E138 Martin Vidal: Upcoming Author & Stock Trader

Episode 138 April 15, 2022 00:29:20
E138 Martin Vidal: Upcoming Author & Stock Trader
NoCode Wealth
E138 Martin Vidal: Upcoming Author & Stock Trader
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Show Notes

Martin Vidal is the Author of “The Ambition Handbook: A Guide for Ambitious Persons” as well as "Flower Garden" which is an exploration of the human soul. In addition to writing, Martin is fascinated with the practice and discipline of stock trading.

Web: MartinVidal.co

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Episode Transcript

Abdulaziz Alhamdan 0:16 Once upon a time, there were 10s of 1000s of makers struggling. Every day they built for hours and hours but didn't chip and didn't earn enough income. One day, the no code wealth podcast came to help them find the way because of this, makers became founders and live the life they deserve. Because of this, founders live lives of abundance, freedom, and creativity. That's what I'm really all about. Hello, my name is Aziz and from being a poor boy born to a single mother in North Africa, to failing multiple startups, yet learning a whole lot to barely escaping alive the war in Ukraine, even living as an illegal immigrant. I've lost everything twice. And now, I'm rebuilding my life one more time. 1%. Today, sharing the wisdom of luminaries have interviewed on this podcast from Google executives to Amazon, Microsoft, Tesla, Harvard, Financial Times, and even a priest from the Vatican church. All are welcome, here. So let's begin. My guest today is Martin Vidal. Martin is the author of the ambitious handbook, a guide for ambitious persons, as well as flower garden, which is an exploration of the human soul. In addition to writing, Martin is fascinated with the practice and discipline of stock trading. Martin, how are you today? I'm doing great. And you? I'm feeling wonderful, honored and privileged to have you here. And what I'm curious about really is connecting both parts of your life where what lessons from stock trading, did you implement into your writing or lessons from your journey as a writer that impacted your thoughts, stock trading practices? Alright, so let me start with how writing has impacted stock trading. Unknown Speaker 2:37 To do both, well, I think the most important thing I do is read I spend more time reading than I do writing or trading. And then it breaks down into analysis, at least the type of writing I do, that wouldn't be the case for any type of writing. But since I do nonfiction analytical writing, for the most part, breaking it down into fundamentals, the basic elements and seeing how they interact and create more complex structures, as they go on is basically the same process involved in analyzing a chart as goes into analyzing something like human behavior. Like, for example, in the ambition handbook, I break down decision making into three parts, awareness of motions and willpower. Whereas if you're analyzing a chart, you might break down your analysis into something like volume, price and momentum, things like that. And then you build up from there, and you can really get a understanding from the ground up. To flip it the way stock trading has influenced the writing and other parts of my life is, interestingly enough, and like a kind of spiritually, when you spend a lot of time studying the markets, you see this huge, huge and incredibly complex system at work with, you know, trades going in and out from all over the world and so many millions of people's thoughts coming to me in one place to determine price and reactions in different markets. And oddly enough, it makes sense. It develops patterns it like it almost seems to be alive in and of itself. And that to me is kind of godlike. It's like the patterns and things that make sense that you would see throughout your life or throughout society. Those sort of invisible governing rules. So trading for me is actually a very spiritual exercise. Because I call it looking at the face of God. It's a It's wonderful to see things play out that you can't really explain but that are somehow comforting, because they seem to guide everything. Abdulaziz Alhamdan 4:41 I really, really love that from the first part where you spoke about breaking everything down to its components, which is a very scientific approach to later on taking on a more spiritual perspective that there is a big thing that has a life of its own and that you can flow and walk away and trust the process and know that things will be handled, managed and up in the way that they're supposed to be. Do you have any stories in your life? Where there were moments of despair, where you're limited human mind, thought there is no way out of this. But something happened that opened a new door or saved you from such circumstances? Unknown Speaker 5:31 Yeah, absolutely. I mean, I feel like in some ways, like, every part of life is defined by that sort of like, the limitations of awareness and understanding that what seems bad right now is likely to be good for you in the future. And I've witnessed that really, over and over again, I think, I mean, there's literally no aspects of life that you can't point to, I think of like, maybe some traumatic experiences when I was young, and how they both informed my ability to connect with people, and things like that, and just really sort of appreciate suffering and human frailty and look at people differently. I don't think I can really, you know, we all have our regrets, right. And in my limited human awareness, I would say, there's lots of things in my life, I would change. But I think if given a larger vision, that that wouldn't be the case. Because whenever I sit down, and I'm like, deeply afraid of something happening or are saddened about it, you know, years down the road, it's always revealed to me how it was for the best and how things couldn't have played out the way that I'm happy they did. If it wasn't for that, Abdulaziz Alhamdan 6:41 you spoke about this larger and bigger awareness. How can someone develop it so that they see the bigger picture and don't get lost looking at the trees and aren't aware of the forest, which is, like you said, it will be a lot more comforting, a lot less stressful, as well as understanding that it's not 1,000% up to us, but there are forces that are stronger and there are benevolent, and it's much better than we expect? Unknown Speaker 7:14 Yeah, I don't know that there's a way to develop it so much as it is to wait for it. I think I think it's more about patience. Because the truth is, is like, as, as sophisticated of a predictive machine, as the human mind is, it's still very limited. You know, it's like, it can do something amazing, but I mean, we're still working with it, you know, basically, non existent fraction of existence. I mean, there's so so so, so, so much, I mean, just in the confines of my home, and things I'll never be aware of going on much less in my city or state or country or world, you know, working on my awareness. So I think really, you know, you're not going to be able to do it in any sort of predictive way. I think it's, it's more of just waiting. And then in retrospect, you can see the dots connecting. There's a quote from the Daodejing, which I'm probably going to butcher right now. But it's something like, do you have the patience until the mud has been separated into sand and water. And that, for me, is a very important quote, because that's usually how it feels. You know, like, when there's real chaos in your life, and things aren't going your way, it really feels muddy. And I think over time, you get that clarity. Abdulaziz Alhamdan 8:33 I like that. It's, you know, there is another quote that I remember that sometimes you think things are falling apart in your life, but they're just falling into place. And I want to relate this to writing. How with writing a process that is muddy, that ends up in the end with clear separation between the sand and the water? Unknown Speaker 8:59 That's a fantastic question. I remember when I finished writing my first book, I mean, I guess I can call it finished. It'll never really be done. But it was done enough to publish. That I felt that wow, everyone should really write a book, because it really is an act of faith, I guess, maybe because of the size of the composition. But you have no idea where it's going to end up when you start and I feel like if you sit down you know, there's any book starts with, you know, its first word and its first chapter. And at that point, I don't think you can envision a full book. And I mentioned it's a different process for different types of writers. But I think it would play out basically the same way even if it was like fiction or, or whatever else that you cannot see the end. You set out a you know, your you want to write a book, but what the final product will be is going to be completely different from what you imagined. And the path that takes you there is going to be completely different. You don't have the whole thing before you write it. and you gain insights from what you wrote or from new experiences that you're currently going through, and things like that. So it very much fits into that scheme of like, not not knowing what's coming next but but really trying to humble yourself and be patient and just sort of accept it as it comes. Abdulaziz Alhamdan 10:17 But that's, you know, it's really spiritual. And it's really an understanding of the chaos of life, the expansion and contraction, as the Buddhists will call it. But how can you at the same time, have certainty about any technical analysis when it comes to stock trading? If that what you're saying insinuates to a quote that I remember, which is that it's almost impossible to predict anything, especially the future. So how can someone reconcile both the feeling that we're within this big, huge system, and our awareness is just shedding light on a few miniscule parts of it without the bigger awareness? And believing that there is a way to know what will happen next? What are your thoughts about this? Unknown Speaker 11:15 Well, I think, you know, all predictive aspects go back to like pattern recognition, right? So it's like it's happened this set amount of ways before. And so it's likely to reproduce that. Within that it only works within probabilities. There are no certainties I don't think in life, or in the stock market. I like to call it lines in the sand, because you develop an analysis, and then I almost feel like if you do it, right, it is pretty much you know, it's always correct in the moment, but then things can change. So it's not that you did it wrong if it ends up being invalidated. But it's at the market is a shifting system. And I think life is kind of like that, right? Like, you know, we talked about a you and your harrowing escape from from Ukraine? And, you know, did you have the wrong plans? Because things became upset, you know, after words, and maybe that you can't go through with them currently, in the same way, like, no, but if things had stayed the same, then I'm sure it would have carried on very well, you know, you're an intelligent man. So I think that that's how it works is that you have your pattern, but it's not. It's it's not infallible, it's it's prone to change. So I think within shifting elements, you can make predictions, but they're only ever probabilities. And that's, you know, for the market and for life. Abdulaziz Alhamdan 12:41 Thank you. I really love what you're saying. And I want to relate it even further, because it's really interesting. My contention is that the most interesting people I ever meet are those who failed again, and again and again, and don't feel all powerful all in control and understand that life, like you said, is probabilistic. And often, we should, like the reasonable and logical thing to do is to trust the process to enjoy the process, because outcomes are more of a miracle, rather than a set in stone thing, while some people who either were born in the right place at the right time, to the right parents, or they got a winning streak when they were young, and therefore, they believe they can do everything and it's all up to them and they're infallible, become much more shallow, because they didn't build those deep roots that come from pain and reflection and suffering. What are your thoughts about this? Did you notice this? Did you experience it in your life? Or do you have another perspective? Unknown Speaker 13:53 No, yeah, I would totally agree with you. And thematically, I think, in my connections with other people, that has been a very important constant. I actually wrote one of the essays in flower garden, it's called the profundity of sadness. And it was about that, and, and I noticed that a lot like there's almost a lack of awareness that comes from not having experienced some sort of tragedy in life, which is kind of odd to say, but there's a superficiality that accompanies that. And, and to be honest, I'm not entirely sure why. I mean, I do think that sadness is inherently a reflective emotion, I think. I mean, I think it's designed I think the reason we have sadnesses reaction built into us is to be retrospective to help us learn from our mistakes. And you know, anyone who's ever experienced sadness understands that it's very pensive. I consider it almost ghost like it's like you're stepping back from the world and you really seem to be in your mind and just am disconnected. And I think that gives some perspective. I think also, it teaches you about yourself because because you feel very weak, you feel pessimistic, it makes everything seem a little bit less real for a time because it puts the shade over the world. So I think that might be part of the reason. And then I think, just in the basic workings of the brain, like, you know, the HPA access and sadness and, and fear and things like that are very much connected. And in my opinion, anxiety is really an important quality for a person to have, I think, basically, anyone who pays attention to detail in their lives, and is highly considerate of other people and things like that is going to be anxious, I think anxiety draws you to be pretty constantly self reflective, to be very, like wary of your behavior and its impacts. And, you know, of course, anxiety is, is, you know, has a lot of negatives, it's very uncomfortable and can be very much limiting. But I think in other ways, I think most, you know, really kind people are the people who are really working hard and driving society, I think they get there through anxiety. So I think these emotions that we characterize as negative, are actually very positive factors in our society. And just as an individual, I find it difficult to connect to people who seem to have not been plunged into into the darkness there for some period of their life or another. Abdulaziz Alhamdan 16:27 I love that. And let's think about what is to you the right way to approach life based on this that, well, if we're not a sociopath, or a psychopath, we will feel emotions, that as long as we realize that life is, has is a lot more random than we expect, therefore, anxiety is natural. Is it to take all the risks and to say yes to everything, and to realize there is no safety or security on the opportunity as that quote? Or is it to try to analyze the way that charts are analyzed to see trends of success and to try to follow them? Or to think, okay, those people have their way of succeeding. But there were factors outside of their control that contributed, I am on my journey, and the best way is to face the unknown, bravely and to dare greatly or what is do you the right, perspective, the right approach to live a full life that maximizes our chances of having the right life that we want? Unknown Speaker 17:36 I think it's probably a mixture of those things. I mean, I'm no sage, but I think Aristotle probably hit the nail on the head or many 1000s of years ago, when, you know, he talked about moderation. I think it could, because, you know, people talk about it in extremes, I think, right? Like, leave your comfort zone, like get out there. And I feel like, you know, why necessarily leave your comfort zone, like, you know, maybe you'll, you'll make money or something like that. But I felt like, really, the only justification of existence, you know, as an individual has just been, like, we just showed up here and wasn't really given a solid guidebook, and is trying to make my best of like, being on a marble marble rolling around in space, is like, you know, to enjoy things, to appreciate beauty to learn to experience happiness and other profound things that happen, you know, that come before the mind's eye. And I feel like, at the end of the day, optimizing for that is important. And I think pushing our way a little bit outside of our natural inclination is important, I think, looking at what we lack and trying to compensate for that. And whatever way, you know, like, if you're too risk averse, then yeah, force yourself out a little bit. I know a lot of people that are overly, you know, okay with the risk, and probably they should try and restrict their behavior a little bit, and inhibit it. So I think most of the life is is about walking the line, even if that means deviating from the line elbow, that's like sort of a confusing way to characterize it. But you know, if you live a life that's a little bit too moderate, and I think moderation in that sense means to be a moderate sometimes, and, and vice versa. Abdulaziz Alhamdan 19:17 I really like this, and I like your contributions to remind and people are instructing people on self development and everything. Deep down. Do you believe that people already have all the answers inside them? And your role is to remind them of this or unburied? Or is it that really people are born more of a blank slate? We don't have a user's manual to live for the brain and some people discovered some trends or some patterns and it's your role or our role. You're you said you're not a guru, but you know, either A writer in this space to actually tell them what others have already figured out. So are you telling them something they didn't know? Or letting them? Like, remember something that was within them all along the way? Yeah, Unknown Speaker 20:18 I'm not sure there's much new to be said. And at the same time, I feel like good advice doesn't get you very far, if it's not able to resonate deeply. And I feel like that means that you were already ready for it at the moment. I mean, lord knows that I've heard really good advice at points in my life when I was younger. And then, you know, years later is when it sunk in. So I think I had to write in some, to appreciate it. But I think we're born a mess, frankly. And I got, you know, I think some people think that people aren't born a mass are born boring. So you know, it's problematic one way or another. And I think the problem is that we're very much guided by it against our will. So we end up in situations that we don't want to be in and we don't see the internal workings that led us there. So my approach, the personal development has been just to find those things, to really find, I think, excesses, and try and help people moderate them. And I think the reason that I was the right persons, right, it was not because I'm so good at doing that. But because I was so bad at it, that I had to approach it very intentionally and systematically. So, you know, whether or not a book can can help us with that I've wondered, but I think the first step, I think it's by degrees, I think, you know, you're handed this sort of mental structure that is you as a person. And it wasn't designed, I don't think, to fit into the context that we exist in today. So I mean, for example, I think that emotions are an almost entirely outmoded system. I think, with the exception of maybe happiness, like fear, sadness, sadness, and anger, there's actually a chapter about this and ambition handbook, I think those are outdated, I don't think they ever really serve us in a modern context, except for the lessons we can draw from them, which would buy from fear be like risk aversion or from anger, to occasionally put aside an aversion to contention and to push forward and from sadness to be retrospective. Because they all our minds, they're very, like, sort of blunt responses. They just, you know, give us this like, impulse, you know, like, for example, I want to do more public speaking. But if I go to get on a stage right now, I'm going to be covered in sweat, my heart is gonna be beating in my ears, I'm gonna hardly be able to get words out right? And is sophisticated, biological machine, that the human being is right, that that response doesn't make any sense in this context. And I think you can really see how haphazard our design is, you know, by evolution that it was, you know, it fit our context, but it taken into a different context. And, you know, we're a fish out of water. And I think modern societies have very different contexts for a lot of people. And there's a lot of people who would have done very well in nature or even, you know, earlier times in history that today are, are really suffering. So, Michael, and that was just to help people bring awareness to it and and to do marginal changes where they can you can change, I don't think you're ever going to wake up a completely different person, but I think around the edges and through habit formation, and by applying proper, like techniques for self control, that you can actually make movement, towards reining in wherever your excesses and insufficiencies are. Abdulaziz Alhamdan 23:50 Thank you. And this is really I love your introspective attitude, the way that you think deeply every book that you've written, does it come from personal passion and interest that you wanted to realize something about yourself to figure out something for yourself to affect yourself and help yourself first? Or is it more about realizing there is something missing in this world? And you wanted to contribute to change in that? Unknown Speaker 24:24 Yeah, so it's funny. In the in the concluding remarks, in the ambition handbook, I talk about that. A lot of people probably write books to help others but I can't claim such a selfless intent. And really, the way the book got inspired in the way it started, was hit 25 years old, and I had always been like this big dreamer. Ever since I was young. I was always telling people more when I was 12 years old, and my dad was chastising me for getting bad grades. And I was like, What are you worried about? I'm going to be successful. So once I got into adulthood, and things just weren't magically appearing, I really had lost ake a, I guess a quarter life crisis there. And I kind of freaked out. And I set to set out to figure out, you know, what was wrong with me what was wrong in my personality that was holding me back. And literally, I wasn't trying to write a book, I was just like, the way I process things and figure things out is through writing. So I put it on my notepad. And then I said about answering it. And I worked it down to first principles, and started building up from there and assessing my personality. It was there that I saw that, wow, I could build this into a book. And then I started looking at everyone else around me, and studying their personalities and what was holding them back. And I tried to answer every sort of restrictive quality, or come up with a way to overcome every and identify every sort of restrictive quality, and the personalities of the individuals in my life, and maybe afar that I was seeing. So it really did start with just me trying to keep my head above water. But I think it's been developed and I got a sense of purpose and importance for it by seeing that, you know, oh, my friend keeps making this same mistake, like, doesn't understand that, like, it's not going to come to fruition in a year, he has to apply like three to five years before that skill set really develops. And before the progress accumulates, or things like that, or you know, seeing somebody else who was suffering from constant impulsivity, or, or a lack of confidence, what have you, there's a whole variety of things. And I think that helped flesh it out. Now. Now, that's an ambition handbook. In flower garden, it was more, I guess you could say observational, it's less of a practical approach. And in that I've just always been a student of human behavior. And so I wanted to make like little scenes of like, things that I feel like, are important, but go on observe, like little aspects of happiness, or love or bias, or belief that, that maybe we don't appreciate, and I wanted to make them pretty. So the idea of like flower gardeners is that they that you're walking through a flower garden, and you know, if you do that you're learning in a sense, right? You're seeing new plants and, and forms of life. And you're learning and you're appreciating beauty. And that was what I wanted to do myself and then be able to pass on to others. Abdulaziz Alhamdan 27:19 Thank you and I love that you're mentioning passed on to others. And even before that, I was thinking that you spoke about your friend who is overestimating what's possible within a year. I remember another quote that human beings grossly overestimate what they can achieve in one year, but severely underestimate what they can do in five. So at five years, you can do things that you think needed generation to complete, but our plans for one year, we overburdened ourselves with too much work and burnout and things like that, while if we paced ourselves, Kaizen and the 1%. accumulation and compounding growth will totally be radical. Martin, if people want to learn more about you, to read your writing, to discover more about your books, what are the best avenues for them to do that? And I'll make sure to write some of the links in the description. Yeah, Unknown Speaker 28:25 so my website, Martin vidal.co is basically the hub for all of that I'm pretty active on medium, but you can get there from the website. And other than that, I have my medium and I have my books. And I keep it pretty simple. I put some stuff on Instagram, but it's mostly excerpts from other work, because it's not a it's not a long form platform. So yeah, just my website and medium. Abdulaziz Alhamdan 28:48 Thank you. It was truly enriching this conversation, and it was a privilege to have you here. I wish you a wonderful day. And thank you again. Unknown Speaker 29:00 Thank you so much privilege to be here and a wonderful day to you Abdulaziz Alhamdan 29:04 too.

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