How do you deal with uncertainty?

I want to start by thanking the folks who gave input on my other post. My boss did leave and I was moved to a different role, a trading role actually. It is a cash trading role for those in the industry, my limit is 14 days ahead. More of an asset management role IMO, but that's here nor there.

My predicament -

I truly thought that trading was going to be over the moon, I thought it was going to be so fun and great, it just isn't what I thought it would be. I sit in front of three monitors, I'm on ICE and can get all the 'cool' trading stuff I want, just isn't what I thought it would be. Maybe I was naive and expected a job to be fun, but I have never really felt less fulfilled in my life. It's even reaching over into my personal life to where I just go home, sit on the couch and watch tv, I'm not productive at all.

I have considered a career change, however, I won't be able to get into a business school worth going to due to a low GPA (3.0). I have also considered law school, I took the LSAT in college and got a 166 after a month of studying so I may retake it to up my chances, I'm also a minority so that helps. The law school idea has really peaked my interest as of late, and I feel like studying for the LSAT night help me shake my funk, but I'm just not sure.

I'm not really looking for pity or answers, but maybe some direction from others who have felt the same way. What have you done?

Thanks

Comments (75)

May 2, 2018

Law is pretty much the opposite of trading. lol

The LSAT is pretty fun to study for. Law school GPAs are higher than B-School GPAs. A 3.0 is pretty rough. Being a URM will help, but you're going to probably have to break 170+ to get into a good program. https://7sage.com/top-law-school-admissions/
This is the Law version of WSO, in case you haven't checked in on there:
http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/index.php
Just stay in trading until you line up another gig or get into Law school. Beware though, many lawyers wish they weren't lawyers. You better really love law.

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

    • 1
May 3, 2018

Thanks man, appreciate the input. Don't have any nanners to give, otherwise I would.

Yeah man, I feel like I'm shooting in the dark a bit here. My parents use to be attorneys, I wanted to be one for such a long time, but I will cede to what you said, I don't know if I love the law.

Feel like I'm in some kinda haze or something.

May 3, 2018

What interested you in trading in the first place? Was it the pace that appealed to you, buying and selling stocks, or are you just interested in markets? If you're not happy in trading, but you're still interested in buying and selling stocks, I'd recommend looking into a PWM, AM, or HF role if you can swing that. Otherwise I recommend you look at what your interests actually are and find the type of job that would appeal to you. Law is tough, and doing it because you can't think of anything else to do would probably leave you more miserable than sticking to trading because at least you have a decent work life balance.

May 3, 2018

By always making sure you are "Not Uncertain".

May 3, 2018

Much insightful

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May 4, 2018

Grass is also green, if you'd believe it.

Aide-toi, et Dieu t'aidera.

    • 1
May 4, 2018

I Am Not Uncertain this advice is good soggy boy

May 3, 2018

I'd trade M&A IBD to become a trader with you. I'd love to go home before 10pm, take 40-50 snapshots/instagram stories of my tri-monitors. let chicks at nyu know i trade and have to kill what i eat. update my linkedin from banker (ugh) to TRADER, aka 007 James Bond.

What concert costs 45 cents? 50 Cent feat. Nickelback.

May 3, 2018

Didn't mean to come across pretentious, I just know the aesthetic is something a lot of people think make trading 'cool'.

Work/life isn't bad that is true, in at 6 out by 4 usually. But again, shit is just so god damn boring. Honestly wouldn't mind grinding a bit if it meant I was actually having to generate original thoughts.

Edit: I'm in Houston, not NYC

May 3, 2018

i didnt think u sounded pretentious. i just think trading is a cool gig. but trading equities in dallas? im gonna have to revoke my offer. jk all jokes aside u cant leverage ur position in life as a trader if u cant instill how dangerous & cool of a job it is to the nyu students. pray and lateral

What concert costs 45 cents? 50 Cent feat. Nickelback.

May 3, 2018

I know how you feel. I was in S&T for about 15 months but the boredom became greater than the prestige of being in the role.
Similar to you, I started to lack motivation (both at work and personal life) but found setting a near term goal of what I wanted to be doing instead of S&T (in my case PE, in your case Law School) was great. I dedicated all of my spare time to reading about M&A, taking modelling courses and connecting with other PE analysts and within three months I had landed a PE analyst role despite having no actual M&A experience.
Put your head down, study hard, get a good result on the LSAT and you'll never look back!

    • 3
May 3, 2018

Would love to see a thread by you about how you landed a PE role with no actual M&A experience. It would be helpful for a lot of people who might be in a similar position to you.

    • 2
May 3, 2018

Dude thanks so much for this. I level with you a lot on the whole prestige part of the job being overrated. Generally people are intrigued if they find out I'm a trader, but I truly couldn't care less.

May 3, 2018

What type of law are you interested in? If you don't like trading you might not like litigation as both seem to attract similar personalities. As others have mentioned you should have a genuine interest in practicing law and not just be on the lookout for 'any port'.

If you actually like law, and you're interested in business and strategy a corporate attorney role might be a good fit, though you'd likely need to grind it out a big firm before you could line up a good gig. Just as some finance guys lateral from IB to Corp Dev or strategy roles, many attorneys who don't pursue the partner track log a couple years as an associate at a firm before going 'in house' at a corp. Spots in house are competitive and comp is generally not as high as a firm but hours are much better and many gigs offer a nice blend of technical stuff (contract jockeying) and business advisory for those who are savvy / know their industry .

    • 1
May 4, 2018

I totally understand your pain. Sometimes I feel really unfulfilled with my job and think about leaving. If you want to practice law I think you should pursue it, but if you are just looking for something else to do with your life with no certain direction, I don't think I would recommend it based on what my friends have told me. Do you have anything you are passionate about? I spend a lot of my free time working on side projects and perhaps you could as well.

May 4, 2018

Just gonna say here (from lengthy personal experience at one of the biggest/best firms in the world) that if you think BigLaw has the excitement and original thinking possibilities that trading lacks, you are in for a very, very rude awakening.

May 4, 2018

I got into an alright B school with a 2.8 in engineering undergrad, so I wouldn't write off that option. I also started out as a pricing analyst at a startup energy co post MBA and was able to turn that into a position in corporate development and now PE. It's all about keeping at the job search and view it almost like a second job.

May 4, 2018

Focus on what you can control and make sure you're optimizing your chances there. Always keep the uncertainty in mind, but do not let it overly affect your management of what you can influence.

May 5, 2018

great experiences, guys! Thank you!

May 6, 2018

I think I know what company you're at based on you're last post btw, but anyway, from what I'm seeing, you're in power trading; there's a lot of other roles available on the commercial ops side that aren't trading. You could probably look for one of those. You just have to be flexible with either where you want to live or the company you're willing to work for as a more junior guy.

Power origination and middle marketing man, that's a sweet gig...investment banking style work without the investment banking hours.

    • 1
May 6, 2018

Honestly, it's probably not the job. It's your perspective killing you. Trading is a high status job and high pay - unless you want to do something more in the "helping" business, then you have no reason to leave. I would be depressed too if I returned from work and watched TV all night.

Further, other people have mentioned other trading roles.

Don't rule out business school. As long you are over 3.0 it shouldn't be a problem assuming strong recs and GMAT score. I went to T20 and tons of GPAs around 3 there.

Good luck and whatever you do don't go to law school. We had 10+ lawyers at my bschool ditching law and scheming to get into IB for a reason....

    • 2
May 3, 2018

Thank you for this. Appreciate the honesty, just started getting involved in the sport I played in college, hopefully it knocks me out of the funk.

I think I am just going to put my head down, and grind it out at work. Create work for myself etc, just do as much as I can so when the next opportunity does come it won't pass me by.

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May 6, 2018

Hit the gym, hit some bae's, make plans after work with friends. Then see if you still don't like trading. I feel like your personal life is negatively feeding into your work life, not the other way around

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Best Response
May 7, 2018

I don't really chime in too often as I usually find that others have given the advice I'd give. However, I think everything on here so far has been subpar advice.

First of all, I'm sorry to hear about your current predicament. Most kids your age have no clue what they want to do with their lives and their first job is rarely their ideal job but unfortunately trading builds few skills that are transferable to other fields and a 3.0 GPA does not make things easier. I can empathize with the feeling of disliking a job and having that bleed into your personal life as well. The description you gave of that is one I know too well. I went through this period once and through sheer luck I was able to get out of it only to have tragedy befall me and have to go through it again. The second time I was mature enough to gain experience from it and I like to believe it will be a defining moment of my life.

Which brings me to my second point - smile a bit. You are young and have your whole life ahead of you. You are all potential right now. These last few months and your current day-to-day will have 0 relevance to rest of your career if you play your cards properly. And frankly - optimism is a virtuous cycle.. believing that things will work out for the best actually increases the possibility of things working out for the best and will also give you the motivation to get through this.

and btw, this uncertainty you are referring to is just your growing pains of entering the real world for the first time. there is no "track" since you graduated and you are probably floundering and looking for some sort of guide...

which brings me to my third point - I am seeing high levels of danger in you going down this law school path. In my experience, law school and b school tend to be knee-jerk reactions to not being where you want to be in your career and people often enter them with 0 serious, critical though to what they will be doing after. With bschool, at least there is a decent chance that you will enjoy the actual school and at least you probably realize after being on this board that you will need to go to a somewhat decent one to make it worthwhile. With law school, there is a likelihood that you will get accepted and hate it and grind through it and spend a bunch of money and end up in a job you hate and then you will have a significantly lower net worth, have lost 3-4 years of your potential, and still be in the same situation.

this quote from you below is frankly a huge red flag that you need to stop:
"Yeah man, I feel like I'm shooting in the dark a bit here. My parents use to be attorneys, I wanted to be one for such a long time, but I will cede to what you said, I don't know if I love the law."

here's a link that is probably pretty relevant for you: https://abovethelaw.com/2013/10/deciding-to-go-to-...
As another poster alluded to - I think you need enter into a period of self-reflection. Deeply question what made you think trading was interesting in the first place. Try to understand what was wrong about the assumption, what might be right about it, what you have discovered about yourself in the work world that you didn't know when you were a student (you may have different priorities regarding pay, work/life balance, type of tasks you enjoy), etc. Deeply understand the kind of life you want to live and the career you want to have and try to work backwards from there. What kind of day-to-day things to you want to do? What do you want to achieve over the course of a lifetime? What are you willing to give up for that? Honor your choices.

There is no quick and easy path through this and there is no well-defined path. I've put a few starting resources that I can think of off of the top of my head below:

A generally good framework to use: https://waitbutwhy.com/2018/04/picking-career.html Background into how the author of the above article came to the framework: https://waitbutwhy.com/2015/11/the-cook-and-the-ch...

PM me at any time if you have follow-up questions. I don't know why I feel compelled to be helpful but probably because I feel the need to pay it back after going through a similar situation. I can't promise I will reply in a timely manner but I will reply in a thoughtful manner.

May 7, 2018

Hi Making Gravy, the silence is deafening, sorry about that.... Any of the threads below helpful?

  • Dealing With Uncertainty one to be the most likely. So folks, what are ways you deal with uncertainty? Have you trained your ... learning how to deal with uncertainty. It is an essential ingredient to almost all problems. I know it is ... I think one of the great challenges of life in general, and especially the finance arena, is ...
  • How do you deal with depression on the job? I know its not often spoke about, but how do you deal with it? finance <p class="h4 ... /investment-banking-analyst-a-true-day-in-the-life">IB Analyst- Day in the ...
  • Ever had career uncertainty? had career uncertainty and not known what you wanted to do exactly in your career? Just to provide ... most of the time). I've been getting more interested in Finance, but after research, I still ... of you, I'm assuming, have always wanted to get into IB and Finance in general. Have you ever ...
  • About to sell all my positions due to the uncertainty, thoughts? So basically, what are your thoughts on the market right now. If debt deal signed, maybe market is ... up 2-3%, if its delayed past monday I see a 10% drop over next week...and then we have the issue of ... poor GDP growth, poor guidance being issued. I've been riding apple since 150 in and out, latest ...
  • A Very Successful Trader-> What to do with job search? based on technical analysis, but I have a formula I believe works 90% of the time. In the past 3 weeks ... internships in the past, 1 as an assistant trader and another as a personal assistant to a CEO. Ive had many ... Throughout my years attending school, I began trading. At the age of 21 I invested my savings of $3500 into ...
  • I hate the living sh*t out of my job as a current salesman. I hate sales with a burning passion. I need out. Please help. before taxes with commission. I'm 26 years old, and have been working in sales for 1.5 years. My job ... the smart kid in class that others trusted to get the job done, but didn't necessarily want ... into sales positions. I got stuck in a job I hate, and can't escape it, the sales stigma on my ...
  • How to deal with that associate?? the industry or not. If it's not normal, how can I deal with that guy? The team seems happy with ... not involved in that deal at all), he asked me where did I save the file and then he checked my work. ... Hello everyone, I am currently intern in a small boutique and I have some issue with an associate. ...
  • More suggestions...

Calling relevant pros to the rescue! @totan.ftu2 @aLCIUDA @Tiff21

If those topics were completely useless, don't blame me, blame my programmers...

May 7, 2018

Hey hi bump

May 7, 2018

where you going?

May 7, 2018

Think you may be right my friend...but have been too greedy to pull the plug. Anyone else?

May 7, 2018

With a credit downgrade surely in sight (no way Washington cuts 4 tril in spending), this is probably a good move. I'd sell now, buy latenext week/early week after.

May 7, 2018

The answer is dependent on trading/investing style.

I've learned the hard way to stick to my positions because I have a very fundamentals, long-term approach.

May 7, 2018

Good to know other people think along the same lines.

I just think trying to hedge this can't work.

May 7, 2018

Liquidated.

May 7, 2018

You can always re-enter the position later.
But with so much uncertainty you face an awful lot of downside risk at the moment

May 7, 2018

I've been sitting on 30K in cash since Feb because of the uncertainty. I'm by no measures an expert but there is/was too much volatility for me to enter..

Seriously thinking about getting 10K ready to put in next week or the week after.. I things will drop quite a bit.

May 7, 2018

U.S. government debt will rally. I'm calling it here.

May 7, 2018
LIBOR:

U.S. government debt will rally. I'm calling it here.

Good call.

And btw, I wouldn't sell into poor economic news and debt default looming. Apple is seen as somewhat of a safe haven honestly, some people on CNBC were even seriously arguing for taking money out of U.S. Treasury and putting it into Apple stock (not suggested by this guy*) simply because of Apple's strong cash position and its seeming immunity to economic conditions.

It seems like you may have had suburb timing and sold prior to the drops this week, however. That's great...

May 7, 2018

Yea, I hate paying the trade commissions and it always sways me.

I'm up 11% YTD. So I'll take the sell here and see when to re-enter.

There was a rep today on CNBC who said the Aug 2nd is a "soft deadline" and that in reality it doesnt mean anything. Whether that's true or not - "the market" is NOT calling aug 2nd a soft deadline.

May 7, 2018

LIBOR you think TY yields will go lower than 2.85%?
Especially w US CPI greater than that?

May 7, 2018

I'm long uranium, gold, silver, platinum&palladium and REE explorers.

I think these will be the biggest winners going forward.

May 7, 2018

Sold on Tuesday... Glad I did

May 7, 2018

you should have one sold on Tuesday when short interest spiked lets say you hold your positions

  1. How will they respond to US down grade...I'm going to guess not good.
  2. Is the risk vs reward worth it...if you hold on to your positions how much gain will you get vs how much loss
    I crunched numbers and didn't like % chance of no debt deal.
  3. You have three positions are you hedged ?
  4. Have you looked back historically to see what happens when there is a debt issue such as this?
  5. Did you read today GDP number ...are you really that bullish? I hope the three stocks are consumer durable.
  6. Banks in US are doing massive layouts ...when have they ever done massive layouts during a good economic time?

my 2c

May 7, 2018

Boehner is passing something that his own party admitted have no chances of passing .....

they are just wasting precious time like little fucking children....

May 7, 2018

Agree with everything blastoise said. However very disappointed that he didn't make me laugh for the first time ever on a forum post.

I played the gold game today, buying on the dips. Sold it all off before close, because I think we're probably going to get a debt deal Monday or Tues. I don't think the risk is outweighed by the reward staying in the market here for a few extra up points. It's hard to predict where things will be after the weekend.

May 7, 2018

So market is down, even tho deal is agreed on - so I'm happy I liquidated. Except 75% of my portfolio was apple, and thats up 1.4% today, haha

May 7, 2018

I may be wrong, but if the cuts are not made in time, won't Obama be forced to make the cuts himself? (which I'd think he'd be practically forced to do?) So would not the market respond positively after this situation?

May 7, 2018
streetwannabe:

I may be wrong, but if the cuts are not made in time, won't Obama be forced to make the cuts himself? (which I'd think he'd be practically forced to do?) So would not the market respond positively after this situation?

Who knows man. I thought the bulls would last longer this morning, but they lasted all of 10 minutes.

After seeing that, I'd assume we get the same result tomorrow (buying in pre-market, sell off at open). Maybe not as extreme of selling this time though.

May 7, 2018

lol @ that 1 guy who said buy bac

May 7, 2018

Wow...I am so happy I sold it all last week on the uptick. Follow your gut.

May 7, 2018

good calls all <3 wso users

May 7, 2018

That was an insane final 30 minutes of trading today... even last 10 minutes were crazier....
S&P taking out support level, next support level at 1150

Good moves cutting your exposure last week.

May 7, 2018

Lesson #1 - don't try to catch a falling knife. Bought up mid-day @ lows and paid for it.

Stupid, Stupid, Stupid.

May 7, 2018

how bad do you think job report will be on friday?

May 7, 2018
blastoise:

how bad do you think job report will be on friday?

Bad

May 7, 2018

lol nm

May 7, 2018
blastoise:

lol nm

lol

May 7, 2018

Yea I suppose we can call all this incredible luck. I've been long apple since 150, shorted RIMM this year, been long google and visa this year as well. Got everything out basically last week except for a small few K position in Visa, which is incredibly up.

I'm way up YTD. Kinda wish it was 15 years from now and I was running my own book with this performance in this market, I would get some serious traction.

May 7, 2018
LevFinGS:

Yea I suppose we can call all this incredible luck. I've been long apple since 150, shorted RIMM this year, been long google and visa this year as well. Got everything out basically last week except for a small few K position in Visa, which is incredibly up.

I'm way up YTD. Kinda wish it was 15 years from now and I was running my own book with this performance in this market, I would get some serious traction.

Do you do shorts?

May 7, 2018

Nauseating looking at my portfolio today and remembering this thread. O well hindsight is 20/20 i suppose.....

May 7, 2018

lol crazy market atm

May 7, 2018

Consulting - AlixPartners is taking apps.

May 7, 2018

what a day!

May 7, 2018

fuck.

May 7, 2018
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