Can I actually earn a living through currency trading?

Jerry Wigginson III ‏@jwigginson: can I actually earn a living through currency trading?


Sure. If you are smarter and have more money to spend than these guys who are manipulating the currency markets EVERY SINGLE MINUTE with trillions of dollars:

I don’t mean to make light of your question. I am a fool also. I’ve tried to trade the currency markets. It’s a sucker’s game. There’s that saying in poker, “if you can’t spot the fish at the table, then it’s you.” None of the above guys are fishes. We may hate Soros, or Bernanke or Chavez or whoever, but they have a trillion dollars they use to set targets on every currency in the world and unless you know exactly what their agendas are TODAY (because it will change on a moment’s notice), then you will not be able to beat them.

But, my friend, you are not alone. At least once a week I get asked this question. And more if I count emails about this.

So why is that? I think there’s the smell of “get rich quick” in currency markets. And it’s a beautiful smell. I don’t deny it. I like the feeling of “get rich quick”. The idea that one can cut all the corners of our friends, our ancestors, our bosses, everyone who has ever kicked sand in our face in front of the pretty girl. I get it completely why one would want to trade forex.

And many people are thinking, “He’s wrong. You CAN get rich trading currencies.” I’m not wrong. I’ve analyzed over 700 hedge funds. I’ve traded for funds. I’ve run a fund of hedge funds. Yes, I’ve seen multi-hundred million dollar hedge funds go broke trading currencies. Very smart people who knew that Soros was on the opposite side of their trade. There are no shortcuts. Charts don’t tell the story. Fundamentals don’t tell the story. Only inside information, luck, and manipulation can result in any profits trading currencies. You don’t have to believe me. But I know it’s true.

How can we resist the allure then of the myth of “get rich quick”? And not just of trading currencies but any get rich quick scheme. I’ve certainly fallen for many. If not currencies, then reverse merger IPOs, Internet startups in the 90s, and probably a dozen other schemes at various points. I always have the curse of wanting to cut corners.

The only way I’ve been able to exorcise this curse, unfortunately, is by losing a lot of money. By being burned. By watching liquidity drain out of me like blood drains out of a man who has been shot by the police in the middle of a crime. I also thought I was smarter, better, faster, had a trick, a gizmo, a weapon, that would get me what I wanted. But I had to learn that wrapped inside the meager succcesses of my small victories were massive failures waiting to burst out.

The one question I always ask now, on any opportunity at all, ANY, is: WHY IS THIS OPPORTUNITY REACHING ME?

I am a nobody. And even among the people who know I am a nobody, half of them dislike me and half of them like me (a little). But nobody is giving me opportunities for free. Many times it looks on the surface like someone wants to give me money for free. Just like that. But it never happens. It never works. One company, in fact, did have Soros as an investor, and even Bill Clinton was going to go on the board, and all sorts of other good things were about to happen. But first they needed to raise their five million dollar round and they needed a final $50,000. So, of course, when you have almost five million in the bank and Soros and Clinton are on your speed dial, who do you call for help?

James Altucher?

I don’t think so. Always ask, on every trade, investment, even in relationships, even before meetings, no matter how much an opportunity wants to spread it’s pretty legs for you, “why am I being given this magical blessing?”

Usually the answer will disappoint you. But if you ask it enough it will allow you to quickly sift through to find the opportunities that will consummate.