Very interesting insight...work to live, live to work. I am in the very fortunate position of having worked for 30 years, leaving that good job with a company buy out package, and now ready to move to other interests that I really enjoy (passionate about). I have always enjoyed following markets and various ways to profit from them and just never had the time to spend mastering trading.
I have read about swing trading, but could you take a minute and just explain what swing trading is for you...average trade length (hours, days?), # trades per day or week, how much time you spend a day, what do you spend most of that time doing (trend analysis, ??).
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Seriously, I'm good with each point and I think I understand the meaning of each; except the "be as contarian as possible". It is unclear in what context you mean to take the opposing view of the majority (assuming I got the definition correct). Could you give me an example of what you mean by this? Do you mean, in general, like if the masses are claiming Price Action with the /ES instrument is the place to be, don't go there...or ???
I'm not sure how to go about finding a mentor, other than in a forum like this and building a relationship over time.
Like you I have been trying to get a definitive answer to the question you pose. The more trading I do, the more I am convinced it may be possible to be consistently profitable, but it takes A LOT of effort and knowledge.
Basically you want someone who you know is legit to come along and post in here: "Yup, been trading for 10 years, averaging $378,000 per annum for that time, it certainly is possible". However that never really seems to happen huh?
I am pretty sure there are consistently profitable traders who post on this forum, although, I don't really know.
i am still learning and what i have learnt is that even with all those trading
books out there - you have to be more knowlegdeable than them,
the stuff i have picked up after having read scores of books aren't in the
books or trading courses - its hard graft and independant study lots of sim trading
,probably because its a competitive industry the "goldman sachs" of the world aren't
going to tell you how they are making their money and how much, - i really do believe
these are "insider secrets" - since you get paid when someone loses....
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In the spirit of differing opinions - work out whether you're the sort of person who needs a mentor, and if so, don't necessarily stick to what you're taught - make it work for you and enhance it.
Personally I find 99% of the hard info you need is on the web and books, and 99% of the experience you need is in actual trading. After the reading, work out for yourself what's going on, and make your methods your own.
Here's a starting tip. Work out how you would ever measure how successful you are in trading (as opposed to lucky) and use that always as your yardstick.
You're asking the wrong question. What you really want to know is can you profit long term. The answer is yes, but the chances are against it. It is possible for people to profit long term, but your personal performance will be far more dependent on you than the fact that other people can do it.
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Raceman: "Hard to imagine this could take years to perfect...."
My two cents, fwiw... Some are making money right off the bat, and some are simming for years. I too was an engineer, and, don't know about you, but looking back it's humbling to realize how little I really knew after those years of college. I once heard the most successful trader I know ask: "If today, with no musical background, you wanted to be a musician that others would pay to hear, how long would it take?" He seeing it far more as an art than a science. As others have pointed out, a very wide supermarket of choices out there. I'd recommend the Market Wizard books to see the variety of personalites and methods. Here are a couple of sites I look in on, both these traders, at least to my mind, are the real deal. And their approaches could not be more different. Allan Trends and Don Miller's S&P Trading Tank
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Millions of people have or do play football and basketball but only a very few make money doing it. Most pay money at some level to do it.
Your odds of making money from trading are better than the above. To say much more or get more specific than that is to make up numbers/statistics out of thin air. Very hard but certainly not impossible and certainly not the hardest thing you can do.
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Have not seen this post earlier. Yes I know the 10,000 hour theory. There is chapter in Malcolm Gladwell's book Outliers. But the key is not spending 10,000 hours. If I sit down in front of a piano and play 10,000 hours, I won't be a pianist. I requires structured learning to become a master. Structured learning requires feedback. The best books that I have read on structured feedback for traders are the two books The Daily Trading Coach and Enhancing Trader Performance by Brett Steenbarger. It is really an eye-opener and recommended read!
Otherwise, Trading is a game with a negative expectation. The game itself is designed as a zero sum game, but then you need to deduct commissions, fees, datafeeds, hardware & software requirements, telecommunications cost etc. If we are honest, trading has become a leisure activity and many traders trade for entertainment, not necessarily for making money. And that is what they get, entertainment.
The winners are brokers, software and data vendors, financial agents which offer dubious products such as CFDs or exotic option contracts, which do not have liquid markets. A minority of the traders participating in the game are winners as well, the majority loses or pays for the entertainment.
The game itself can be mastered by those willing to learn discipline. Only play if you have an edge, if you understand what the market is doing, and if you know who is on the other side of your trade.
Can retail traders be successful in this game? Yes, of course they can. A retail trader has very low fixed cost. This means the retail trader has the great luxury that he does not need to trade all the time. He is under pressure to make a market for customers or to recover fixed cost. If you play out this advantage, and only participate in the game if the cards are shuffled to your advantage, then you can win.
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