Valeria Bednarik has been a currency trader for 12 years now, and a member of the FXStreet team since 2009. Just as she told us five years ago in our interview with her, she loves what she does for a living… underlining that she works to live, and not the contrary. Working from her home in Buenos Aires, she follows a European schedule, which is a bit gruelling, waking up at 4 am. But she feels comfortable that way, and the combination of work and family now “runs like a Swiss clock”. Her kids being older and more independent, she has more space for herself. She believes women have some qualities that make them better traders, though she thinks that “it will take a couple more decades to see women taking a more relevant role in the financial world.”
Forex: An old marriage
* You still trade and work for FXStreet, as in July 2010, last time we talked with you. But your responsabilites have changed…
Reading the 2010 interview, it seems that it has been more like five decades than five years! My life is constantly changing, or better said, progressing. I work more, I trade less, and I feel extremely comfortable with both. Back then, my role within FXStreet was limited to writing some articles, and advising on technical aspects of the forex market. Today, I’m more involved in many other parts of working in a financial web page.
I believe that everything is about evolving. FXStreet has evolved and I have grown with the company, expanding the level of knowledge on financial investment, and the worldwide macroeconomic picture. These days, I have much more responsibilities and duties related to the content the website offers.
* Do you enjoy it?
Of course I enjoy my job! When I was growing up, I set two life goals at the top of my list: the first was that, whatever the job I’d have, my to-be family would always come first. The second goal was to work in something that I actually like to do (thanks God, I love to do a lot of different things). The thing I really love about this job is that it keeps my mind working at high speed. Indeed, there’s some routine involved in it as there is in any job, but market’s changes, macro developments and keeping up to date with what’s going on around the world is a challenge I gladly take on a daily basis.
Another daily challenge is to work with people much younger than myself. They have endless, contagious energy, and they are always one step ahead in almost everything, so that’s also pushing me to stay alert 24/7.
These days, my relationship with Forex is like an old marriage: the fire may be gone, but it is my best friend, and I don’t need much to understand him.
“I don’t live to work”
* How do you manage to balance your job and your personal life?
After so many years working home, the fact is that the combination of work and family at this point runs like a Swiss clock. Additionally, I have moved to a new house, a big one, where everyone has his/her own space, and I have my own working office, so I can partially separate both lives and made them fit.
* How does a working day look in the life of Valeria Bednarik?
I wake up around 4 am in the morning and go to my desk to open charts, read news and check the economic calendar. By 7 am I am up-to-date with what’s happening and I have my analysis done. I then wake up my family, send girls to school and hubby to work, so I have up to noon to focus on the market. I take a break by London’s close, pick up the girls, and we all have lunch together. By the end of the US session, I’m back for around 3 more hours of market.
* Your daugthers have grown, they are now 10 and 13. Does this leave more time and space for yourself?
Yes, for sure! My two daughters are teens now, so they are much less dependent on me, except from that I have become their personal driver: they practice sports, have a band, attend different classes, and of course have a much larger social life than me. But we also do a lot of activity together, like preparing dinner, going out for a walk, skating or biking. We go to the movies almost every weekend, although I can’t remember going to the cinema for a movie that was not Disney or Pixar…
They are less dependent, but we share more, which is the best thing ever for me. I work around 11 hours a day, but I don’t live to work. I work to live, and that makes all the difference in my personal life. During weekends, my house is always full of people, and we discuss whether it is kids’ turn or adults’ turn to invite friends. Of course, kids’ times are more than adults ones, but that’s ok.
*Any advice on how women can balance personal and professional lives, being in the trading industry, now in 2015?
I do believe that, when you have your life goals defined, you just have to go with them. It is the best way to balance your personal and professional lives. Don’t leave things to chance, make plans. It’s hard at the beginning, and hardest with young kids, but they grow. My worst fear has always been to miss their lives, their developing years, not being there when they need me. But having built my family with solid principles of love and respect makes it easier to have also a career without both crashing.
Ego: traders’ worst enemy
* Do you still have the same opinion about the differences between men and women in trading than last time we talked?
Yes, I still believe that ego is the worst enemy of any trader. The market has made me humble, and during these years I’ve seen many men unable to understand that losing a trade does not mean losing their manhood, or a reason to get even. You can’t get even with the market, if you try, you are condemned to fail.
Women tend to be more humble, generally speaking. And have it easier when it comes to multi-tasking, which is what the market requires most of the time. Women are also much more perseverant when they have a certain goal, and don’t get discouraged as easy as men.
* Do you think there are more women trading than five years ago?
I have noticed that during these years, there are more women around the financial world, but the proportion still shows a majority of men. I believe it will take a couple more decades to see women taking a more relevant role in the financial world.