What do you do when you dont like what you do anymore?

Hello my dear readers. This year I have tried to post a little more frequently and I even made a post outlining a bunch of other posts I would make, hoping this would give me the discipline and incentive to finish some of the many drafts in my folder but alas, I am stuck again and have spent almost zero time writing in the last four weeks. A lot of it has to do with just losing my passion and interest in the markets. I’ve always wanted my writing to feel authentic–for there to be some real emotional punch with in it, so that I can connect with an audience who can hopefully relate to what I’m going through. This isn’t going to be a blog where I read the tea leaves and tell you how interest rates move 18 months out. Well, without being interested in the subject I’m writing about, I am just not able to let myself churn out low quality, low emotion writing. I feel like I’m just going through the motions. 

I’m just near done with trading at the moment. It’s not even burnout anymore, like I’m trading my ass off every day and I just ran out of juice. That’s happened a million times and I always came back. It’s starting to not just feel like another episode anymore. I wake up at 9am and I’m already mentally checked out. I almost never think about markets outside of being in actual trades and I never want to talk about my job at parties. Sometimes the momentum of PnL can carry me in the short-term but I’ve traded like shit the last time I put on serious risk and it’s been molasses ever since.

Anyway, here’s a scene from Succession. What a great episode last night was, by the way. Watch the show if you haven’t already.



I decided to write down a list of possibilities of what I would do if I were to quit or sorta quit trading. Would I get a new job? What would I do with all my free time? Then I weigh the pro’s and con’s of each scenario. Is it realistic? Is it feasible? Would I actually like it? I divided everything into two categories–Chasing my Dreams and Being Practical.

Chase my dreams. Find your passion again. Do something exciting. Be even more of a millenial stereotype than you already are.

  1. Open a Resteraunt or Bar
    • Pros: I like food, I like cooking. I could meet interesting people and make them happy through hospitality. There are some nice commercial spaces near where I live.
    • Cons: Resteraunts and bars have a low success rate. NYC is super competitive. I like but don’t love cooking, nor do I know anyone who cooks so well they deserve an opportunity to start their own menu. I have never managed people in my entire life and would probably be in over my head. People might start shit in my bar and I’d have to deal with that. I would meet a lot of bozo’s who drink too much.
    • Final verdict: No.
  2. Real estate, VC/angel investing, starting a business
    • Pros: Passive income from rental properties, dividends, or fixed income. Many subjects to be curious about. Able to keep the autonomy and independence of trading. High upside (capital gains potential). Get to tell people I’m an entrepreneur instead of a trader. Tax efficency relative to short-term trading. New idea to obsess over and reignite that part of my brain.
    • Cons: I don’t have any brilliant idea. I lack good business sense. I’m not diligent enough (some day I have to finish the post in my draft folders about the time I invested in a summer basketball league that ended up being a total scam). I’m not all that curious and passionate about future industries and new technologies. My “find hacks/shortcuts to get rich, don’t wait long” mindset actually helps me in day trading but would hurt me in this area. Make me have to do real financial research and wait years for gains and yeah… IDK, man, I might be out of my element.
    • Final verdict: Maybe.
  3. Rich person passion projects: film production, wineries/breweries, horse racing
    • Pros: I like movies. I once thought of going to film school and writing a script. I kinda like beer and wine. The Kentucky Derby is cool.
    • Cons: I don’t have that kind of money to burn. I’m too self-aware and I know I would just be a dilettante.
    • Final Verdict: No.
  4. Become a streamer/podcaster/social media personality
    • Pros: Passive income from video/podcast views, ads, Patreon, or selling merchandise. I have a niche if I choose to talk about trading and NYC life. I know people in trading who could help me create content. I get to speak my mind freely rather than stay stuck in the constraints of writing. I get to film the fun things I do like traveling and eating or playing pool. I could talk shit about the people I don’t like in the trading industry and get paid for it because people love drama.
    • Cons: I would get anxiety from presenting myself to people. I’d wonder what they think about my face and my voice. I’d constantly be checking the comments. I probably have to talk about trading even though I hate it. I might have to film my entire life and update like 9 different social media platforms all the time and end up with extremely-online brain worms. I don’t have any video editing or production skills. My writing is my best asset but nobody reads anymore. I’d have to be a slave to the algorithm so I could build a large enough fanbase. I’d be a public figure and people would know where I live. My mom and dad might watch/listen to me and that’s weird.
    • Final verdict: No.
  5. Play pool for a living
    • Pros: Get to play pool for a living! Currently the hobby that most occupies my headspace and eats up most of my free time. Probably the pursuit that best suits my personality–obsessive, competitive.
    • Cons: I’m not that good at pool. I play at a 550 Fargo rating when the absolute minimum to play on the pro circuit would be 700+. This game drives me nuts whenever I try too hard at it. The professional pool circuit hasn’t really grown since the 1990s when it was regularly on ESPN, there’s very little money even if I could miraculously get to that level. I’d probably need side gigs or be a crafty gambler. I might not like pool anymore if I had to spend 8+ hours a day practicing.
    • Final verdict: No.
  6. Work in professional sports (front office)
    • Pros: Something I’ve wanted to do since my childhood. I’m passionate about my sports teams and I have so many opinions. If I rise up, there’s a fantasy scenario where I become a key input for drafts and free agency decisions. I’d get to go to to sporting events routinely and possibly meet my favorite players.
    • Cons: Sports front office positions have become increasingly concentrated on analytics and while I’m a believer in all that, I don’t have any actual skills to bring to the table (I’m only sorta good at math). I have no athletic background and no connections in an industry rampant in nepotism and legacy hires. There’s very low pay for entry level positions–of which are extremely limited and competitive and when they actually forgo legacy hires, they’ll instead hire the 20-something Ivy Leaguers. I’d have to work for the New York teams and not my actual favorite teams.
    • Final verdict: No.

Being Practical. Listen to your parents advice. Be boring. Make money.

  1. Get a real job: do something else in the securities industry (institutional trader, analyst, brokerage client outreach, compliance)
    • Pros: I have some connections. Stable income. Past experience and skills might help. No pressure to career climb.
    • Cons: Might need to get more licenses (i.e. take more exams, like Series 6). Have to listen to a boss for the first time in my life. No more autonomy/independence. Might have to deal with corporate politics and fitting in with office culture. Have to care about my appearance and hygiene in the morning. Have to commute to work (I’d have to ride the 6 train to midtown at peak commuter hours in the summer when it’s all hot and sticky and everyone is armpit to armpit, fuck I thought those days were over ugh)
    • Final verdict: Maybe.
  2. Get a real job: something outside of the securities industry
    • Pros: Don’t have to be around the securities industry. Can be very choosy: find a field that interests you or a job that fits specific parameters like remote work only. Stable income. Possible to do something more fulfilling like non-profit work or contributing to a cause I believe in. Stable income.
    • Cons: Don’t know where to begin. Lack of experience and lack of training. Already in my mid 30’s–would companies be willing to train someone like me? 12 years in the raw pursuit of money might have morally and spiritually bankrupted me and now I don’t believe in any causes enough to join one.
    • Final verdict: Maybe.
  3. Be a trading coach or run a chatroom:
    • Pros: I have the expertise and years of experience. No one can dispute my track record. I think I’d be a good teacher if I actually committed to it. If I “do it well”, I could make just as much, if not more, than actual trading with none of the risks.
    • Cons: I have to talk about trading. I have to deal with trading newbs asking basic questions over and over, which will test my patience. I might get emotionally invested in their success when 90% of them will likely fail no matter how well I teach them. I have to film myself making videos about breakout chart patterns and setting stop losses. I have to go on a chatroom and make live calls on stocks going up and down, where I’m either exposed as a fraud when my calls are wrong or I waffle around and make “price action calls” where I’m never actually wrong. I have to market my services and sincerely tell people to join my $300/month chatroom or buy my $7000 video course and I’ll feel like a total fucking loser.
    • Final verdict: Hell no.
  4. Be a semi-retired trader and a stay-at-home husband/dad
    • Pros: Still maintain my independence and autonomy. More free time than being a full time trader. Still able to leverage my skills and years of experience. Become more selective with trading rather than overtrade (Only trade when there’s quality opportunity or an extreme event). Can spend more time on my hobbies without the pressure of making them my job. Get to contribute more to the household and spend more time at home with my family.
    • Cons: Income gets more unstable and unpredictable in a job where it’s already unstable and unpredictable. Not really dedicated enough, skills might erode too much to trade at a high level. Constantly wrestle with the thought that you’re a washed up trader rather than moving on. Splitting the difference with your desires rather than fully committing to something new and exciting.
    • Final verdict: Maybe.

So there you have it. That’s every option on the table plus one more: be a sick trader again and make tons of money. Not sure if it’s in me anymore, but I’ll keep you updated.

Related Posts

11 thoughts on “What do you do when you dont like what you do anymore?

  1. While you’re figuring out what to do next, you could mentor a couple of struggling traders 🙂

    At the very least, keep writing. I love coming back to your blog and finding a new post. You have a great writing style man. I can feel you dropping real emotions on the page, which makes your content interesting to read. I’ve been a fan ever since your Chat with Traders episode. I’ve had it in my YouTube downloads for years, haha. I put it on from time to time when I’m doing chores or trying to fall asleep. Honestly, you’d be a good podcast host.

    Hope you find what you’re looking for.


    1. Thanks for reading. I still have not yet listened to my own podcasts for more than a few minutes. Can’t get over hearing the sound of my own voice. That’s why I can’t do video or podcasts, I wouldn’t be able to self-edit.

  2. Your blog is always great to read. And I know the feeling you’re experiencing, albeit from a different lane. I appreciate what you share, and how you express it. (What if you committed to writing regularly here? See if it helps you discover your next step.)

  3. Ever thought about going back to school for a graduate degree? Currently went through the gauntlet as a trader and like to do my studying while trading.

  4. I wish I could say that I don’t think about trading as much as I do. To be at your level where you can roll outta bed and make more than doctors and lawyers etc.. seems like a pipe dream for me. I worked corporate office jobs for 15 years and I can tell you, regular jobs suck hard man. Like you said, dressing up, commuting, kissing ass, fitting in with whatever office culture that place has but most importantly working your ass off for a fixed salary. Nah man.
    You could always write for Medium. Or do youtube. You don’t have to show your face or use your own voice while you still incorporate your kick ass writing skills and your interest in film.
    Good luck man. I found trading at 40. You’ll find what your looking for.

  5. Hi Pete – just a note to let you know I really enjoy your writing. Please keep trading so that there’s more material to write about!

  6. Question for you Pete. If you wanted to go pro again, couldn’t you take your track record to a legit prop firm in New York or Chicago? Like FNY or DV? Pretty sure they would hire you no?

    1. I explored that in 2019 and ended up with Avatar Securities. Deal-wise, lifestyle wise I’m still closer to a retail trader than a pro desk trader and 100 pct cool with it for now.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Typically replies within a day

Powered by WpChatPlugins