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10,000 hours, really?


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10,000 hours, really?

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  #101 (permalink)
 BishopM05 
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RichardHK View Post
This 10,000 hours thing is BS really, and feeds into your psyche and its belief system. Dangerous. If you keep telling yourself this BS, and believing it like many of you here, you will likely take longer than 10k hours. Just like all the snake oil stuff out there, if you tell yourself you need it, you do. If you tell yourself that 98% of the stuff is pure crap, it will be. Whatever you tell yourself is likely to prove itself right, as your brain is programmed to work that way. We are not as smart as we think.

I agree with you Richard that the mind game is the most important to trading, but I think the 10k hour theory holds true for mastery in the trading world. And that doesn't really involve banging your head against the wall for 10k hours either. It requires deliberate practice and critique by a coach. I believe people misunderstand the 10k hours for "the time it takes to be profitable"...

like tderrick just said:

Quoting 
There is a difference between trading at a pro level and being a master. IMO

So obviously there are different levels to trading, and all those levels happen within the 10k hours. Just because you haven't hit the 10k hours, doesn't mean you will fail at making money.

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  #102 (permalink)
 syxforex 
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This whole notion is a fallacy. I'm sure Taleb N would concur that after 10'000 hours flipping coins, one may be none the wiser.

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  #103 (permalink)
 BishopM05 
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syxforex View Post
This whole notion is a fallacy. I'm sure Taleb N would concur that after 10'000 hours flipping coins, one may be none the wiser.

I think this guy would disagree




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  #104 (permalink)
 kronie 
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DionysusToast View Post
Prop shops give traders 12 weeks of training & then let them work SIM till they get good enough to be let loose on 1 or 2 lots. Some people are there on week 12 and some never get there.

3 months, not 5 years.

There wouldn't be ANY professional traders anywhere if it took 5 years of full time commitment to get profitable.

What is it that occurs at hour 10,000 that is so special? Why not 5403 or 1726 or 8983?

It's just a myth perpetuated on teh interweb in my opinion.


trading (for a living) is a business, and as such, your comments are spot-on.

if one has sufficient resources to self fund themselves (living, vacation and incidental expenses) over a 10,000 hour period, as well as funds to float an account at least three times (given expected adverse trading results)

then one need find a wealth manager (high class broker) rather than take this approach at trading for themselves.

one need turn the curve far faster than some arbitrary 5 year horizon.

some teach: "stay off those websites / threads", and to some extent, that is valid, depending on one's bandwidth and ability to socialize for business reasons. if one is participating for comic relief or humor then, the advice is valid. if one is participating on futures.io (formerly BMT) (and other trader websites) for the value and improvement to their portfolio and sharing with others (contributing) then one need stay on these threads...

trading is a business, whether you're a proprietary shop, hack shop, bike shop or truck stop

set your high expectations and hold your results accountable to them!

hopefully you'll turn profitable long before your 6th month and long before your 1st year...

good trading to you!

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  #105 (permalink)
 RichardHK 
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Here's an interesting reality TV series on Wall Street participants - including a Day Trader.

The Analyst gal who left home at 15 and retired at 27 didn't need much time to make good money! I assume most here think the 10k hours are needed to just get profitable, never mind become financially independent.

Wall Street Warriors - Season 1 Episode 1

There are 6 programs in season 1, and 10 in season 2 it seems. Worth watching one a day, even if that means spending less time on trading forums! Do hope nobody here wastes their valuable time on Facebook and such, right?

Richard
Hong Kong
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  #106 (permalink)
 Big Mike 
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RichardHK View Post
Here's an interesting reality TV series on Wall Street participants - including a Day Trader.

Yes I enjoyed it too.



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  #107 (permalink)
StayOnTarget
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Being the massive cynic that I am... I can only assume that the 10,000 hours figure has come about as the maximum time people are generally willing to spend throwing their money after magic indicators and paying for "the secrets that the market makers don't want you to know".

If the snake oil sellers have people believing it takes 10,000 hours to become successful, that's 10,000 hours they will be willing to buy their stuff, because you know, they are still learning....it's just the learning process....right?

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  #108 (permalink)
 squ1d 
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While I agree that it may take 10,000 hours to reach the levels of Marty Shwartz (which can't even be the case, since he became a profitable trader within a year), I think that most people assume trading is harder than it really is.

Let me give you some anecdotal evidence related to myself and my family:
My father began his career as a trader during the 90s, and he turned $10,000 into over $3mm (US dollars) in a single year by just taking advantage of a single strategy over and over.

Now let me give you the details:
1) He quit his job as an MD in order to trade full-time
2) He did not have any secondary income
3) He sold everything he had in order to trade
4) He sold my mom's car in order to get enough money to open the account. In the end they had a little over $10,000.
5) My mom did not have a full-time position since I was just born at the time

I believe that if anyone gets to the point where they need to learn to trade to survive and provide to his/her family, they can do it within a couple of months. The problem is that most people are unwilling to put in the conscious effort to learn the craft. They want to do it without thinking, and with a holy grail system if possible.

That is the problem in my view. There is simply no holy grail or automated money-making machine, and people can't accept it.

I'm sure that it could take over 10,000 hours to accept this simple fact of life. Most people never learn it.

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  #109 (permalink)
 tderrick 
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StayOnTarget View Post
Being the massive cynic that I am... I can only assume that the 10,000 hours figure has come about as the maximum time people are generally willing to spend throwing their money after magic indicators and paying for "the secrets that the market makers don't want you to know".

If the snake oil sellers have people believing it takes 10,000 hours to become successful, that's 10,000 hours they will be willing to buy their stuff, because you know, they are still learning....it's just the learning process....right?



Once again, the old saying goes as stated...

" It takes 10,000 hours to be a master at anything "

You can still make money and not be a master.

I am making money now, but know very little about what actually makes the markets run or
even how the software letting me access the market works.

I have just become adept at judging when the little bars go up or down.


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  #110 (permalink)
 squ1d 
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tderrick View Post
Once again, the old saying goes as stated...

" It takes 10,000 hours to be a master at anything "

You can still make money and not be a master.

I am making money now, but know very little about what actually makes the markets run or
even how the software letting me access the market works.

I have just become adept at judging when the little bars go up or down.

Why would you need to know what makes the market run or how the software works? Your job is to figure out what makes the ticker move, and how it moves. Not how the infrastructure of the market works :P

If you're making the line go from the bottom left to the top right of your screen, you're doing the job.

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 jimjones26 
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I wonder how many hours have been spent debating the merit of 10,000 hours until mastery...

20,000,000
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 tderrick 
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  #113 (permalink)
 josh 
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jimjones26 View Post
I wonder how many hours have been spent debating the merit of 10,000 hours until mastery...

At least 10,000. We are all master debat... oh never mind.

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  #114 (permalink)
 mcteague 
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squ1d View Post
Why would you need to know what makes the market run or how the software works? Your job is to figure out what makes the ticker move, and how it moves. Not how the infrastructure of the market works :P

If you're making the line go from the bottom left to the top right of your screen, you're doing the job.


You do not "need" to know to be profitable. This is the distinction that so many in this thread fail to grasp. Its a 10,000 hours to master. Not 10,000 hours to profit.
If you are teaching classes and writing books on trading, CNBC is calling you for guest appearances, everyone you know calls you for advice, or you trade large amounts of other peoples money then you might need or want to be a master. You might need to have extensive knowledge and experience in all sorts of market conditions and all sorts of instruments. You might need or want to be intimately familiar with all sorts of theories and strategies. Both good and bad.

If you were a master you might know many many things which are not necessary be a profitable trader. Profitable enough to call it your profession and have it be your primary source of income. This does not take, or should not take 10,000 hours. My guess would be 500 to 1500 hours. This include all reading, studying, and practice.
That will not make you a master, but you don't need to be.

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  #115 (permalink)
 squ1d 
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mcteague View Post
You do not "need" to know to be profitable. This is the distinction that so many in this thread fail to grasp. Its a 10,000 hours to master. Not 10,000 hours to profit.
If you are teaching classes and writing books on trading, CNBC is calling you for guest appearances, everyone you know calls you for advice, or you trade large amounts of other peoples money then you might need or want to be a master. You might need to have extensive knowledge and experience in all sorts of market conditions and all sorts of instruments. You might need or want to be intimately familiar with all sorts of theories and strategies. Both good and bad.

If you were a master you might know many many things which are not necessary be a profitable trader. Profitable enough to call it your profession and have it be your primary source of income. This does not take, or should not take 10,000 hours. My guess would be 500 to 1500 hours. This include all reading, studying, and practice.
That will not make you a master, but you don't need to be.

But what is your definition of a master?

To me, a master trader is one that has very long periods of profitability with very small drawdowns. It has nothing to do with anything else other than the results. Let's say that in my mind, a master has been profitable more than 95% of the weeks over the past 3 years and has had a maximum drawdown of 5%. That indeed would take time to achieve.

Edit:
Just look at Market Wizards - most of them were really good at one thing and they just pressed the same button over and over and over. Most of them were trend-followers, but others were scalpers, and they didn't care about what other people were doing. They were mastering their style of trading, and are only considered market wizards because of their results and results alone.

I'll give you an example: I know someone from a very prominent mutual fund who doesn't actually trade or make investment decisions. In fact, he's really bad at it. However, he's a people's person and has gray hair, so that people trust him with their money. He takes their money and gives it to the actual decision makers. He is consistently invited to CNBC and Bloomberg TV to speak about his view on the markets. That's not a master to me, even though he knows more about the US economy and the investment business than 99% of successful traders.

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  #116 (permalink)
 mcteague 
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squ1d View Post
But what is your definition of a master?

I can tell you what it is not. It is not become profitable.

These are clearly subjective terms. Your high school physics teacher had a certain mastery of the subject. But she was not Einstein.

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 Silvester17 
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I am a master

I have a cat

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 squ1d 
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mcteague View Post
I can tell you what it is not. It is not become profitable.

These are clearly subjective terms. Your high school physics teacher had a certain mastery of the subject. But she was not Einstein.

Indeed. Becoming profitable should be attainable within 1000 hours or less of deliberate practice in my opinion.

Philosophically speaking, genius may be a different animal than mastery (in the case of Einstein). I don't think that trading require insights of the magnitude of relativity to become great at it.

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 prisonbreaker82 
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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?

Is the 10,000 hours cumulative across all these differences? Or does one need 10,000 hours on a vastly similar approach to be an expert in that approach?

How different is trading one "chart template" with one bar type, and one set of indicators compared with a different "chart template" of a completely different bar type and indicators?

What about varying methodologies such as trading divergences vs breakouts, or trading extremes countertrend vs trend following and trend continuation? Do you need 10,000 hours of each?

Mike

I started part-time trade 2009. Been consistently profitable trader since mid of 2012.

In the beginning I was looking for the holy grail and changing my charts all the time, this is the biggest mistake a trader can do, second is to trade under capitalized, but this is not what this thread is about...

Stick with one chart temple/workspace at least a couple of months and focus on a few setups.

I think one year is enough if you from the beginning understand the importance to stick with one chart template. My opinion is, if you constitutions changing your charts, you will probably never be a profitable trader.

So, my 2 cents... If you want to experience a long learning curve or not, is up to you!

"insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." - Albert Einstein
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  #120 (permalink)
maggtrading
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DionysusToast View Post
Prop shops give traders 12 weeks of training & then let them work SIM till they get good enough to be let loose on 1 or 2 lots. Some people are there on week 12 and some never get there.

3 months, not 5 years.

There wouldn't be ANY professional traders anywhere if it took 5 years of full time commitment to get profitable.

Think about it people, how would a firm be able to survive if if they had to pay people for 5 years before they got a return? How would prop traders on a stipend of $750 a month survive for 5 years on that pittance before they made enough money to buy a few new shirts, or eat.

What is it that occurs at hour 10,000 that is so special? Why not 5403 or 1726 or 8983?

It's just a myth perpetuated on teh interweb in my opinion.


one can always briefly search engine for something and only then have an opinion.

i am not a profitable trader just yet so i won't comment on that particular endeavor, but i'm knowledgeable in the subject of high performance.

it's scientific, it's fairly new and there are reputable experts on this field of knowledge. gladwell became famous for divulging the work of the field's founders, but he is actually very poor at communicating the key points there are. k anders ericsson and others have been developing this branch of knowledge for 20 something years now. ericsson recently put out the Cambridge Handbook of Expertise and Expert Performance which is not easy to get but a great read. and then, don't go to gladwell, go to tony schwartz to get a good panorama on the matter. schwartz founded a company called the energy project and has a great column on the harvard business review. he has worked with ericsson and other experts and has himself been teaching and implementing high performance in a multitude of areas. about 5 articles in the hbr sum up a lot of his positions: Six Keys to Being Excellent at Anything, Six Keys to Changing Almost Anything, The Magic of Doing One Thing at a Time, Manage Your Energy, Not Your Time, etc.


i have a blog on high performance, can't post the link, but you can easily find it searching for marcosagg. there two of schwartz's conferences can be found, and i won't waste time and energy typing what you can listen to in the two lectures, but the insight is great.


at the close of one of those conferences, schwartz explains ericsson's most famous experiment. the Berlin Academy of Music experiment, which first rendered the 10,000 hours of deliberate practice number and which states that talent does not exist in itself: anyone who presently has an ease or mastery at any task achieved it necessarily through past hard work. there are no "naturals", it's winning habits, proper rest, enough work in deliberate practice and appropriate coaching that take anyone to the top. the number holds for basketball players, olympic atheletes, engineers, designers, writers, comedians, musicians, and any world-class public performer.





Surly View Post
I would disagree with the reasoning behind the claim that it should take 3 months, if not no prop shops would exist. The prop shop environment is instructive I think - @TopstepTrader could comment on this with some authority I bet. Doing an informal scan of the "funded" traders on topstep I would estimate the average years of experience (including trading prior to working with topstep) is something like 3 or 4. I think you'll find that many of the traders who become funded with less experience have some background in finance or a related industry.

As to prop shops more generally, they don't just hire people, train them for 3 months and, presto, the trader is consistently profitable. If that were possible, who would they win money from because every tom, dick, and harry would be hiring MBAs and making them profitable in 3 months - who would be unprofitable? Maybe they hire someone with a few years of experience and turn them into a mildly profitable trader in 3-6 months but I would guess that much of this is due to the very tight external risk controls and constant coaching they receive. This idea that the average smart, motivated person can walk off the street with no experience and be consistently profitable in 3 months is fanciful IMO.

The 10,000 hour mark is obviously an approximation, not a magic number. And it refers to expertise, not mere competency. Finally, the research literature is pretty clear on this subject - which may or may not mean anything depending on your belief in statistical research and the scientific method.


an interesting series can be found in youtube, called Million Dollar Traders. a trading room of 15-odd complete novices was set up in london's financial city with one million dollars available to trade in 2009. they were filmed for reality tv. not every single apprentice got to the finish line or turned a profit, but the room outperformed the industry's average and placed near the top over a period of a couple of months.



BishopM05 View Post
^ I believe this is the key factor here. Along those lines, saying that as long as you're doing something for 10k hrs will get you mastery in trading is a little too much to assume. Too many factors go into when a trader "gets it", so I think of the 10k hours as an average. Sure, getting professional training and doing all the right things consistently can decrease your time needed just as podski says, "10,00 hours of slamming your balls in the fridge door is really hard , both physically and mentally" will potentially increase the time required.

Also, I've been reading a book (see below for link) which tries to figure out similarities between creative entrepreneurs - given that each has their own unique qualities that have made them successful. I haven't finished, but what I've read so far is that each individual makes a small, educated, and deliberate first step towards a goal. If things work out, they continue. If things don't work out after a measured amount, they evaluate and either adjust or move onto something else. I think this is interesting correlation for traders, however my only inclination against this sort of philosophy towards trading is that beginners often take too small of a step and change too frequently - exactly as Big Mike preaches against. That darn measured amount though..that's the tricky part! How long do we go without changing things?

I don't subscribe to the 10k hrs as a hard line, but I feel it's a good enough rough estimate to stop all but the biggest egos out there to assume they can do it in a day


Amazon.com: Action Trumps Everything: Creating What You Want in an Uncertain World (9780983131915): Charles F Kiefer, Leonard A Schlesinger, Paul B. Brown: Books



this is the part about deliberate trading. it's not spending 10,000 hours doing just whatever, people who do get to the top spend those hours in activities that are conducive to developing and furthering specific skills. fruitful, challenging work, which renders measurable results and is directed by someone with superior knowledge.

you need to get a very good outline of how markets work and how money can be made, then, experience different market modes and seasons in person, try and err for a while, get a massive edge and execute it consistently. that would be a rough outline of a learning curve for profitable trading according to me. and there has to be gradual progress along the way, it's not like once over a particular threshold of hours devoted to trading you can't place a bad trade anymore.

there might be people that can get there pretty much on their own, others might rely in getting appropriately coached. but yeah, there's solid research to back up the fact that anyone can learn anything someone else does within reasonable parameters.



BishopM05 View Post
I agree with that 100%...I wish I had the apprenticeship thing from the beginning. Of course, I'm new to the industry and no one in my family or circle of friends are even close. So, having no bar to measure, how could I have picked a good mentor? I don't have the capital to pay for one, and how can I trust someone else who offers to show me a few tips/tricks for free anyhow? Here, do this because I have made x amount of money for 1 year...pssh. As a beginner, there's no way to know if any of that suits me. A consistent, competent coach seems to be the best option, but also having skin in the game for a while will teach me where to set the bar for consistency & competence.

Perhaps this is why old money stays old, and us new dogs have to work our asses off to get a shot at creating something for our families...oh well, I guess I'll be in the over 10k hours category. Ha!


this makes a lot of sense to me. here what i would say is that common sense is also huge and not everyone has it from the time they start trading. through what i read in the news and financial sites and in spite of the alluring spin they always try, i firmly knew that the "buy and hold" strategy, (the only way to make money off the market in the minds of most), would absolutely not work to make money from 2007 onwards. only after attending a trading conference did i learn of selling a stock short of having it and then realized money can be made in the market nowadays (hugely complicated and risky, but possible against all odds still).

with that same common sense i presume i can discard snake oil remedies for trading, but also take some indicators and strategies that seem valuable to me.



DionysusToast View Post
The danger as I see it with the 10,000 hours thing is that you might have people reading this thread, with 3,000 hours invested and NO CLUE about trading and no idea what moves price.

These people could, in theory, pat themselves on the back, double their efforts and tell themselves "only 7000 more hours to go" and continue making zero progress.

The 10,000 hours itself is just a number from a book, thought up by some guy. When looking at numbers like this, you have to consider why he came up with 10,000. It is a very nice, round, big number isn't it?

Why not 7473? or 5610? Not so appealing are they?

Fact is - there is no real science behind the number being appropriate for trading, it's just a lovely, big, round number, which attracts people. It attracted Mr Gladwell, it attracts people on trading forums.

There is no basis for this particular number being more appropriate than 8,000 hours. None at all. There is no basis for this number being more appropriate than 11,000 hours. It really is just a made up number and it has really taken root with a lot of people.

I've heard people say "Stare at the DOM for 10,000 hours and you will see it". Seriously? Stare at the DOM for 10,000 hours and you won't be able to see anything!

You need a reference point. You need to know what to look for. Doing it "The hard way" isn't necessarily "The smart way".

I'd say, if you are 500 hours in and you really don't feel like you have progressed, then you need to change your approach. If you don't have a way to monitor your progress, you might as well stop altogether.


the 10,000 hours stuff is legit, scientific and solid. doctors, researchers and prestigious universities stand behind it. probably more so than a lot of trading methods in themselves which can be more art than science.

but yeah, you have to be making gradual progress and learning from those that already are where you want to get to. and in the end, the number of hours devoted into learning to trade is not that important, it's the quality and direction of what you are doing, and the bottom line of limited time and money to devote to trading will also put those who aren't making enough progress out of the market as well, sooner or later.



mattz View Post
Today’s trader is the most overwhelmed person in the history of trading. The platforms have created a perpetual paper trader, the educators have created traders who move from one method to the next, and the different software vendors also cause traders to move around from one method/platform to another. This is ALL in the hopes of finding the “right” consistent method.

The idea of a focus has gone out the window.

At some stage the attempting trader finally gets it. He starts the focus on the method that fits his/her personality (framework, time frame and frequency) learning a platform A to Z, ignoring the irrelevant info and focus on things that matter.

He starts to gather information from experienced traders and not those who know only 1% more than him/her. The process of tweaking starts and finally accepting the fact that not all the stars have to align to pull the trigger while simplicity could be applied.

The “getting it” part depends on the individual trader and would make the differentiation between the hours it takes to master it. When you “get it” might be 1K hours, 3K hours or 5K…after that the work begins. I must say that considering all the choices that traders have today 10K is reasonable. Bottom line is that the 10K hours is not always the learning part, sometimes it’s the hours of sorting the BS from the real content to learn from.


absolutely agree. but then, the hours developing an eye and finding common sense were obligatory and not wasted by any measure.



one other thing i would point out to is that one of the great difficulties of being an independent trader is actually in being independent itself. i work in management consulting, and for a couple years now have been going the freelance and independent route. self motivation is something that most people struggle with, and the self discipline required too work on your own is huge too. i witnessed many cases of people who had all the technical knowledge and experience required to contribute to projects i worked in but that wouldn't hang on for long because they couldn't manage themselves. that's why most companies have office spaces and fixed working hours, because the vast majority of people perform far better when given structure and direction.

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maggtrading View Post
one can always briefly search engine for something and only then have an opinion.

i am not a profitable trader just yet so i won't comment on that particular endeavor, but i'm knowledgeable in the subject of high performance.


My numbers come from people employed in prop shops. Not from an internet search. I know a lot of prop traders. People that are where most on this forum aspire to be. I also know one or two failed prop traders who despite the advice of many around them are completely the cause of their own failure.

Half the skill is having a big set of balls. I know a guy that runs an open outcry USD/THB forex desk, he sounds like a cockney barrow boy. Sounds to me like he should be selling oranges on a market stall. He has banks on the squawk all day and he's the intermediary playing them off against each other - making them think no-one is interested when they are or generating interest when it doesn't exist. That's trading.

Many traders think that their existing knowledge will give them an edge in trading. Computer programmers usually start off trying to automate trading. I reckon the guy selling oranges on a market stall probably has a greater chance of success because his skills are more relevant and he has less impediments/

You have knowledge in the subject of high performance. Have you considered this may be an impediment to your success as a trader? Same for anyone else reading this that is trying to bring their non-trading skill to trading? Have you considered it might be holding you back?

Now - I can't say it is & I can't say it isn't BUT lots of people spend years applying their non-trading knowledge to trading without a way to see if it is actually helping or not.

Food for thought anyway.

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maggtrading View Post
at the close of one of those conferences, schwartz explains ericsson's most famous experiment. the Berlin Academy of Music experiment, which first rendered the 10,000 hours of deliberate practice number and which states that talent does not exist in itself: anyone who presently has an ease or mastery at any task achieved it necessarily through past hard work. there are no "naturals", it's winning habits, proper rest, enough work in deliberate practice and appropriate coaching that take anyone to the top. the number holds for basketball players, olympic atheletes, engineers, designers, writers, comedians, musicians, and any world-class public performer.

That is an interesting point of view.

I have an Indian friend that believes the above and I believe it is not true. To him it is glaringly obvious that this is true and to me it is glaringly obvious that it is false. We tend not to talk about it too much nowadays...

It is something that remains unproven either way.

One of the interesting things is that we as humans are sort of "Politically Corrected" into admitting that physical attributes can effect performance but mental attributes can't.

Basketball players for instance are usually tall. No matter how much practice you put in, you can't really make up for being a 2 foot tall dwarf.

On the other hand, when we get outside of the realm of the physical, we are rather reluctant to discuss non-physical attributes that can effect performance. For example if you started a discussion about race and sporting ability most people would agree that certain races have attributes that appear to lend them to being good at certain sports. If you started a discussion about race and intellectual capacity, you would probably get a poke in the eye. Physical attributes impacting performance - that's OK - other stuff - verboten. Black/brown/yellow/white/male/female - all that sort of stuff is not allowed and the moment you make up a category someone gets offended by it.

I personally think someone with ADHD would suck at trading. The most successful trader I know is bipolar. I don't discussions on these points would last very long.

A big part of American culture is it's 'dream' that anyone can make it. If you look at most self-help books, they say the same thing. It is an appealing notion but I don't subscribe to it. I think there are some things that you will suck at. I have a long list of mine. I think the people that are doing this sort research are looking specifically to back up a rosy view of mankind and for various reasons they find the proof they are looking for.

Science has a long and illustrious history of people finding what they want to find and proving what they want to prove unfortunately.

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.

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 Bermudan Option 
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DionysusToast View Post
That is an interesting point of view.

I have an Indian friend that believes the above and I believe it is not true. To him it is glaringly obvious that this is true and to me it is glaringly obvious that it is false. We tend not to talk about it too much nowadays...

It is something that remains unproven either way.

One of the interesting things is that we as humans are sort of "Politically Corrected" into admitting that physical attributes can effect performance but mental attributes can't.

Basketball players for instance are usually tall. No matter how much practice you put in, you can't really make up for being a 2 foot tall dwarf.

On the other hand, when we get outside of the realm of the physical, we are rather reluctant to discuss non-physical attributes that can effect performance. For example if you started a discussion about race and sporting ability most people would agree that certain races have attributes that appear to lend them to being good at certain sports. If you started a discussion about race and intellectual capacity, you would probably get a poke in the eye. Physical attributes impacting performance - that's OK - other stuff - verboten. Black/brown/yellow/white/male/female - all that sort of stuff is not allowed and the moment you make up a category someone gets offended by it.

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


Quoting 
A big part of American culture is it's 'dream' that anyone can make it. If you look at most self-help books, they say the same thing. It is an appealing notion but I don't subscribe to it. I think there are some things that you will suck at. I have a long list of mine. I think the people that are doing this sort research are looking specifically to back up a rosy view of mankind and for various reasons they find the proof they are looking for.

Science has a long and illustrious history of people finding what they want to find and proving what they want to prove unfortunately.

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.

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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there are two important clarifications to make:


one, anyone can get better at anything. schwartz has a line for that, anything you want to get better at, you work it like you work a muscle: push past your comfort zone, then rest.


there's research that proves even intangible stuff that people consider innate talents like creativity or empathy can be significantly improved, never mind more mundane stuff like arithmetic, body building, playing tennis, learning languages, etc.



two, it's one thing to improve at something, it's something entirely different to become world-class.


i did mention there are certain parameters or limitations. and anyone who bothers superficially checking out the works of high performance would find out that the authors readily get that objections out of the way. height for example is indeed pretty much a given, but, it is not determinant, not every seven footer makes it to the nba, and not every nba player ever has been seven feet or taller. that's obvious. as it is also obvious swimming prizes other physical traits like long limbs, a big wingspan and large lung capacity. there's people that say those traits give michael phelps an edge over ryan lochte, but it's not those traits that put michael phelps in the level of performance he is at, it's that he has devoted his life to competitive swimming.

actually, the biggest proven limitation is the age at which you start something. our capacity for learning decreases with age, both the brain and the body lose flexibility which is the turnkey to learning. any world-class performer you can think of started out at their discipline very young. tiger woods started golfing at 3, phelps started swimming at 7, music virtuosos like yo yo ma and anyone else you care to mention walked the same road.

human babies are pretty much a blank slate. there is enough potential in them to accomplish anything that they are properly taught to achieve. taking a 2 year old baby of any race or gender, i am confident they can be taught anything and be taken to any level in the proper setup. and there's research to prove that. now, once we get older, our possibilities are more and more defined by a lot of factors and thus our potential is limited. as Bermudan Option points out, environment plays a huge role, as much as our own intrinsic motivation.



now, back to the matter of 10,000 hours and trading. can anyone significantly improve their trading? absolutely. can anyone improve enough to become consistently profitable? i don't know. trading profitably puts you in the top 10 or maybe 5% of the profession, that sounds like being world-class level to me. what i do know that if they are driven and determined enough, any particular individual can become profitable at trading. but it would take an awful lot, and different people with different problems would need to get according solutions. replacing a system that doesn't work, getting useful coaching, developing the required discipline and focus, taking care of the emotional or psychological issues that keep you losing, learning a lot and unlearning all what is necessary. it all can be done, but a lot of people don't want to change or don't want to work as hard as it is required.

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 josh 
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maggtrading View Post
it all can be done, but a lot of people don't want to change or don't want to work as hard as it is required.

Someone I heard within the last few months related something like the following in an online presentation. He was a well-known psychologist, and he kept getting traders coming to him looking for help improving. He told a colleague, "at what point do I stop taking their money and tell them that they're just not willing to work hard enough?"

Having a methodology and approach to trading that allows you to profit is #1, IMO, but I think it takes "hard work" to figure out markets well enough to do this. I think a lot of people run around the "find the easy way" track 20 times, when they could have run down the "realize it's not easy and find what works" path once and been much further ahead. "What works" may vary from person to person, but there are too many shortcuts that people get caught up in that simply don't work.

What a prop trader has as an advantage (what DT has been talking about) is that they have focus, guidance, and an environment conducive to progress. But that does not make them experts or professionals. Any trader who is actually a professional would probably laugh at a "trader" who has been trading less than a year who called himself a professional. One year does not even allow a trader to see seasonal patterns, or a wide variety of market conditions more than once or twice. I think it takes actual experience. They key is, what do you do with that experience? If it's looking for the next shortcut, it's not really experience adding to a cumulative knowledge, it's just experience being stupid and lazy. If you have been trading for more than a year or two and are still regularly asking "can you share the settings" or "can you share the code for this indicator," etc., then it probably means you're on the treadmill. Not necessarily, but it might be something to look at.

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 Surly 
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DionysusToast View Post
A big part of American culture is it's 'dream' that anyone can make it. If you look at most self-help books, they say the same thing. It is an appealing notion but I don't subscribe to it. I think there are some things that you will suck at. I have a long list of mine. I think the people that are doing this sort research are looking specifically to back up a rosy view of mankind and for various reasons they find the proof they are looking for.

Science has a long and illustrious history of people finding what they want to find and proving what they want to prove unfortunately.

The myth of talent is actually quite well established. Your example of basketball players actually reinforces this view rather than disproves it. Certainly you need to be tall to be competitive in the NBA but height alone has very little to do with a player's ability except in cases where it is skewed (someone is 7'4" e.g.). The best players are certainly not the tallest or even the most physically talented players. The best players are the ones who work the hardest, get the best training, develop the right attitudes, etc, etc - all the things Ericsson talks about. This is actually true across all professional sports.

The same is true for academic success - the smartest guys/gals are not the most successful or most respected. In fact any statistical analysis of IQ and success shows that they do not correlate beyond average intelligence. What does lead to success? The behaviors the Ericsson describes. This shows up again and again - read the talect code, talent is overrated, Bounce, or even gladwell's book.

Trading is no different...

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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.

A concert pianist will not do well with short-stubby fingers because they have to be selective about what they play being unable to stretch to many chords. This is a physical ability.

What we are discussing here is whether mental faculties can also impact your ability to perform. We are at ease when discussing different physical make-ups but not so much the mental side.

People want to believe that there is a level playing ground when it comes to having what it takes to trade I guess.

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I think it actually comes down to how focused and productive those hours are.

If one works diligently and industriously from the onset with a guiding hand then it should certainly cut that 10,000 hours down.

There obviously is a HUGE skew in this data though because the real initial task should be clearly defining ones particular aptitudes as a trader.
Some guys would make tremendous pit traders due to that environment suiting their particular abilities. Whereas there are others who may have a much better aptitude writing code for quant trading.

In the end the 10K hour to mastery estimation probably ends up being correct more than not, much of it due to non-productive time being spent and constant changing of the modalities and structures involved.

i know Ive certainly put in 10,000+ hours, tremendous sacrifice, and hardships to finally make a consistent living as a trader.

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 jimjones26 
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Protect your focus. The world is full of people who say it can't be done. The only person that can prevent you from reaching your goals is yourself.

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FXwulf View Post
I think it actually comes down to how focused and productive those hours are.

Agreed & I think that is the crux of the issue for many retailers entering the game.

There's so much misinformation out there, you can focus on the wrong things for years.

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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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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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 samurai 
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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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What's another hour worth anyways?

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 BecomingaTrader 
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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).

https://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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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.

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 plethora 
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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.

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 plethora 
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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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 plethora 
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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)
 josh 
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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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  #141 (permalink)
 plethora 
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josh View Post

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.

Yes, I was referring to adding contracts. Whether you or I or both can do this or not is not a comment on its complexity, compared, as I mentioned, to scholarship.

BTW, thinking it is difficult proves the thought correct.

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  #142 (permalink)
 Big Mike 
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Yes of course, "just add a zero". I was thinking this way around 6-7 years ago...

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  #143 (permalink)
 plethora 
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Big Mike View Post
Yes of course, "just add a zero". I was thinking this way around 6-7 years ago...

Mike

That's where psychology comes in.

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  #144 (permalink)
 plethora 
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josh View Post
some traders jump from one thing to another endlessly, never actually trying to learn how to trade.

Some jump from one thing to another in trading and learn and others don't become successful. I don't believe the jumping by itself is sufficient to isolate as the cause of whether someone grows into the trader they want to be.

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 plethora 
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Personally, I think the most difficult aspect of trading is patience. You could teach a child to identify a high probability setup on any timeframe with any bar and any indicator or none at all. The challenge is patiently waiting for that setup to emerge. Anyone who is genuinely patient has the disposition to become a good trader.

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  #146 (permalink)
 josh 
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plethora View Post
Yes, I was referring to adding contracts. Whether you or I or both can do this or not is not a comment on its complexity, compared, as I mentioned, to scholarship.

BTW, thinking it is difficult proves the thought correct.

The fact that some of the smartest academics like doctors and engineers are often absolute failures at trading should highlight an obvious conclusion--trading requires a different set of skills than can be found in an academic pursuit. To say "trading is not as hard as medicine" overlooks this fact. Medicine perhaps requires more innate intelligence, more long-term commitment to the time it takes to reach the goal, and more training in order to practice it. But that does not mean it's easier. A far larger percentage of those who attend medical school complete it and practice, versus those who open trading accounts and grow them.

I wholly agree with the logic of giving power to a thought, and that thinking something is difficult usually makes it more so, because the thought is there. But when it comes to adding contracts and the supposed lack of difficulty you speak of, it is clear that you are approaching this from the land of the theoretical. It should be easy to simply increase the size, theoretically, but this does not take into account the complexities of the human psychology and the emotions that are triggered when one increases his size. A tightrope walker does not go from walking 2 feet off the ground to 200 feet off the ground in one day--I would suppose that he steadily goes higher and gains comfort with each new height. In the same way, psychologically it's more conceivable to go from 1 to 2, then 3, etc.; yet, some delude themselves into thinking it's as easy as going from 5 to 50, and then they try it, and always discover that it's not as straightforward as it looked on paper, written on their $5K to $100K in a year plan.

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 josh 
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plethora View Post
Personally, I think the most difficult aspect of trading is patience. You could teach a child to identify a high probability setup on any timeframe with any bar and any indicator or none at all. The challenge is patiently waiting for that setup to emerge. Anyone who is genuinely patient has the disposition to become a good trader.

We all have things we are working on, and for some their #1 at the moment may be patience.

But it is again living in the land of theoretical and hypothesis if you really think you can teach a child (I'm thinking young child like 8 to 10 who has not yet developed firm cognitive reasoning) to trade. You can teach them to identify a pattern on a chart and see a line cross another, but that's again the fallacy of thinking how "simple" trading is--"it's so easy you can teach a child to do it, now all you need is mental discipline."

Patience is absolutely part of the game, but it's a part that must be accompanied by an understanding of how markets work and how to profit from them. The "find a setup and wait for it" approach sounds good in theory but is usually purveyed by the lazy and by those selling something to the lazy.

If you disagree with me, I understand. Prove me wrong. Find a kid and show me they can make money. Hell, just make money yourself using this approach. It will quickly become clear that there is too much context lacking and not understood for a "plug and play" approach to trading.

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 syxforex 
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I think what separates successful traders from wannabes who spend thousands hours pontificating in chat rooms is a function of the fire which burns in the belly, not the mass of gray matter sitting in the skull.....

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 plethora 
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(pontificating at the precise moment the market opens)

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 Bookworm 
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In medicine if you make a mistake the normal punishment, if you're caught, is to face the Morbidity and Mortality committee and get your wrist slapped. Only the most egregious errors lead to serious consequences. Trading mistakes however, almost always lead to loss of money.

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jrio76
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Wouldn't paint everyone with the same brush. Depends on the individual and their capacity to learn.

Some people might have a "knack" for trading and "just get it" and can trade successfully after a few months. Others might take 5 or 10 years to figure it out. And other people might never get it.

10,000 hours is a myth IMO.

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 mcteague 
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Bookworm View Post
In medicine if you make a mistake the normal punishment, if you're caught, is to face the Morbidity and Mortality committee and get your wrist slapped. Only the most egregious errors lead to serious consequences. Trading mistakes however, almost always lead to loss of money.

This is incorrect. If trading mistakes always lead to loss of money they would be learned from quickly and rarely repeated. The problem with trading and most types of gambling is that mistakes are not always punished. Often you do stupid things and still win. In the short term that is. In long term those mistakes break your bank.
This is why it is important to focus less on how much we made or lost. It is hard to do, but it is much better and far more useful to analyse your trades interdependent of specific outcome. That is a wining trade is not necessarily a good trade and a losing trade is not necessarily a bad trade. Knowing the difference is very important. And I admit easier said than done

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 Surly 
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plethora View Post
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.

You're so right - just like basketball is totally easy. I'm mean, how hard is it to dribble around a few people and throw ball in a hole? Then you just do that again and again over the course of a game.

Sorry to pick on your post - but I just have to take exception to anyone who thinks trading is "easy". The reality is that it is not easy: due to the structure of markets (zero-sum game among motivated and capable participants) it cannot be easy. Anything that is easy would be done by a larger percentage of the participants and this would remove the "edge" of doing the easy things. It is simply impossible for trading to be easy - it cannot be easy according to the definition of "easy" and the structure of the market. I'm not sure why more people do not get this.

Seek freedom and become captive of your desires. Seek discipline and find your liberty. - Frank Herbert
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  #154 (permalink)
 GFIs1 
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Surly View Post
... The reality is that it is not easy: due to the structure of markets (zero-sum game among motivated and capable participants) it cannot be easy.... I'm not sure why more people do not get this.

Digging a bit deeper and looking round the corner here:
Even THIS zero game has winners and losers:
The main winners are the casino owners aka brokers - they get the money nearly without risk.
Then as a economist would put it:
Take the 20/80 rule and you have the percentage of winners.
For those who are not used to handle it: There are 20% winning traders who take the money from 80% losing
traders - that easy.
All of the winning traders are staying in the game while the rest is getting out of the game after having
burned from 1 to xx acounts.
But the show must go on... so be prepared to change to the winning team (with the help of futures.io (formerly BMT))

GFIs1

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 Massive l 
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10,000 hours by Macklemore
macklemore - ten thousand hours (lyrics on screen) - YouTube

"See, I observed Escher
I love Basquiat
I watched Keith Haring
You see I studied art
The greats weren't great because at birth they could paint
The greats were great cause they paint a lot"

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 iqgod 
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josh View Post


plethora View Post

You could teach a child to identify a high probability setup on any timeframe with any bar and any indicator or none at all. The challenge is patiently waiting for that setup to emerge.


... it is again living in the land of theoretical and hypothesis if you really think you can teach a child (I'm thinking young child like 8 to 10 who has not yet developed firm cognitive reasoning) to trade. You can teach them to identify a pattern on a chart and see a line cross another, but that's again the fallacy of thinking how "simple" trading is--"it's so easy you can teach a child to do it, now all you need is mental discipline."

Patience is absolutely part of the game, but it's a part that must be accompanied by an understanding of how markets work and how to profit from them. The "find a setup and wait for it" approach sounds good in theory but is usually purveyed by the lazy and by those selling something to the lazy.

If you disagree with me, I understand. Prove me wrong. Find a kid and show me they can make money. Hell, just make money yourself using this approach. It will quickly become clear that there is too much context lacking and not understood for a "plug and play" approach to trading.

@plethora - I agree with @josh 100% - do not be fooled by the illusion of simplicity of the trading proposition!


However @thalestrader who is a veteran on traderslaboratory.com has posted how he was teaching his daughter to trade. In his words:

Tip

But, in the end, I do not believe that one can beat simple S/R. I've been working with my daughter, who wants to learn to trade as a summer project. I have her trading a small microlot account at fxcm. All she knows is what I have shown her - trendlines, support, resistance, highs, lows, prior highs, prior lows, and just a small bit of fibonacci (extensions not retracements).

She wouldn't know a stochastic if it jumped out of her closet or a MACD if it crawled out from under her bed. It has been very much like Rousseau's Emile. She is removed from the influence of all the Grail seekers (among whom I used to count myself) and the sellers of pseudo-grail systems (to whom I have generously contributed thousands of dollars over the years). She knows of no other way to make trade decisions other than what I have shown her - all of which may be found here at TL in my posts. I have nothing to hide and nothing to sell.

So, how is she doing? Well, she started trading live on Friday with $25 in the account. As of this moment, she has a balance of $42.70 - a feat she accomplished by trading 1 microlot/trade, which is worth 10 pennies/tick (that's $0.10/pip for you forex "purists"). She buys breakouts above resistance and shorts breakouts below support. She trails her stops according to the natural stops the market provides. She has an average profit of 59 ticks/trade.

Oh, and did I mention that she is nine years old and just finished the third grade?


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  #157 (permalink)
 Coast 
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Big Mike View Post
I'm starting the thread to encourage participation on this subject. Many people say you need "10,000 hours" of hands-on trading experience before you can become adept enough on the subject to be in a position to be any good at it.

Most people who work 40 hour work weeks in a "day job" work approximately 2,000 hours a year. This equates to roughly 5 years of experience to equal the 10,000 hour mark, if you put in 40 hours a week with 2 weeks off per year.

Thoughts?

Mike

If you watch the market 16 hours a day you can cut that time down in half.

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  #158 (permalink)
 Coast 
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DionysusToast View Post
Prop shops give traders 12 weeks of training & then let them work SIM till they get good enough to be let loose on 1 or 2 lots. Some people are there on week 12 and some never get there.

3 months, not 5 years.

There wouldn't be ANY professional traders anywhere if it took 5 years of full time commitment to get profitable.

Think about it people, how would a firm be able to survive if if they had to pay people for 5 years before they got a return? How would prop traders on a stipend of $750 a month survive for 5 years on that pittance before they made enough money to buy a few new shirts, or eat.

What is it that occurs at hour 10,000 that is so special? Why not 5403 or 1726 or 8983?

It's just a myth perpetuated on teh interweb in my opinion.

Yea, but I'm not trading for a firm. Nobody is paying my rent by giving me a paycheck. Nobody is giving me money and telling me what to do and when. I am all alone with only myself and my computer and my survival for company.

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  #159 (permalink)
 tradevelopers 
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iF YOU GET 10000 HOURS OF CHARTING AND 10000 without a dicipline to put STOPLOSS its inposible get a future on it


Get a method ,Code it, and put always Stoploss if this formula = +1 you have a hegde

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  #160 (permalink)
 Coast 
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DionysusToast View Post
I think so.

Trading must be quite unique. Retail traders learn by trial and error. It's more like a research project than learning a skill because we don't have access to the expertise. What other careers are like that?

I spent a lot of money on training. This was after a couple of years of spinning the wheels. I started out with John Carters book and I programmed every strategy and every strategy in the book was totally useless when applied mechanically (which is how it was described in the book too). After that book, I still focused on mechanical stuff because that is where my head was at and where my non-trading expertise was at. I tested a lot of stuff that people said worked to find that it was no better than random.

I had to get ripped off a few times before I learnt the pattern of a BS Artiste. Even then I still spent money on worthless stuff. For me, I didn't want a research project, I wanted to find out what traders actually did.

In the end, it was only when I stopped trying to use my non-trading skills in trading. I made a promise with myself to focus on discretionary trading - no programming, no sitting in my comfort zone, no automation. Once done, it really narrowed the field down of who I could learn off. Most people were offering magic bullets.

It took 5 different people to drum the message in, one of whom charged me $6k to teach me that "this guy is worse than me". So I guess you could say it's 4 people.

In the end, I found out some stuff that I was able to apply but I paid for the info. Perhaps if I'd had the info up front, I would have spent less time. That's the gut feel but no-way to test it.

In terms of hours I put in - I have absolutely no idea. I tend to stop when my wife starts growling.

You're a funny man DT. You argue that 10,000 hrs is ridiculous and one can easily learn to trade profitably much sooner. Yet here you tell us that your own path involved a long and apparently frustrating road. You spent a lot of money and a couple of years just spinning your wheels. I assume that was before your wife started to growl. And even then, you continued to spend even more money. I'd have to say, that all sounds like 10,000 hrs to me.

All the best.

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  #161 (permalink)
Jack Larkin
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You guys might want to read Matthew Syed's Bounce, it goes a little further on the 10k hours idea and touches upon something I think people here are missing.

A few of you have posted that you don't think you need 10k hours to be a good trader, and that you could do it in much less... others think it's needed.

In bounce, Syed talks about a gradient of talent as measured by purposeful practice, and used many examples in sports and art... Syed was trying to make the argument that there's no natural born talent, just people who practiced more under varying conditions, but one key different between a person with good and another with great skills was shear time put into practicing. (That is to say, that while some examples given were very skillful at their craft with only 3-5k hours practicing, the ones that were atop of them were nearly always ones with a shear greater amount of time practicing.)

And the other key thing was "purposeful" practice, not just practice. I personally think this is the number one way people make trading harder than it needs to be, they spend time doing the wrong things for so long that they build all sorts of nasty bad habits that later need to be worked out over even longer periods of time. In all, they can put in thousands of hours actually going negative in a sense of 'ability' as a trader before realizing they have bad habits that need correcting. (I personally feel that the easy access to information on the net hurts new traders a lot here, since there's a lot of bad info, and people will seek out info that backs up their own ideas first for validation before approaching a subject from the right perspective.)

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  #162 (permalink)
 syxforex 
British Columbia
 
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The question is, 10,000 hours of practicing exactly what? If it's 10000 hours practicing jack-assery 10,000 ft deep in the rabbit holes of nowhereville then you will likely become a master joker. In trading you have very simple micro level concepts and very highly complex macro level contextual concepts. There is definitely enough complexity for a joker to spend a good decade hacking in a solitary cell to find in the end they know nothing more than when they started.

Take a look at lighbulbs. Thomas Edison spend years day in and day out trying hundreds of thousands of experiments. If he spent a week with you in his lab, showed you the schematic and how to make one, I guarantee that almost everybody on this forum would be able to make their own lightbulbs after that training. There is no need to blow up light bulbs for the next ten years of your life. And if you think you are the next Thomas Edison you probably need an immediate ego intervention.

Most successful traders are working in prop shops for a reason. Successful business people sharing ideas and working on what works. The biggest mistake I made starting out was not taking a seat at a good prop shop when I had the chance. I had serious ego issues and thought I could do better on my own. Big mistake. If there is a 10,000 hour rule in trading it has to be the 10,000 hour ego rule, the 10,000 hours it takes to realize how overblown our egos really are and how much we really know about anything.

Luckily today in the age of social media there is a really huge wealth of knowledge available to the aspiring professional trader. While there is a ton of garbage and snake oil, be very careful, there are a few very good learning opportunities as well. Nothing can beat sitting at the feet of successful traders in an office setting however. I know that I could have learned what I now know in 3 to 6 months and mastering it in 6 to 18 had I been taught by professionals. Anyways, anyone reading this, hacking your years away and wondering if you are alone or crazy, save yourself the pain and get yourself in the right environment to learn this game. if you are serious about making a career in trading find a successful group of traders that will take you under their wing. Do not hole up in solitary and think that you just have to dig for 10,000 more hours, else you might end up insane, in Mexico, living on corona lights, and playing chicken in 20 foot seas for kicks.

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  #163 (permalink)
 Ezeboog 
Phoenix, AZ
 
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I agree w/ Fadi's response. I can't imagine 10k hours is some magical threshold. Everyone has a different skill set when arriving on the trading scene. Some people have a better aptitude for it than others. I don't believe that there is a cookie cutter approach. In any event, along the lines that Fadi stated, it takes an incredible amount of commitment, study, practice, etc. to figure it out. I could see some people getting it w/in a couple thousand hours and some never getting it.

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  #164 (permalink)
 GaryD 
Orlando, Florida
 
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I just recently crossed the 5 year mark, in year 6. I thought I was there a couple of times before, but now I can say that I am far ahead of where I was before in understanding, so wherever I was before, it was not here.

I may have put in my 10,000 hours in the first 3 years. I am obsessive, work 80 hours as normal, and had no business going on for a few years, and watched markets like they were my religion. But the hours themselves were not everything. Time to digest, time to reflect, time to gain experience, all of that plays into it as well in my journey.

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  #165 (permalink)
 GaryD 
Orlando, Florida
 
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syxforex View Post
The question is, 10,000 hours of practicing exactly what?

....Do not hole up in solitary and think that you just have to dig for 10,000 more hours, else you might end up insane, in Mexico, living on corona lights, and playing chicken in 20 foot seas for kicks.

How many hours, and studying what exactly, do I need to put in to live that life? That's where I want to be!


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  #166 (permalink)
 syxforex 
British Columbia
 
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Be careful what you wish for, Son....

The years are turning to half decades on me as well. This in itself does help with the trading Zen, so perhaps look there first. Second, I would follow successful traders and learn from them. Twitter is good if you are poor like me, lots of great traders out there sharing information every day. If you have the money join one of the good educators, FT71, Raschke, etc, many mentions and others on the site here. Find the one whose style best suits your way of trading.

Find out what makes them successful and be like them. Trading is 99% psychological once you know how the edges work. This is an endless process it seems. One day you feel a high degree of enlightenment that seems permanent, next thing you know you are selling on the bottom tick of a s#$ty swing and screaming curses at your reflection in the screen. Study the work of Buddah, that is what I'm working on these days. Use your emotions wisely. And don't overdo the screen time, nothing worse than this. Get out and be equally passionate about something else. For me it's surfing. Im in the Pacific every day at 2PM here. I reckon that has become my best learning device these days.

Good Luck!

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  #167 (permalink)
 GaryD 
Orlando, Florida
 
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syxforex View Post
Be careful what you wish for, Son....

The years are turning to half decades on me as well. This in itself does help with the trading Zen, so perhaps look there first. Second, I would follow successful traders and learn from them. Twitter is good if you are poor like me, lots of great traders out there sharing information every day. If you have the money join one of the good educators, FT71, Raschke, etc, many mentions and others on the site here. Find the one whose style best suits your way of trading.

Find out what makes them successful and be like them. Trading is 99% psychological once you know how the edges work. This is an endless process it seems. One day you feel a high degree of enlightenment that seems permanent, next thing you know you are selling on the bottom tick of a s#$ty swing and screaming curses at your reflection in the screen. Study the work of Buddah, that is what I'm working on these days. Use your emotions wisely. And don't overdo the screen time, nothing worse than this. Get out and be equally passionate about something else. For me it's surfing. Im in the Pacific every day at 2PM here. I reckon that has become my best learning device these days.

Good Luck!

Brother I am playing. I have been through more than I could explain in trading. Yes, I would live in Mexcio, drink beer for breakfast, and play in 20' seas, but that's just me. But when it comes to trading I am religiously serious. I am just silly by nature, and bored tonight, cruising the other posts. I almost never venture out of my little place here on futures.io (formerly BMT), but tonight am feeling frisky for some reason. Happy, content.

I saw the title about 10,000 hours and thought, I am in that club for sure!

When was that, exactly... ??

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  #168 (permalink)
 Ignawin 
Prague, Czech Republic
 
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Sorry if someone has already posted this, I hadn't enough time to go through the whole thread..
Anyway, it's worth watching!
/watch?v=EEtpH6ZEPOc (cant post links yet, not enough posts..)

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  #169 (permalink)
 hothomas71 
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
 
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There are too many factors to put a number on what it takes. The most important thing I believe is to be able to trade without fear of loss. If you can do this then it won't take 10000 hours. No doubt in my mind. I know there are many other details to learn but learning money management, chart patterns, context, etc. can be learned by studying a few good books. It's changing your belief system that will need the most time to master. Those are the facts and I'm sticking to them

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 TrendTraderBH 
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This Linked In article is relevant to this thread discussions as it addresses the 10,000 hour issue and some other parallel issues that could be relevant to the trading profession.

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=don%27t%20sell%20your%20time%20for%20a%20living&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&ved=0CDYQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.linkedin.com%2Ftoday%2Fpost%2Farticle%2F20130601234458-531284-don-t-sell-your-time-for-a-living&ei=84GsUd64EMqstAajoYGQDg&usg=AFQjCNF58lhJz20SXyQ0CmMAYbfBDMA31w&bvm=bv.47244034,d.Yms

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  #171 (permalink)
 tigertrader 
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Back to comparisons of trading with other activities, I have been involved with start-ups (off-and-on) for about 10 years. Both aspiring traders and new businesses experience a "growth curve". For new ventures it goes something like this: an entrepreneurial phase where an idea is transformed into a viable business model and growth is modest; and then a threshold “where revenue breaks out, and finally revenue growth. They say the"runway" for this growth is on average 5years. From personal experience, this has rarely been the case and the variance was surprisingly large.

Just like fledgling businesses, traders spend a lot of time figuring out a personal style and an edge, perfecting their methodology, eking out modest profits, until they become consistently profitable. From my experience in the pits, some traders "got-it" right away (and were profitable immediately), some never got it and were out the revolving door, and most were somewhere in between.

Bottom line; every business is different, and every trader is different.

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Commodity
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i think it's almost true . anything that makes a good sense is "bad" in trading and vice versa ,cutting losses short and let profits run & kill the inner ego is against our natural tendencies .so it may take years not only to find an edge but to find a self discipline for trading. in the first look 10k hours may look exaggeration but hello reality every serious skill may need this period too .

i asked my barber about how much time does an average human need to learn your job ?he replied : only in 1-2 months you will learn it , but you need another 3-4 years to master it !

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 podski 
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I think that the 10.000 hours thing depends
a. on what you are doing and how well you can structure those hours ..
b. how much laser like focus you can put into each hour
c. how much you enjoy each hour
.. but I also think that it depends on the sort of trading you are doing. If you are trading with a very high timeframe (weeks months) then it takes many hours for your thesis to be proven right or wrong by the market. Not all of those hours will be very focused.

If you are short term trading .. then you can get a lot of transactions of experience in a day/week/month.

I read somewhere that when you open your first account that the objective is to gain as much experience with that account and learn as much as possible before you bust it. If experience to some extent can be measured in # of transactions (i.e. decisions .. provided they are sensible) then 10.000 could be 2.000 or it could be 20.000 .. or it could be never !


p

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 hectormas 
Charlotte, NC
 
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Below is a link to Part 2 of Charlie Rose interviewing Geoff Colvin (who wrote "Talent is Overrated"; whose main concept is that extensive "deliberate Practice" is what makes world class"). @tigertrader recommended the book and has talked about this subject in other threads.

What I find interesting is that in Minute 5:45 of the video, Charlie Rose mentions of a personal experience when he was near Martina Navratilova who was surrounded by people, and someone asked her:

"How many hours do I have to practice to become a Champion"

To which Martina politely replied

"If you ask that question, you will never be a Champion"

Meaning, you cant be counting the hours and figuring it out how many more you need.

Your focus should be on making sure you understand what really constitutes "deliberate practice" for your trading stage (for which I dont have the answer.. yet); and making sure that you pursue it with determination UNTIL you achieve your goal, in our case of being consistently profitable traders.


VIDEO
Geoff Colvin - Talent is Overrated (2009) Parte 2 - YouTube

Hector

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BillyBobJoe
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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?

Is the 10,000 hours cumulative across all these differences? Or does one need 10,000 hours on a vastly similar approach to be an expert in that approach?

How different is trading one "chart template" with one bar type, and one set of indicators compared with a different "chart template" of a completely different bar type and indicators?

What about varying methodologies such as trading divergences vs breakouts, or trading extremes countertrend vs trend following and trend continuation? Do you need 10,000 hours of each?
Mike

I have 12000+ hours studying just options. I thought I knew quite a bit but bought into a great mentor who has enhanced my trading and provoked new thought processes. I have blown out one small $20,000 account in last 2 years but am now doing pretty well. The learning process hasn't slowed and seems to accelerate. I have included in my hours statistical studies of probably 100 indicators.. alone and in combo (huge time expenditure to find none very note worthy). and about 2 years solely developing from my own hypothesis and systems development. Again all this was enhanced by a very well travelled and experienced mentor. We trade live daily with each other. Now to become better will take time and experience which hopefully will not be too expensive.

The webinar on Wyckoff this June 13th "Weis on Wyckoff" was awesome! I have found Wyckoff to be the best of gurus. This webinar enhanced my thought process again!
Thanks BBJ

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  #176 (permalink)
 KahunaDog 
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Wow I read this entire thread...all 18pages.


Talent, hard-work and deliberate practice are what it ultimately comes down to.
To clarify my post, the 10k hours is for subject mastery. It is not for competency. Let us not equate competency to profitability, but for my post they are near similar.

The 10k hours is based on deliberate practice with active feedback, then adjustments to the skill were made. These feedback loops are critical. Losing money is only one type of feedback.


From my perspective
Trading has a large learning curve due to the many variables.
Thus the need to isolate and systemize to allow deliberate practice in those variables.

Some of the trading variables that could incorporate deliberate practice are
cpu skill(programming, other)
chart skill(reading, drawing, other)
indicator reading(if you use them)
TA skill
chart platform skill
broker platform skill
money management skill


Structured Mentoring imo can shorten the learning and mastery curve in anything. It could provide specific and active feedback not available to most traders. Practices and games(live) optimized.

Some reasons why many traders including myself have wasted time
jumping from systems or charts
inefficient use of brokers platform
seeing the trees instead of the forest
money management

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joeyk
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To become exceptional and amazingly good yes 10,000 hours sounds kind right. SMB Capital reckon it takes 3 years trading everyday to become amazingly good and i agree.

Why is 10,000 hours a load of garbage to become consistently profitable?
Simply due to the fact that if it took 10,000 hours to become consistently profitable no prop trading firm would be in business.

How long on average at a prop trading firm for trainees with average experience?

9 months trading the entire trading session everyday with 2 hours of training. Some become consistent in 6 months others in 12 months. If any of you guys know SMB Capital they say the exact same thing. Read One Good Trade and most of their trainee traders who become consistent took them around 9 months on average. Took Mike 8 months and he had almost no knowledge prior to becoming a trainee.

A Prop Shop that is very interested in me says you need to be ready to train 1 year to become consistent.

For me personally my start was a rocky road too, until one day i found the right information
I was on and off for 6 years before i decided to take it serious and become a prop trader.

From the moment i became serious and decided to adopt prop trading training into my own personal training it took about 8 months to become consistent. Break even took about 5 months. The first 4 months was just well in the red.

You will literally fail your way to consistent results.

What's different between what i was doing the first 6 years and what im doing now when I became consistent?

Everything!!!!!!!! When you start to know real traders a common thing they all say is. F*#@K the books they are full of shit. And most of them are.

I trade completely different. I don't look at candles sticks, Fibonacci, Stochastics, MACD or any of that rubbish. I look at the money. I look for pain. I look for where traders or going be exiting bad trades and new money comes in. I look for size. I look at how price reacts to size. I break it down to what the market really is and that's an auction where big players move the price. Play the players not the cards. Play the game. If you haven't guessed i'm an order flow trader.

Why is it taking so long for you
You have the wrong information. You know this industry is full of people who think they can trade but don't.

Whether trading Futures, Stocks, Forex, Options go do this if you want to become consistent. Find a prop trading firm that has trainees. Find out how they train their trainees. Adopt their training into your training. Talk to real traders who trade today and find out as much as you can. Warning these traders aren't gona tell you shit. But they might tell you enough to direct you on a common path to trading success.

You dont understand trading is a skill
Another reason why it takes you so long is because you dont understand trading is a skill.

How you become good at a skill?

By doing it over and over and over and over and over and over and over again and again and again and again for as long as you can. Then you smash that limitation and go even further.

If you're and MC Squared Student Of The Market and have read 1000 books, been in a laboratory coming up with some system and back testing it, know how to calculate stochastics, gang fan gang bang big wang, you have nothing on someone who trades everyday. Soz just trying to humour.

Hard work and actually trading will make you great. Read the books too but you need to be trading everyday and becoming good in application.

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 Surly 
denver, colorado
 
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joeyk View Post
To become exceptional and amazingly good yes 10,000 hours sounds kind right. SMB Capital reckon it takes 3 years trading everyday to become amazingly good and i agree.

Why is 10,000 hours a load of garbage to become consistently profitable?
Simply due to the fact that if it took 10,000 hours to become consistently profitable no prop trading firm would be in business.

How long on average at a prop trading firm for trainees with average experience?

9 months trading the entire trading session everyday with 2 hours of training. Some become consistent in 6 months others in 12 months. If any of you guys know SMB Capital they say the exact same thing. Read One Good Trade and most of their trainee traders who become consistent took them around 9 months on average. Took Mike 8 months and he had almost no knowledge prior to becoming a trainee.

A Prop Shop that is very interested in me says you need to be ready to train 1 year to become consistent.

For me personally my start was a rocky road too, until one day i found the right information
I was on and off for 6 years before i decided to take it serious and become a prop trader.

From the moment i became serious and decided to adopt prop trading training into my own personal training it took about 8 months to become consistent. Break even took about 5 months. The first 4 months was just well in the red.

You will literally fail your way to consistent results.

What's different between what i was doing the first 6 years and what im doing now when I became consistent?

Everything!!!!!!!! When you start to know real traders a common thing they all say is. F*#@K the books they are full of shit. And most of them are.

I trade completely different. I don't look at candles sticks, Fibonacci, Stochastics, MACD or any of that rubbish. I look at the money. I look for pain. I look for where traders or going be exiting bad trades and new money comes in. I look for size. I look at how price reacts to size. I break it down to what the market really is and that's an auction where big players move the price. Play the players not the cards. Play the game. If you haven't guessed i'm an order flow trader.

Why is it taking so long for you
You have the wrong information. You know this industry is full of people who think they can trade but don't.

Whether trading Futures, Stocks, Forex, Options go do this if you want to become consistent. Find a prop trading firm that has trainees. Find out how they train their trainees. Adopt their training into your training. Talk to real traders who trade today and find out as much as you can. Warning these traders aren't gona tell you shit. But they might tell you enough to direct you on a common path to trading success.

You dont understand trading is a skill
Another reason why it takes you so long is because you dont understand trading is a skill.

How you become good at a skill?

By doing it over and over and over and over and over and over and over again and again and again and again for as long as you can. Then you smash that limitation and go even further.

If you're and MC Squared Student Of The Market and have read 1000 books, been in a laboratory coming up with some system and back testing it, know how to calculate stochastics, gang fan gang bang big wang, you have nothing on someone who trades everyday. Soz just trying to humour.

Hard work and actually trading will make you great. Read the books too but you need to be trading everyday and becoming good in application.

This is not a response to the OP - just want any newer traders out there to realize that prop firms do not consistently take inexperienced traders and turn them profitable in 6-9 months. It just doesn't happen. Prop firms that are successful frequently get applicants with 3-10 years of experience. They pick from among the best of these applicants and then put them through their programs. They don't take people off the street and turn them profitable in 6-9 months - it may happen occasionally but its not the norm.

The OP is correct that trading is a skill and that actual trading is required to become consistent. The OP is also correct that finding a successful mentor can be a great way to learn how to trade. However, the OP's notion that you can learn nothing from studying and learning concepts from written material is flawed and newer traders are cautioned to take this advice with a grain of salt. Learning can come from many different sources. I would also caution newer traders about moving to lower timeframes in hopes of becoming profitable. Generally speaking, markets become more efficient the lower the timeframe analyzed.

Seek freedom and become captive of your desires. Seek discipline and find your liberty. - Frank Herbert
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  #179 (permalink)
joeyk
Australia
 
 
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Surly View Post
This is not a response to the OP - just want any newer traders out there to realize that prop firms do not consistently take inexperienced traders and turn them profitable in 6-9 months. It just doesn't happen. Prop firms that are successful frequently get applicants with 3-10 years of experience. They pick from among the best of these applicants and then put them through their programs. They don't take people off the street and turn them profitable in 6-9 months - it may happen occasionally but its not the norm.

The OP is correct that trading is a skill and that actual trading is required to become consistent. The OP is also correct that finding a successful mentor can be a great way to learn how to trade. However, the OP's notion that you can learn nothing from studying and learning concepts from written material is flawed and newer traders are cautioned to take this advice with a grain of salt. Learning can come from many different sources. I would also caution newer traders about moving to lower timeframes in hopes of becoming profitable. Generally speaking, markets become more efficient the lower the timeframe analyzed.

I agree with almost everything you said, except for taking my advice with a grain of salt. If i received this advice 5 years ago it would of cut my learning curve big time!

Prop Shops don't take people with no experience. That's why i said"average experience" before you even get to the first test they will want to know you have been actively trading, among other criteria. Of course they aren't going to take someone with no experience, you wouldn't even make it to the first test or meeting.

The junior traders who receive a seat in a Prop Shop can and become consistent within 6-12 months (I said 9 to average it out). The ones that become consistent are few and far between the rest get cut and mostly leave especially if its a prop shop that doesn't pay you a salary. Don't take my word for it, actually ring a prop shop up and ask them, or go to one of their seminars. If you need a reference from some book read One Good Trade by Mike Co-Found Of SMB Capital. It says the same thing if it takes you longer then that you will probably be classified as a liability. Sometimes they keep you for longer because sometimes a trader could be very close to becoming consistent and the firm wants a return on their investment. If you don't look like you're progressing and doing what's expected for a junior, you will be cut. So it's possible to become consistent in 6-12 months!

There's a long list of traders that i know who have done it in under 12 months with average experience. But you need the right information first. If you need evidence. John Grady (futures trader) did it in 9 with average experience, Mike from SMB did it in 8 months with average experience, there's literally 10+ stories in One Good Trade of many who did it in 6-12 months with average experience. A prop shop that i'm involved with have talked to me about many stories of becoming consistent in under 12 months that's why they advised me to be willing to train extremely hard for 12 months. Did i meet these traders who did it in under 12 months? Yep met some of these traders and talked to them too and it was a real eye opener. My trading friend who i trade with over skype every night and came to the prop shop with me became consistent in 7 months with average experience and i did it in 6 months with average experience. List goes on buddy boy but you need to work and i mean work dam hard. I work 7 hours a day on my trading just as a basis point for people reading this. 6 hours of that is actually trading 1 hour is study and training such as visualization and journalling and looking over video of me trading the day before. I video record my screen.

I didn't say you can't learn anything from books.
That's why i said "Read the books too but you need to be trading everyday and becoming good in application.

Other words keep reading and going to seminars and similar things but you must be actually trading. Too many times i see wana be traders reading 100x more then actually trading and they wonder why they aren't consistent yet.

Well i ask these wana be traders the question again. How many hours have you put into actually trading? 50 hours? Well there's your answer. So you want to be a trader and you only put 50 hours into actually trading and making trades and you spent 1000 hours reading books. Good luck to you.....

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  #180 (permalink)
 Surly 
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@joeyk - sound like we basically agree with each other. I believe you said you'd been trading on and off for 5 years before you "became consistent in 6-12 months" so my point is that people off the street are not going to be consistent in 6-12 months and also that even in these prop firms with all the training and coaching, many still fail.

I've posted before about it being mathematically impossible for prop firms to consistently take traders without much experience to profitability in 6-12 months, certainly not substantial profitability. You're post is very good (with the caveats I mentioned) for new traders to read in that it encourages them to seek out mentorship and/or employment at a reputable prop firm because these are the best ways to shorten the learning curve.

I have read bella's book (great read) - I have a friend who is studying with them now. It sounds like a good program (albeit expensive).

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  #181 (permalink)
 PositiveDeviant 
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redratsal View Post
The 10'000 hour rule was not originally generated for trading, Malcolm Gladwell author of outliers deals about it based on science experiments. You can google and find lots of stuff about it.



Outliers: The Story of Success is a non-fiction book written by Malcolm Gladwell and published by Little, Brown and Company on November 18, 2008. In Outliers, Gladwell examines the factors that contribute to high levels of success. To support his thesis, he examines the causes ....

how The Beatles became one of the most successful musical acts in human history
courtesy https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Outliers_(book)

I recently visited Liverpool where the Beatles originate from and I visited the club where it all started for them - The Cavern Club.



In their first two and a half years when they started out they performed 292 times in The Cavern Club - no wonder they became so good.

Practice

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  #182 (permalink)
edwinsee2009
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hope i get better real one. i trade fx but the prices that i get in or get out still doesnt come instinctively to me. like "I got in yesterday usdjpy at 98.52" blah blah

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  #183 (permalink)
 Bookworm 
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Sports, Complexity, and the Ten-Thousand-Hour Rule : The New Yorker

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  #184 (permalink)
 josh 
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Excellent article, thank you for posting. Following from the last part of the article, then, I have a question:

Is trading cognitively demanding, in the same vein as chess, for example? And if the answer is yes, why, and does it need to be that way?

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  #185 (permalink)
 Bookworm 
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My OPINION is that trading is cognitively demanding because the best people and computer programs are competing in a negative sum game (commissions.) Under those conditions, how could it not be? Financial markets are constantly evolving and eliminating "edges". When stock index futures were new, Marty Schwartz used to be able to make money in the S&P using the movements of the cash bonds after the bond futures closed. More recently, trades in the weekly stock options that had an edge, no longer do because so many people are selling those contracts. HFT has become a ruthless contest between predator and prey algos as each tries to outsmart the other. For the past nine months as stocks have moved relentlessly higher under low volatility, options traders have had to abandon or adapt strategies such as iron condors or butterflies that were working earlier. Look at how often people here at Big Mike's have changed their methods or preferred markets? The need to respond to constantly changing market conditions makes trading a cognitively demanding task in my book.

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  #186 (permalink)
 Cloudy 
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I very much agree with your assessment. Option prices have changed significantly. It's harder to find good "prices" to buy or sell with option position strategies much less with the same r:r as previously ; With Cramer saying 80% of the transaction volume is by HFT and 50% of all investing in stocks and bonds are by the 1% from another source, I think the "zero-sum" game is not so much retail traders trading against one-another as they would like to have one believe, but against or with the HFT and big money moving around. The bought out SEC, NFA, government etc. are just going to continue to make small token public ineffective "fixes and investigations" to assuage the public perception. I recall the Linda Bradford Rashke & Larry Connors book "Street Smarts" where once it was possible to trade with stochastic crossovers ... like back in the 80's or 70's. LBR has adapted while Connors is now a vendor selling black-box "systems" and newsletters. ( TradingMarkets.com - Quantified Stock Market Trading Strategies & Systems)




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  #187 (permalink)
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GaryD View Post
I just recently crossed the 5 year mark, in year 6. I thought I was there a couple of times before, but now I can say that I am far ahead of where I was before in understanding, so wherever I was before, it was not here.

I may have put in my 10,000 hours in the first 3 years. I am obsessive, work 80 hours as normal, and had no business going on for a few years, and watched markets like they were my religion. But the hours themselves were not everything. Time to digest, time to reflect, time to gain experience, all of that plays into it as well in my journey.

Is it not possible you are overestimating?

My opinion is that the 10,000 hours comes from what people feel like they put in.

10,000 hours in 3 years is 3,333 hours per year or 9 hours per day if working every day.

Looking back, do you really think you put in 9 hours a day, every day for 3 years? Did you have a job too at that time?

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  #188 (permalink)
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joeyk View Post
Prop Shops don't take people with no experience. That's why i said"average experience" before you even get to the first test they will want to know you have been actively trading, among other criteria. Of course they aren't going to take someone with no experience, you wouldn't even make it to the first test or meeting.

My experience is a little different.

Prop shops that I know of do not look for retail trading experience. In fact, many see it as a negative thing because of all the things they will need to unlearn. I did recently meet a bunch of traders at a prop shop for coffee - only one of them had prior trading experience, the other 3 were completely new to it when they started.

Prop shops whose traders I know personally will all take graduates based on their education, extra-curricular activities (in particular competitive sports) and the way they come across in the interviews. There is absolutely no requirement for prior trading knowledge.

Let's face it - what does the average retail trader bring to the table in the prop world? Very little in 99% of cases.

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  #189 (permalink)
 GaryD 
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GaryD View Post
I may have put in my 10,000 hours in the first 3 years. I am obsessive, work 80 hours as normal, and had no business going on for a few years, and watched markets like they were my religion.


DionysusToast View Post
Is it not possible you are overestimating?

My opinion is that the 10,000 hours comes from what people feel like they put in.

10,000 hours in 3 years is 3,333 hours per year or 9 hours per day if working every day.

Looking back, do you really think you put in 9 hours a day, every day for 3 years? Did you have a job too at that time?

For the first 3 years, no I had no job. What I did for a career had disappeared. I carried a laptop to bed every night, fell asleep with it, woke up, carried it into the kitchen to get coffee, into the restroom...

My first 3 years I was beyond obsessed, because I was losing everything I had in my real estate developing. By year 4 I did start a new company, just shortly before I filed for liquidation bankruptcy in my previous business.

Then I worked for another two years during the day, traded when I could, carried a laptop and monitors through airports for awhile. Still slept with the laptop many times, or hooked it to the motel TV and let it run all night, waking up through the night just to watch some more.

I did not keep an hour meter and never even attempted to do the math. My "10,000 hours" was analogous to "paid my dues". How much are the dues anyway? I would have preferred to have known up front, maybe been given the option to finance or make a lump sum payment...

What I guess I meant was, I was hard-core-near-insanity-obsessed to find something that could save me from financial ruin, decided to worship the gods of the markets to find my faith in the future. My approach was not "normal" in many ways.

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 GaryD 
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DionysusToast View Post
Is it not possible you are overestimating?

My opinion is that the 10,000 hours comes from what people feel like they put in.

10,000 hours in 3 years is 3,333 hours per year or 9 hours per day if working every day.

Looking back, do you really think you put in 9 hours a day, every day for 3 years? Did you have a job too at that time?


Thinking about it more as I make some coffee, 9 hours per day is most likely an underestimation. I know there were times I was on it from 7am until midnight, then moved the operation to the bedroom. backtesting, then reading, then playing with charts. I have run backtest marathons over weekends. lol!! A completely fucking nut.....

BUT, it helped me get where I am.


I never did learn to use a calculator though...

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  #191 (permalink)
 GaryD 
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I bought a laptop with the longest available lbattery life so I could backtest on airplanes as I flew from job to job.

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  #192 (permalink)
 mattz   is a Vendor
 
 
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DionysusToast View Post
My experience is a little different.

Prop shops that I know of do not look for retail trading experience. In fact, many see it as a negative thing because of all the things they will need to unlearn. I did recently meet a bunch of traders at a prop shop for coffee - only one of them had prior trading experience, the other 3 were completely new to it when they started.

Prop shops whose traders I know personally will all take graduates based on their education, extra-curricular activities (in particular competitive sports) and the way they come across in the interviews. There is absolutely no requirement for prior trading knowledge.

Let's face it - what does the average retail trader bring to the table in the prop world? Very little in 99% of cases.

I did see props that did apply this approach, but I also spoke to a recruiters who do look for track records.
The focus was on "how did you get there?" so the empahsis is on approach and risk, as oppose to just looking at bottom line numbers. The approval/deniel is also based on method, for example one recruiter told me that they never take traders who are short vol, like short option traders, etc. No doubt that regardless of approach, they all have guidelines developed over years for positive expectany from their members.

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  #193 (permalink)
 GaryD 
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DionysusToast View Post
Is it not possible you are overestimating?

My opinion is that the 10,000 hours comes from what people feel like they put in.

10,000 hours in 3 years is 3,333 hours per year or 9 hours per day if working every day.

Looking back, do you really think you put in 9 hours a day, every day for 3 years? Did you have a job too at that time?



Yes, I stand behind my previous estimate.



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  #194 (permalink)
cindycindy
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I think I have read something similar from the book Outliers of Malcolm Gladwell. I am wondering if the 10,000 hours is just the average number in every subject for everyone, no matter if the person can adapt/learn things fast. (Well obviously I am making the over-confidence mistake myself. ) Albeit I think hard working can never go wrong, and there is always a new horizon to chase.

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  #195 (permalink)
 Bookworm 
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A good article about the 10,000 hours and deliberate practice:
Lessons on Success and Deliberate Practice from Mozart, Picasso, etc.

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  #196 (permalink)
 lifeguardsteve88 
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Bookworm View Post
A good article about the 10,000 hours and deliberate practice:
Lessons on Success and Deliberate Practice from Mozart, Picasso, etc.

Thanks! That was a great article, and I wholeheartedly agree with it's premise.

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  #197 (permalink)
 RichardHK 
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DionysusToast View Post
... ... Let's face it - what does the average retail trader bring to the table in the prop world? Very little in 99% of cases.

The other side of the prop traders' trades! A valuable resource - just not for hiring.

Richard
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  #198 (permalink)
 ReeceD 
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DionysusToast View Post
Prop shops give traders 12 weeks of training & then let them work SIM till they get good enough to be let loose on 1 or 2 lots. Some people are there on week 12 and some never get there.

3 months, not 5 years.

There wouldn't be ANY professional traders anywhere if it took 5 years of full time commitment to get profitable.

Think about it people, how would a firm be able to survive if if they had to pay people for 5 years before they got a return? How would prop traders on a stipend of $750 a month survive for 5 years on that pittance before they made enough money to buy a few new shirts, or eat.

What is it that occurs at hour 10,000 that is so special? Why not 5403 or 1726 or 8983?

It's just a myth perpetuated on teh interweb in my opinion.


WIth the prop firms too the thing is they don't pay you for too long. They ditch you after a few months if you don't catch on... They want ultra competitive people with brains who figure it out..

I still think it takes a good couple of years on the screens to really smooth out the equity curve. I wouldn't say 10,000 hours, but maybe 1000. Most prop traders earn just above minimum wage.. Only the guns with heaps of screen time and obsession earn the big coin..

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  #199 (permalink)
 ReeceD 
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ReeceD View Post
WIth the prop firms too the thing is they don't pay you for too long. They ditch you after a few months if you don't catch on... They want ultra competitive people with brains who figure it out..

I still think it takes a good couple of years on the screens to really smooth out the equity curve. I wouldn't say 10,000 hours, but maybe 1000. Most prop traders earn just above minimum wage.. Only the guns with heaps of screen time and obsession earn the big coin..


Also, and I mean at least 1 thousand hours using at least some solid theory/ strategy.. Back in the day I read all the T.A and F.A books around and it really got me nowhere (that is my experience.) It obviously still recommended that you stay abreast of this information so you know what others have on their minds. But to put it simply I think you need to be analysing exchange data (a.k.a profile, order flow, footprints) along with the news and the obvious levels. This would be the "bread and butter" of a proprietary trader.

But if you are looking to swing big with 10k hours using oscillators then you are not going to make it, no matter how well you can read that line and apply money management. You need to ensure you have a couple of thousand hours with something that actually gives you an "edge."

Also trading for capital gains and trading for income is different. It is pretty straight forward to earn 20% trading with a reasonable amount of education and experience. This is when money management and discipline is very important. But if you want to start swinging a 20 lot for 5-6 hours a day with a higher levels of commission on your then I would hope you have at least 2-3k hours of solid practice in the aforementioned.

But thats just me. The depth and diversity of trading strategies has always been something that has astounded me.

Everyone may be different. But the amount of profitable traders I know is quite small compared to the total pool, and they have all gone a course similar to this.

In summary, I think 10k hours to figure it out, 1-2k if you get mentored.

I hope this is not offensive in any way.

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  #200 (permalink)
 hlatham 
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I think it depends on what you are looking at and what you are steered to look at early on. As a retail trader, if you come across trading somehow and then start to research online there are so many articles and forums all geared to teach TA, which for the majority doesn't work out. I guess this is because TA is an easy thing to teach and show visually, and also to learn (as in it's easy to learn about an MA crossover and think, yea I understand how to use that now, which makes you feel good about yourself and eager to go back for more).

It's far harder to portray order flow analysis, especially because learning it is time consuming and being good at it requires experience which cannot be given through reading an online article.

This to me is the difference between your average retail trader and the prop shop. The retail trader wants the easy route, whereas the prop shop trader is forced to get that experience early on. So it could well take five years (or never if they don't catch on) for the former and 3 months for the latter. So it all depends how long someone spends looking at the wrong thing.

I think it was John Grady of nobsdaytrading who said he was in a prop firm for a while not getting anywhere while looking at charts, he then saw another trader looking at just the DOM when it clicked and either the following month or the month after he was profitable.

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