I don't agree with you. I consider myself to be a professional trader in the same way I trained to be a professional scientist. One of the most important things you learn in the lab is that 98% of all experiments go down the drain - i.e. they don't work. The outcome either failed or it was something that you didn't anticipate. Every scientist is searching for the holy grail of whatever their research involves. They don't come out of school knowing it all. Why would trading by any different?
Personally, although I am a profitable trader, I continue researching every single day. I read boards like this. I sign up for trials of everything new - Ninja Partners is a good place to find vendors. I want to know what other people are doing and why they're doing it. Then I test their methods using my own criteria. Sometimes you find something worthwhile. If you don't like research, you shouldn't be in this business. Because whatever your trading goal is, you won't succeed unless you continually ask questions and test, test, test.
Remember when you were in school and asked the teacher before the final exam: "What should I be studying for the exam." Well the smart teacher always said: "If you know everything, you won't fail." And that same philosophy applies to trading or any other serious profession. Know everything and you won't fail.
As for the successful traders you are referring to in your post, I think it's a lot of baloney. I know a lot of traders - a couple of whom are what I consider geniuses at what they do. But one thing they all have in common - they're not afraid to ask questions, they're not afraid to learn something new, and they recognize that the market is dynamic - it changes over time and your strategies must also change with it. And I have no doubt that most of them are researching the way I do - every day, reading everything, talking to other traders, digesting new market dynamics.
It's only a secret society for those who don't have the talent or wherewithall to pursue trading as a serious career.
The following 26 users say Thank You to phantomtrader for this post:
Is this realistic? Never heard the expression "Jack of all trades, master of none" meaning superficial in all of them. It's true that there is good information on futures.io (formerly BMT) but quite disorganised which can lead to information overload and conflicting concepts. Which brings us back to our Jack of all trades expression. It's more efficient to focus on 'one thing' instead of everything. According to you what should be this 'one thing'?
Platform: "I trade, therefore, I AM!"; Theme Song: "Atomic Dog!"
Favorite Futures: EMD, 6J, ZB
Posts: 798 since Oct 2009
Thanks: 216 given,
to that I will add:
A) the markets are more dynamic than any other creature known to the corporate world, including the Real Estate and Retail Consumer products markets, and as such, require one to continue to retest, reprove, reacquaint, and readjust their approach
B) those who can't clear away the fantasy from the reality are the ones that keep losing. Just let that expression just marinate on you, for a while.
...the fantasy of working just a few hours a day or week
...the fantasy of easy money
...the fantasy of once successful, always successful
or any other flavor of the month
C) there are successful traders that are just like they were, when they weren't successful, or in this business (of trading), and either do share and talk, or don't share and talk. There's nothing true about that notion that those successful don't share. Big Mike was one of the wisest persons in this informal industry, in starting, maintaining and encouraging this forum. There were others preceding it, and they're still around, just not as well used and appreciated as before this one.
Let's face it, the wealth of information that has been shared, whether from one or many persons, whether from domestic US or international, has made this website one of the most valuable tools you will ever find. Expecting some talented, or successful trader to endow you with some magical ability is just like point B (scroll up).
Be the trade! Chant that as a mantra, see the trade, make the trade, be the trade! Now that's success.
Good health to you!
The following 2 users say Thank You to kronie for this post:
Broker/Data: Mirus Futrues, Zen-Fire, IQFeed, Kinetick
Favorite Futures: 6E, CL, GC
Posts: 132 since Apr 2010
Thanks: 22 given,
It's been said that trading is the hardest "easy money" you'll ever make. Many of the reasons why have been discussed in this thread and I'm delighted to see some of you emerging from the fog.
I have a friend who's a stock trader. From '95 to '99 he made over $800,000. Never had a losing month. From 2000 to 2010 he lost about $600,000. He made about $50,000 in 2011 and so far this year he's down about $150,000. Is he a trader? By most standards, yes...just not by mine. He spends countless hours researching his trades, but not researching how to stop the financial hemorrhage. He keeps doing exactly what he did in the '90's expecting the same results.
Successful trading isn't about making a lot of money if you end up giving it all back like a Vegas bonehead at a slot machine. It's not just about meeting your goals. Winning is about ongoing "selective" knowledge yet most traders fill their heads with mountains of mush that actually create a huge barrier to the success they seek. Successful trading is about adaptability. Nothing works forever and many successful strategies have a short lifespan before needing corrective surgery (tweaking).
Traders who can't get traction in the market mud can't fix what's wrong because they don't know what's wrong. It's like a stranded motorist who looks under his hood to try to fix his flat tire. They look for the "love" in all the wrong places. To know where to look, you have to know how to trade, of course. That means an investment in time, effort and money...years in the school of hard knocks in order to gain that essential element called experience. Mentors can really help but most traders choose to go it alone.
The road is rough and the lessons are mean. Most traders succumb to the stress and frustration...or they just run out of money and give up. But, to win at this game you have to work smart and stay nimble. To do that, traders must never stop learning what matters and able to adapt to the market's ever changing dynamics. There's no trading system in the world that will do it for you.
The following user says Thank You to rogerf for this post:
Well I don't agree. I think at the very least a new trader should investigate the various markets available to trade, should understand technical analysis and how it's applied, review strategies and systems that are published on websites like this, take free trials from vendors, talk to other traders and, in general, get a good feel for what the market and trading is all about. Focusing on one aspect of trading ignores the bigger picture.
For instance, it's not unusual for new traders to think that technical analysis i.e. indicators alone will enable them to trade successfully. They may lock into a moving average type of strategy only to learn the hard way that the market doesn't care about his moving average system. Why? Because the market is about price action. It's about volatility, volume, market profile, order flow, market "footprint", understanding how to use fibs. This stuff takes time, effort and research to learn.
I don't disagree that it's hard to dig up information. There's no question that getting a well rounded education in this business is tough. But it can be done. Joining a good prop firm with a good training program is one way. There are reputable vendors out there who focus on a particular methodology successfully. That's why I said free trials and possibly signing up with some of them can be advantageous.
Talk to people and read everything. As I said before, you need to be a tireless researcher in this business. And hopefully one day, you put it all together and figure out where you fit into the business.
Last edited by phantomtrader; April 7th, 2012 at 11:12 AM.
The following 2 users say Thank You to phantomtrader for this post: