My second grade daughter is very astute, though she does not really know it. Her school week was on a different schedule since Monday, for what is termed ‘independent study week’ (ISW), when upper schoolers get to study independently for a week. Lower schoolers get to mix up their classes and go on field trips. School starts about an hour later–not too much of a problem for people like me, who work from home, though I imagine a challenge for those tied to work schedules in organizations.
I was trying to organize my trading day to take account of this change, and decided that maybe I would enter a ‘room’ for a trading webinar then leave, hoping to get back before it was over. That seemed better than trying to just join midway. That was a good move, and she got a mention from the room’s host, which made her really smile before she headed off to school.
My daughter has watched me trade a few times now, and understands that I draw lines on squiggly lines and that helps me. But, she seems to understand markets, too. “People don’t want to buy stuff!” she blurted out yesterday morning. “Just look. All the numbers are going red, and not green. Are you buying, Daddy?” I grinned and told her that I was not buying and hoped that the red numbers would stay that way for the rest of the day.
I explained to her that I was being a little cautious because I was due to attend a conference on Wednesday (today). I was really doing some research rather than trading too much, I explained. “Oh, good! Sometimes you don’t need to work as much.” We then had a discussion about what research was, and how it differed from ‘work’. “Well, work is when your boss tells you ‘Do this! Do that!’ and you scream at him or her that ‘You’re trying your best!’ You pull at your hair, and bury your face in your hands and say ‘Argh! Enough!'” Well, what an encapsulating image that was. So, what was ‘research’, I asked. “That’s finding out stuff. You go to the library or the computer and find out how things work. It’s easy. No one screams at you. I like doing research.” We chatted a little about what scientists do, and also what traders spend a lot of time doing–gathering background information, testing ideas, etc.
She was unconvinced when I told her that research is the work that many people do, and not really different from work in general.