One of my initial misconceptions was even worse than that: I thought it could be learned from forum information and input from people who were promoting various products and services.
I also failed (for an embarrassingly long time) to appreciate that an entry-method isn't a trading-method, and took a long time to learn that trade management and money management are far more important than entries.
But mostly, I imagined trading was about finding ways to maximize profit rather than about finding ways to minimize risk.
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Recently learned: I thought day trading was more profitable than longer term trading simply because you could make more trades and have more opportunity to make trades. I was wrong.. In the world of trading: less is more.
nosce te ipsum
You make your own opportunities in life.
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Believing in trading quotations & market wisdom from super star traders & taking them as valid at face value without understanding the context in which they were actually said.
I have lost the biggest amount of money on the most famous trading quote - Cut your losses short and let your winners run
Now wisdom is great but in context of day trades applying this wisdom probably makes one poorer rather than richer financially & psychologically
My biggest misconception? Hmm, so difficult to choose one!
If I had to choose one, it would be completely underestimating the effect of luck on short-term results. That no matter how hard you try (<- a waste of time and energy), you cannot escape the fact that the markets are way too efficient to blame yourself for losers, or congratulate yourself for individual losing/winning trades respectively.
"Bad" things happen in the short-term when executing a good plan and "Good" things happen in the short-term when executing a bad plan and everything in between.
Any edge that is available will be blasted away very quickly by untamed cognitive biases and any deviation from near 100% objectivity. Took me nearly a decade to fully accept this.
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