How Long Does it Take for a Person to Become a Good Trader?

September 27th 2018
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@Chris DouthitChris Douthit

MBA, CSPO, former professional trader for Goldman Sachs and founder of

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The answer to this thought-provoking question is based on a lot of factors with some being within a person’s ability to control while others are not. To start with, we will have to assume that the potential trader will be reasonably intelligent, and if we can assume that, then we can also assume that they will want to be a smart investor and have a diversified trading platform that will help to keep them safe from market volatility.

Discipline and patience are the two key factors that a good trader will need to possess to succeed long term. Most people will start out being a bad trader because they just don’t know any better, likely buying the tops and selling the bottoms and only buy if there is a green candle in the window. Mistakes will be made while the new trader learns about speculation and how it can often throw you to the wolves.

Ninety percent of traders lose a big portion of assets in the first ninety days, and those that don’t can count themselves lucky as it isn’t the typical outcome. The real question for most traders is how they can reach their individual breaking point which allows the trader to change their approach and make good decisions, or get out of the game and go back to whatever they were doing prior to taking a seat at the table.

Adaptability is the one major thing that separates successful traders from unsuccessful ones, and smart investors will always use what they have learned and apply it so they can take the next step on their way to becoming accomplished. Bad experiences can make the potential learn some harsh realities and, for most, this is the point where their mindset changes and smart decisions will start happening.

One important thing to note is that this breaking point is not something that can be rushed. Potentials should not be looking for a breaking point as it will be different for everyone. Instead, potentials should just move along and learn the lessons that all successful investors have had to learn along their own path to success. Since these lessons will also be different for everyone, it is impossible to predict how they will be absorbed or how long it will take to learn them.

For most potentials, these lessons will be very emotional, and when those hard lessons are learned, one might want to take time off from trading and allow for the grieving that comes with losses. This will enable potentials to clear their mind and not make important decisions while the flood of emotions has a grip on their sensibilities. It is important to feel bad about the loss as this is the emotion that will spur on the changes needed to become a success.

Reaching the breaking point is about 60% of the journey potentials need to take on the road to successful investing. Once this point is reached, smart investors will take the time to educate themselves about all the factors influencing the market by reading some good books and materials written by people in the know. This does not mean just watching a few YouTube videos made by people professing to know everything, but rather a true effort at real education. Buying books and reading them, watching video courses, taking notes, and maybe attending a few seminars would be the best way to go about this for most.

Understanding risk management (hint) is critical when it comes to investing in anything, this discipline has to work on many fronts. The ways you will find to manage these risks are to be found in books like The Essentials of Risk Management (2nd Edition) by Michel Crouhy, Dan Galai, and Robert Mark, and while books like this are not about cryptocurrency, in particular, they can teach you the fundamental ways that risk should be managed. Smart investors will figure out how to apply these methods and become great risk managers figuring out how to avoid the many traps found within the investment world.

Another great book to read, once you have some experience in the game, is The Market Wizards by Jack Schwager, which you can read for free by clicking here, and gain some important knowledge about trading that smart investors will appreciate. This book should only be read after gaining some experience in trading as you will need to be able to relate to what is being said.

For those who prefer a video format for learning, the Option Strategies Insider has a free video course which shows how to make money by selling volatility. The course does a great job of using real life demonstrations making it easy for users to understand and formulate a successful trading plan. This option strategies guide is a great place to start.

So take heart and don’t worry about how long it will take for you to become a good trader. It is different for everybody, and as long as you are sincere in your efforts, patient, and disciplined, you will find that success will come. Just remember, everyone had to start somewhere and most made many mistakes before they started to see any success.

For those who want to fast track their success, a trading coach is the best way to ensure the most probable decision is made when obstacles are reached. Market analysis and specific trading strategies are key to keeping one out of danger and continuing to profit while continuing to learn.



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