Being a dad – as a trader


More than a year has passed since my son came to this world. I’m not gonna bullshit, it was a really hard year for me. But also very happy! Who has a child knows 🙂 I will say honestly that I was afraid how the fact of having a child at the beginning will affect my psyche and trading. I asked few my friends about being a dad as a trader.

Already the knowledge that I will have a child changed in my head the fact that I had become more responsible. And it resulted in certain changes of aversion to risk in the first period from the child came to this world.

In this article you will find a collection of my thoughts. But not only! I started talking to a few friends (who are traders on the market for many years, and for whom trading as for me was or still is a main source of income). You’re planning to have a kid and some confusion in your head – read. I met with many persons, who weren’t able to deal in a relationship with the woman, because this affected them, on trading, on the time they could devote to other person, etc. Some of them have only trading. For me it is just sad, because I can’t imagine such a situation. With the child it was similar. Diametrically this changes priorities in the life. And what’s more for good 🙂

Three of my friends Piotrek, Adam and Krzysiek – decided to share their reflections with me. I got to know each of them a few years ago, when I started to organize a conference DayTrader Event. We hold together until today, which makes me happy 🙂 Below you will find my comments in relation to individual issues, along with statements of my friends, who are traders.

This text in a strong extent reflects the changes, what changes appear in the trader earning for years. I think that if you just start and you are learn trading, it may look quite different. Whether more easily or more difficulty – I don’t know. Sometimes start and attempts in more difficult conditions finished with the success are better. As for example learning to drive in the winter 🙂

Being a dad – What changes appeared in trading

A long time ago I already realized that totally different I had approached to the risk when I had 15 or 20 years. In case of expeditions into different directions of the world I still like to organize by myself. Adrenaline, a bit of risks – I like it, than boring trips with travel agencies into typically tourist places. It has not changed up till today.

With the risk in trading, my approach changed over the years, until I reached a point that I maintain in the recent time. When I started in trading, it didn’t really matter – because I put everything on one card. Either it will succeed or it is not my direction of development. In the last 3-4 years, nothing changed when it comes to position management, the risk. When my son came to this world, I didn’t change the style of trading, nor the position size, or approach to stop loss. However, I also moved away changes in the time of planned by me, which from 2016 I implement in trading.

Last year I needed stability in my head. Although trading already gave me a little of something and I have enough money to live for years, I like when it brings me regular profits. Therefore, the past year was a period for me in which (although I traded for the shortest time in my trading history) I decided to maintain stability, so that my head could function well and emotions didn’t affect my trading. I had enough emotions at home 🙂

How it looked like in individual periods, i.e. before the birth of my son, in the first period after the birth and minimum year after my child came to this world.

I: Before the birth I played as always, despite the fact that I could feel a lot of emotions. In the end, it is one of the most important experiences in my life. After the birth I took a decent break. I traded occasionally in a few first months. After that time I tried already to get back to normal mode. After a year from the birth, I decided to implement stronger changes to trading.

Piotrek: before the birth I also didn’t feel any change. I simply traded my own. When my child was born, I felt certain embarrassment and confusion, which caused a significant reduction in results. After a year, the situation at home stabilized. I found the balance between home life and trading. After difficulties, trading will be only more stable.

Adam: When I found out that I would be a father my results deteriorated, I started making basic mistakes, I wasn’t able to apply appropriate stop loss, and I closed profitable positions definitely too quickly. After some time I stated that it is time to take a break, get back on my feet, to gain distance to trading. Now two years after the birth of my daughter, I’m trying to come back, my first step is to rebuild the confidence.

Krzysiek: Trading in the period before the birth remained unchanged. After the birth I took a month break. Thoughts went to prepare the room for a new family member. There was too great willingness to be by the family in the first days, to settle all documents etc. but additionally a few days of toast ;). It didn’t support trading.

Change in aversion to the risk

As I marked above; in my case with aversion to risk nothing changed. However, after a year from the birth, when I felt inflow of forces, much more time, and there is a bit more sleep – I decided with a strong kick to implement great changes in trading. I wrote about them at the beginning of this year, so here I won’t describe them. However, they will certainly influence, and in other words – already affect the increase of risk in trading. Bigger positions, other plays, etc.

In the first year, I put on stability. Far more calmly I traded, when I slowly built the result in a month, I didn’t show off on the market. Certainly, I also more pay attention to my principles about cutting losses. Such a stupid thinking – I just lost in one transaction my money for a half of year of diapers hehe;) it had an effect 😉

How did it look like in my friends?

Piotrek: I thought that I had aversions to the risk on the same level. However, at the back of my heads a thought remained, that I need to secure my child’s future. It probably affected me, because I wanted to earn more somehow – unfortunately without a proper preparation it caused only heavy losses

Adam: My aversion increased very much, when I only realized that I’m no longer responsible only for myself, but also for this little man, who soon will appear in my life. It was a cause of the fact that my account slowly dwindled away.

Krzysiek: I had not noticed the difference.

How appearance of the child affected the level of preparation to session

It was for me the biggest “problem”, so to speak. Depending on the period in quarter – I’m usually in the office from 12:30pm – 1:00pm in order to prepare well to the session. However, my son decided at night to rock out 😉 So, the first half year has been sensational as when I managed to sleep 2-3h, and at the night 4-6h 🙂 I know that for somebody it may be funny. I despite everything was use to the fact that I go to bed at 11pm-2am, but I sleep up to 10-12 hours. I felt this sudden cut terribly.

It made me aware of how much time for sleeping I had lost, instead to do plenty of cool things. Now every 30 minutes off in the morning when ma baby falls asleep, I have from above planned what I will do. How many hours I wasted 🙂 it’s impossible to count it, and only after a time I realized that.

Therefore, I wasn’t already so punctual; instead on 1:00pm in the office, it happened to came at 2:30-2:00pm. It firmly affected the time I could spend on better preparation to session, preparation of signals, changes in filters, etc. Another issue is that I was physically and mentally tired in the office. It is really destructive. My plus is that when I needed a break, I simply didn’t trade. People working full-time job, don’t have such a possibility. Respect!

How did it look like in my friends?

Piotrek: Preparation to the session, both in terms of technical and psychological, fell on the last plan. I thought that I would sit down in front of the computer, play some trades and I will earn something. Yes “something” it’s a good word.

Adam: I’ve tried more and more, I worked more and longer. It hadn’t the time for anything else, it bothered me more and more, and I felt great pressure. This has led to the fact that I ran into in the loop of negative emotions, I couldn’t distance from it, and it was getting worse. Above it, I was only focused on trading, neglecting other important matters for me.

Krzysiek: Yes, definitely less time before the job. Problem with finding e.g. 2 hours of total cutting from everyday matters. With the baby it isn’t possible.

How appearance of the child affected the level of concentration in the session

Concentration in trading is a key. That is my opinion. When my thoughts run somewhere, I often miss out good signals or I simply sit mindlessly in front of monitors. Therefore, in the first 3 months I traded very little.

For the first quarter we slept very little with my wife, because our toddler stated that his favorite time to play is a night, besides there were problems with feeding, etc. Those who’ve been in this situation, knows that it isn’t ease 😉 After that period it was better and better, I changed my habit of sleeping 10 hours to 5-6. And it started to be ok. I can say that I felt like a damn hard work is dealing with a child when my wife returned to work after maternity leave. Toddler began to get sick, so I from the morning with son, and when my wife came back, I let’s say went to the other job in the trading office. And instead of trading, I was so tired and sleepy. Therefore, I will gladly sign up petitions so that women receive remuneration for the child care :))

I also stopped trading, when anything happened to my son. Terrible scaremonger of me came out to be… but, well 😉 However, when something more seriously sticks to your head, there’s no chance to focus on trading. I preferred to sit for a while at home.

How did it look like in my friends?

Piotrek: It would probably take a year before I managed to divide the work and house issues. You know, there are moments that more important is house issues, but then it is necessary to cut off from trading. For a period of one year the concentration in session was on a minimum level, provided it was generally speaking. Then I want quickly and best much – how it ends – we known. After a year I can say that I learnt my lesson, how head is important in trading, if you only know that something may disturb you in 100% analyzing the situation on the market – put the trade off on later.

Adam: I was concentrated until I moved my office home. Then such an activity as concentration stopped existing :). It was the final nail in the coffin.

Krzysiek: Without changes.

Krzysiek is some kind of robot ;)) (my note).

How results changed

For me it remained unchanged. And what’s more practically up to every dollar. At the end of year I divided my profits by the number of session in which traded. The result came out practically identical as in 2014. Certainly a very good August raised the average. But this also shows that I put to stability and I held to it. There was a period that hush appeared, that it is necessary to earn more, more quickly. But it quickly passed.

How did it look like in my friends?

Piotrek: Before the child birth it was ok. In the first year after the birth results started systematically decline. It was also an effect of the change in my trading strategy. So I warn all. If you want to implement total changes in your trading, choose a period in which you will be able to fully control them and to analyze. After a year I recovered my mental balance between trading and house. I have an appropriate psychological attitude, as well as better concentration in trading. Slowly I’m starting to get back to the level before the birth.

Adam: In the period before and after the birth I stopped earning, my results stood still, and payments associated with trading, slowly scoffed my deposit down. Now two years after the birth, I’m beginning my adventure anew with new ideas, with new approach, but most importantly well rested and outdistanced, I hope that I will manage to come back to profitable trading.

Krzysiek: As for now is too short period to give my opinion.

Time and effort to trade in the session

I will omit the first period. I wrote already about it twice above. From April up to August k traded a lot, with small breaks. After this time I felt really great burning down. It was for me a kick to change something in my trading, so to enjoy it again. But it was also a sign that I must rest and last quarter 2015 was marked by a lot of holidays. My daily session schedule begins from 1:00pm, and it finishes differently, but maximum up to 10:20pm. There were sessions that at about 5pm or 8pm I didn’t even have enough strength to look. Only go to sleep 🙂 Hence the decision to change a little bit my trading – less transaction, but more effective.

How did it look like in my friends?

Piotrek: It firmly affected me. You have less strength, less time. Also less possibility, therefore concentrating in 100% must already accompany on the moment of sitting down in front of the platform.

Adam: In this my fiancée supported me very much, currently already my wife. She has taken over most of household duties, as a matter of fact she still does them; for what I would like to thank her very much. Support of loved one in these difficult times is necessary. This is a moment in which your life turned upside down, so your time on trading and your forces can drastically fall.

Krzysiek: Yes. On hard days or nights it is harder to keep concentration all the day.

A few words of reflection 🙂

Don’t even think whether it is worthwhile to have a child, whether to wait, that it is not the moment. It is never the moment. It can always be better 🙂 But believe me, even after totally screwed up session, when I get back angry, and I take a look at my son – that’s all passes in one moment. Priorities have changed for me. The kid is a great responsibility, but also great happiness. Nothing, even the best trading sessions won’t change it 🙂 I only recommend, if you trade at home to start doing it in the office; to separate the house from work, particularly when a child appears. I can see among my friends how big problem it constituted for them.

How did it look like in my friends?

Piotrek: Don’t pretend that you are able to comprehend it all 😉 Divide trading and house (confused head doesn’t support good trade). Support the mother of your child, if she’s not yet in a form, you won’t trade. Earn enough so that she could sit at home with the child 24h, provided it suits her 😉 In principle, in the morning you can perform the role of father, and in the afternoon to take care of your work. When the wife goes to work in the afternoon, we must necessarily hire a nanny; and the best if there is a grandmother nearby, who can take care of the child. Unfortunately not many nurseries are open from 2.00pm-10.00pm.

Adam: For me the biggest change has been in my head, I couldn’t cope with the pressure which alone I imposed on myself – cash, cash, cash. Therefore, in my opinion, the best advice for future fathers is to chillax; continue to do your own, and above all to keep a healthy balance between family life and trading. Here again my wife has a very important role, who takes care of our child 24 hours a day, I can even say that I only help her from time to time, actually I’m a part-time father and it won’t change until I will stabilizes my results. On the other hand, my daughter above all motivates me to work hard, and her smile rewards me all difficulties. And trading is a job, which in the future will let me to spend time with my family.

Krzysiek: Let’s to it 🙂 But seriously everyone must alone experience it. Everyone approaches the subject differently, the same as to the risk.There are problems of technical nature… drastically twenty-four hours has shrunk ;).


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