In some respects, it’s a right of passage. The overconfidence, the first few trades, and then the realization that it’s actually kind of a pipe dream with a huge failure rate. It’s why the majority of people eventually resort to good old fashioned cash savings and why they learn to avoid people like Gekko:

Gordon Gekko… has a daugher | FT Alphaville

Today, I see more advertisements, messages, and people in my network asking about the stock market than ever before. Every video and website I visit has an ad from telling me how I can turn $1,500 into gazillions. The sharks are out. They want your money, they want to sell you something, and they want to convince you to join in. Be skeptical. You don’t have to swim with the sharks and it’s probably better if you don’t.