No one, none of the authors mentioned on this thread, none of the participants, no one really anywhere (certainly not me) has ever said you can do anything no matter your starting talents/handicaps. The title of one of the books mentioned is "talent is overrated" - not "talent does not exist". When you overstate the position of the person you're discussing a topic with in order to make it possible for you to disagree with that position, you accomplish little. The point of all the research, authors, and many of the participants of this thread is that it takes a lot of work to get good at things that are difficult and that, beyond a certain basic level of competence and ability, the main distinguishing factor is not talent, but hard work and attitude. And specifically, the very best performers in any field are not the "most talented" - they are pretty much always the ones who work the hardest, practice the longest, and have the right mental attitude.
Seek freedom and become captive of your desires. Seek discipline and find your liberty. - Frank Herbert
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I read "Talent is Overrated" by Geoff Colvin (good book). The author makes the argument it's Deliberate Practice which separates the Good from the Great. It's the hours and hours of hard work put in by the 'Great' practitioners which make the difference. The author also describes what Deliberate Practice is and isn't. Well worth the read.
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I'd also suggest reading Kahneman's and Klein's paper together on the Conditions for Intuitive Expertise. Both agree that deliberate practice is not the total solution in domains where the feedback is inconsistent due to the randomness of the environment (validity of the environment).
If consistently profitable trading is a 'skill' to be learnt - then how long it takes is surely a factor of how good the person is at learning skills. Which IMO comes down to how quick the person can learn the mechanical aspects that the skill can be broken down to, and then more importantly how well that person can get their mind out of the way to perform the skill naturally.
I remember it took me years of $$$ and tears grinding it out to be an expert in windsurfing, and then I seriously envied a friend who practically picked it up on one holiday to a pretty competent level. Trading would be no different - the Jo Blows that slog it out any pursuit would probably have some trading ability if they slogged it out for 10000 hours. But surely The Man, who gets most things quick could be shown the ropes and with some good faith in themselves makes consistent $$$ after a few months.
I wonder what would happen if us traders didn't read book after book on how difficult trading is, how long it will take etc and instead we just believed it was a completely possible endeavor if we gave it our full attention for a couple of months, had confidence in our discretion, and ability to correct our path along the way. 'Finding' rules and formulas etc for being successful must be the biggest contributor to the 10000 hours trying to trade, out there.
The leap into freedom is the exchanging of risk for reward. This can be done only by shifting from tension to ease, and that can be done only when one perceives the reward and not the risk. That you won't win all the time has nothing to do with it - that's life, that's the [stock] market. The trying itself is freeing. And being free has its own reward - Justin Mamis, The Nature of Risk
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This behavior typically gets a bad rap. And maybe my shadow side is defending it because I partake in this type of constant challenge. But in its defense, these types of activities are tantamount to crosstraining and should serve to strengthen the trading muscle. In the final analysis a trader should be able to trade on any chart that is handed to him or her the same way a swimmer can swim in any water or a race car driver can drive a race in any car.
ETA: Either you can trade or you can't -- I don't think a trader's charts make the trader or say anything about the journey to becoming a trader.
Last edited by plethora; April 3rd, 2013 at 12:18 AM.
If this were something more complex such as science or medicine, I would agree with you. But trading is not among the most difficult things to do. How difficult is it to capture one to three points during the day in the Crude market, and then add leverage. The reality is that most people don't put 10,000 hours in anything that requires effort and give up at the first obstacle.
I think Mike is saying that some traders jump from one thing to another endlessly, never actually trying to learn how to trade. They are "system seekers" and have no intention of learning what trading is about. Rather than take a week to walk 20 miles around a mountain, they would rather take a month trying to find hidden tunnels through the mountain which don't exist.
Water is water, cars are cars, and charts are charts. But ask any swimmer if he can comfortably swim a race using someone else's goggles, a race car driver if he can race a Honda Accord the same as he can a familiar Ferrari F430, or a trader if he can be as effective with a random chart as he can with his own tools, and you'll get the same answer: no.
When you say "add leverage," do you mean increase the number of contracts traded? Have you tried this? If so, can you give specifics as to how you scaled and what the results were? If not, you should try it, and see if it's as easy as adding a zero to your size. This is the lure of trading--it's so scalable that one can just up his size. "Just make 4 ticks a day, and trade 100 contracts, and you'll be rich!" Yep, heard that before.
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