FROM amateur TO PROFESSIONAL TRADER
“Lawyers, doctors, engineers and professional men who make a success spend anywhere from two to five years’ time studying and preparing to practice their profession before they begin making any money. Men enter into speculation in Wall Street without any preparation. They have made no study of it whatsoever. They try to deal in something they know nothing about. Is it any wonder then that they lose? Speculators and investors who simply guess, follow tips, rumors, newspaper talk and so-called “inside information” have no chance of ever making a success.” - William D. Gann 1923.
The above quote from a famous financial trader in the 30-40s pretty much says it all about most people who take up trading and me included.
And so my education begins -
When I discovered trading I felt that I had a virtual cash machine at my fingertips and the last thing I wanted to do was listen to anybody else's opinions. As far as I was concerned I had above average intelligence and if others could do it so could I. Oh boy was I wrong!
My first journey into the trading world was spread betting some 15 years ago and instantly fell in love with it. I was trading mainly indices like the FTSE100, the DJIA and a few others along with any stocks I could recognize. I opened my first account and deposited what I felt was a fair chunk of change for me at that time, £500. I got a buzz out of watching the markets rise and fall and felt I could work out which way they were going. I was on the lower time frame of 1 and 5 minutes which I later found out to be home to the majority of losing traders, and it was a roller coaster of thrills, spills and stomach churning entertainment whilst seated at my parent’s dining room table in my dressing gown munching on my breakfast. I thought "aah, this is the life, how easy can it get?". The money came in as fast as it went out which should have set some alarm bells off but only made me more determined to keep going. At that time there was not a heck of a lot of good info online like there is nowadays and I remember getting some form of education from various spread betting websites that seemed to paint a rosy nostalgic kind of view of trading that only whetted my appetite further. I learned as much as I could about patterns but never really focused in on the important stuff like stop losses, correct position sizing and realistic take profit targets. Basically I never had any strategy or plan of attack. This was to be my downfall!
Some days like most newbie’s I would have great upswings and was almost drunk with a sense of invincibility and power, only to be deflated with handing all that money back and eventually losing my initial deposit. I was sickened, angry and wanted revenge ..Oh dear. Sounds familiar?
I went on to deposit another £500 and even opened another account with a “better” broker I thought, and tried as I could to educate myself by reading up on various strategies that other traders were supposedly making money on. I quickly realized that there were some missing parts to such strategies and no matter what I did, success was short lived. After a year or two and quitting then returning once the loses were gone from my memory I went on the various forums and felt I was on to something good with all these seemingly “professional traders” giving good advice. Little did I know at the time that the overwhelming majority of those on the forums were no better than myself and were largely known as “strategy jumpers” where they were constantly going from strategy to strategy losing and looking for that elusive “holy grail”..That mythological ideal that once they found it they would never lose again. My journey was not unlike most others who go the self taught route. I really did make it hard for myself and in the attempt to save money and time not paying for an education I did in fact end up paying for one by losing money and being none the wiser afterwards – a pretty stupid approach really.
I had enough of trading and dropped out and each time I bounced back I had a renewed vigour and optimism that was unlike before. I also found some pretty good traders at that point who were winning traders and what I learned from them was completely contrarian to that of the majority of other traders. I had been doing what the 95% (known statistically) of losers had been doing and now I was listening to what the rest of the winners were doing. My whole approach to trading had been like the masses and I had no chance whatsoever for as long as I carried on that way. The markets are dominated by only a tiny 5% that are consistent and once I found out what the winners did it had a major impact on my whole outlook on the markets and the trader that I needed to become. It took a bit of adjusting to get my head around it but it’s what I had to do if I was to survive in this business.
I immediately went on to trade in line with what the bigger players were doing in the markets and making my decisions on the higher time frames and not the random noise of the lower ones where all the losing traders are. I learned how to manage my risk correctly which I completely avoided in the beginning and my understanding of the dynamics of how the market moved got better day by day. I was no longer a losing trader gambling and hoping I will make money, I was now able to steadily grow my account without the hideous roller coaster swings I once had. I achieved a level of consistency and confidence that all pros have attained and amateurs can only dream about.
Fast forward a few years, I went on to work for various financial institutions and although I was happy with what I knew I was still learning all the time and my skills as a trader were becoming even more refined and consistent. This led me to a deeper understanding of trading Price Action which is what I trade today and teaching it to not only those new to trading but also other professionals who are looking for a more reliable, consistent approach to making money in the markets. The teaching came about whilst I was trading in a fund where I took on the extra position as trainer for the new interns. I quickly found that by teaching others It actually accelerated my own learning and skills in the markets and this view is now shared by many of my current students and other professionals I know of who do exactly the same by trading and teaching in some capacity.
Looking back some 15 years I went through some crazy learning curves with trying to trade with all the various indicators, time frames and testing so many strategies only to discover that it was all a waste of time and was keeping me squarely in the 95% losing camp of traders who never get out and discover the realities verses the myths of trading.
If all along I could have found someone who knew like I know now then I could have got to where I am in a fraction of the time. But I don’t regret all the time it’s taken me since I have done other things in between trading and met a lot of awesome people that I probably would never had met otherwise.. I have no regrets at all! This moment now and positively moving forwards is all that matters.
I now have a great team of others around me at smartforextrading who all trade exactly the same way and are growing as professionals in their own right. I offer the very best training that you can ever have and that’s One to One in person with the very important ongoing coaching with an opportunity to buddy up with my other students who have also gone through the training, and access to a trading room that has a community of like minded traders who are all passionate about trading Price Action and helping each other develop their trading skills.
So, whether you are a complete newbie like I once was or perhaps a struggling trader looking for a more consistent way of trading the markets please be sure to check out my - One to One Training + Coaching that I am offering