This is my first post at the IndexCoop, I am a new member who is very impressed by your work and your team spirit and has just bought into the coop as well as its indexes with a longterm “buy and hold” mindset. My personal background is non-DeFi, non-crypto, non-financial (and non-native w/ regard to English), so I am that quintessential retail customer you are going to deal w/ a lot more in the future, which is why I first thought I personally had nothing of value to contribute to the Coop and its members.
However, having listened to some of the podcasts and having read some people’s posts during the recent market turmoil, I suddenly realized that I do have some expertise (and ample experience) in a crucial area that, at least from what I have gathered, some otherwise super-sophisticated people in here seem to be approaching in a non-professional way or at least may have a somewhat underdeveloped understanding of in terms of how to deal with it.
Put simply, I think that I could offer and put together some helpful insights into how (successsful) people who work in other high-volatile environments try to deal with the ongoing psychological distress and all the battery of emotions involved when losing (and winning) a couple k USD on a day-to-day basis because it is a natural part of their job. In other words, I would want to answer this question for you: How can you train yourself to feel less and less emotionally involved when volatitly occurs and, most importantly, stay or become a happy person despite these emotional challenges#.
I am not sure whether or not you are interested in this at all, which is why I am putting this out to wait for people’s response. So why would I be qualified to give advice? I am a former professional high-stakes online poker player. Since I assume that most of you have no clear conceptual understanding of what makes a professional online poker player a winner (and what their job looks like/what the challenges are), here is a quick breakdown in generic terms (I think you will see the parallels yourselves):
- they spend thousands of hours away from the tables alone at their computers modelling certain in-game situations; they use advanced computer programs and mathematical concepts such as AIs, GTO theory etc to get there (=research, training)
- this way, they develop an extremely sophisticated and theoretically profuond understanding of the game, i.e. they are like 20x smarter when it comes to decision-making at the tables than some of the casual players they will later on play with
- they then meet these casual players at the tables and play with them, yet routinely lose high sums of money to them even though they know so much more about the game (in the short term and even in the medium term, but not in the long run)
- competition amongst professionals is fierce, and only a small % of players actually make money in the long run; some very smart people end up losing $$
- because volatility is so high, eveyone, even world-class players face long stretches of making no money (“breaking even”) or even losing money (“downswings”) that can lasts for several months and sometimes even longer
- there is no objective way in terms of money/results to truly assess how well a player’s decision-making process has been over a given amount of time (i.e. the actual money outcome is a bad predictor)
- in the end/in the long run though, professionals are rewarded with fairly high incomes/winnings, oftentimes “having made” most of their money in only a couple of (super-profitable) poker sessions
All of this causes huge ongoing emotional distress, because you oftentimes feel like “things are unfair”, “there is no reason why this should happen to me”, “I know so much more about the game and yet I constantly lose”, “I should be up by now, having invested so much time and money”, “Is it all worth it?” etc etc.
In fact mastering the emotional aspects of the game is the most challenging aspect. This is what differentiates world-class players from mediocre players. (When I say world-class player, picture a clever guy like Gary Kasparov or Magnus Carlsen in chess and couple that with Obi Wan Kenobi, cause that is what they are doing in their minds w/ regard to processing and emotional coping).
The take-away: A lot of people in (professional) poker who tend to fail or dont realize their true potential are math whiz kids who underestimate the emotional challenges and make bad decisions when things are not going their way (“tilting”). Even among the successful players, emotional suffering is extremely common, people tend to get involved too much and as a result are a less happy person than they could be.
But there are proven strategies that help individuals cope (better) w/ all of this.