Article by Philipp Pfitzenmaier from “TradeWithPrecision“
One of the most common questions asked about trading is how long it will take to become a successful trader. Many are attracted to trading because they mistakenly believe that it is a path to quick and easy riches, a belief which is unsurprising given how traders are portrayed by popular media (seen Limitless or Wall Street anyone??)
The reality is that trading is a job like any other. And there is a specific skill set you need to develop in order to survive in the markets long term. For starters, a trader must become proficient in reading price action. He or she must understand and be able to spot optimum price structure. Failure to do so undermines any subsequent technical analysis. There is no point to continue building if the foundations are not strong!
In addition to that, a trader also needs to practice trade and risk management. It may seem counter intuitive to be thinking about what to do about losing trades, since the end goal of many (ok, all) traders is to make money; but your trading capital is precious, and a balance needs to be struck between the fear of losing money and the desire to take unnecessary risk for large gains. How quickly you come to grips with this mind-set depends on you. Some will really struggle to place trades while others may over-trade and blow up their accounts.
Anyone can become a trader but the key factor to successful trading in the long run is consistency. In order to be consistent, one needs to be disciplined as well as resilient. There will be many times in your trading career when you will want to quit because things are not going your way. You may also be tempted to stray from your trading strategy to speed things up. However, neither quitting nor being erratic will bring success. You have to be in the game to win and also be able to assess whether your strategy is working by sticking to it. A lack of consistency would ultimately set you back instead!
The amount of time it takes to become a successful trader will vary from person to person. The best thing one can do is to change your focus from “how long will it take” to why you want to become a successful trader. It may not be the money that attracts you but rather the freedom of being able to choose where and when you work. Perhaps if you spend a little time getting clear on your “why“, you may just find that trading success does not take so long after all.