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10,000 hours, really?
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10,000 hours, really?

  #131 (permalink)
Market Wizard
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Tell you what's good about this thread.

Whilst we might not agree on how you develop your trading skills, at least there seems to be little debate on whether it is a skill or not.

Historically, that has tended to be a minority opinion in the retail trading world

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  #132 (permalink)
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DionysusToast View Post
I would agree that being tall does not guarantee you will be a good basketball player.

On the other hand, being short pretty much guarantees that you won't be.

I do not have a list of 'traits' that make you a good trader but I am pretty sure there's plenty of people that will never make it no matter how much they repeat what they do.

The idea put forward that a person can do anything they aspire to because of repetition and that there are no natural skills, I think it's lovely but I think it's a fallacy.

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.

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  #133 (permalink)
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Surly View Post
The point .... 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.

I believe Surely has summed it up beautifully.

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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  #134 (permalink)
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What's another hour worth anyways?

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  #135 (permalink)
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samurai View Post
I believe Surely has summed it up beautifully.

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.

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).

http://www.fiddlemath.net/stuff/conditions-for-intuitive-expertise.pdf

In random environments, wrong intuitions can develop, or, as most of us have seen, processes can be abandoned before they have enough data points to determine if they are an improvement.

In those environments, a focus on process and the development of tacit experience instead of a focus on results is recommended.

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  #136 (permalink)
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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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  #137 (permalink)
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Big Mike View Post
And what about the traders whose charts are constantly changing? I mean different specialty bar types, different indicators, and thus different setups?

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 01:18 AM.
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  #138 (permalink)
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DionysusToast View Post

We all have our limits and there's some stuff we just won't be very good at in my opinion. 10,000 hours or not.

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.

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  #139 (permalink)
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Bermudan Option View Post
I think that you are actually inadvertently reinforcing the theory of deliberate practice that maggtrading discussed. Thanks to personal experience and my own reading, I too believe that many people confuse the effects of deliberate practice with on 'God-given advantages. '

For example, one popular stereotype is that Indians/Asians are innately smarter than Americans. However, if we delve into American culture vs Asian culture, we can see that they have completely different educational programs and cultural expectations that result in above average results compared to the average American. It is not that they are intrinsically smarter, but they were brought up in culture with a stronger emphasis on academic success. The unwavering requirement of excellence leads to deliberate practice which results in higher test scores

Another stereotype that you mentioned was that certain races are predisposed to be better at sports. But what you are writing off as an 'automatic advantage' based on race is nothing more than the effects of deliberate practice due to cultural differences... A child who has internet, plays three sports at school and also comes from an middle/upper class environment will no doubt struggle with staying focused for deliberate practice in basketball. However, the child doesn't have internet/cable, can't afford the luxuries in life, the child who goes to the basketball court because he shares a one bedroom apartment with his mother and two sisters is more inclined to undergo deliberate practice because basketball is a form of escape and can pave a way to a better life. Here in Chicago, I know of children that play 12 hours of basketball per day in the summer, so they are likely to reach 10,000 hours much quicker and receive coaching/training at an early age to turn good skills into great skills


The reason why people do research is so they can irrefutable proof instead of vaguely discrediting everything like you appear to be doing. You believe that there are certain traits that successful traders have that cannot be taught... would you venture to name a few? I am guessing not because they have to be intangible for you to keep that belief... because for every trait that you named, I could probably look in any copy of Market Wizards and proof the theory wrong. It isn't based on intelligence alone (LTCM proved this and there are plenty of successful traders without college degrees), it isn't based on race because there are traders in every country that are successfully making money, it isn't based on gender because Linda Raschke has made more money than the majority of this board. So if gender and race, the only two things imo that we cannot change (without expensive surgery at least) do not determine potential success as a trader, what other 'innate' ability are we overlooking as a whole?

I think a problem with your current perception is that you appear to be muddling probability with possibility. It is impossible for everyone to be profitable trading, but it is only improbable for any particular individual to be profitable trading. Anyone can be successful, it is just that statistically speaking, the odds are against them. The predeterminist view that ability is innate allows people to subconsciously accept their shortcomings as being out of their control, but it is not an accurate portrayal of reality.




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  #140 (permalink)
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plethora View Post
This type of behavior typically gets a bad rap. And maybe my shadow side is defending it because I partake in this type of behavior. But in its defense, these types of activities are tantamount to crosstraining and should serve to strengthen the trading muscle.

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.


plethora View Post
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 any car.

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.


plethora View Post
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.

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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