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Starting Out: One Man’s Story

An excerpt from my book:

Even though he loved his job in the markets, David Druz soon entered medical school to hedge his bets. Medicine was interesting to him, but he was 100 percent fascinated with the markets. Did he have lots of money? No. The only money he had was $5,000 in stock that his father had given him. Druz cashed that out and put it into his account. At that same time the brokerage firm offered him a job, a full-time job to quit medical school and go work for them. They offered Druz $50,000 to start. That was really good money in the 1970s. A slightly drunk friend told him, “Dave, don’t take that job. You can be a really good trader, but if you take that job, you’ll never be a great trader. You’ve got to get a nest egg for security. You don’t want to trade with scared money. Finish medical school, be a doctor, and then you’ll be a great trader.” Does that make sense to you? Maybe not at first blush, but it was the wisest piece of information anyone ever told Druz. He has since seen many people over the years trading with scared money—meaning they would make decisions on the value of the money to them (read: emotional decisions about a new car, suit, or wife), and not follow the exact rules of their trading plan. “Don’t quit your day job” is another critical success lesson—write it down and tape it over your desk. Druz took his $5,000 and started to trade. He wasn’t very good at first, and his account dropped down to around $1,500. At that point he had hit rock bottom and trading success was beginning to move out of sight. He then received a message from his brokerage firm, “You got a fill on your trade.” Druz said, “I don’t have any orders in. I’m out of business.” The brokerage replied, “No, you had a ‘Good Til Cancelled’ order (GTC) in and it is ‘limit up’.” Druz was back in business! The universe apparently would not allow him to quit—he truly believed that. You too might think sometimes, “If I only had one more chance,” but when the next opportunity or chance does come around again you have to be willing to get in the game and play again—without thinking about your negative first experience. Second chances are telling you something. Heed their advice.

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