Most traders starting on their trading journey do not give enough respect to time. They are often too busy dreaming about their inevitable success and a fast track to riches.
It’s so easy to get sucked into thinking trading is easy at the beginning. It is enticing watching those first unrealised profits quickly equate to what would have been a gruelling round-trip day of hard graft.
So, it is understandable we start to act like we are trading demi-Gods, eager to tell our boss goodbye.
To make matters worse the internet is plagued with adverts for spurious schemes such as learn to trade in just 30 days, supplement your income by only working a few hours a week or some such marketing rubbish.
But rest assured, sooner rather than later, without the proper training or knowledge that unrealised PnL will fall back to zero or go negative. Luck will shortly run out and we become a donator of money to the very thing we hoped would be an endless ATM for making cash withdrawals.
If we were stuck in a Groundhog Day loop like Bill Murray as Phil Connors, in the 1993 film comedy, we could practice our trading skills endlessly. Then we would step out of the loop as ‘world-class trader’.
Sadly, this isn’t likely to happen. Neither is our future self likely to come back in time with all the answers like Old Biff in Back to the Future 2.
Malcolm Gladwell’s, Outliers: The Story of Success, repeatedly mentions the “10,000-Hour Rule”, claiming the key to achieving world-class expertise in any skill, is, to a large extent, a matter of practicing the correct way, for a total of around 10,000 hours.
This book was published in 2008 and the rule has since been much debated. The message is clear it is a marathon not a sprint.
We all seem to lead increasingly busy lives and it’s difficult to know where we could find 10,000 hours. However if you can etch out just 45 minutes a day – be it on your commute, sitting on the toilet, waiting for the kids to come out of practice or watching one less episode of a Netflix series – you will be able to read 30 pages a day.
If you take the time to read only 30 pages a day for a year, you’ll have read 10,000 pages or over 25 books. 10,000 pages get you a lot closer to becoming a successful trader that reading no pages.
If you do it, I’d imagine your future self would come back and give you a pretty big pat on the back.
Taking the time to train properly from the offset is the best investment you can make.
Other Books by Malcolm Gladwell – Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know about the People We Don’t Know and The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference