Monday, 11 August 2014

Guilty

Last year, I  had my first 4 figure win on a single match. I was ecstatic at the time. It felt as though I'd reached  an important milestone and that I was now on the edge of turning my trading into something major. As time continued onwards and into 2014, that feeling of ecstasy dissolved. After a few dozen 4 figure wins, although still satisfying and enough to raise a smile, it had become an expected result. As the months rolled on, the joy almost entirely seeped out of those wins and my goals had shifted - I wanted to achieve even bigger wins. I suppose that is only natural, although it's weird because I can still remember how my heart used to pound furiously 5 years ago when I was close to greening up for less than £2 (I started on the Betfair minimum stake)!

But then the guilt appeared. This is a very unusual sensation to feel about your work and one I never expected. I started to think about what I was doing and whether I really deserved to be making such sums of money. If I can make 4 figure sums, often in as little as just a few minutes, for basically gambling, for doing something that doesn't contribute to society in any way whatsoever, is that OK? I'm sure this is not something that crosses every trader's mind but it does for me and I find it hard to just ignore.

Of course, it would be unbalanced to say it was just me making big wins every trade. I have plenty of losses too. It's not as though I'm Wayne Rooney, earning literally thousands of pounds per hour even when he's sitting on his arse by some 5 star hotel's private swimming pool having a sneaky fag and a sangria in the off-season. Footballers and other highly paid sports stars do get it in the neck from people for earning such bloated wages, out of proportion most would agree, with their actual contribution to society. I think most of us are in agreement that those kind of wages are obscene but hardly immoral. You can also argue that if it weren't for us, the paying public and football consumer, he wouldn't be able to command those fees anyway. If Rooney scores a goal for Manchester United but there is no one there to see it, does it really mean anything?

 Heidi El Tabakh

People also tend to forget the hard work that Rooney has put in to get where he is. Just as I sometimes forget just how much graft I put in for years to get to where I am. I admit I did things the hard way and I didn't need to make it such a painful ride but nonetheless, very few successful traders reach the top without some sort of sacrifice. So why do I still feel guilty? Maybe it's because at least Rooney brings some joy to fans lives (not England fans but you get what I;m saying) and the entertainment he and his peers provide could be considered a valuable contribution to society, if we are scraping the bottom of the barrel. What does my trading do for anyone other than me? True, I've probably provided a good few mortgage downpayments, designer suits, snazzy watches or cocaine and whore evenings (depending on  how you want to look at it - I prefer the latter) for Betfair directors but other than that? Not a jot. Maybe that is what pains me a little. Or maybe I just feel bad because I think about what someone doing something meaningful, like a nurse (which is usually the first profession brought up in these kind of discussions) earns in the same amount of time it takes me to green up my totally self-centred tennis trade completed in less than the time it takes to change a bed-pan.

It just doesn't feel right sometimes. Maybe if Rooney could actually see the money he earns on a screen as it comes in like in the  link above, he would also feel guilty. Hell, perhaps he DOES feel guilty! Having that big all-green figure staring at you is something no other profession I can think of actually has. You can see your wages as you get them and so it magnifies the emotions involved. Rooney probably never even looks at his bank account. I certainly do and I feel good about it these days. I guess that's all that really matters. Isn't it?

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