I think the reason most people get into trading and quickly leave trading is the illusion that there are millions to be made in a very short period of time. This conception of trading is simply not true. Granted, there are many traders who make millions every year trading the markets. One of the richest men in the world, Warren Buffett, made his billions simply trading the market. But the simple fact is most traders won’t make millions trading, and in the first couple of years you probably won’t even make $100,000. You can make a nice living though, and as you hone your trading skills your income will increase exponentially.
Day trading is not a get rich quick scheme. I wish I could tell you differently, but the truth is that you must master a skill set and then learn to execute that skill set consistently and accurately. This is not an overnight process, and you cannot expect yourself to trade flawlessly from the beginning. You will make mistakes, many mistakes, and those mistakes will cost you money. The idea is to learn from your mistakes and gradually minimize them. Eventually, you will make very few mistakes and you will realize sizable monetary rewards. Don’t expect to get to this point in a few weeks though. Learning to trade takes time, effort, study, and experience.
Even more daunting is the idea that good traders are always students of trading. I read at least one book about trading every month. Some of the books are very good, and other books are not so good. The point is, I am always learning about the craft of trading and trying to get better, even after 25 years of trading. There is a world of knowledge out there and I am anxious to absorb all the knowledge I can.
Learning to trade is an investment in you. Once you have developed your trading skills you need never want for a job or career. You can trade, and there are very few people that trade well. Most cannot stand some of the failure you experience at the beginning of your trading career and give up. As a matter of fact, most traders give up. The few that continue to trade reap the rewards of their diligence. It takes a strong sense of self discipline, a high degree of resilience, and a pit bull dedication to trading in order to succeed.
There is some good news though, if you can make it through the first year or two you will have a sound foundation for future success. One of the things that I highly recommend is developing a firm foundation in trading. Getting a firm foundation entails learning how the market works, and understanding the market is not necessarily logical. This creates a dichotomy, of sorts, because humans are by nature logical beings. The results are we are logical beings trading an illogical market. It’s no small task to learn to trade, but the ultimate rewards are well worth the effort. I will never have to look for a job, I don’t ever have to retire, and I can work the hours of my choosing. Does it get any better than that?
But if you’re looking for fast riches and make stacks of money in the first year, trading is not for you. Of course, I read the advertisements claiming day traders using a certain system make millions of dollars using that system in their first year of trading. I don’t buy it, because I have traded for a long time and know that no single system can produce consistent results in the many market conditions that are always present. A good trader understands the mood of the market on a given day and adjusts his trading to that market mood. No trading system can accommodate and profit in the many market conditions that exist. It’s your brain that makes the adjustments and allows you to profit.
In summary, you will not get rich immediately should you decide to become a trader. If you are impatient and careless you will not even be a trader very long. On the other hand, if you build a firm foundation on which to build your trading you stand a great chance of making better than average money than the 9 to 5 corporate worker. That’s enough for me.