Most of you know that I started my options trading journey following my husband’s passing, but what you might not know is that I started taking trading seriously when my extended Syrian family was displaced during the Syrian conflict back in 2011.

Though I was living in Cyprus and then Germany during the war, my mother’s family was in Syria during the conflict.

From 2011 to 2015 most of my extended family couldn’t work, lost their homes, lost all their savings, and were just making it month to month in some very extreme circumstances. This meant that whatever money I had left at the end of the month after paying my own bills I’d send to try and help reduce the stress my family was facing now scattered all over the globe.

This also meant I couldn’t add any money to my retirement or savings. To mitigate all that loss, I worked hard to learn how to trade properly and responsibly so that I could grow my retirement savings in spite of the fact that for years we were under significant financial pressure.

As we watch the Ukraine Crisis unfold, I’m taken back to those first years of the Syrian conflict and the day-to-day pain of watching my family lose everything. But, I’m also thankful I had the means of protecting myself in some small part by trading.

I didn’t YOLO myself to millions, and I didn’t FOMO myself to losses. What I did do was take reasonable, responsible trades that made technical sense and gave myself time to watch my account grow.

After my husband’s sudden death, I knew I didn’t have enough money to just trade stocks if I was going to take safe, high-probability trades. So I poured myself into mastering multi-leg options strategies that were both very low risk but also had a moderate to high return.

My heart and prayers go out to those suffering because I do know the pain and suffering of watching your childhood home blow up, seeing your family member’s graves moved from their deep earth, and seeing your family pay hundreds of dollars for almost rotten meat. And, though I was safe in Germany, it didn’t save me from the wrenching of my stomach every time the phone rang, every time the news came on.

But this time around, though I am still grieving the loss of my best friend and love, I have hope and confidence that I can care for my family day in and day out thanks to my ability to trade responsibly.

Suzanne Noukahoua
Founder, Trade Speakeasy

Before Options and During the Syrian Refugee Crisis

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