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  • Anant Gupta

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Why gambling like a madman is one of the best things you can do

Disclaimer: I am in no way saying you bet the house or hurt yourself doing crazy stuff.

The year is 2018 and I am a broke student barely making by. Somehow I get access to my dad's brokerage account and some money in it. Being the young naive kid I was, the obvious thing is to think you are smarter than everybody and can make quick bucks. The strategy was pretty simple: Just buy some companies you've heard of or are in the news. Then flip them for a quick profit. Long story short: It did not work out (obviously). But it was the best thing ever. I continued learning. It was my first ever experience. Won't say became a master trader/investor (few people in the world can say that), but I have done well since. Learnt so much. If it wasn't for that mindless gambling with little money, I wouldn't have learnt how to stomach volatility. Got the gambler inside me out of the system. I think everyone should do it. It is a great experience.

A lot of people make the mistake of saying that you need to learn first, master the art bla bla bla. The problem with this approach is no one will ever master the art. There will always be more to learn. More to grab. The best way to learn is going to be to stay in the market. Develop your own style. Get a feel of what it is like. I've recently been trying to dive into the world of quants and volatility. Fancy math, could not do it as I realized the my math was horrible. But it still interested me enough to keep looking. I still learnt a lot. This is not just something for the markets.

You can train yourself to handle extreme situations. I've gone hiking in extreme terrains where one slip and you may die (not recommended). The experience changes you. You don't feel the same fear of things then. That is why (I think) military people are much more disciplined than the average Joe. They've trained for extremeness. Not all of us need to do that. Just doing simple things will help. We can still train hard at our houses. Lift weights. Push our body to the extremes in controlled environments. Once you've done that, everything else becomes small. You get used to it. Not saying we need to be the same level as someone who has been through combat or is the world's leading volatility fund manager. But take things to the extreme. Try stupid things out. That is the only way to test your own interests and abilities. These are things that others can't tell you or teach you. Unfortunately for us, experiences can't be transferred. We all have to pay the rent.


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