Think Like A Trader Blog

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Why do we Expect Millions in Months?

I have always wondered about this. Not least because I was also one of those people in the very beginning! I expected riches, millions in months, after a very short learning curve that I would master by studying hard and ‘putting in the hours’.

And yet trading for a living is known to be one of the most difficult career paths you can take. Failure rates are estimated to be as high as 95% and failure in trading means you lose all of your money.

The only suitable answer I can come up with is that it’s human nature. I think we all expect the rewards to come quicker than is likely or possible. Think about a time in your life when you took up something new only to later give it up; The guitar that you bought and expected to master quickly; The foreign language course you signed up to, determined to be chatting with the locals on your next holiday; The novel you were going to write and become a bestseller on your first try.

First of all, I’ve got a guitar in my bedroom hanging on my wall. I think if I ran my finger across its upper surface I would disturb dust that has been lying peacefully for the better part of three years. I was actually getting quite good at playing it as well. I could muster together a couple of simple songs.

So why is it gathering dust? It seemed to turn into a chore, something that I really had to work at to improve. I had expected that and I thought I had prepared for it…but somewhere in my mind did I expect to learn it faster than normal, to be cutting Jimi Hendrix melodies within a year? Probably.

And it’s worse when it comes to something like trading for two main reasons. The first is that the media portrays traders as filthy rich playboys who do very little work and are only concerned with what colour their next Ferrari will be. And the second issue is that a lot of people don’t enjoy their current jobs. Maybe that’s because they just don’t like the industry they are in or they aren’t paid enough, but for whatever reason, they are looking for an escape route. And they think trading is a quick and easy swap of careers.

Well, for anyone reading this who has been trading for any length of time, you already know that it’s not that easy! It takes a lot of work and sadly most of the real benefits come through experience rather than simple study. And that’s why it takes time. People get frustrated and angry with themselves when in reality they are probably doing the right thing, just expecting results faster than is possible.

Trading is a fantastic job, but it takes a longer-term view than a couple of months. You can learn whilst you work your full time job. If you swing trade you can still work full time and trade like a professional at the same time. With trading, like everything else, the experience you gain is with you forever and each day you learn a little bit more. If you stick with it and don’t do anything crazy – blow accounts trying to make fast money – you will improve and you will eventually be able to tip your middle finger at the job you don’t like and do what you enjoy.

What a sentimental lot of tosh, eh? It’s true though!

I hope you’ve had a great trading week!

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