How Long It Takes to Become Profitable at Trading and Investing

As a human being, you will make mistakes. None of us are perfect and, to me, that is something that is perfect about us. The point being that if we were theoretically ‘perfect’ then life would be a bore and there would be no room for growth. So, it is perfect that we are not perfect. However, many of us were never taught or guided on how to use the mistakes and errors we make to our benefit. There are many negative things people do because of their mistakes, but one of the worst things that many do to themselves is that they mentally beat themselves up.

One question I often get from students is “How long will it take me to become a consistently profitable trader?” Or, “How long does it take the average student to become a consistently profitable trader?”

Students want to know how long it will take them so they can plan accordingly. So, they will know when the ‘big bucks’ start rolling in. What I have found is that it is not that simple. What takes someone 6 months to learn can take someone else 24 months to learn. Or 60 months to learn. Or 2 months to learn. Or some may never learn how to do it.

The fact is each person is unique in their abilities to achieve things as well as unique in the speed at which they accomplish things……and to compare oneself to others or to where one arbitrarily thinks they SHOULD be, does nothing but HURT one’s abilities to accomplish one’s goals.

In fact, I would go so far as to say it is one of the MAJOR reasons why people fail at trading and investing.

This self-criticality is the eye of the Trading Storm which some traders allow themselves to get sucked into and once one is sucked in, it’s hard to get out.

The thing is that most think that it’s LOSSES that can suck you into the storm. Although it’s true that losses can often ignite this falling into the Storm of Trading, the surprising thing is that losses are NOT the only thing.

In a sense, many folks put themselves in a position where they CANNOT WIN. Specifically, we all realize logically that once something has happened it cannot be changed. We cannot change the past.

So, after this ‘something’ has happened, what do people do? I find there are really 3 judgements of the ‘something’ that has happened that drive the response…although as you will see the usefulness of the responses are all similar.

1) The Result is judged as something BAD that happened – if this is the case, they beat themselves up over the mistake, what was done wrong, and they replay it over and over in their heads. They ask themselves really POOR questions (which beget poor answers) such as… “How could I be so stupid?” and “What is wrong with me?” “Why do I keep doing this to myself?” “How come this always happens to me?”

If you ask poor questions you give yourself poor answers. Answers like “Because you are stupid and you’ll never figure it out.” “There’s all sorts of wrong with you.” “Because you’re stupid, stupid.” “Because you’re a loser.” Etc.

2) The Result is judged as something NEUTRAL that happened – if this is the case, they beat themselves up over the fact it wasn’t good enough, that they are just average, and this is why they never get anywhere, etc.

3) The Result is judged as something GOOD that happened – if this is the case, they feel a momentary sense of satisfaction, but then they beat themselves up over the fact they could’ve done better, or they dwell on the fact that nothing good ever happens to them so it’s ABOUT TIME that something good happened and the victory is spiteful…almost like a sore winner. Plus, now in the back of their head they ‘know’ they are overdue now for a BAD thing to come along.

Isn’t it amazing how many can turn a great result into a something with a negative impact?

While reading Warrior Trading review at tradingreviews.org, what I noticed is in trading this is relevant in the following 3 areas:

1) Trading losses – the emotionally immature or ill-developed will beat themselves up over losses, severely crippling their ability to learn from their losses which results in repeating the same mistakes over and over.

2) Break even trades – this is also a real frustration for the trader even if the trade would not have worked out – because instead of seeing that the stop saved them, they will focus on how stupid they were to take the trade in the first place or some other hindsight biased based thinking.

3) Winning trades – the fact that it is near impossible to get out at the absolute top will have many ill-developed psychological traders thinking that they are a loser because they didn’t get a dollar out of a dollar move.

Please note that those who think negatively or do the things above can twist EVERYTHING that happens in their lives – good, bad, or otherwise – into a negative and painful experience.

But the amazing thing is that ANYONE can change their thinking so that EVERYTHING that happens in their lives – good, bad, or otherwise – is twisted into a positive and uplifting and useful experience for the present and future.

So the key is not whether an event is judged as BAD, GOOD, or NEUTRAL – Successful mindsets will turn EVERYTHING towards their benefit, and Unsuccessful mindsets will turn everything AGAINST themselves and their goals.

Unsuccessful thinking processes are for the most part, unconscious and part of one’s programming. So it’s easy to go through life oblivious of the fact that one may be getting in their own way… that they are their own worst enemy to progress and fulfillment. One has to step back and become AWARE of what they are doing, then measure, and make changes if necessary. But sometimes that thing called the “EGO” gets in the way.

Realize that how long it will take YOU to become a consistently profitable trader is up to YOU. It doesn’t matter how long it took anyone else you know, you have to decide for yourself. You need to work at your pace of learning and gaining experience and recalibrate and move along the way. And if you focus too much on a timeline that is based on other people and/or unfounded imaginations of how long it ‘ought’ to take you, then you will find that the pressure you put on yourself will have a high chance of driving you to failure.

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