The Truth About Trading For A Living (Tips for people getting started)
First, I am not a master trading guru with a Ferrari and a platinum Rolex to flash in front of you. Frankly, there are much better traders out there. I’m just a regular guy in his early thirties with a bit of success trading stocks, options, and futures.
I’m also not selling anything so there is no reason for me to lie or embellish results as a trick to sucker you into my “get rick quick” membership web site.
Here’s a little background:
I got beat up (financially and emotionally) running my own businesses for 10+ years, but did get to the point where I was able to sell one of them.
Despite these struggles I still run a business and continue to invest time and money into various ventures.
That being said, the sale of my most successful company resulted in a respectable amount of financial breathing room so I decided to tackle trading as my primary source of income.
I dedicated $50K to my trading account and viewed it as seed capital for getting started. In hindsight I should have started with less money until I developed certain habits and decision making capabilities.
Having an entrepreneurial or business ownership background gives you a huge advantage.
Starting and running a business teaches you a lot about yourself and other people. It brings your strengths and weakness to the forefront and forces you to deal with them.
You learn about losing money, gaining money, and how to be 100% accountable for the decisions you make. So, I did come the trading table with healthy experience in these areas.
If you don’t have this type of background that absolutely does not mean you won’t be a successful trader. It just means if you haven’t already learned how to manage your time, money, and emotions under substantial pressure you are likely going to have extra self-improvement/psychological work to do.
The truth is you can absolutely make a living trading stocks, options, and futures. It does take a lot of time and it is not easy.
For me it took about 2 years before I was able to be consistently profitable. I never blew up my account, but did take some large losses that messed with my head a bit.
My prior experiences in business helped with accepting losses and getting right back to work without any debilitating stress or anxiety.
One thing I’ve noticed over the years is that many people (including myself at times) are not completely honest about their weaknesses and end up bullshitting themselves through life.
In many occupations/jobs you can get away with this and still get by. Not so with trading for a living.
Remember, the buck always stops with you and outcomes are directly connected to your decisions. It is imperative that you understand this and improve upon weaknesses.
100% personal accountability is required.
Without this, you might as well not even try. There are much easier ways to get by in life. If you accept this and truly commit to building a profitable trading business, then you have a shot.
It is vital that you don’t blow up your mental/emotional accounts. This is arguably more important than blowing up your financial account.
Financial setbacks are very temporary as long as you still have your wit.
Something that is hard for a lot of people:
You have to get your thinking clean and free from everything you think you know about markets.
Nobody knows what the hell is going to happen later today, tomorrow, next week…whatever. And, at least for me, approaching trading with this mentality has helped greatly.
There is so much garbage on television and the internet about trading stocks and options. Authority figures and personalities spewing opinions and downright deceptions will drag you down if you are not careful.
You need to be severely critical of your information sources.
This includes news outlets, friends, family, and of course all the “expert” traders you follow on twitter.
I personally do not watch any T.V., news, talking head shows, etc… This does not mean you can’t but it is important to understand those sources are not there to help you make money. I have a very strong position in this area and if you care to discuss … hit me up on twitter.
Connect with REAL traders not BULLSHIT artists.
If you don’t already have one, you must somehow develop a very shrewd bullshit detector.
At a very basic level use a little common sense. If the guy spends more time marketing/selling his “system” that means he likely makes more money selling his how-to product than he does using it. What does that tell you?
I’m not saying that quality for profit trading education services don’t exist, but you have to make sure you understand the sellers true underlying motive.
There is a lot of money to be made selling dreams and lying to people who want to be lied to. Make sense?
Connect with a group of REAL traders.
Twitter is great for interacting with real guys and girls trading their own money. I can’t tell you how helpful this has been. The bad news is there are tons of knuckleheads and charlatans just waiting to eat you alive. Be careful who you follow and learn from.
- You absolutely can make a living trading if you are truly committed.
- It is not easy money.
- Having business experience helps.
- Don’t be an idiot and let other people take advantage of you.
- Be extremely critical of authority figures and so called experts.
- Profit or die. Trading is a business not a game.
- Work hard. Stay humble.
- Accept 100% personal accountability for your actions.
- Find good people/traders to interact with and learn from them.