“My goal is to take control of my financial freedom and live a comfortable life…”

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Dear Michael Covel,

First, I would like to thank you for your effort to continually seek out the truth and enlighten others on successful trading strategies, and the philosophies of successful market participants. The most recent edition of Trend Following has opened my mind, and increased my hunger for financial success. I am writing to you today as a young trader asking for guidance and hope to not take much of your valuable time.

There is an invisible hand that has led me to the path of trading since I was about 16. As many, I started by reading books on the subject. I quickly learned that success in trading is not so much in having a complex strategy, but in being able to manage the complex realm of your own behavior and to be consistent over time. This is a challenge that continues to intrigue me.

I’ve juggled with multiple systems and observed relative success. Over time I’ve built up the confidence to believe that this is something I can be good at, and the determination to work through inevitable roadblocks.

In August of 2018 I left work with the intent to invest a chunk of cash I’d saved up. However, it wasn’t until March of this year that I truly felt ready to trade full-time. I came strong out the gate primarily on the short-side. This was short-lived, and my account has since been the subject of large fluctuations without significant advancement.

My brief experience as a trader has shown me I have the potential to be successful, but more importantly it has taught me that I will never truly succeed until I improve at managing my emotions, systemize key components, and find a mentor.

It is important to mention I enrolled in a program that cost me a sizeable $18,000 CAD which I am set to finish at the end of this year. Long-term value investing is what attracted me to this program and although it covered the topic, it mainly focused on credit spread strategies that simply haven’t resonated with me. Perhaps this is because I enjoyed other strategies I learned from books so much more.

The reason I share this, is to point out I am having an internal conflict as to which is the best path to take. I am willing to start over with something that better resonates with me.

My goal is to take control of my financial freedom and live a comfortable life. This includes having the ability to experience everything my heart desires, and hopefully be of service to other individuals and communities. If I can do it for myself, I want to invest other people’s money in the future, and help them reach their goals as well.

Today at 22, I couldn’t be more certain about my desire to be a successful trader and money manager, yet so uncertain about how to get there. Deep down I know this is what I want to do. I also know success is possible with discipline, a placid mind, and humility.

I made the decision to not enroll in university to pursue trading/investing. Today, part of me wonders if I’ve had it all backwards. Mr. Covel, with great respect I hope you have some free time to answer the following questions.

Is it better for me to go back to school, get a stable job in financial services, and then pursue trading full-time? Or should I stay the course and work towards figuring it out now? If the latter, what is the best path moving forward to grow trading as a career and find a mentor?

I understand if you are busy and apologize if this was of inconvenience to you. Anything you can share with me, I consider to be invaluable and thank you in advance.

Regards,

David M.

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