You may be approaching your first year anniversary as a trader, you’ll have no doubt experienced many highs and lows, you’ll have lost money and gained money and you’ll have wasted time and spent many hours, days and at times weeks chasing down blind alleys. But you may be surprised at just how much you’ve learned and how much you’ve developed during this baptism of fire, just how close you are to finally becoming successful and by association profitable.
There is so much to learn, so much to take on board when you’re learning to trade, it could be considered a miracle that we ever graduate beyond the first few months and that’s assuming your first account lasts that long. To learn to trade requires so many standard intelligence and emotional intelligence skills, to list them all would be a difficult task. However, we’re going to point out a few skills you’ve developed, many of these skills and the concepts involved would have been completely alien to you at the start of your trader journey. In revealing these developments, it becomes obvious the huge strides you’ve made, both as a trader and a person, over the past twelve months.
You’ve tested many strategies and dismissed most as unworkable
From probably not even knowing what a trading method/strategy actually was, you’ve now experimented with many, learned how to back test, forward test, ruled in some strategies and permanently ruled out others. In doing so you’ve developed a deep understanding of: indicators, pattern recognition, candlestick formations, moving averages, time frames, price action, etc. You’ve probably created a robust trading plan and decided whether you’re either, for example, a day trader, or a swing trader and have adjusted your day to ensure you’re always alert to market movements which you can take advantage of.
You’ve learned that money management is absolutely critical
It took a few losses to finally sink in, but a light eventually went on and you finally discovered that protecting your bottom line is absolutely critical. Or as many of us state; “look after the bottom line and the top line will take care of itself.” You’ve stopped risking random amounts of your account on individual trades, you also abandoned your trading habit of indecision. You now apply strict stops to your trading, you place them where you’re convinced that if the stops are executed, then the trade has failed.
You’ve navigated the highly complex mechanics of an advanced platform
The bewildering, digital, technical advancement, on which you place your trades, is no longer intimidating. You know all the features of the platform and the benefits these features can deliver. You can use it to place trades, stops, you’ve begun to experiment with automation, you scale in and out on various time frames, you can apply all the technical indicators required to execute your strategies. You’re now entirely comfortable with a piece of mysterious technology that you stared at with fear approximately twelve months back.
You’ve developed a keen interest in economic news
Because you regularly read the economic calendar, you’ve now become fascinated by economic news and how high impact news events move our markets. You set alarms to remind you an important publication is about to be released and you adjust your positions and decisions accordingly.
You’ve learned the basics of an unknown mysterious industry and unraveled it
To conclude, this is probably the most startling achievement during your journey over the past twelve months and shouldn’t be underestimated. You’ve gone from being a complete novice, to become a trader who’s gained a self-education in an incredibly complex industry. Your self-education over such a short period, is comparable to obtaining a correspondent degree from a leading international university. To have stayed the course, despite all the challenges presented in your path over the past twelve months, has revealed depths of character, qualities and skills you never knew you had. And for that you should be congratulated.