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Aug 04

Scaring the Newbies

In Which Rogue Traderette Tells It Like It Is

Just yesterday I had an email from a would-be trader who was keen to get started in the markets.  On the one hand, I adore seeing people taking their first steps in trading, but on the other hand I feel like scaring them away because I know just what they have ahead of them.

The fact is, if most new traders knew in advance what would be required of them to succeed, most simply wouldn’t bother.

If you ask newbie traders what they have ahead of them in their trading  journey, generally say (if they’re honest) – “a reasonably fast way to get rich and impress my neighbours”.

If you asked me, I would say it goes like this.

Excitement.  Exhilaration. Confusion. Devastation. Nausea. Determination. Disappointment. Doubt. Flash-backs to Devastation. Determination.  Education. Glimmer of Hope. More Disappointment. More Flash-backs. More Doubt. Determination. Hard Work. Commitment. Confidence.

It’s a bit of a roller-coaster, right?  From the outside, trading looks easy.  From the inside, it’s possibly the most difficult endeavour you can undertake.  Most people quit right after the nausea sets in, and for those that manage to stick it out, there is still a long and rocky road ahead.

So, my advice for newbies?  Make sure it’s the road you want to travel, because while the odd win might come easily, long-term success is not for the faint-hearted.

  • Ultron

    Determination is an interesting choice of word. What kept me going through the endurance test until I started to make consistent money was something more like conviction–conviction that a person with a reasonable brain who came to grips with his demons (trading is nothing if not a commitment to psychoanalysis) could eventually triumph. Yes, I guess determination had a lotto do with it–but I associate determination with a direct, head-down charge at the problem, and success in trading, I believe, is anything but direct.

    • http://roguetraderette.wordpress.com Rogue Traderette

      I agree conviction is important because if you don’t have a belief in the end result the whole excersise will be futile. To me determination incorporates the decision to be successful, the focus required to learn, and persistance.

      Re coming to grips with your demons – I believe that’s where most traders come unstuck. They think trading is about buying and selling, but it’s not. It’s about self-mastery :)

  • http://matlab-trading.blogspot.com sjev

    Yes. Nausea is a good description. Especially if one does not know the odds.

    • http://roguetraderette.wordpress.com Rogue Traderette

      Oh yes, the nausea….you can’t underestimate the impact of a large loss on your physical well-being :)