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Primary source of income: how many have made it?
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Primary source of income: how many have made it?

  #1 (permalink)
Southwest US
Posts: 57 since Apr 2010
Thanks: 23 given, 95 received

Primary source of income: how many have made it?

I keep hearing the 95/5 percentage of failing/successful traders used. This sounds reasonable to me.

I found myself wondering - how many on this forum have been able to make trading their primary source of income?

So - assuming that this ratio (5/95 = 1/19) is fairly constant at any given time, and assuming that members of (formerly BMT) forum are representative of the playing field as a whole, how about a little poll?

And realizing that people have varying measures of primary income - and a little bit of trivia for me personally, and if you don't mind sharing - how many make over $100k/year?

Here we go:

1. Is trading your primary source of income? (Yes or no)
2. Do you make over $100k/year in trading (Over, under, NA)
3. How long did you trade prior to making trading your primary source of income - or if not primary income yet, number of years trading? (Approx. # hours on screen)

Last edited by Day Trading Fool; May 2nd, 2010 at 04:48 PM. Reason: Added a question and consolidated poll, changed time question to screen hours
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  #2 (permalink)
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  #3 (permalink)
Trading Experience: Advanced
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many make over $100k/year?


From trading ? not me . I always get a little disturbed by that 95 / 5 thingy . First how do we know that ? Second , is that those that make a living at it versus those that wash out completely ? . Personally I think its perpetuated by those that are in line to sell advice or access to the holy grail .

If its true then why are there so many brokers , dealers , platforms , software , vendors , coaches , mentors , books , indicators etc. ? Who feeds them ? Do so many people wash out then get replaced by more rubes ? Like I said , it just gets my feathers ruffled lol .

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  #4 (permalink)
Trading Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NT
Posts: 106 since Apr 2010
Thanks: 48 given, 84 received

The figures come from brokers, actually the figures for those that make money for more than a year are 98%/2% according to a CBOT lecture I was listening too ... and they should know.

Yes, how it works, is the professional traders, get there money from the newbies, and there is a constant supply of newbies into the market convinced by the marketing of the educators (who also feed on the newbies) that they will be able to make a living using their $5000 account. The market works by offering Hope, but not delivering what was Hoped for, that is what keeps the market moving.

The problem with making a living out of it, is the amount of capital you really need to have to handle draw downs and to give yourself the leverage you need and that's assuming you know what your doing (which takes years). When your under capitalized you have scared money, so you run tight stops and make poor decisions.

If you can make 2% per month consistantly, then you are up there with the best traders.

And no, I don't make 100K per year from trading !

There are much easier ways to make money than from trading.

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  #5 (permalink)
United States of America
Trading Experience: Advanced
Platform: NT
Posts: 1,149 since Aug 2009

At first, I bristled at the percentages, but have come to believe them. Despite what anyone thinks, the percentages are real. Both my broker(s) and accountant who is the premier retail trading bean-counter confirm those stats and they have direct access to the data.

As a discretionary trader, I had ups (+$100K years) and downs but never reached the point where trading was a sole means of making a living. The missing agent was consistency and when the market went through its changes my setups couldn't keep pace. When that happens, the emotional aspect raised its ugly head and failure is not far behind. I am so sold on auto trading, that I'll never go back to discretion and you can take that to the bank.

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  #6 (permalink)
Southwest US
Posts: 57 since Apr 2010
Thanks: 23 given, 95 received

I will start off.

1. No
2. NA
3. Approx. 200 hours live screen trading, countless on backtesting and messing around trying to find the right indicator....

Last edited by Day Trading Fool; May 2nd, 2010 at 04:50 PM. Reason: Changed time to screen time
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  #7 (permalink)
Southwest US
Posts: 57 since Apr 2010
Thanks: 23 given, 95 received

Oh - wow lol. I took a shower, thought of another question, and edited the post without updating the screen. Several replies already.

How about another stab at answers? Maybe top of reply? I would love to be able to compile the answers in a spreadsheet in a couple of weeks.

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  #8 (permalink)
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Big Mike's Avatar
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I would venture (formerly BMT)'s crowd does in fact beat the odds (ie: perform better than the 95/5 rule). But, I think could be true of any specialized group within a larger group.

Remember, to fail at trading it could be as simple as starting with a woefully under-capitalized account, trading it for a month, blowing out, and then quitting. You've now failed at trading.

I earn my living from trading and I will never do anything else again. I've worked for myself for a long time before trading, and while its liberating to be your own boss, it is even more liberating to be a successful trader.


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  #9 (permalink)
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Regarding those statistics, I would venture that of the 95 % of losing traders 95% of them are part time retail traders.

I would also say of these traders they will have great periods and some big dd also, ultimately lacking consistency.

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  #10 (permalink)
Trading Experience: Beginner
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Posts: 495 since Oct 2009
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1) No
2) Simulation
3) 1 year but only 1 hour of screen time a day so for me about 200 days * 1 hour = 200 hours. I believe screen time is more important than duration and should be considered in the measure.


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