Trading and Life Lessons from a Journey Down Unda

It’s an understatement to say that things happened quickly. Only 2 weeks ago I was starting to gain traction with the trading firm I had been training with and getting settled into a routine (for the first time in years) in Sydney. The Corona Virus was getting worse, but I was completely fine with waiting things out in Australia… then disaster struck.

Being an inherent risk-taker and having funded some of my travel through crazy investments over the years, I had most of my savings in cryptocurrencies. I’m sure most of you don’t understand cryptocurrencies and therefore now think I am in insane, but whatever, it’s what I did and I am honest haha.

To explain this insanity, I was thinking crypto could be a great alternative in an economic downturn and was banking on it (because I am right and it is) but there was something I didn’t consider: Very few people know this and understand their use cases, especially when the Fed is printing trillions to support a failing system AND!!!!! I can go on, but this isn’t an economics article… The bottom line is that people panicked and sold everything without thinking; I was betting too big, didn’t protect myself, and now my savings is gone. C’est la vie, as they say.

Obviously this hurt, but it wasn’t the end of the world – I’ve been broke in a foreign country before: I always survive. However, a culmination of events led to an unmanageable death spiral of stress that I had never experienced before.

The big loss sent me into a 3-day panic attack of circular thinking replaying my stupidity and lecturing myself on not doing what I needed to do, even though I knew I needed to do it. I processed through this and tried to move on.

I was very shaken up but was trying to trade through it at work. This was a bad idea. I learned the importance of having a clear head while trading. The difference was night and day. I went from having 5 winning days in a row at work before the big loss in my personal account, to a week of straight losses at work after. Everyone at the office was very supportive and told me their horror stories of big losses… we all have them, it is normal in this biz.

But trying to trade through it only made it worse. The stress cycle increased after each losing day. I was putting too much pressure on myself to have a winning day and forcing trades… adding to my stress and making the next day even worse. After each losing day I would walk home feeling as if I was going to suffocate, throw up, and cry – all at the same time. I accepted that I may need to take a break from trading for a bit and find a bar job in Sydney until I could get my head straight.

Ok, fine, I’ll go find one next week…

However, as I was caught up in my personal crises, the Corona Crises kept growing. Nobody was hiring, in fact, they were all starting to close their doors. No jobs to be found. That same week, my office decided to take everything remote and we would all be trading from home.

Ok, fine, I’ll just lay low at my apartment…

…read and write and take time for the finer things I had been neglecting. Hopefully everything would blow over and I could get back to work before going bankrupt from Sydney’s insane rent prices. I could also try and do some trading from home and work my way back into it.

This plan didn’t last long though.

Corona kept spreading… and more importantly so did the panic.

Travel bans were starting to pop up, airlines were cancelling flights and entire countries were shutting down. I started to think about the economic fallout that will come from an entire world shutdown and that was it. I snapped.

The mental meltdown was complete. Perhaps I am a bit pessimistic from my recent run of luck—and I mean recent, all of this has happened in just 2 weeks—but this is not going to end well.

Regardless of if $^#% really does hit the fan or not, I worked myself into a complete death spiral of stress and woke up Saturday morning with resolve to fix my sanity immediately.

I weighed all the pros and cons of staying in Australia and very carefully considered my risk (I’m learning!!). I originally wanted to go to Australia to make money and travel. Travel was out of the question and there’s no way of knowing when it will be responsible to travel once again. Also, I was not making any money and I could now take my job remote and make money once I reset and started to trade well again. Therefore, there was no longer a reason to stay in Australia under current circumstances.

As I was already in a complete tailspin of stress, I may be blowing the risk section out of control, but I couldn’t help but go there… again this is not an economics paper, so let’s suffice it to say that a complete world shutdown in productivity from the virus will have severe consequences. I won’t elaborate here, but the fact of the matter is: This is no time to be alone and broke in a foreign country.

After considering these factors and seeking advice from some family members (THANK YOU), I booked a flight and was on it less than 24 hours later.

I am hoping that I worked myself up into a stressed out basket case and everything passes easily and without trouble. I hope I can look back and say Ha! What a pansy! and chuckle. But what my important lesson in risk taught me is that sometimes the worst case scenario can happen… and I want to be around friends and family if it does.

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