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10,000 hours, really?


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10,000 hours, really?

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 Big Mike 
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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?

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 GFIs1 
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YES!! ...(very confrontational question)

some thoughts about:
1) If one is working on ONE instrument - to get in touch witch that special instrument behaviour
you need a lot of experience
2) looking for many instruments - the "feeling" for ONE instrument time will be mutliplied by instruments

SO:
If one gets a feeling of price movements in ONE instrument - one can cut down experience hours...
if not - a 10K screen hours on different instruments does NOT prevent from trading losses.

My 2 cents - concentrate on ONE instrument you believe on

GFIs1

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 ratfink 
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Big Mike View Post
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

I think its bang-on - as a minimum! Expecting the dream for less is foolhardy in the extreme. Most jobs can be learned in that same kind of time-frame, but most jobs do not have the psychological inside out turns that trading does. I'd say (from 13yrs and still surviving) that doubling the number is not a problem either.

Right now is a classic example, the markets are being held in a stalling pattern and traders will be blowing up accounts all over the world trying to force trades to happen that are not yet present with a good r/r. To learn when not to trade let alone how to trade takes a very long time indeed.

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 wldman 
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is probably a good evaluative criteria to gauge when an individual might start to gain increasing profitability and consistency. The really bright, really assertive can do it sooner, yet keep in mind that there are no barriers to entry, so many that should not even consider it, do give trading a whirl.

It might not be fair though to consider "top performance"

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 Fadi 
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Makes sense; not only for trading, but for any skill/craft one is learning and trying to master.
Some people can do it will less hours, others require more - a very interesting book touching on this subject is: "The Dip" from Seth Godin.

I am not sure 10,000 is the magical number, I was convinced of something like 4500...
But either way the idea is there It requires lots of commitment, and will power; time + energy to say the least.

Ask any worldwide champion about his journey to the top, they are all similar fom chess players to the most extreme competitions you wish to think of (including trading of course)

Successful people will do what unsuccessful people won't or can't do!
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 bnichols 
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IMO 10,000 is probably in the ball park. As @wldman suggests the figure no doubt varies according to what talents the trader already possesses and how quickly s/he is able to acquire new skills--less for the gifted or more for folks who have a lot of unlearning to do (bad habits, psychological issues, unproductive personality traits).

While it may seem those who obsess about things (tend to work far more than 40 hours / week) ought to be able to get into "the zone" sooner than 5 years I'm not sure that's the case 100% of the time. IMO for example psychological issues responsible for obsessive and often compulsive behaviour, the resolution of which may have nothing to do with trading experience, can cause us to repeat the same bad behaviour over and over--expecting different results, as the joke goes--stuck in a rut for a very long time before we finally snap out of it.

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 Big Mike 
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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?

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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.

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 trendisyourfriend 
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I would tend to agree with Dionysus. If you want to become the next Warrren Buffet then maybe you'd need 10000+ hours but learning a basic intraday method should not take more than 3 months. Obviously, if you want to program your own tools and reinvent the wheel then it is another game.


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 redratsal 
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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.

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 of why the majority of Canadian ice hockey players are born in the first few months of the calendar year, how Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates achieved his extreme wealth, how The Beatles became one of the most successful musical acts in human history, how Joseph Flom built Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom into one of the most successful law firms in the world, how cultural differences play a large part in perceived intelligence and rational decision making, and how two people with exceptional intelligence, Christopher Langan and J. Robert Oppenheimer, end up with such vastly different fortunes. Throughout the publication, Gladwell repeatedly mentions the "10,000-Hour Rule", claiming that the key to success in any field is, to a large extent, a matter of practicing a specific task for a total of around 10,000 hours.
The publication debuted at number one on the bestseller lists for The New York Times and The Globe and Mail, holding the position on the former for eleven consecutive weeks. Generally well-received by critics, Outliers was considered more personal than Gladwell's other works, and some reviews commented on how much Outliers felt like an autobiography. Reviews praised the connection that Gladwell draws between his own background and the rest of the publication to conclude the book. Reviewers also appreciated the questions posed by Outliers, finding it important to determine how much individual potential is ignored by society. However, the lessons learned were considered anticlimactic and dispiriting. The writing style, deemed easy to understand, was criticized for oversimplifying complex sociological phenomena.

courtesy https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Outliers_(book)

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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.

These people are not blank slates when they walk in the door though, are they? Even if they have zero experience trading, they do have life experience. Are they risk takers or risk averse? Are they leaders or followers? Do they have a grasp for the technical understanding needed in the markets?

Perhaps those people who are hired after 12 weeks have already spent a considerable amount of time on the "10,000 hour" path?

How many of the 10,000 hours needs to be spent specifically clicking 'buy' and 'sell' on the DOM? What about the life experiences or personality traits that you've developed I mentioned, how much time should be weighted or factored in for that in terms of prior experience?

Mike

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 bnichols 
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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

In light of what @DionysusToast and @Trendisyourfriend say I would agree that's where the 10,000 hours comes from (starting from scratch, wheel reinvention). From the perspective of a prop shop, which likely does basic pre-screening of candidates and can place relatively strict controls on every aspect of trading, I would agree they care not what happens to the ones who wash out in the time allotted. This doesn't mean the washouts don't contribute to the statistic (don't eventually become traders)--just that they don't fit the prop shop model.

Al Brooks comes to mind

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 mongoose 
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bnichols View Post
In light of what @DionysusToast and @Trendisyourfriend say I would agree that's where the 10,000 hours comes from (starting from scratch, wheel reinvention). From the perspective of a prop shop, which likely does basic pre-screening of candidates and can place relatively strict controls on every aspect of trading, I would also guess they care not what happens to the ones who wash out in the time allotted. This doesn't mean the washouts don't eventually become traders--just that they don't fit the prop shop model.

Al Brooks comes to mind

Don't really see where Al Brooks fits in but, if it is a good prop shop they are going to care if you make it or not because they spent a lot of time and resources recruiting and training you to be successful. A basic pre-screening does not really cover it some of these places are recruiting kids straight out of college. Now there are some prop shops like the ones that make you put up capitol for instance that do not really care, they are just making money off your commissions while you trade your own money, then when your broke they put someone new in your spot to lose their money.

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 bnichols 
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mongoose View Post
Don't really see where Al Brooks fits in ...

By his own admission it took Al Brooks over 10 years to learn how to trade.

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 Surly 
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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.

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 GFIs1 
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Digging in a bit...

1) If a prop shop gets some traders that are profitable after 3 months - why does that trader not leave the shop to trade only his OWN MONEY???

2) To reach a university degree - it needs many years of experience and learning - to get the title and make the first money. If it would be so easy to learn trading within 3 (maybe 6?) months - the world would ONLY consist of traders ;-)

3) Taking a look at the profitable futures.io (formerly BMT) traders here showing their journals... Plus looking at some futures.io (formerly BMT) members here
speaking about their journey on Combines (TST or others): All these writers must have some background, experience and
skills. Otherwise they could never let test their knowledge - at least in the big pond of sharks.
Looking at those active writing futures.io (formerly BMT) traders who made a successful combine - how many are these out of the ones who tried a combine? Assuming that these are all well educated traders with a lot of experience before leaning out of the window!

To make it short - trading means to put your hands in the dirt first - like in every other job - this is time consuming.

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GFIs1 View Post
1) If a prop shop gets some traders that are profitable after 3 months - why does that trader not leave the shop to trade only his OWN MONEY???

GFIs1

Whos money is it easier to risk? Yours or someone elses? I know I would much rather put your money at risk than mine, especially if you are giving me much more to trade with than I can risk on my own and I get a fair cut of the profit.

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 GFIs1 
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mongoose View Post
Whos money is it easier to risk? Yours or someone elses? I know I would much rather put your money at risk than mine, especially if you are giving me much more to trade with than I can risk on my own and I get a fair cut of the profit.

Very true!
But just at the beginning...
If you are a great inventor and you start your company - you would look to have all the decision making
in your own hands... Some investors without having anything to say but only invest are fine then.
As long you are thinned out as a owner - others will take your invention to make money.

To have that tuned down to the trader - what is more interesting to you: to get 100% of the wins (after
deduction of the loosers) as you trade your own (plus family and friends) capital or only 25% of the wins
when you are trading for a prop shop?

GFIs1

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 podski 
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@Big Mike - It's a good question ... sort of.

As someone who is somewhere between 1200 and 1500 hours into it I think that the whole thing can certainly be shortened.

I learned a few languages as an adult and also learned a few young person's sports (snowboarding for example ... nearly bloody killed me). This is helping me hugely as I know what progress feels like. Indeed learning to trade is is a lot like learning a language. However the way I am going about is not as structured as say following a language learning course or going to a language school.

A prop company has a certain body of knowledge , probably very restricted and focused and then lets the trader loose on a particular type of trade in a very specific market. They will certainly over control you at the beginning. I have a feeling that this is a good idea. This training course that they have is certainly part of the intellectual property of the company.

TST for example have a different approach - they say .. take a much time as you like, spend time scratching the walls to see if that helps move CL and then jump through our hoops. They don't invest in the 10,000 hours but will control your flight after that and you get to benefit from controlled leverage quickly.

Any individual (like me and many of us) begins the flight of the bumble bee, hampered by our own hope and hunger but certainly boosted by our own motivation. We definitely need more structure and more than a few pointers on making sure that we don't either go bankrupt or loose all hope before we run out of motivation.

Let's say it takes 10,000 hours ... or 8,000 or 6,000 or 12,000 the question is :
  • What did you spend your 10,000 hours doing?
  • What were the time intensive things ?
  • What is the curriculum?

Could we pull together a list for say a two year full time programme - a kind of Master's degree from futures.io (formerly BMT)?

podski

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 podski 
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I would be happy to co-ordinate doing research into a more structured curriculum development and bringing it into a solid form.

My first thoughts are:
1. Running a futures.io (formerly BMT) member focused survey
2. Included in this would be suggestions of prop firms or individuals to interview
3. Contacting prop firms with which we have good relations - TST springs to mind but there are others. The Germans have a few and there seems to be good knowledge here regarding them in the German speaking fora, I think that there are some in France and I'm sure that there are loads of firms in London that will speak to us. In China there are loads and loads of TST style firms. I can gladly speak with some of them.
4. If I come across any pearls along the way I can record them
5. Finally I would present the findings in PPT/ Webinar and XLS format
Just first thoughts.

Whaddya think?


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 Massive l 
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A real, sustainable edge took me 5k hours. I didn't know for sure at the time
but I knew I was onto something. Looking back now I see it was around the 5k mark because
before that I traded ichimoku for 2k hours. So the total amount of time it took me from taking my
thoughts and theory on paper to my programming and developing my rules took arouind 3k.
Being able to trade it accordingly and over coming the psychological
pit falls that comes with trading took another 2-3k, for a total
of 7-8k in psychology alone. (Assuming psychology is part of the equation from the get go)
I've still not totally mastered it but I am doing well.

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Big Mike View Post
These people are not blank slates when they walk in the door though, are they? Even if they have zero experience trading, they do have life experience. Are they risk takers or risk averse? Are they leaders or followers? Do they have a grasp for the technical understanding needed in the markets?

Perhaps those people who are hired after 12 weeks have already spent a considerable amount of time on the "10,000 hour" path?

How many of the 10,000 hours needs to be spent specifically clicking 'buy' and 'sell' on the DOM? What about the life experiences or personality traits that you've developed I mentioned, how much time should be weighted or factored in for that in terms of prior experience?

Mike

Prop shops tend to favor people with no trading experience but they obviously look for other things in the trader.

I recall FT71 mentioning in a webinar that he looked for people with a competitive sporting background or other competitive endeavour...

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Massive l View Post
A real, sustainable edge took me 5k hours. I didn't know for sure at the time
but I knew I was onto something. Looking back now I see it was around the 5k mark because
before that I traded ichimoku for 2k hours. So the total amount of time it took me from taking my
thoughts and theory on paper to my programming and developing my rules took arouind 3k.
Being able to trade it accordingly and over coming the psychological
pit falls that comes with trading took another 2-3k, for a total
of 7-8k in psychology alone. (Assuming psychology is part of the equation from the get go)
I've still not totally mastered it but I am doing well.

Can I ask how you actually made a living during this time?

5,000 hours equates to 2.5 years full time, which is more than most people could commit too.

The 7-8,000 hours in psychology alone is another 7.5 years full time, again more than most people could commit too.

This seems to me like a really, really long time.

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 Big Mike 
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DionysusToast View Post
Prop shops tend to favor people with no trading experience but they obviously look for other things in the trader.

I recall FT71 mentioning in a webinar that he looked for people with a competitive sporting background or other competitive endeavour...

He also said he looks for risk takers. See other thread:


Mike

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Big Mike View Post
He also said he looks for risk takers. See other thread:


Mike

OK - so in summary, tips for anyone going for an interview with FT71...

- Turn up in a track suit
- Try to steal a $20 from his wallet

Anyone add to this valuable list?

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DionysusToast View Post
OK - so in summary, tips for anyone going for an interview with FT71...

- Turn up in a track suit
- Try to steal a $20 from his wallet

Anyone add to this valuable list?

Might need some good cross training shoes to make it past secruity on the way out, but if you are going though all that you might want to get something bigger than a 20 for a better ROI

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DionysusToast View Post
OK - so in summary, tips for anyone going for an interview with FT71...

- Turn up in a track suit
- Try to steal a $20 from his wallet

Anyone add to this valuable list?

LOL, he is around now and then @FuturesTrader71 let's see if he responds.

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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

Just about right @Big Mike. A freshly graduated engineer needs equivalent to 5 years of grunt work and experience before he can be taken seriously or be able to take the test to become a "Professional Engineer." And that is just to begin getting noticed and considered for worthy assignments that would require his PE stamp. Some industries will not even hire unless one has a PE and so many years of experience.

So, how else a room operator and self-proclaimed professional trader, educator/psychologist claiming to have over 40,000 hours of screen time can be taken seriously when she is not a P. MD, CMT, CFA, or holder of any one of the Series certificate.

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 Massive l 
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DionysusToast View Post
Can I ask how you actually made a living during this time?
5,000 hours equates to 2.5 years full time, which is more than most people could commit too.
The 7-8,000 hours in psychology alone is another 7.5 years full time, again more than most people could commit too.This seems to me like a really, really long time.

I put in over 40 hours a week for almost 4 years straight.
52 weeks in a year
x 40 hours
x 4 years
= 8320 hours

The first 2k I spent on ichimoku
The next 3k I spent programming a new method. That's the 5k.
My last 3k, I've spent perfecting my method.
I've worked on my psyche in regards to trading whether I realized it or not from the very beginning.

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Massive l View Post
I put in over 40 hours a week for almost 4 years straight.
52 weeks in a year
x 40 hours
x 4 years
= 8320 hours

The first 2k I spent on ichimoku
The next 3k I spent programming a new method. That's the 5k.
My last 3k, I've spent perfecting my method.
I've worked on my psyche in regards to trading whether I realized it or not from the very beginning.

So for 4 years, you had no income and no vacations?

What motivated you to carry on?

In terms of the 7500 hours on psychology, this was in parallel to the 8,320 hours above?

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 Massive l 
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For 7 years, I've operated a business. I have a secondary income.
I take a week here and a week there every year. Of course, the laptop comes with me.
Some weeks, especially in the first year or two, I spent more than 40 hours learning and trading.
Some weeks, I've spent less. On average though, it's been about 40 hours.

I'm not sure why you are probing anyways. The question was about 10k hours, I said where I'm at.
So for me, yes, I can see the 10k being relevant.

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 PandaWarrior 
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The main question is this; does it take 10,000 hours to be successful? The myth comes from the definition of success.

Malcolm Gladwell defined success as being world class, so yes, 10,000 hours is probably necessary to achieve that level.

However, there are millions of successful people that are not world class but pay their bills, travel, contribute and otherwise define themselves as successful but are not world class.

I do think however, to arrive whatever level of success you desire, you should focus on a very limited number of things for an extended period of time. Very hard to be the master of many things concurrently.

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication, Leonardo da Vinci


Most people chose unhappiness over uncertainty, Tim Ferris
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Massive l View Post
For 7 years, I've operated a business. I have a secondary income.
I take a week here and a week there every year. Of course, the laptop comes with me.
Some weeks, especially in the first year or two, I spent more than 40 hours learning and trading.
Some weeks, I've spent less. On average though, it's been about 40 hours.

I'm not sure why you are probing anyways. The question was about 10k hours, I said where I'm at.
So for me, yes, I can see the 10k being relevant.

I am probing because I find it amazing.

You said 40 hours a week x 52 weeks for 4 years. To do this alongside a full time job would have you working 16 hours a day. Add in 4 hours for travel, eating etc and you'd be pushing 20 hours of wake time.

This level of activity would kill most people, so of course, I want to understand the level of dedication that sees a man put in "over 40 hours a week for almost 4 years straight. "

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DionysusToast View Post
I am probing because I find it amazing.

You said 40 hours a week x 52 weeks for 4 years. To do this alongside a full time job would have you working 16 hours a day. Add in 4 hours for travel, eating etc and you'd be pushing 20 hours of wake time.

This level of activity would kill most people, so of course, I want to understand the level of dedication that sees a man put in "over 40 hours a week for almost 4 years straight. "

Tell you what, I have over 40 years in the markets as a swing trader. 2 years ago I went full time day trading and for a year my friend Massive taught me how to trade futures. I have posted every trade on another site since Nov and I have a 74% winning record. That's right. 74%. It's all posted with screen shots of every trade.

Do not doubt Massive because he's telling you like it is.

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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

Hi Mike,

I disagree. A few people are born with a God given talent and others like myself will never measure up. I have always been successful as a swing trader but today I have an exceptional record as a futures trader because I was taught by one of the best.

If I had 20,000 hrs I still would not be any good so my opinion is that you're either born with the ability to trade or you have someone teach you. Hope this makes sense.

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 Massive l 
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4 hours of travel...give me a break. My office is 10min from my house.

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 iqgod 
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bnichols View Post
By his own admission it took Al Brooks over 10 years to learn how to trade.

But he had other problems to solve such as raising three wonderful daughters.

As for me I just have two wonderful daughters to raise so will probably take a bit less.




Jest apart, there definitely is the 'hours' factor and quality of those hours is critical.

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Massive l View Post
4 hours of travel...give me a break. My office is 10min from my house.

I would just not reply anymore. Am I allowed to post the address for my journal? I just got a PM from someone that wants to see it and I can't reply because I am a newbie. lol

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Massive l View Post
4 hours of travel...give me a break. My office is 10min from my house.

ok then

let's say 8 hours of work, 8 hours of trading

2 hours to eat & wash etc.

That's 18 hours, leaving 6 for sleep.

For 4 years, this is an incredible sacrifice.

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BobKor View Post
I would just not reply anymore. Am I allowed to post the address for my journal? I just got a PM from someone that wants to see it and I can't reply because I am a newbie. lol

What does it add to the discussion, exactly?

Did it take you 10,000 hours to become profitable too?

My take on things is that most people spend a lot of time on things that don't move them forward. They don't have an understanding of the markets and they learn from books written by people that don't have an understanding of the markets.

When Malcolm Gladwell coined the 10,000 hours phrase, I don't think he was considering people that spent 5000 hours studying squiggly lines, getting tutored by bogus traders or generally trying to get educated from an industry riddled with snake oil merchants.

For instance, Massive spent 2 years on Ichimoku but it's not clear if he's still using that? If not, do we think this time fits into Malcolm Gladwells 10,000 hours?

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 podski 
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DionysusToast View Post
ok then

let's say 8 hours of work, 8 hours of trading

2 hours to eat & wash etc.

That's 18 hours, leaving 6 for sleep.

For 4 years, this is an incredible sacrifice.

Sacrifice ...it is. However the rewards are quantifiable and the risks are controllable.

If you work a corporate job you are a pure taker of conditions, you don't even see all the risks and sometimes you have to work those hours.

Lets say it's 10,000 hours ... but then .. 10,000 of the right hours .. !

Practice makes perfect - but only the right practice.

10,00 hours of slamming your balls in the fridge door is really hard , both physically and mentally .. but it won't make you a world champion kickboxer!

What should you spend the 10.000 hours on ? Precisely?

podski

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BobKor View Post
Do not doubt Massive because he's telling you like it is.

I am not doubting anyone - don't put words in my mouth please.

If I don't believe someone, I will say it outright.

Massive is not telling it how it is, just how it was for him.

I spent a fair amount of time spinning the wheels when I started looking at trading. Mostly because I was looking at stuff that had nothing to do with trading at all.

Once I found people that could actually trade and that pointed me the way, the journey was fairly painless. It just was totally the opposite to what I was reading in books & most forums.

I actually have a lot of sympathy for anyone that puts 8 hours a day into learning how to trade on top of running a business. I think putting that much time into anything for so long is counter-productive.

You can only perform well for so many hours of the day, after all.

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 iqgod 
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DionysusToast View Post
ok then

let's say 8 hours of work, 8 hours of trading

2 hours to eat & wash etc.

That's 18 hours, leaving 6 for sleep.

For 4 years, this is an incredible sacrifice.

I think it boils down to passion.

I believe many people who get to the top do something like the above.

Many don't, which means either they get there from a longer path, artificially elongated by isolation to right kinds of stroking which are exposure-to-correct-methodology backing appreciation and also sadly fuelled by despair desire- to-be-rich desire-to-show-everybody-that-I-am-better-than-99-percent-of-you revenge-to-get-it-back (unlike a prop firm where it actually is your job and you go home with the same amount of exhilaration and/or remorse as any other working stiff who is paid on a similar scale).


Trading pulls and tugs every aspect of the human in you - for some it becomes the passion and purpose of their life and for others its stays a hobby. Who makes money? Now that is such a relative question starting from the station of your life, your ambitions, your relationship with money, your attitudes to hard work and finally what matters most to you (I know entrepreneurs who chose to sign business deals instead of being present at their daughter's births, by choice).

It is finally a game of give and take.

As with most worthwhile endeavours in life, and with life itself.

What is a mere 10,000 hours for some?

"10,000 hours, no way!" for others.

Markets reward newbies with billion dollars (think 2000s and dot com bubbles) and make paupers out of professionals (think Jesse Livermore and Victor Neiderhoffer).

Consistency, as in a day job when things are done correctly, reduces the hours ('work smart') but the starting point matters and then every step at every fork matters.

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 Massive l 
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I don't work 8 hours and trade 8 hours...I sleep 8 hours every night, not 6.
If you were truly interested, you would ask a regular question
and wait for my response. Instead, your posts are filled with
assumptions, making for a very stupid conversation.

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 Massive l 
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DionysusToast View Post
I am not doubting anyone - don't put words in my mouth please.

Yet, you've done it with every post towards me. Ok!

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iqgod View Post
I think it boils down to passion.

I believe many people who get to the top do something like the above.

I'm not so sure.

16-18 hours a day could be a sign of a serious obsession, not a healthy learning experience.

Not that this is necessarily the case with Massive. Just that throwing hours at something could be an obsession and certainly is not productive.

A look around these forums and you can see people that are totally obsessed with trading. I don't think this is a requirement for success.

I've been on tight schedule projects and still kicked people out of the office who'd pulled 12 hours and wanted to stay. You end up with diminishing returns when you put too much into something.

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 podski 
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@DionysusToast

Is your point that learning to trade should be like learning to fly a plane.

It might be intensive, even intense from time to time, but it should be progressive, calm and controlled.

It does not have to be the grueling journey that many of us make.

ALthough I am toughing it out - I don't think it has to be this way. It is getting better since I started journaling properly and analyzing my trades properly and seeking assistance properly .. but I am still in the dark a little.

Can you outline the steps as you see them or as you took them .. ?

podski

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Massive l View Post
I don't work 8 hours and trade 8 hours...I sleep 8 hours every night, not 6.
If you were truly interested, you would ask a regular question
and wait for my response. Instead, your posts are filled with
assumptions, making for a very stupid conversation.

Ok - so when you spent 8 hours a day, 52 weeks a year, 4 years straight.

During How many hours were you spending per day on making a living?

How much time of that was wasted on learning how not to trade - you know on stuff that the industry pushes but has zero value? You mentioned 2 years on Ichimoku for example.

Looking back, if you could focus on the things that actually worked - how many hours do you think you would put in?

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 Big Mike 
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iqgod View Post
Consistency, as in a day job when things are done correctly, reduces the hours ('work smart') but the starting point matters and then every step at every fork matters.

^ 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


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podski View Post
@DionysusToast

Is your point that learning to trade should be like learning to fly a plane.

It might be intensive, even intense from time to time, but it should be progressive, calm and controlled.

It does not have to be the grueling journey that many of us make.

ALthough I am toughing it out - I don't think it has to be this way. It is getting better since I started journaling properly and analyzing my trades properly and seeking assistance properly .. but I am still in the dark a little.

Can you outline the steps as you see them or as you took them .. ?

podski

If learning to fly a plan was like the path most traders take, there would be a lot of plane wrecks.

If you learn to fly, you get an instructor. You don't read a book written by someone that really can't fly who has some zany flying theories. You don't trawl internet forums through thousands of different and conflicting methods to figure it out.

I got a message today from someone that appears to have turned the corner. They started doing something completely new on 14th November. 2012 and in the past 20 days/26 trades had no losses (but on SIM) and they are now about to go live.

I think he may be a member here too. So - if he can replicate this live, he'll be profitable using techniques he started using in November. I am sure some of what he brought to the table before may have helped but I suspect it probably wasn't a major contributor.

I can understand people taking years to learn but that's usually because
- They keep changing from one thing to the next
- They self-sabotage
- They get advice from people that can't trade

If a good trader sat you down & showed you the ropes & you took 10,000 hours to become profitable, I'd call that a very weak performance indeed.

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 BishopM05 
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DionysusToast View Post
Looking back, if you could focus on the things that actually worked - how many hours do you think you would put in?

While I applaud you for questioning someone's validity, asking them to spell it out precisely...I don't think this goes with the general theory of the 10k hours IMHO. I'm assuming those 10k hours include time spent as a noob as well...that should include time spent working on things that didn't work, yes?

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 podski 
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DionysusToast View Post
I can understand people taking years to learn but that's usually because
- They keep changing from one thing to the next
- They self-sabotage
- They get advice from people that can't trade

If a good trader sat you down & showed you the ropes & you took 10,000 hours to become profitable, I'd call that a very weak performance indeed.

I think that you are right - with the usual provisos of having a deep understanding of what it is that you are learning.

We all believe that it can be learned , this whole community here is about the learning experience.

We have tools coming out our ears, better than at any time in history ... and at unbeatable prices.

There are good services that you can pay for that are central to or augment a trading style.

There is however no definitive path, no "Trading 101".

There is what worked for @DionysusToast, what worked for @Massive l ... but .. no agreed on (yet) roadmap to getting there.

I do however think that it's here somewhere, in the data, in the collective brain of the community.

EDIT:
I correct myself .. I don't mean "the definitive path" ... I just mean a very very good path that is relatively safe to follow and for which you have navigation tools ..

podski

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BishopM05 View Post
While I applaud you for questioning someone's validity, asking them to spell it out precisely...I don't think this goes with the general theory of the 10k hours IMHO. I'm assuming those 10k hours include time spent as a noob as well...that should include time spent working on things that didn't work, yes?

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.

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 BishopM05 
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DionysusToast View Post
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 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!

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karoshiman
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Here's some info from bank traders from the book "Traders" by Mark Fenton-O'Creevy, Nigel Nicholson, Emma Soane, and Paul Willman (interesting book, by the way).

It's a book about institutional traders, their mindset and the management of them. There you can read that starting traders have to learn for 6 months along experienced traders before being allowed to take their first trade and then only with strong supervision. And you can read also that trader managers state that it takes at least 2-3 years for their traders to be ready to trade completely on their own (i.e. not "world class" yet!). They have to work with different experienced traders in order to see different trading styles.

However, these traders

1) were smart enough to be recruited by the banks

2) work in professional environments with many resources they can make use of

3) are pointed into the right direction right from the start.

At least points 2) and 3) are not available for most retail traders.

So, the average retail trader will probably need more than the aforementioned 2-3 years of full-time work until they are at the same level as the institutional traders (not world class!) due to points 2) and 3).

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 Massive l 
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The first 2k hours was not wasted on Ichimoku because in the end, Ichimoku taught me it's not about the indicator, it's about managing your risk. None of it was ever wasted. I didn't read hardly any books. Most of the things I did read were excerpts. I didn't take any classes, seminars, tutors, purchased programs, etc. I dove in head first on my own. I didn't look at other traders methods. I used my own thoughts on price (supply/demand) and programming to come up with my own unique strategy. I built it around day trading the /ES but I am now zooming out and seeing how well it performs on a boarder scope. It's really all the same thing but on different frequencies. The 'signals' aka prices don't come as often on the higher time frames so you have more time to feel out different instruments. This is a passion for me and I am obsessed with it so the total amount of hours don't really mean anything. It's not work...it's what I enjoy to do.

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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.

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karoshiman View Post
Here's some info from bank traders from the book "Traders" by Mark Fenton-O'Creevy, Nigel Nicholson, Emma Soane, and Paul Willman (interesting book, by the way).

It's a book about institutional traders, their mindset and the management of them. There you can read that starting traders have to learn for 6 months along experienced traders before being allowed to take their first trade and then only with strong supervision. And you can read also that trader managers state that it takes at least 2-3 years for their traders to be ready to trade completely on their own (i.e. not "world class" yet!). They have to work with different experienced traders in order to see different trading styles.

However, these traders

1) were smart enough to be recruited by the banks

2) work in professional environments with many resources they can make use of

3) are pointed into the right direction right from the start.

At least points 2) and 3) are not available for most retail traders.

So, the average retail trader will probably need more than the aforementioned 2-3 years of full-time work until they are at the same level as the institutional traders (not world class!) due to points 2) and 3).

I think this is a style thing.

I would sincerely hope that institutional money is not thrown at total noobs. Saying that, I have a friend that was given fund money to trade. That friend had never placed a trade in his life, he'd just worked with a star trader. The fund hoped some of that rubbed off.

We'll never know how that would have ended because they decided to put the money in an MF Global Account.

If you have a Blackrock fund, with a specific investment style, I can see how it would take a long time to get a trader up to speed on that.

On the other hand, if you have a guy in a prop shop dipping his toe in the water on 2 lots FESX, the learning curve/risk/time to profit is much lower.

The feedback loop in shorter timeframe trading is much shorter. You buy a mining stock, you might sit on it for 6 months before you know you are right. You scalp 100 times a day on the FESX, you get 100x the feedback on whether you are right or not.

So, naturally the style of trading will impact the learning time.

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 syxforex 
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DionysusToast View Post
I'm not so sure.

16-18 hours a day could be a sign of a serious obsession, not a healthy learning experience.

Not that this is necessarily the case with Massive. Just that throwing hours at something could be an obsession and certainly is not productive.

A look around these forums and you can see people that are totally obsessed with trading. I don't think this is a requirement for success.

I've been on tight schedule projects and still kicked people out of the office who'd pulled 12 hours and wanted to stay. You end up with diminishing returns when you put too much into something.


Totally agree with DT. A lot of very unhealthy obsessed people on this forum looking for answers from other obsessed and in many cases mentally Ill people. I actually hacked at ta for some years 16-18 hours per day. I've been surfing every day now for weeks and now and seeing how insane the people of this forum are. The saddest part is the industry of lies that preys on this kind of ignorance.

Back to the topic of this thread, I recently read the book one good trade by mike bellafore, CEO of smb trading in NYC, a real prop firm that backs real traders. They don't ask you to pay them anything, they train those they think will succeed, in most cases they lose money in the training stage, as expected. You can read the book, they take a lot kids directly out of college, and have them trading profitably in three months to a year. When I was at Merrill lynch I used to hear that the new prop traders generally lost money in year one, but never year in year two, and certainly not year five.

Anyways, I suggest reading the real book by the real traders at the real prop shop rather than looking for the answer from other pontifitcators and journeymen. Only people who want you to dive deeper into your obsession with reaching 10000 hack hours are those who make money from your mental illness, hopes and dreams... Wake tf up...

Man I love the ocean....

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Damn -@syxforex that post might well be even less popular than mine....

I agree though.

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 syxforex 
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If this upsets anybody come to cabo, surfs up, no bad days...

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 mattz   is a Vendor
 
 
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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.

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 BishopM05 
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DionysusToast View Post
I would sincerely hope that institutional money is not thrown at total noobs. Saying that, I have a friend that was given fund money to trade. That friend had never placed a trade in his life, he'd just worked with a star trader. The fund hoped some of that rubbed off.

Here is quite possibly an example of someone in a prop management position, rather than a trader's position, who did not master the art of management.

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bwasi
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I think a small trader with small capital need to invest more time than traders with bigger capital, as his 1 lot trade cant move market. Traders with banks will require less hours, and psychologically, have more confidence.

Therefore, to build up his money and confidence, the small trader need to be satisfied with small profits. After a while he can hold the position, looking for trends.

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 mongoose 
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bwasi View Post
I think a small trader with small capital need to invest more time than traders with bigger capital, as his 1 lot trade cant move market. Traders with banks will require less hours, and psychologically, have more confidence.

Therefore, to build up his money and confidence, the small trader need to be satisfied with small profits. After a while he can hold the position, looking for trends.

I think you may have that backwards, while the big trader will probably have more confidence from experience, it is going to be harder to trade your full size know that you will move the market. If you buy and move the market up you can't sell unless there are other big traders buying from you and if other big traders realize this they will drive the market down and when they cover their shorts they will be buying from you as you puke out your losing position.

The small trader can peck around and be in and out of the market without anyone even knowing he is there.

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mongoose View Post
The small trader can peck around and be in and out of the market without anyone even knowing he is there.


I like it.

I like it a lot

Our motto should be

"Small Traders - eating scraps & proud of it"

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 ratfink 
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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.

Simply because they are the 95% who will never make it anyway. Just life and evolution. Always and in every field.

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 podski 
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ratfink View Post
Simply because they are the 95% who will never make it anyway. Just life and evolution. Always and in every field.

Hard ... but fair ..

podski

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 ratfink 
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podski View Post
Hard ... but fair ..

podski

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.

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 mokodo 
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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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BobKor
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I have read several posts about working long hours. First I would like to say I put in long hours but it's not work because I love trading.

Second thing I would like to say is that any super successful entrepreneur, business person even Big Mike doesn't know what it means to work part time at 40 hrs a week.

If you're going to be a successful trader or anything else for that matter you will work hard and long hours.

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 mcteague 
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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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 josh 
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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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 josh 
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mcteague View Post
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.

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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2 great posts @josh

You know - if something sounds like it might be "the answer", then people will jump on it and it will gain momentum until it becomes a truth, conventional wisdom, common knowledge.

I am a hardened cynic and therefore tend to question everything, which I can attest - has as much downside as up.

Certainly doesn't make many me friends on line....

One thing I do suspect, if I had to sit down and calculate how much time I'd really spent at trading, my answer would be severely impacted by my beliefs.

If I truly believed the 10,000 hours thing (and I truly don't), I think I would overestimate. As it is, my suspicion is that I would underestimate.

The human mind is a wonderful thing but the more you learn about it, the more you learn how unreliable it can be.

I think De Bono is an excellent author to get you thinking about your thinking.

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 mcteague 
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josh View Post
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.

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.

Cheers

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 Surly 
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mokodo View Post
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.
.

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!

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 Massive l 
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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.

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 Surly 
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josh View Post
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'm only quoting this post because I think its the only thing @josh has ever posted I don't agree with.

I just think the math doesn't add up - I said this in a previous post but if all it took was hiring a talented kid with no experience that you could train up in 6-9 months to be profitable, where would the losers be? That is just not enough of a barrier to entry to prevent everyone from being winners. And we all know that in order to be winners there must be losers - and not just several thousand single-lot traders from trading forums - to provide the capital necessary to allow all those prop shop guys who started trading last summer to win, win, win its going to take a LOT of losers.

I do agree with the criticism of the 10000 hr "rule" - its arbitrary, it depends on what you do to learn, it depends on the training/mentoring you get early on, and the bad habits you either do or do not form. Prop shops have an advantage in training traders and I think most will learn quicker in that environment than on their own. Bellafiore makes it pretty clear that he doesn't just make everyone profitable in 3 months in his book (which is a great book, btw). I have a buddy doing the training w MB so we'll see how he does over the next several months...

Trading successfully is a skill and an art - its not a math problem. And its essentially a zero-sum game - a quote from Bill Eckhardt nicely illustrates why I think it is impossible that traders can reliably become profitable in less than a year:

“If a betting game among a certain number of participants is played long enough, eventually one player will have all the money. If there is any skill involved, it will accelerate the process of concentrating all the stakes in a few hands. Something like this happens in the market. There is a persistent overall tendency for equity to flow from the many to the few. In the long run, the majority loses.” – William Eckhardt

To win at trading you have to be better than "the majority" of the players, you can't just learn a specific set of instructions - you have to acquire the skill to be better than the majority. And in this game "the majority" are all trying to get better all the time so the bar continually rises.

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 josh 
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Surly View Post
I just think the math doesn't add up - I said this in a previous post but if all it took was hiring a talented kid with no experience that you could train up in 6-9 months to be profitable, where would the losers be? That is just not enough of a barrier to entry to prevent everyone from being winners.

I did not say all would be winners, by any stretch. Just that some could be. Any that they could do so in much less than a 10,000 hour time frame. And hey if that's all we've ever disagreed on then that's ok!

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 trendisyourfriend 
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Have you tried googling: "teach yourself trading in 21 days"

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 mongoose 
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trendisyourfriend View Post
Have you tried googling: "teach yourself trading in 21 days"

All I found was teach yourself to trade in 10,000 hours.

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 Yuri57 
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At least a few 1000 hours and 2-3 years to see the market in every stage. It is difficult to measure precisely and there is no point in it.

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 Bookworm 
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Several post have hinted at this point but it is quite clear that it's not just the quantity of the practice but more importantly the quality. Deliberate practice for the acquisition of expert performance in, for example trading, is not just sitting in front of a screen for a magic number of hours. How one uses that time is critical. I have yet to come across an example of deliberate practice specific to trading but the literature has many examples for other fields that can be used as a starting point. Perhaps Mike could ask Al Brooks to do a webinar on how he learned to trade. That is something I'd love to hear.

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mongoose View Post
All I found was teach yourself to trade in 10,000 hours.

Well - if you charge by the hour, that's not a bad gig.

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lu2013
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Malcom Gladwell wrote great book on this thema

Outliers the story of success.
Very interesting, and in my opinion it can be true from certain point of view. No doubt, to become a master you need some time to do it, and if is something you like, then to put 10-12 hours a day is normal

Lu.

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 trendisyourfriend 
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mongoose View Post
All I found was teach yourself to trade in 10,000 hours.

Imagine when you reach the 9999 critical time, i wonder how you feel one hour before this important milestone.

Probably this old adage applies here:
"Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood, carry water"


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 RichardHK 
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>>Mike could ask Al Brooks to do a webinar on how he learned to trade. That is something I'd love to hear.<<

Al has talked about this many times in his trading room. He, like 98% of others, spent many years going through endless indicators, multiple screens, and other usual crap to 'learn' how to trade. Was only when he simplified his trading to a single screen and focused on price action that he made progress.

Al still tells us we need 10 years or so to trade profitably, but based on what? Doing the same as Al? Just take what Al selflessly gives us in his books, trading course, and webinars, and cut to the chase. One year or less, IF your head allows you. You do not need to use ALL his price action principles to make money.

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.

The right psychology is the number 1 need. Not easy. So quit telling ourselves that trading is difficult, it isn't. Work on your head. That IS difficult as 98% or more are naturally lazy to stick at it. Not 'our' fault really, as brain is 'designed' to keep distracting us. Nuff said.

Great topic. But must get on, as need to make a living trading! Nearly there - 12 months chasing crap. 3 months focused on right approach. Another 4-9 years before making money?? No way. Already on top of it and working very hard on my head to allow position size to increase.

PS. Malcolm Gladwell is like most modern day Top NYT Authors and simply regurgitates others' experimental work.
Many such books relate endless experiments that are not always proved right down the road. All part of the book business feeding hungry consumers' heads with endless distractions.

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 Bermudan Option 
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I read most of the thread... One thing that I haven't seen directly stated is the effect on coaching/having a mentor. I think the "10,000 hours" quote is legitimate for the average retail trader who is banging his head against the wall for years until it breaks, but if you have a mentor or someone who creates structure in your trading, I think the timeframe will be reduced

That is why Trading Firms can often get someone professionally trading in a matter of days/months sometimes... There is an inherent structure in many firms that I think is conducive to successful trading. For example, off the top of my head, many good firms often:
a) Force traders to define their set ups (no jumping from setup to setup)
b) Force traders have to approach trading like a job instead of a hobby (if you don't make money, you won't have a job)
c) Staff professional coaches that can see trading habits taking place that the new trader would not recognize without insight and tons of experience (10,000 hrs perhaps?)

There are more reasons, I am sure. Based on the successful people that posted in this thread, it appears that a large portion of the trading experience gained was about 'making beliefs stick' and personally creating a structure that allows them to partake in the market in a consistently profitable manner. I think an adept trading coach can shorten that timeframe

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 tderrick 
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Well, let's see...

That's about 5 years of 40 hours a week.

To be unconscious and completely comfortable with trading? .... at least that much...

IMHO

The key is 10,000 hours to be a master at anything.

I would think that is the bare minimum.


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 Massive l 
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If you are not trading at a professional level in 10k hours, then you should do something else.

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 syxforex 
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Massive l View Post
If you are not trading at a professional level in 10k hours, then you should do something else.

Try Surfing.... It's good..

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Pedro40
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DionysusToast View Post
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?

You make several logical fallacies and bad assumptions.

First, just because the AVERAGE supposed learning time is 5 years, that doesn't mean someone can not be profitable after much less time. So yes, there still can be MANY profitable traders even if the average learning curve is 5 years.

Second, a firm can survive on commission and deskfees and who is to say that every trader started there? Not everybody is a newbie who trades at a prop firm...

And a firm is never going to advertise "Hey, it takes 5 years, but you might make it in 4!!"


GFIs1 View Post
2) To reach a university degree - it needs many years of experience and learning - to get the title and make the first money. If it would be so easy to learn trading within 3 (maybe 6?) months - the world would ONLY consist of traders ;-)


Exactly. Why would take making a person to be a professional trader less time then any other serious profession?

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 RichardHK 
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Bermudan Option View Post
I read most of the thread... One thing that I haven't seen directly stated is the effect on coaching/having a mentor. I think the "10,000 hours" quote is legitimate for the average retail trader who is banging his head against the wall for years until it breaks, but if you have a mentor or someone who creates structure in your trading, I think the timeframe will be reduced... ...

Sir Al Brooks tried this too! He sometimes tells the tale about when, in his early learning days, he hired a top trader, and flew him to Al's home in California for one-on-one training.

In addition to the cost of employing, transporting, and feeding the 'expert', he also lost another USD10,000 during their time together.

Nuff said about mentors, eh?

Richard
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 RichardHK 
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tderrick View Post
... ...The key is 10,000 hours to be a master at anything.
I would think that is the bare minimum.

Well. learning to play Bach's Toccata and Fugue in Dminor on an organ as Bach intended, yes! For pro keyboard players, 10k hours is all about giving time for the brain and muscles to learn and work with unconscious competence.

But not anything. Trading does not really compare skill-wise.

Richard
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Pedro40
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RichardHK View Post
Nuff said about mentors, eh?

Not really. One example (good or bad) doesn't make statistics, only invalid conclusions. Or maybe Al was bad at picking teachers. Or it was just overall a bad week for the mentor. Lots of variables...

Generally speaking a mentor would help tremendously as compared to figuring out for yourself, and the poster bringing it up was correct. With mentors, it is only 9900 hours...

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 Bermudan Option 
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RichardHK View Post
Sir Al Brooks tried this too! He sometimes tells the tale about when, in his early learning days, he hired a top trader, and flew him to Al's home in California for one-on-one training.

In addition to the cost of employing, transporting, and feeding the 'expert', he also lost another USD10,000 during their time together.

Nuff said about mentors, eh?

That sounds more like a life partner than a coach lol. Seriously though, when I say coach, I mean it in the most common sense, like a Phil Jackson or a Bill Bellichek... It sounds like Al was attempting to get a system he could copy initially instead of improving on an existing setup... but a good coach helps you improve on your personal skill set... Phil Jackson didn't teach Jordan how to shoot for example, he helped him mentally figure out when to shoot and when it hurts the team. A trading coach shouldn't teach you how to trade but rather the psychological lessons that we are often too biased to recognize

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 tderrick 
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Massive l View Post
If you are not trading at a professional level in 10k hours, then you should do something else.


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


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