“Tomek, how much time did it take for you to become a trader and make stable profits?”, “Tomek watching your videos on YouTube it seems that trading comes very easy to you”. From time to time I can hear similar questions or statements. I resemble then that before I started to make a profit, stable results in trading, I have spent a bit of time and money. Whether I’m able to provide a golden advice – what will help to achieve success on the stock-market? No I’m not, because each of us is completely different. However, I’m able to say how it was in my case and what affected and affect successful trading, development and maintenance on the market for 8 years.
This article is a part of cycle: Trader Road:
What is success for you?How to succeed in trading?
I think that at the beginning it is worthwhile to answer this question. Whether success is to make a profit, which will let you to buy a dream car, to build the dream house? Or maybe to realize own dreams of traveling around the world?
That is success in a form of purely financial matter to purchase certain goods.
Or maybe the success will be to achieve a certain profit in the scale of month? E.g. extra 1000, 5000 or 15 000 PLN would determine realization of objectives and achievement of success; and next to give up the job and deal only with trading?
How much time is needed to achieve success, to become an “expert” with results?
I placed expert in quotation marks for a purpose, but about it in a minute. Once I read an article in which was stated that there were carried out studies from which it resulted that in order to become an expert in the given field we need 10 000 of working hours. It was based on studies conducted by Swedish psychologist K. Anders Ericsson. But why not 5 000 or 7 200 hours? It seems to me quite a generalized statement. 10 000 is 416 days. That is about a year and two months. Additionally, indeed what in one sector may give results after those 10 000 hours – and studies were conducted on the group of violin virtuosi.
In the case of trading, those 10 000 hours would be needed to divide only in trading sessions (based on U.S. stock exchanges). In weekends or free days from this session you can’t “practice” i.e. to trade on the real market. Taking into account only the regular trading hours – i.e. 6.5 hours – it would give 1528 trading days – that is for sure 4-5 years. It’s quite a lot!
I will add one more thing – I don’t like when somebody in trading refers as an expert. In trading you are a TRADER; Trader with results. Or you pretend that you are. Trainers are usually trading experts 🙂 However, among them only select few plays on the market. The rest has knowledge, but generally makes money on trainings. Therefore I suggest, if you want to be a Trader – take your time for it. If you want to make it easier to acquire theoretical knowledge on paid trainings –> find a good and reliable teacher 🙂 He will be able to lead you to the given market, but the success will lie only and exclusively in your hands!
Back to the topic – Violin virtuosi is quite specific group – where skill is acquired with practice, but also a natural inborn talent is important. However, studies of authors were subjected to criticism, because not always practice in the given business – its acquisition – will be synonymous with a chance to achieve success. In some industries the practice can be just as good in the background – and isn’t so important finally in achieving success.
Other researcher Brooke Macnamara – draws attention to the fact that practice constitutes only from a few to several % of successes to achieve success. And he’s right. Notice – how many of you as a child had a dream to become the soccer player? How many really hardly work on results in soccer. In my opinion quite a lot; but why on a large scale in case of Polish players only few made a success? Why in the best teams of the world we don’t have more Roberts Lewandowski?
The answer is simple – practice, number of hours spent on the field not always translates into genius and flash on the sports field. It is something more – it is a talent, which is polish up by hard work.
Comparing it to trading – based on own experience and traders observation, which I had the pleasure to get to know over the years:
Spending 3000, 5000 or as in the study 10 000, not to say more hours at graphs and during trading won’t ever be a clear successful on the market. You won’t sit on success as hen on egg 🙂
You may achieve a success already on the first day – however, whether you will manage and you will achieve regular successes in other sessions – it is a completely different issue. Let’s be honest, many persons want very quickly to become successful in their business. I also wanted, but I managed after second approach, when I got down to the realization of trading assumptions on seriously.
Work, work, and hard work?
Money in the stock market doesn’t fall from the sky. It is possible to be lucky, but only for some time. It is possible also very quickly to lose money. Therefore, I assume that it is worthwhile to have written out your plan of action – according to which you want to plan your trading and activities on the market. Something as trading map of thoughts.
Do you know what is map of thoughts? Map of thoughts is a form of innovative, stimulating both cerebral hemispheres – ways of learning and saving notes. Below I present an example – map of thoughts concerning development as the tennis player:
It is a business approach to trading. In the business nothing is with a lick and promise, if you regard it seriously. Similarly is in trading. I very often mention it on the site – I approach to trading as the business, not counting on a chance.
Of course, I don’t suggest here to draw the map as in above example. But to prepare proper trading plan is most advisable.
There are plans, willingness – but quickly discouragement arises
A cool comparison seems to be the annual plan of many people: this year I will lose my weight and on the beach in summer I will have sculpted body. Great plan, pass to the gyms already bought. I started going to the gym, but without training plan – I performed some exercise, pull-ups, lifting heavy barbells, and I ran on the running track. And after the training I went to McDonald for some set of meal 😉
There is no plan, there is no diet. Spending time with exercising persons – won’t sculpt your body. Trainings quickly bored, in the diet nothing has changed; and on the beach with a beer. Did you ever plan this way?
These are such plans “from tomorrow I will get down too…..”; “tomorrow I will already certainly start….”.
In trading is quite similar. Undergoing courses trading with practitioners, who achieve results on the market (and not only train without trading by own – I keep an eye on it. Theoretician and practitioner are two different stories (two other leagues on the market), reading books about the trading, and participation in conferences. All of that is significant. But all of that doesn’t make you a trader. In order to become one it is necessary to gain experience on the market, to build the strategy, to get to know your psyche, how it is on the victorious side of the market.
It depends on you whether you will help yourself to achieve success
I will quote here an example of one of my friends, with whom for a few years I trade. He achieved satisfactory results and then stopped to pay attention, and when the market a little bit changed – it was more difficulty for him to repeat and stabilize achieved results. OK, maybe it isn’t a good example – because many of you are just getting started and you didn’t reach yet a stage of regular profits, so you don’t know how it is when it’s necessary to shift back. The more on the market, where is a great changeability and we must constantly adapt to what the market allows us.
Back to my friend – He achieved satisfactory results, after which he fell into apathy. Neither earned nor lose – and so it lasted for many months. As you can guess – when you start to fall from a profitable level of trader to not-earning level (but also not losing) – frustration appears. This often translates into discouragement; what for to work on changes, since there are no results? Trader usually comes to the office earlier; he came for a moment before opening, without preparation, without a job. And after some time there have been losses, depot slowly cleaned up.
However, one day my friend experienced such a kick feel – he started coming to the office earlier, to prepare for the session, to analyze companies. And the results came back very quickly, consequently motivation to trading and work.
A friend remembered – that nothing comes easy, peculiarly money for the stock exchange account;) He returned to roots – that is how he worked when started trading.
Whether you will achieve success, and you will maintain it – is determined mainly by you. Don’t forget about it!
Work, a lot of work – one more time
I will say how it looked in my case. I will skip 3 first years when I didn’t know exactly what and how to play. I will start from a day in which I started the work as a trader in the trading office. Because then I actually focused on clear objective – I want to work, earn and live this way.
I knew that being a trader it would open the door for me – being the master for myself (probably now my wife would say that it’s only my imagination ;)). When I started my goals were more down-to-earth – I wanted to start earning on the market; later financial expectations grew, as well as experience and abilities changed.
Along with time my goals and motivation changed. I’ve always wanted to travel, and trading allowed me to. Thanks to that I can go on holidays whenever I want and for a period that for me and my family is suitable. This motivated me to follow-up the work, not to rest on laurels, but constantly to develop.
When a worse period appeared – not to hope that it is only temporary, but again get to work and adapt to what has changed on the market in order not to feel it in achieved results. I always knew that in trading a worse period must come – but each time I have reacted very quickly to remedy it.
And changes in period of 2007-2009 were a lot – end of boom, slump, beginning of boom, diametric changes of volume on the stock-market (from gigantic to constantly falling).
I’m on the market from 2004. From the end of 2007 I live from the stock-market. It would seem that I already did some work and now I must only steadily to do what I did. But it is not true – I work according to the plan. However, I still want to develop. To learn from the best, because I know how sometimes small changes suggested by somebody with greater experience – can diametrically affect the level of profits or lead to perceptible changes in played strategies or risk management.
I have a lot of experience, as you can see, but I still work on my success. Think how many working hours it is necessary to devote – when you just start! However, remember that satisfaction is great. Somebody who once tasted the pleasure of life from trading – won’t want to change it quickly.
How much time to assess own potential
I mentioned above about the study from which it resulted that it was possible to become an “expert” after 10 000 hours, i.e. after 4-5 years. I think that in trading we can shorten this time veeeeery firmly.
However, I assume that you are seriously focused on trading and on its development. If you work on and off – those 4-5 years will be for you a real term in which you will know whether you are good at it or no.
If you will focus firmly on trading – education, development, self-improvement and strategies, you will be really strong – then in my opinion the time to assess in reality your chances is up to 3-8 months.
Where from such a number?
It is an evaluation of how much it took to achieve regular profits: for me; traders with whom I know since 2007; for persons who join to my proptrading group. Of course, I will point out – that large number of those who have joined the group after 3-8 months cleaned their depo.
It is a statistical estimation – on appropriate as for me base of persons determined to achieve results. And what’s important, vast majority of those persons, who just stated trading, devoted to it in 100% in this period. Most of them don’t connect it with another work. Those who connected – worked even harder.
Start working to your success
With this nice sentence I would like to summarize the entire article. Success on the stock-market it is a sum of the work and talent, which at one point will became active. Not everyone will manage to achieve it – as not everyone of soccer players reach a half success such as Robert Lewandowski. Fortunately, everyone has a chance to try in order to later answer a question “was it worthwhile?”!
Do you have your recipe for success? Share it with me, how you develop on the market? What are your goals?
This article is a part of cycle: Trader Road: