I don't see much difference in your comparison for the simple reason that you mentioned he is "self-employed". The fact that he wakes up every morning needing to give all his best regardless of the situation or mood he is in in order to survive draws a parallel with full time trading for oneself.
Probably the main differences lie in your counter party! In sales you have a demand, need, or desire matched by a specific item (disregarding brand loyalty or product differentiation) the agreement you reach is often through compromise but underlying it all rests basic supply and demand and both parties stand to gain. Where as in trading your counter party will be doing the opposite to you.
In other words sales will generate a benefit to both parties greater than the input, where as trading is a zero sum game.
One difference between buying and selling other goods compared to trading equities or futures is shear speed. Even though like in many other business you are essentially buying something then reselling in trading the market prices are always changing second to second. So it is really a completely different animal than say an import export business. You can import some goods from Mexico and if you know your market have a reasonable expectation you can get x amount for it and that amount changes little day to day. In trading that x amount is changing constantly and may in a matter of seconds be lower than what you paid and for no apparent reason. Trading is really a game of probabilities and it's execution happens very fast and is never static. So in that sense you can transfer very little experience from an import export business into the execution of a trading business other than maybe a few general business principles that would apply to setting up any business.
"The day I became a winning trader was the day it became boring. Daily losses no longer bother me and daily wins no longer excited me. Took years of pain and busting a few accounts before finally got my mind right. I survived the darkness within and now just chillax and let my black box do the work."
The following user says Thank You to liquidcci for this post:
I think what everyone is failing to mention is market knowledge.
I assume that your friend knows the market he works in with sales, he can make predictions about demand, supply, and prices and act on those.
The same is true with trading : ultimately what determines whether someone is successful or not in trading is whether or not they understand the market. It's actually worse, because the market tendencies for any particular instrument that can be traded will shift with time, it's not as static and slow moving as trading goods.
And that is the reason it can take several years for a trader to become successful, he may know all the tools and technicalities behind trading, but if he doesn't understand the market of if he doesn't understand the changing dynamic of the market, he will bust out.
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