The year would have been 2017 and I was ready to invest. I had hardened my resolve about wanting to live a life of financial freedom and I was ready to work toward that. I started messing around with stocks or to be more specific, leveraged CFD trading. For those of you that don’t know what that is, I’ll make a post about it some time and link it here. I was trading in mainly commodities and cryptocurrency. I had invested maybe $500 and a few good trades with Silver and Oil had my portfolio sitting at $1100 after a few weeks. I had gotten into Bitcoin and decided to ride the wave up. This was when bitcoin was sitting at around $3600. I’d ridden the wave for a small time and my portfolio value was sitting at about $1400.
Then it hit me like a ton of bricks. I had made the biggest rookie mistake you can make in leveraged CFD trading and I went to bed one night with active trades, no stop loss set. I thought I was riding the wave. Then at 5am, I get a message from a friend. “Are you shorting BTC?” In my half a sleep state I reply, “Huh no, long. Why?” I decided to jump onto my platform to have a look at what he was talking about and that’s when I saw it. My portfolio sat at $0.
I had to rub my eyes for a few seconds and then double take, no, triple take to check that what I was seeing was real. It still read $0. My heart sank in an instant. In a matter of a few hours, I had lost $1400. I read in the news later that day that China was cracking down on the use of cryptocurrency so all of the Chinese investors were pulling out quickly and the price dropped overnight from $3600 down to $3000. It even hit $2900 at one point. I didn’t set a stop limiter on my trade and that was it for me, the portfolio I had spent the last month and a half slowly building was all gone in an instant!
I became pretty depressed. My next paycheck rolled around and instead of investing my positive cash flow I just spent it instead. It was probably on alcohol, I had an alcohol addiction at that time which also didn’t help my mental health. I didn’t want to touch stock anymore, I didn’t want to touch CFD trading. I was in a rut where I lost all motivation. My next paycheck came in and again it was spent on alcohol. A few weeks later, bitcoin had started rising again and was in the news. it hit $4000 but again, I was off it. I didn’t want to touch it. Then it hit $10000. It was on the news, and all of the mother and father breakfast news viewers all for some reason thought it would be smart to invest their entire life savings into it. By the end of the year, bitcoin was sitting at about $24,000 AUD. Obviously, it crashed as anyone should have expected it would. But I had missed my chance. I lost motivation and didn’t want to invest. If only I had invested, I would have made almost a years wages before the crash where clearly it would have been time to sell.
Losing everything, giving up hope and watching helplessly, I had learned a lesson that I can only recently put into words. I was three feet from gold. (Google three feet from gold.) If I had continued investing and not let my defeat dishearten me, then I would have struck digital gold. This lesson taught me that failing isn’t a bad thing. Failure is a lesson. There is a simple reason why I lost my entire portfolio and it wasn’t because investing was bad or because the markets are rigged against me. I didn’t set a stop loss. That’s it. That’s the lesson I needed to learn about CFD trading. Set a limit to your losses so if you aren’t there when something happens, you don’t lose everything. It wasn’t the world against me, it was me against me and if only I had taken that lesson, then I would have a lot more money today. It was a hard lesson to learn, I was three feet from gold, but in the end, I did learn it. I didn’t have a $1400 failure. I had a $1400 lesson and in my honest opinion, I think that lesson is worth every cent.