We’ve all had that conversation—with ourselves or our significant other—”What am I going to do with my life?” For some it remains just that—a conversation. But for my wife Ali and me, that one simple question—posed over too many pitchers of beer at our favorite downtown Chicago pizza place—had an answer that demanded action.
“What do you think about sailing around the world for four years?” I asked.
“Sure, why not?” came the nonchalant, slightly inebriated response. And thus concluded what would become a life altering moment for us.
Why not? Well, for starters, we had never stepped foot on a sailboat. For another, we were on the fast track to beating out all of the Joneses. We were young, and successful—but we were also bored and getting a little soft around the middle. Our comfortable existence wasn’t doing it for us any longer, and the idea of moving to the suburbs from the city to become even more “comfortable” made us queasy.
Within months, we’d bought a 35′ catamaran (after just eight hours of searching)and had set out across the Gulf Stream for the Bahamas. For months in the islands, we fine tuned our decidedly amateur sailing routine, and then—we were off.
For the next four years, Ali and I sailed around the world, had adventures, met new people, faced down dangers, discovered new and amazing things—like learning thatwinches have two speeds and thata sailboat’s windex is not its blue glass cleaner.
We also learned that people are good the world over. Every stranger was not out to get us. Even the scariest looking among them—the pirates of our mind’s eye—are deep down no different from you and me. We found that, in fact, they’ve had that conversation too—What am I going to do with my life?
What would you do if money were no longer a concern? Climb mountains, sail oceans, surf the best breaks, build schools in third-world countries, write a book, raise Peruvian fainting goats? What would you do if you didn’t have to show up for work tomorrow morning?
Making that dream happen—stepping into an unknowable future for a life of adventure takes courage, decisiveness, an unwavering belief in yourself, and the willingness to take 100% responsibility for the outcome. Those happen to be the very same traits that define the successful trader. The skills you learn in pursuing the dream might just remove money from the list of reasons you can’t go.
This book is about more than trading and personal finance strategies—we propose an entirely new way to evaluate risk, in life as well as in finances. By taking the right risks and ignoring the imagined ones, you’ll be paid with the one priceless commodity that is truly limited in your life, and that is time.