If anyone hasn't read "Talent is Overrated", it's a great book on gaining perspective on becoming a "great" or truly being excellent.
I've gone back and forth from the list several times. when I first started I went from a 1 to 5...I was profitable my first 3 months trading...then I regressed to maybe 1 and 2 for a month, hit 3 (which I thought was my ah-ha moment. I just read trading in the zone and did the probability test for a month and was gun-ho) and then was at 5 again......and I remember I was excited because I read that most people blow their accounts within 6 months and those that don't blow it their 1st year.....well I passed my 6 months and was stoked because I knew I wasn't in the "sucks to be you" catagory....a bit over 1 month later I blew.
Then I regressed back to 1 and 2 for a maybe a year and then had my true ah-ha moment. I realized that most great traders learn price action....so I decided to make the jump to the "elite" and trade pure price action. Then I went to 4 again and had a few large losing trades...which caused me to stop and evaluate before I blow out again.....
So I was back a 1 and 2 again, and then realized I was making lots of mistakes, even though I was in denial again....so I decided to get serious about learning price, purchased al brooks book and joined his daily commentary when he started doing it....I was back at 4....then I had a month of larger than normal losers (I just switched from 1 contract to 2 contracts).....so I stopped a bit and started reading joe ross's books.
I think that's when I had my next #3 ah-ha moment, when I realized that trading can be very simple and profitable, but untimately it doesn't matter what you trade. YOU as a person will decide if you're profitable or not....
So I went thru stage 4 again and felt like I was 5 since I has such a nice run up for several months.....then I got careless and had a few losers I shouldn't have had. So I hit the drawing board again and had my next #3 moment, when I realized the importance of studying orderflow....
From there I didn't jump to #4...I was losing money for several months...not even breakeven...so I stopped and regrouped.
I don't know if I've had any more ah-ha's, but this year has been mostly #4....lose a bit win a bit, and keeping my losses at bay. I guess my motto is to just don't lose money.
So it's possible I've been at #4 the last few years, but it's possible I've been mostly at #1 and 2....but I know my personal best ah-ha moment was about 2 yrs ago when I saw a market wizzard say that there comes a time when a trader will learn to trade just price, and at that moment he/she becomes great. So that's when I became a naked trader
Maybe next year I'll be more a 5....in the meantime being a slightly profitable to breakeven trader isn't too bad.
And for what it's worth, besides 3 weeks of sim trading after my 1st few months of trading (yes, I never traded sim from the start, I'd much rather have the feeling of money on the line) it wasn't until this year I incorporated any sim into my trading.
Also, consciously, I think the only part of trading I don't feel I have a ways to go is the art of reversing. I think it would be cool to be, like al brooks describes, an All In trader....just reversing and catching larger moves.
It's much easier to close out a position and say I was wrong then to reverse and say I was wrong, but now I'm right!
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Great post! If you WERE constantly switching systems, then I would think you are probably in the #2 area.
Very detailed and interesting post. I have gone through about 3 periods of 'ah-ha' and each time thought I would be a #5 from then on out. The one thing I noticed that a profitable friend of mind has/does is that he is 'confident'. Confidence is amazing as that is what we have when we started and had nice big win's. Then you slowly lose it over time due to many reasons and realize how little you truly understand about trading.
In my opinion once you have a good foundation, then the trick is building back up confidence. I too thought if I wasn't live that it didn't matter. Obviously not good for the pocket book while you are learning.
Kind of like learning to skydive with a ground class and being thrown out of the plane. It could hurt.
Interesting interpretation of the write-up. I didn't see the stages as being dynamic, so much as changes in consciousness. Once the consciousness goes up a level I would think it stays there, why would it regress? In my case, my discretionary trading is at a lower level than my algorithmic trading, but neither have gone backwards.
What you wrote suggests that when you say you made it to 5, it really means you had a good streak at level 3 or so. The idea of the "5" level is that you know when you are in a drawdown, and you keep to the rules and work through it. In such a scenario you don't regress and turn into a 3 or 4 and then come back to 5. You have a balanced portfolio where you diversify and at worst go sideways for a time. Someone at the 5 level would never blow an account, that is all factored in to the money management. - Unless they never were at that level in the first place.
Of course you are free to interpret the write-up anyway you want to, I'm just describing my relationship to what I read and my experience as a trader.
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I'm probably bouncing from 2 to 2.9 ; I don't see how most folks except exceptionally smart or skilled people can reach 3 and above. i.e. trade with only a single moving average irrespective of a particular system, especially in today's volatile, news-susceptible, and HFT market. I just don't have the mental capacity to find a trade with pure price action alone and quick enough before missing it, much less mentally ascertain previous momentum not to mention volume just looking at price alone. Unless you're talking about a an unconscious level skill which can only come about with thousands of hours of practice and may never be attained for many. I've seen Al Brook's live webinar, but out of the thousands who learned his method and fewer who actually finished reading his book and rereading it, maybe only a handful can attain his level of price action trading?
Maybe, but how many actually make it to the 10K hours? Or even 5K hours. Just because you learn something doesn't mean you master it.
And, I disagree about intelligence. yes, it requires a certain threshold, but I can tell you that I believe yours to be high enough! The best traders I have seen do not have an exceptionally high IQ! I would say almost the opposite in that they have a significant amount of Emotional (EQ) or Practical (PQ).
You have the ability, it just requires time. Do yourself a huge favor and read "Outliers" book. It is brilliant and will share some beliefs I have gained over the years summed up in a very great book.
Just a matter of time, effort and the magic ingredient. In my opinion, REALLY FUCKING WANTING IT! (A.K.A. PASSION)
The following 3 users say Thank You to bluemele for this post:
Did I miss a requirement to only trade with a single moving average? I did not follow what you mean here?
I do agree that it is very hard in this day and age to manually discretionary trade. What works for me is to program my setups into a system and auto-trade it. But it took years of development and thousands of hours of work. I have systems that do not need anything other that prices and are very profitable.
As bluemele said, you can become a successful trader if you have the staying power and really want it. It depends on your goals. Otherwise you can use a CTA or find a system to lease.
Right on ! I try not to preach to much to others about p/a trading and keeping it simple (seems futile), I've been doing it for a while and it's the only thing that really works....all those flashy indicators look great but in my view only confuse you and lure you into shit trades...keep up the good work.
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That is pretty much right on.... He's right on telling others about things that work/not work....I've shared stuff with others and it goes in one ear and out the other most of the time....I usually remain silent at this point and let people figure it out /or not on thier own unless I think they are serious. thanks for sharing that
Welcome. I have come to the conclusion that indicators are just training wheels and after a while you just start peeling them off. Of course you skin your elbows and knee's quite a bit along the way and it is scary at first. Still a work-n-progress for me....
4ish. My account goes up, then stalls and consolidates back and forth for awhile, then moves up, then consolidates. My highwater mark typically runs a few days back.
Have not yet repaired the damage from previously being 1, 2 and 3, but no fear of going there again, and no doubt that it be worthwhile. Building up slowly after much faster losses is a very hard reality to accept, but when I try it any other way it doesn't work.
If a trade does not work, it does not work. If I hit max down, I can still watch, and believe it will come back tomorrow, and sleep well. If my trade does not come today, I can wait, without feeling I am missing something.
I spend far more time studying charts than I do trading. Some days I watch for 4 hours to be in the market for 4 minutes. Does that make me a watcher or a trader?
Great post, I saved the pdf to my laptop. Thanks for that one.
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