The phases you’ll experience on the road to becoming a professional trader
When you’re planning on building a career in trading, plan to cycle through a few phases in your learning curve. These changes and advancements will ultimately take you from the very green beginning all the way to making it as a pro level trader.
In this article we’ll describe the evolution of a trader from when you’re first introduced to trading all the way through the peak of your career.
Overview of the Learning Curve
As an outline of your learning curve, plan on learning the basics of trading and then the analysis or strategy that you’re going to be trading with.
Once you’ve got these two aspects down, spend a lot of time practicing, testing, and discovering your personality within the strategy.
From there you’ll wind up working on the money management aspect. Later on, when you have all of these theoretical and practical elements making up your trading infrastructure, you’ll invest a lot of time in the psychological side of trading.
Finally you’ll move on to the next and final level which is providing your services and getting leverage in order to trade your own or other people’s funds.
Not So Simple
An introduction to trading might at first sound and look very simple. The concepts of gaining profit and many methods of technical analysis appear simple and easy to understand and use.
Be warned, it only looks like this.
Even though you maybe learn all of the patterns, there are so many abnormalities and exceptions that occur within the confines of every trading strategy. Therefore, you can never take it for granted that just because it looks simple, that it is simple.
Always bear in mind, the very important concept that trading looks easy and it’s easy to understand but it’s actually very hard to do.
Practice all of the Time
The next phase along your trading career is when you already understand the theory of your trading strategy and have to begin your practice.
This involves training your eyes to learn all the patterns and practicing in order to be aware of all the traps that relate to your trading strategy. You must know all the abnormalities of what the market may put you on.
Toward the end of this phase, you’ll feel the push to become independent and move on to self learning. It’s the time where you will have to find your personality and unique traits in the strategy.
How Your Unique Mind Interacts with the Market
This phase is how your mind and or your logic makes sense of what it sees in order to give you the answers and confidence to act in the market.
You might quickly learn that what you picked up from one mentor or a specific strategy will not be enough for you. This is because we all have different views and ways to understand the market. You’ll need to widen your education in order to have a broader perspective in how you’re going to understand and apply your knowledge in the market.
Most educators will ask you to stick to their specifics. You should know that there are so many different ways, so if you’re not satisfied with the answers you’re getting, learn more methods.
When you’re setting off on your independent way, it’s also when you also start dipping into money management.
Managing the Money
Money management is yet another layer that you put on top of your previous analysis and theory accumulation.
Money management involves ways to control the risk you take and also techniques on how to enhance or how to strike the optimal balance between risk and opportunity. It’s always about this very delicate balance.
Like the strategy and theories you already know, money management has different methods and mathematics which you can apply to your trading. You’ll have to match it all according to what suits your personality and what will help you meet your goals.
Once you have all of these elements working together for yourself, it’s time to dive into the mental aspect of your trading.
It’s easy to recognize when this phase kicks in. That’s because you’ll start experiencing all of the different events the market will throw you into and be forced to begin building an awareness of the need to work out the mental challenges that come with trading.
If you work on this in an honest and thorough way, you’ll start to see answers on how to control your emotions in ways that will improve your trading performance and create better feelings towards your trading day.
You’ll become more at peace with taking losses and you’ll find calm and peaceful ways of dealing with challenges the market throws at you.
Another warning here though, you’ll never be on top of everything.
All of the things we listed earlier are always changing. No system will ever be fully resolved and set forever. But eventually, you’ll have a routine that allows you to tweak and adjust the system in a manner that leads to consistent successes in the market.
When you’re at this level, it’s when you can show results to others and they’ll be happy to let you trade and invest for them. Use your knowledge and skills to create good ROI for clients or as an independent trader. It’s not just about investing your own money. This is when you can leverage yourself with others by putting yourself on the market as a pro trader. If you’re consistent, many doors will open for you.
Just a few of the opportunities that might come your way are the ability to open a small hedge fund, sell signals, work for a proprietary fund like the5ers, work on a trading floor, or create your own mentorship program or community.
When you’re at this level and firing on all cylinders, many opportunities will come knocking at your door.
Photo by Tony Dinh