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Much has been said about trading education. We all need it, we all crave for it and we continually keep looking for the education that is going to give us the edge we so desperately need.
The thing is, the edge never comes. It is akin to running towards the end of a rainbow. It looks so damn reachable from afar but it always remains the same distance away no matter how hard or fast you try to get to it. And then right before your very eyes it disappears. Instead of realizing that chasing rainbows is probably not the answer, you change course, try a different route and go rainbow hunting again and again and again.
You repeat this pattern until something eventually gives. Either your account, your emotional well being or in many cases both.
There is a very specific pattern for every new trader. The carrot at the end of the stick is of course money, and lots of it. It all seems so easy when all you have to do is make $500 per day! What could go wrong?
The thing you forget is that with every journey there are many, many steps. Some are easy, some are difficult and some are so tough you need to make several attempts at that step before your journey can continue. And for those that do march on, there will be continual trip ups, grazing of the knees and plenty of whacks to the side of the head in the process. All with the goal of becoming a successful trader.
But what is a ‘successful trader’? I don’t want this to become a topic of conversation but to some, being a successful trader means you are no longer losing money. To others, it means you are supporting your household. So success really is personal, but at the very minimum we should draw the line at success meaning trading is no longer a losing proposition.
So how much does this education “cost”? This can be divided up into three categories, all of which can be sub divided again to build the complete framework needed for a trader. But I’ll stick with these three to begin with, because if you haven’t got these to start with, you will fail.
Time – you need to dedicate an inordinate amount of time if you want to become a successful trader. I am talking about thousands and thousands of hours. The old adage of 10,000 hours being the requirement to be proficient at anything I believe is a fair statement. But as it recently got pointed out to me, that is assuming you are repeating the same thing for 10,000 hours. Of course that isn’t the case for many traders whom hop from one “method” or "system" to another.
Money – I don’t just mean money in your trading account. I am talking about all those bits in between. Books, webinars, indicators, trading rooms etc. I don’t need to expand on this one because unless you are sitting on a lottery win, our funds to trade are more or less finite unless you are successful.
Discipline & Psychology - I have sweated over trading. I have cried over trading and everything in between. I have hit the very limit of emotions and some I don’t wish to see again. You need to get your head in the right place when it comes to trading or you will never survive. This is probably the biggest part of trading that nobody on the outside of trading understands. For example, the switch from trading SIM to LIVE. One of the biggest mind blows out there. Which is why I don’t advocate ever trading in SIM. To be fair, if you are learning a new trading platform or testing a new strategy, sure. But that is about all SIM or paper trading is good for.
So as part of my cleansing process, I documented the junk part of my trading journey. It has taken some courage to go through all of my old documents and emails to piece it together. I have no idea of the total monetary spend here, but including all of the losses from the trading rooms I suspect it runs somewhere between $30k and $50k.
As a caveat, I do not and have never claimed to be a master trader. Right now I feel comfortable with my setup and my approach to the market.
If you would like to see my personal reviews of trading rooms, trading services and/or other vendors that I have come across in my trading career, please drop me an email and I'll send them to you. They are my opinion only but scathing to say the least!