Think Like A Trader Blog

Thursday, 13 August 2015

Learning to Trade Forex and Indices is Like an Apprenticeship

Reading Time - 4 minutes

A lot of people get disheartened when they are learning how to trade. I know I did. There seems to be an expectation that you should just ‘get it’ and be able to drop onto the charts, press a few buttons and make money. Everyone you see online and in all of the books makes it seem so EASY that surely you should be winning every trade and lying on a beach in Hawaii.

Well, first of all, the vast majority of those people online claiming to be trading masters and gurus of all things charts aren’t. They are great at looking at an already formed chart and telling you – this is what you should have done. This is what I WOULD have done. Now buy my course!

I was speaking to one of my subscribers yesterday and she mimicked something that I hear a lot. She was enjoying her journey, she was learning a lot, but she was disheartened because she was still losing more than she was winning. The danger is that it can become something personal – ‘I’m not good enough’, ‘I just can’t do it’, ‘I’m too stupid for this.’

If I can teach you any one thing, please let this article be where you gain that insight. Everyone struggles. Trading is not easy. It is like learning anything new. You don’t pick up a guitar and start blasting out Jimi Hendrix. You don’t grab a tennis racket for the first time and expect to school Andy Murray.

The best way I can put it is to think of learning how to trade as an apprenticeship. It’s a time where you are allowed to make mistakes, because you’re learning, you’re new and inexperienced. It’s expected. A joiner/carpenter can start an apprenticeship, he or she can have all the tools and have done lots of DIY before and put up shelves for their mum, maybe even built a shed in the garden…but they cannot and should not be expected to know how to build a house. That’s what the apprenticeship is for.

There have been a lot of studies done which suggest that to master something – to truly master it on the subconscious level – it takes 10,000 hours of focused practice. Now, that’s not just looking at charts and clicking buy and sell. It’s focused, dedicated practice. Your trading apprenticeship could take anywhere from 2 to 10 years. This is why it is key that you trade small until you are consistently profitable. Because there are no second chances with this apprenticeship. Once you run out of money, the brokers don’t want to know!
First and foremost, survive your apprenticeship. Don’t beat yourself up for making mistakes when every person on the planet makes countless mistakes when learning something new. Start a trading diary so you can watch yourself progress and also so you can spot common mistakes. If you start to see several entries where you revenge traded, guess what? That’s what you need to work on. So focus on that area for a while, master it, eradicate the revenge trading.

I hope you have a great rest of your week. 

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