Agreed and thanks. Only said because like many I have travelled the hard road, the harder road and the impossible road and also like many am still here. And of course it never ends. The true test of any 'system' (includes computers, software, eyes, water and fat between ears) is that it remains resaonably stable yet adaptable in the face of constantly changing market conditions, hence I like the evolution metaphor.
Enjoying this thread, thanks everyone for the discussion.
Great book called 'Bounce' by Matthew Syed (not 100% about the spelling of the surname). Text on the cover says 'the myth of talent and the power of practice', which sums up the idea of the book well. He talks about the stages usually experienced to get really good at something. And lots of purposeful practice is the keystone.
So if you look for one set-up on one instrument repeatedly, and do market replay and increase your exposure to the same sceanrio you start to 'chunk' the information you read and can react and make your decision for better and better outcomes. An example in sport may be returning a 130mph tennis serve (that's a guess, do they go that fast?) and hitting a winner. A pro has received how many serves in their career? They read the incoming information from their opponent differently to an amateur, who sees a bloke at the other side of the net serving. A pro sees the angle of the torso, the feet position, the exact height and spin of the ball toss - and based on that they are returning the serve before the ball is over the net. That decision is no longer conscious, i.e. they are not using deliberate thought to make a decision, in has become intuitive.
OK, not all of this is applicable to trading. The longer your time frame the less 'read and react' you have to do with a stopwatch running. But the point is that to get good you need to get intuitive (=experienced) and there is no short cut to doing so.
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The 10,000 hours idea comes from a book from the 80s or 90s on “mastery”. How long does it take to master a subject. Not become competent, but master a subject. The 10,000 number is slightly arbitrary and an estimate. It sounds better than 8341 hours.
I can tell you from the chess world, where the word master has a more specific meaning that less than 4% (probably lower) of people who play seriously become masters. Lets consider mastery of a subject equivalent to getting a PhD.
As an undergrad you take 1 class in your major every semester. Lets say the class meets twice a week for 1.5 hours. You are expected to put in 2x class time in study. We will estimate a semester is 20 weeks long. Lets add this all up.
3 hours a week in class
6 hours a week in study
9 hours x 20 weeks = 180 hours x 8 semesters is 1440 hours.
Now you have to go get a masters degree and then your PhD. My estimation is that you will put twice this many hours in getting a masters and three times as much getting the doctorate. This adds up to a little less than 10,000.
Lets talk about non academic areas. Suppose you are a carpenter. How long does it take to go from beginner “Kid come over here and learn how to use a hammer” to being the guy everyone goes to for help because everyone respects your experience and mastery of the subject. Probably somewhere between 5 and 10 years. That is assuming you have had some dedication to learning and improvement .
Most people could do something for a million hours and never get beyond some middling level.
The good news is that although it takes a really long time and a lot of work to master something, it does not really take that long to be come competent and even good at something.
Read one book, or some equivalent, on any subject and you will know more than most people. Really read, as in seriously study them, 3 to 5 books on something then study and practice and you will know more than most people who say they do it on a serious basis.
As far as trading goes that should be more than enough to become profitable, and competent.
You will not be a master, but you don't need to be.
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I have been following this thread with interest over the last few days.
I think it is very reasonable that a prop shop takes a trader and gives them enough of a foundation in 3 months to be a break even trader and start making money in a year or so.
I think it is unreasonable that someone completely on their own with no guidance would be expected to have the same path of progression, and could take at least a year to get some footing, maybe a couple of years to start scratching, and maybe 3 years to start making money.
@mattz made a good point when he mentioned that the retail trader is overwhelmed. So many platforms, so many products to trade, snake oil around every corner. So little focus, too many options leads to a lot of aimless behavior. Chat rooms, forums (sorry), and the like can be a huge distraction and can make trading a fun hobby that one gets to interact with others, rather than really focusing on the goal at hand.
One caveat about the 3 months time frame. While I think it's absolutely attainable, a trader who's been in front of the screen 3 months really hasn't seen shit. That's one earnings season for crying out loud. It's not enough time to really get more than one or two looks at market conditions. Incredibly slow grind up with same thing day after day for 9 to 12 months has been known to happen, and different periods of the year are prone to their own characteristics. So, there's a hell of a lot of learning that must take place after the 3 month hand holding, particularly for the ultra noob who walks in and knows next to nothing. So, hopefully no one is under the impression that a magical 3 month trip to a prop shop is somehow all it takes. But being in the environment of having others doing the same thing, and being focused, is likely enough to get one on the right track. It's all the bull shit that people waste their time on that is the culprit and the enemy of progress.
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Maybe some other idea like this, but not Gladwell. He got his research from the attached article by Anders Ericsson, and Ericsson has since said that Gladwell has himself invented the rule and that his research has been misinterpreted by him and others.
All it takes is some research; look online and you will see lots of blogs and inspirational articles citing the "10,000 hour rule" as if it's some sort of Word of God, yet I bet they never spent 2 or 3 hours to read the research that it was based on. People love to not think. That doesn't mean that some of the principles can't be helpful of course, but it's always sad to see opinion touted as scientific research.
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You are correct. I should have said "popularized" and not " came from". It is a common mistake for people popularize and academic idea or research to be misidentified as the originator of the research or theory. I should have been more careful with my work choices.
So I should also add that although I think one can become competent and even good at most things studying 3 to 5 books, and practicing six months: They do have to be the right books.
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Thank you - man, Bounce is probably the best book I read in 2011, best one in a long time. Syed's points are great and his writing style engaging - can't recommend this one highly enough!! He does summarize the topics in several other books but there is a lot of original material - worthy read!
Seek freedom and become captive of your desires. Seek discipline and find your liberty. - Frank Herbert
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I know for a fact I could provide a trader with my exact way of doing business in the markets and they could make winning trades in their very first week. What takes time is psychology and risk management. It certainly shouldn't take 10k hours, but for me doing it on my own, it took quite a while. I still battle with it in a way everyday. Starting from scratch, knowing nothing about the markets and going through the hoops of indicators, different strategies, the DOM, placing orders, bracket trades, OCO, scaling out, scaling in, news, the list is extremely long because there is just so much information and different ways to do things. To sift though all of that on your own and find what works best for you and eventually programming your own trading model on your own takes a lot of time. But after you have all of that and can consistently make money, you can take somebody who knows nothing about futures, skip all of the bullcrap that you went through and have them up and running in a few months. I completely agree with that.
There's nothing to believe or to not believe with the 10k theory. Does it take exactly 10k hours!? No. All it's really saying is that it takes a lot of time to get very good at something. Ask Michael Jordan, ask Tiger Woods, ask Marty Schwartz. Michael Jordan didn't make the basketball team in his high school until he started practicing 6 hours, everyday. He made it the next year. Granted he had been shooting hoops since he was 7, but it wasn't until he put in that extra time that he had never put in before did it get him what he wanted. He went on to be the greatest. He was always first in, last out.
Strategy ≥ Money
Last edited by Massive l; February 22nd, 2013 at 02:05 PM.
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