My Reasons for Being a Stock Trader and Portfolio Manager


I’ve been self-employed for many years now. But, I’ve had numerous jobs in the past.

Here’s what I have done:

Selling greeting cards door-to-door as a teenager. I wanted to buy a microscope and a chemistry set.

I was a busboy at the Navy’s CPO Club. Grueling, thankless job, but it helped me to build a strong work ethic and character.

In my college days, I worked as a Courier for a Title Insurance company. It was a fun, yet lonely job, as I had limited contact with other employees. This was also a temp job. After awhile I was released from the position. But, I scored a permanent job in the company’s Records Dept. as a File Clerk. This was a very boring job in which all I did was file documents all day, yet it was a full-time job that paid the bills.

I got laid off from the Title Insurance company.

I then worked for a large Savings and Loan, the headquarters being in San Diego. Starting as a Clerk, I worked my way up the ladder as best as I could to a Senior Records Management Specialist. I did microfilm, microfiche, managed the retention and destruction of all corporate and branch documents, did research for various reasons… divorce, law suits, etc.

After 13.5 years working for the Savings and Loan, I was laid off, and this devastated me, being that I’d been there for so long and made many friends. A big change.

Then I worked for a Mortgage Company. Ended up working there for a couple years. First as a Records Clerk, then a Loan Processor. The work was grueling and we had to make quotas each month and when we surpassed 200 loans a month, they upped the goal to 220. It got to a point where people were skipping breaks and lunch periods just to meet that quota. It was awful and I thought that this was illegal. But, people were desperate in keeping their jobs. The bottom line was that they wanted me to work overtime when I had to pick up my kids after work. They treated that as insubordination and a month later I was laid off.

I was so happy to be released from that gig.

Since that last job, I thought that my life was stressful enough that I should be a full-time musician. Keep in mind that I had studied Computer Science for four years at night and earned a 2 year Computer Science degree, which didn’t really help me get a computer job!

Going back to being a musician was the next logical step, since that was what I did best in life. And it’s always been a struggle hustling for gigs, but I’m happier.

Getting into trading stocks was the next logical step after being a musician, because I could trade stocks at home and set my own hours. And I had the time and energy to learn on my own since everything was available to me on the internet. And trading stocks online is essentially fast and easy. I wouldn’t have to work an 8 hour job and I’d have more time to practice piano and drums and study music.

It has since been a good balance for me. Musician and Stock Trader.

And being self-employed has taught me to be frugal, self-sufficient and be a self-starter. One has to be more disciplined and dedicated, and even though I set my own hours, I’d still work on weekends or whenever I needed to work, regardless of the time of the week.

I Found a Knack For It

For once, I found something I was good at other than music. And, I’ve been doing this now since 2007, so more than 10 years and I’m on my 11th year.

I learned a lot over the years, and I’ve made some mistakes and lost money, but the one thing is that you learn from your mistakes and never repeat it, because no one wants to lose money.

My years of meditation has taught me a lot when it comes to the stock market… to be patient, to forgive oneself, to use logic and intuition at the same time, to be careful and cautious, and to keep a level-headed mind.

Meditation is just one limb of Yoga, so Yoga as a whole has helped me overall in my life. Somehow, the teachings and the practice carry over into whatever you do, be it playing a musical instrument or trading stocks.

And with trading stocks it’s important to have a Zen-approach to it.

Also, I’ve always been into gaming, from playing early computer games like Advanced Dungeons and Dragons, to playing computer Chess (which I still do), to playing RPG like Final Fantasy… and let’s not forget strategy games like Caesar III and Age of Empires, and board games like Panzer Blitz and Axis and Allies… my love for gaming and strategy had carried over to trading stocks… to the point where I rarely play games on the computer or on the board, because I transferred that part of me to the stock market.

And to me, working with the Think or Swim platform is like one big strategy game! And the only game I play right now is Chess on my iPhone! Just to keep up with my powers of strategy.

And this is all of the reasons I got into being a Stock Trader and Portfolio Manager.

Disclaimer: The content provided here is for information and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended as an offer or solicitation to purchase any investment. And this material should not be taken as investment advice, since investors’ needs and strategies may vary. Investing in equities is subject to extreme volatility.
Trade at your own risk.

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Carlos Rull

Carlos Rull is a musician living in the San Diego area. His interests include Yoga, Eastern Philosophy, Zen Buddhism, and Gardening. He plays drums, piano, and composes New Age & Ambient music, and his albums are available on iTunes and

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