Yep, most people fail because they haven't got the faintest idea of what they are doing!
but some people have a good understaning of the maket and have good setups etc. but still loose money...
Psychology can't be an excuse of not having done your homework, but without getting to grips with yourself I believe you can't succeed.
Hic Rhodos, hic salta.
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From my experience, luck plays a great role in becoming profitable.
Like Dionysus said, you could spend a lifetime browsing trading boards...reading thousand and thousand of threads, buying hundreds of books. If you are lucky you stumble upon the right material, recognize its value and stick with it.
If not, you try out one moving average crossover system after another, buy one useless indicator after another or spend years deciphering the code left behind by W.D. Gann , figuring out the influence of Neptune, Uranus and Jupiter on the S&P and blow up account after account to end up with debt, job loss, a divorce and drinking problems.
Also, psychology alone is not the holy grail. I think a lot of psychological problems in trading can be greatly reduced by using less leverage and by starting out with a large enough account. If I have to average 5 points in the S&P per day to pay my bills and rent and use $ 500 margins, it's no wonder I start making terrible mistakes due to all the stress and anxiety.
Last edited by TheSeeker; December 10th, 2011 at 12:24 PM.
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Everyone could use a Mr. Miyagi
Anything is possible in trading but I believe having a mentor definitely helps the new trader build a solid base of knowledge and reasonable expectations. When I started in this business, I worked for a large investment bank/PWM firm and was fortunate enough to learn from a guy who had been doing this for about 20 years at the time. He'd seen it all through thick and thin trading all sorts of markets. I feel I benefited substantially from that and was able to establish a realistic approach to what I was doing.
I've also mentored newer traders in the past and have been able to help a few out in getting some consistency in what they're doing. Trading can be extremely overwhelming with all the different markets, methods, indicators, chart periodicities, trading platforms, etc. It's very easy to be on the continuous search for the trading holy grail if you've never learned what's most important to what you're looking to do. Trading isn't all about indicators and platforms. Every good trader out there should be able to use a basic chart and order entry platform successfully without all the bells and whistles out there. You need to learn the fundamentals before you can learn all the fancy stuff.
I think it's important to learn from many people as they can all offer something unique. I also feel it's very important to learn from someone who really is experienced and has seen many different market cycles and events. But I will say, having a mentor will not guarantee success. It still comes down to the individual sitting in that chair, clicking that order into the market and keeping their cool no matter what happens and doing this day in and day out.
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I don't care about indicator settings/combinations, trading books, or useless internet posts.
For me, it's all about experience; seeing what works for me and what doesn't.
That doesn't mean I change something everyday. It means that when the results
are not right, I identify the weakness(es) and tweak the plan. Try again. Repeat.
6000 hours of this so far with a positive yearly return and a decent nest egg.
Is the way I've gone about it going to work for everyone? Probably not.
Have I had a mentor? No.
Have certain online personalities given me insights that inspired me to action? Yes.
Am I still learning? Yes.
Strategy ≥ Money
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I've paid for mentoring (twice) and it was a complete waste of money. BUT, on the other hand... I have met a few successful traders over the years that have mentored me 'informally' for free, and it was a tremendous help.
So, mentoring can be very helpful... if it's the right mentor.
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Great answer. If you can learn to be your own mentor, perhaps that is as good as it gets.
Study and practice, and trial and error, and learning from your own experience, and then questioning yourself, and listening to yourself, as you shape your understanding, beliefs and skills from your own experiences... If you can have the determination and patience to become qualified to mentor yourself, before you put your money on the line, your chance of success will be incredibly increased.
An outside mentor can help in the qualification process. But no mentor can know you like you can know yourself.
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Too much information, too little value
All of the information that a new trader needs to be successful is out there for the taking. But there is a thousand times as much useless and misleading nonsense than there is actionable and logical information. Charlatans abound.
A mentor can really help a new trader separate the signal from the noise. Otherwise the new trader needs to be pretty clever, and will need a lot of time to sort things out.
Some of the online resources are so good that you might call them mentors. Such as Barry Taylor of emini-watch.com, where my incentive to learn Ninjascript, and most of my trading philosophy, comes from.
Mark Douglas and Brett Steenbarger are a couple of other standouts.
Last edited by Zondor; December 10th, 2011 at 02:30 PM.
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