How I went from being a dissatisfied accountant, moved across the world, and became a self-starting futures trader

IMG_2234I never set out to be a trader. In fact, I went to school to for accounting and ultimately became a CPA. I was trying to subscribe to the adage (which is really a myth) of going to school and getting good grades so that I could get a safe secure job and live happily ever after.

Except it didn’t exactly go that way for me.

I landed my first job as an auditor and even before I started I was 100% sure I wouldn’t like it. And I didn’t.  I loved accounting in and of itself but while I was grateful for the opportunity and learned skills that would definitely be useful to other areas of my life (like trading), I knew in my heart that the lifestyle of an accountant wasn’t what I wanted.

I actually couldn’t stand the idea of another year as an auditor, so I went out and promptly landed another job, this time at a boutique hedge fund in New York City. At first this job was actually a lot more hands on and the work environment way less stuffy, but about 2 years in I realized that I was still completely unsatisfied, and I couldn’t figure out why.

Also having to show up for work at 7:30am every day was really starting to screw with my circadian rhythms and sleep. The chronic insomnia that ensued during this time is still something I struggle with to this day. So for the sake of my health and some other stuff, I started looking for yet another job hoping to find some satisfaction with my work.

I did find another job, this time at the world’s most prestigious investment bank. My new job was much more intriguing and the company was (and still is) really a world-class one. My colleagues were amazing and I was super grateful to have landed a gig at one of the world’s most prestigious companies. Yet I still had one problem:

I didn’t see a future for myself there. And not because of lack of opportunity, but because I was beginning to see that the career path I was following since graduating college wasn’t one I actually wanted.

And if being an accountant wasn’t what I actually wanted, then what did I want?

This question took me a really long time to answer and that answer didn’t exactly fall out of the sky.

Also around this time, I had started to eat a vegan diet and I was absolutely loving it. I started imagining myself teaching people how to cook amazing vegan food that you wouldn’t even notice was vegan (for all my meat-loving friends out there).

I thought about becoming a registered dietician, but the idea of going back to school (I hated school) was actually worse than continuing to do what I was currently doing.

Then I did some Googling and discovered an awesome health coach training program, one that didn’t require me sitting in a classroom and was focused on the more holistic side of nutrition. So I signed up and decided that I found my new career path.

There were also other things happening in my personal life. I had recently gone on a trip to New Zealand and developed a long distance relationship with a man from Australia, and I was seriously contemplating and ultimately decided to move to Australia (from New Jersey, USA) to give our relationship a real chance. I had no desire whatsoever to work for anyone else ever again, so I was very keen on making my career transition as smooth as possible.

Then the 6 months before I made the move turned out to be the most painful of my entire life. I lost both of my parents during that time, packed up all their stuff and mine, and even moved their dog, Sammy, with me to Australia. (For the purpose of this post I’m really understating everything that happened).

When I finally got to Australia I was flat-out depleted. But I finally had the space in my life to just be left alone for awhile, something I’d been starving for for years.

Mostly I felt lost because I realized in the midst of all that drama that I actually didn’t really want to be a health coach. It was an amazing program to go through and an awesome path for some, but what I honestly wanted more than anything was greater freedom and space with my time.

And I also wanted to build a legacy that would have a life beyond just me. I’m forever grateful that my parents left me a gift when they passed on, and I wanted to use this gift to set me and my own budding family up for life, and for generations to come.

I had no idea how I was going to do this. I had always been into investing and finance, in fact that’s why I studied accounting and worked in finance in the first place. But aside from learning to invest in mutual funds, neither my schooling or career taught me anything about investing.

Around when I first got to Australia, my boyfriend (now fiancé) asked me if I’d ever read the book “Rich Dad Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyosaki. I actually had never heard of it. He then got it for me from the library thinking I would like it.

I did, and it’s still the most thought provoking book I’ve ever read in my life. It really opened my mind up about investing (and how ignorant I really was about it).

I became consumed with creating financial freedom for myself. I was reading one Rich Dad book in particular that set me on my path to becoming a trader. In it Kiyosaki gave an example of how you could buy a “put” option as insurance against a stock going down in price. How if a stock’s price goes down and you own a put option, it’s like having insurance on a house. Basically, you can protect your investment (even in the stock market).

This was an eye opener for me. Having spent 5 years working in the finance industry, I was appalled that this was the first time I ever heard of anything that could protect stock market investments against losses. I was dying to learn more.

I started Googling about options and I found a wonderful site about options trading. I was hungry to learn how to trade and smart enough to know that I couldn’t possibly learn to trade effectively on my own, so I hired this man as my first trading coach. Investing in his course was easily some of the best money I’ve ever spent.

I went through the course and began paper trading. Though one major mistake I made was being overzealous and jumping into trading with real money much too soon, as well as not having my own psychology handled, which is what I’m sharing with you on this site.

I did so-so my first year of active trading. I had some losses and some gains, then some losses that wiped out those gains.

Like I said, I didn’t exactly have my psychology handled.

When my mentor first explained to me about the proper trader’s mindset, I couldn’t exactly relate to what he was trying to tell me. I just wanted to jump into the markets and make money (which is the exact same mistake 99% of new traders make).

It took me a full year of watching my trading account and emotions yo-yo that I finally stopped to consider what he was trying to teach me.

And I realized that there was so much more to trading than just dollars and cents. That learning this skill was going to become the biggest personal development exercise I’ve ever endeavored.

So where do I see this blog going from here? I can honestly say that trading has taught me a lot about myself, that it’s pushed me to confront things about myself I didn’t necessarily want to look at, and it’s taught me a great deal about humility. I’m aiming to show you my journey as it unfolds, and to be 100% transparent about my progress. You won’t see me bragging about 200% returns yet not telling you about my drawdowns or bad periods. I’ll be showing you the good and bad times, the bumps, the bruises, and of course, the victories.

I’m happy to offer up any insights or lightbulb moments I have. If you have any questions or tidbits that you want to know more about, leave a comment below.

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