The following article is written by IDTA Member Dani McLeod for Your Trading Edge magazine.

Dani McLeod has been a member of the IDTA family since the start of 2016, having completed both the Platinum Program and the Trading Business School Program.

For those who do not know me, my name is Danielle and I am from Perth, WA. I am a mum by day and my alter ego is ‘Day Trader Mum’ as I like to trade the largest market in the world, the S&P 500 when my little cherubs (4 and 7) have gone to sleep. I haven’t met many other mums who trade. I’ve met lots of Dad’s with little kids but not many mothers and I’m on a mission to help tip the balance. I do seem to very much be in the minority as a female Day Trader under 40 (only just!) with little children.

Many Mums I speak to think I’m a little crazy and don’t understand where I get the energy at the end of a full day to then trade the futures markets as most Mum’s I know crash on the couch to binge watch Netflix with a few glasses of wine when their kids finally get to sleep. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that! Believe me – many nights I absolutely feel like doing the same but there’s something in me which I’ve realised the average person doesn’t seem to have.

 

A burning desire.
A burning desire to make a difference not only in my own family, but outside of ourselves as well.

I was introduced to the idea of earning an income from home in late 2012 after I went on maternity leave with our first child. I am a qualified Medical Imaging Technologist and up until that point all I knew was the 40/40/40 plan i.e. to work 40 hours a week for 40 years of my life and to retire on 40% of my pre-retirement income. I decided that same year that my family and I would have a different future to that plan and I worked hard to build up a direct sales business working from home. It’s been an incredible and very profitable journey; one I feel very blessed for however, after many years I needed another life challenge. When I was introduced to Day Trading in early 2016, I was hooked! I started working through an online trading course and by August 2016 I started sim (demo) trading. I loved the challenge of learning something so foreign to me as I had zero finance background prior to this. Let’s first imagine I have a magic wand… If time and money were no issue what would you be doing? I was very honoured a few months ago to be asked by the lovely Krikita to be a regular columnist for YTE. At first I was really excited about the opportunity and couldn’t wait to get started, but then I felt a cold, sinking feeling in my stomach. I thought – how can I write a regular column on being a trading mum and exploring trading psychology alongside the likes of these amazing pro-traders with years, often decades of experience!?

The answer is, I can’t, and I won’t even try to.

My ‘thing’ is why I trade, how I fit trading into my life with little kids and a husband, why I think Day Trading is an amazing opportunity for parents (and grandparents) and how I’ve overcome many trading psychology blocks over the past couple of years.

Kind of like ‘The Real Housewives of Trading’…. well, except actually real and with far less drama!

My audience (those who won’t just keep flicking through…) are the average Mum and Dad (and Grandparents!) who are wanting a different life for their family. The average Mum or Dad who is sick of the 9-5 grind and just wants a flexible lifestyle that works for them. That is who will read my column and those people are who I will ‘speak’ to.

My intention is to write from the heart and to stay authentic. At times it may be raw and emotive but that’s trading right? There are times when we ride the highs and then there are the really low moments where we want to just throw the computer out the window … I know you’ve felt the same at one time or the other!

So why do I think trading is a great opportunity for parents and grandparents?

 

Let’s first imagine I have a magic wand… If time and money were no issue what would you be doing?

Where in the world would you like to be living? Would you prefer to have a few places dotted around or do you really just want to live the laptop lifestyle; having the freedom to travel the world and funding your travels working a couple of hours a day trading.

If we earn more we can give more so is there a charity or cause you are especially passionate about? Who can you help if you were more financially abundant?

We can’t pour from empty cups.

What places will you travel to? Where have you always wanted to go to but just never had the chance? What’s on your bucket list?

If you’re into luxury items – what will you own? What car will you be driving? What ‘toys’ will you have to play with?

What is the legacy you would love to leave for your family? People often think of a legacy as how much money they will leave when they pass but a legacy is also education.

What will you teach younger generations about how to create wealth?

I think the old saying is ‘Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime”

If you’re a parent of school children you will have the freedom to take them to school, go into their classrooms and see what they’ve been doing then pick them up at school finish time without having to rely on expensive before and after school care or other people. Imagine the smiles on your little ones faces when they see you at the end of the day! 

If you’re a stay at home mum or dad you will never have to worry about who will look after the kids for 13 weeks of the year over school holidays and you will have the freedom to travel with your children in order for them to also experience the wonders of the world.

All this and more is exactly why I trade.

Have I made a huge amount of money trading and are we living our dream life? … Not yet.

Am I on my way?… Most certainly. 

 

So let me ask you this…

Do you have a burning desire? 

Do you have something that gets you out of bed in the morning or is trading just something you do for fun? Something just to pass time?

Are you clear on your goals and why you trade?

I have learned over the years that without clear direction and without clear intentions, the journey isn’t an easy one; it’s a bit like driving a car to a destination without a road map just hoping you are going in the general vicinity of where you want to be.

I challenge you to also ponder over some of these questions. 

You never know, it may actually help your trading results!