When Jane Fox and I first knew each other, we were two new grandmothers who spent an inordinate amount of time discussing technical trading indicators and market theory. I was the one who loved the mathematically based market indicators. Jane loved the theory behind trading success. That love of market theory would remake Jane's life in a way that neither of us then suspected.
I worked with Jane at least a decade. We've never met person-to-person, but she is one of the most inspirational women in my life.
We worked remotely, writing and providing live market analysis for a website, me from my home in Texas and her from her home in another state. Between posting commentary, we fed our golden retrievers, coaxed visiting grandchildren to take naps, and put a load or two of clothing in the washing machine.
Jane sometimes admitted to being in the doldrums. She was dreaming of a bigger life, and she was about to make it happen.
Scaling New Heights
Jane wanted to conquer mountains. Literally. I remember her first comments that she was looking for other people who might be interested. She joined a hiking group and was soon posting photos of hikes to Mt. Adams, Camp Muir, Colchuk Lake, and Mt. St. Helens. One recent photo shows Jane perched on a massive rock high along a gorge at Oceanside, Oregon, her blonde hair pulled back and the sun full on her smiling face.
Jane was no longer stuck in the house, but she still felt stuck financially and in her career.
Facing New Challenges
Climbing actual mountains must have given Jane courage to climb another. Jane had long believed that emotions should be taken out of trading decisions. When you're an individual trading from home and putting tens of thousands of dollars on the line in a complex options trade, that's hard to do.
However, the big financial firms design programs to take all emotion out of trading. Why shouldn't she be able to do it, Jane thought, and do it for others, too? The fact that those big firms had big funds to develop those programs didn't seem to daunt her. At least, that didn't daunt her enough to stop her.
Jane had a whole new language to learn, and it was as complex as any language could be. Words such as "algorithm" and "quantifiable trading" soon peppered her conversations.
Jane was testing her theories. She educated herself well enough in quantitative analysis to know what questions to ask. She hired a quant to code the trading strategies she wanted and started to run the backtests. That required money. Sometimes paying for that help required breath-holding kind of money for a single woman not of independent means. She also would need a website. A business. A marketing plan.
Financial struggles, steep learning curves, and frustration had to be overcome. The process was a long one. Jane steeled herself to approach business people, risking being turned down. She bartered for services, offering percentages of the company she was forming for those willing to take a risk. She forced herself to produce podcasts and promotional videos, although she at first doubted her ability to do so. At some points in that journey, the difficulties proved almost insurmountable, as tough as an approach to a mountain summit that was too difficult for a new climber's skills. On her website, Jane notes if she had known how rigorous the process was going to be, she would probably "have abandoned the idea immediately."
I don't entirely believe that. In the years since Jane and I became friends, I saw a woman who had raised her children and had her first career, and who was determined to define what was next for her.
Jane wanted a bigger life, and she went out and grabbed it. Jane acknowledges that she may come to other turning points in her life. I'm sure she will draw from her perseverance and determination to make whatever decisions are required.
Not all of us would want the life Jane did. I didn't. While she was moving toward forming her own business, I was choosing a return to novel writing. I'm facing many hurdles and trying to educate myself on the changes in the publishing field since my 1990s books were published. I keep Jane in mind when that seems too high a mountain to climb.
Jane's business is QuantiTrader.
Jane can be reached at her business email.