Trading Forex for a living has been one of the most exciting and rewarding careers I could ask for. I have spent over the last ten years of my life focusing on becoming a better trader, grasping at every chance to improve and hone my skills.
I’ve been fortunate enough to be trading for a living since 2003, and I’ve learned some essential factors that will help you on your journey to becoming a trader. The following are 5 essential things you need to know about trading for a living.
1. It Can Be Done
I’m living proof that with enough drive and determination you can become a successful trader. I have trained hundreds of new traders over the years who have gone on to become very successful.
Think of being a professional forex trader like being a professional athlete. Only a few kids from every playground will ever go on to play sports on a professional level. Most of their success is due to an incredible work ethic and dedication to their sport.
Trading is no different. Without a fierce dedication and commitment you will not succeed. Although trading is one of the most challenging things I have ever done in my life, it can be done.
2. It Doesn’t Happen Over Night
One of the most common questions I receive from aspiring traders is, “How soon will I be able to quit my day job?” Even my own trading students are overly eager to start trading live accounts and increasing their position sizes. It takes time to develop the necessary skills and mental durability to consistently be profitable as a trader.
3. Knowledge Is Power
I was fortunate to begin my trading career at one of the largest proprietary equity firms in the country under the guidance of a veteran trader. Brandon was essential in my early development as a trader. A successful mentor or coach will help you develop your skills faster and avoid some of the common mistakes most new traders make.
If you don’t personally know any successful traders I suggest you find someone. There are hundreds of useful courses, forums, books, and blogs out available to you. You’re on one right now!
4. Focus On You
Too many traders think there is a secret trading system that when discovered will lead to unlimited trading profits. This simply is not the case. Anyone who says otherwise is probably to scam you with a get rich quick scheme. Traders constantly abandoning trading systems searching for better trading systems is one of the reasons traders give up or fail. T
he long term success of a trader is due to his or her mental toughness and discipline. There are hundreds of different trading systems that can be profitable when the right person is trading them with the proper risk management.
5. Plan For The Unexpected
Although it is possible to be consistently profitable as a forex trader, you will experience drawdowns. I still have never met a trader who hasn’t experienced a significant drawdown, nor do I imagine I ever will. Trading through a drawdown can be very challenging and even more difficult if you are desperate for money. Desperation causes people to make poor decisions, so sock away some profits along the way! I personally like to set aside a 1/3 of all my monthly profits into my savings account.
You will also experience times in your trading career where the markets provide less opportunity to make money. The markets always determine your ability to make money as a trader, not the other way around.
Becoming a trader has been one of the most rewarding decisions of my life and I encourage anyone interested in the markets to give it a shot. Set realistic expectations and dedicate time to honing your skills and knowledge everyday.