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My wife is never on time. It's a true testament to the strength of our relationship that I’ve been able to tolerate this trait given my own ADD-addled nature that refuses to wait even five minutes for a restaurant table. (She in turn is a saint for having to put up with many of my personality flaws)

It's a running joke in our family that when Mommy says that she will be ready at 5:30 the actual start time will be 6:00. So last night my daughter and I were waiting for my wife in the lobby of our building and as usual the clock was long past 5:30 as we sat there flicking through TikTok. “Hey,” I said to my daughter,”do you think Mommy will be down by 5:55 or later?”

“Later,” she said without hesitation.

What happened next was really interesting. Instead of being bored and annoyed we became completely obsessed with the clock monomaniacally watching every second tick away. We basically turned the typical family waiting game into an all consuming over/under bet.

In real life I never bet. I don’t play card games. I have no idea what a sports line is and at the racetrack I mainly admire the beauty of the thoroughbreds. But I do trade. And last night I realized that I actually bet far more than I should.

If you’ve ever placed a trade out boredom.

If you’ve ever placed a trade out of greed.

If you’ve ever placed a trade out of anger.

You are not trading. You are betting.

Betting is unbelievably seductive. You can take any mundane event in life and instantly turn it into the most important thing there is by wagering money on its outcome. I don’t know the evolutionary trait that is responsible - perhaps it triggers the hunt instinct in all of us - but whatever it is betting is a universal impulse that we all fall prey to.

And just to be clear I am using the word “bet” in its purest colloquial form - that is to make a wager on an event without possessing any special knowledge about its outcome. If you are betting on a sports team because you have some analytical edge - you are not betting, you are trading.

Alas, many of us - no one more so than yours truly  -make far too many bets rather than trades. I have an unbelievably great day trading system that has an edge nearly every single market day - yet I regularly forsake its rules for the thrill of “trying something new” that inevitably leads to some very difficult drawdowns. Bets may be a great antidote to boredom but they are a very expensive drug.

I wish I had a full proof way to only trade rather than bet - but there is no nicorette gum for day traders. Perhaps, the first and most important step is to simply acknowledge the difference between a bet and a trade.  That alone could help snap you out of the vicious cycle of losses that you are about to see.

Markets are an unbelievably fun game to play, but in order to play them well you need to play them right.

Oh - and my wife was downstairs at 5:54 and 43 seconds beating the under. Proving that even when you have the edge in the markets - the trade does not always not work out.

Past performance is not indicative of future results. Trading forex carries a high level of risk, and may not be suitable for all investors. The high degree of leverage can work against you as well as for you. Before deciding to trade any such leveraged products you should carefully consider your investment objectives, level of experience, and risk appetite. The possibility exists that you could sustain a loss of some or all of your initial investment and therefore you should not invest money that you cannot afford to lose. You should be aware of all the risks associated with trading on margin, and seek advice from an independent financial advisor if you have any doubts.

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