Back when the FPA was new, there was one unique bit of Felix’s philosophy that really struck me. What caught my attention was that he talked about always donating 10% of his trading profits to a worthy cause. He said that when he did this, new opportunities opened up, and when he didn’t do this, good opportunities were few and far between. This helped to resolve a deep ethical dilemma I have had with the whole concept of forex trading.
Let me explain that. As I understand him, Felix donates 10% for karmic reasons. Others might donate 10% for religious reasons. My view is something of a mix of these two. Think about the whole concept of forex trading for a moment and try to answer these questions:
1. What do we, as forex traders, accomplish?
2. Do we build things?
3. Do we contribute anything to the world economy (other than keeping forex brokers and other forex produce sellers employed)?
4. If the world banks locked all exchange rates tomorrow, would anyone (besides the brokers and product sellers) even miss us?
5. Is the world a better place directly because of our forex trading?
Sadly, the answers, in order, are: not much, no, no, no, and no.
The last question contains the key. The world isn’t made into a better place DIRECTLY because of our trading, but if we contribute in other ways, then our trading can still serve a truly worthy purpose and help to make our world a better place.
I have my religious beliefs. Other people believe differently. Some do not believe at all. I have my philosophical beliefs, and know that yours are probably different. If you are such a cold, uncaring person that you want to make money ONLY for your own personal gratification and wouldn’t spend one cent to make this world a better place, then I probably don’t want to get to know you. Sure, I’d LOVE to get rich trading forex (I’m still working on that), and I hope that others can too, but I want my (impending) wealth to mean something. Leaving money to worthy causes in your will is nice, but it would be even better to also see some of the money being put to good use NOW. There are a couple of good reasons for this. First, if the organization you donate to wastes the money, you can give money to some other group else the next time you find yourself in profit (it’s a little hard to change your will after you’re dead). Secondly, it makes your forex trading about much more than just benefiting yourself (and maybe your immediate family). The scale of the cause doesn’t matter, but your efforts do. You can donate to the local church down the street or to a charity that benefits the world. You can donate for curing cancer or for cleaning up the environment. Find one or more causes that matter to you and support them.
Obviously, if your mother suddenly needs brain surgery or there is some other terrible family emergency, you can consider that to be part your donation. You should never have to decide between donating to charity vs. feeding your children (or yourself). Then again, if you are living so close to the edge that ten percent of your profits or even one bad trade could mean skipping meals, you really should find some other way to make your base income more reliable and save up for forex trading later.
Preaching isn’t my calling. I’m not going to tell you what to believe in. There are plenty of people out there who will be happy to share their religion or philosophy with you. You can believe in God, you can believe in karma, you can believe in fate, you can believe in the Will of the Macrocosm. All I ask is that you believe in something, anything that will make you want to improve the world. Next, don’t just believe, but act on your beliefs. Put some of your money (and maybe a little bit of your time) into your chosen cause(s).
You don’t have to stay with one cause exclusively. It’s a donation, not a marriage. I’ve donated to Chinese earthquake relief. I’ve donated to a local homeless shelter. I’ve donated to environmental groups. Recently, I was stunned to find out that a small donation I made to a group that helps pay for educating poor children in China was more than enough to send 3 children to school for an entire year. I think I’ll try to find out how much it would cost to build a small school in one of the places they support next year. I’m also planning a donation to a local shelter for stray cats. (I’ve adopted 3 wonderful cats from that shelter in the last few years.) Just make sure you always have at least one cause to support.
There are plenty of worthy causes out there. Make sure to do some research so that you don’t accidentally end up donating to a scam site posing as a worthy cause. Check closely, since there are a lot of scam sites with very similar names to well-known causes. It’s pretty easy to run a quick google search find the correct website for well-known causes and to make sure they aren’t tied up in some sort of scandal.
The FPA tries to help save the world from forex scams. See if you can help save the world from other problems. Unless your chosen cause is developing cheaper spaceflight, it’s the only world we’ll have ready access to for a long time to come, so let’s take care of it.
If anyone wants to list links to any established causes that they support in this thread, I’d love to see them.