Professional Trading as a Career
September 12, 2017

Professional Trading is a viable profession and a great way to enjoy the process of making money. If you are willing to do what it takes, then you will be among the ones who enjoy their lives as professional traders.

You’ve heard about day trading and how you can make money from home on your own time. No bosses, no crazy co-workers, everything on your own terms.

Oh, there’s risk, but you think you can handle it.

Well, don’t quit your job on day one!! Yes, day trading successfully does offer all the above advantages, however, the road to success must be traveled carefully and thoughtfully.

Day Trading, Not A Hobby

Trading with success or day trading for a living should be considered a career. Like other careers create a way of life, with day trading there is a way of life which has systems and techniques that must be learned and ingrained.

Consider that doctors and lawyers spend years in college and put six-figure investments into their education and training. One of the advantages of day trading is the ease of entry into the business. There are no degrees or initial investments required such as franchises which require fees. Although you do need your initial capital to start.

However, as with any career, you need to know what you are doing and have some training. Going back to doctors, would you let a doctor with little education and training do surgery on you or even diagnose an ailment you had?

Of course not.

Don’t cheat yourself and your possible success with not educating yourself as much as possible.

Take Your Time. Learn To Know Your System

Be sure to take time and learn a system. Get to understand your charting program inside and out. Get familiar with the different markets, the exchanges and trading sessions around the world.

You don’t have to know everything and every little detail to get started, but you should know and have your strategy and system. You should understand how to connect to your data feeds and manage your live charts.

If you treat your trading like a hobby, then you might as well go to Vegas and gamble because, without education, a strategy and a system, that’s basically what you are doing.

Invest in yourself and take the time you need to learn what you need to know and build your confidence. Do you want to trade for the next 12 days, or be able and around to trade for the next 12 months or longer? The longest distance to a destination often times is a shortcut. Don’t take shortcuts. Take advantage of the right kind of education.

No matter what instrument and market you decide to trade and the strategy, it is much more cost effective to learn, then live with real losses. Build your knowledge, and your confidence while training yourself. Once you’re profitable and can show a consistent record, then go live.

Have a long-term goal. Why did you get into trading? Do you want to quit your job eventually, spend more time with the family, for extra income, maybe income in retirement? Know what your goal is and keep your focus on it.

As with any endeavor, keeping the focus on your goal and the reason for the goal will help maintain your motivation and inspiration through challenging times.

Most Notable Reasons for Failure in Trading

  • Lack of Experience – Very few traders are alike. People trade at different times of the day and have different risk/reward tolerances. Some traders like to get in and out of trades in the blink of an eye. Others are more comfortable with daily or weekly expirations. Some are trend traders exclusively, while others have learned to trade in any market condition. Always remember “Who You Are, Is What You Trade”!!!
  • Unreasonable Expectations – The ultimate goal of trading is to make money. A lot of people expect to start doing well right from day one. A successful trading career can only be achieved by looking at it as a long-term plan. No one can become a millionaire overnight in this profession. But with the right attitude, everyone can surely be a millionaire.
  • Lack of Education – Learning any new skill requires a receptive mind, training, practice, and consistent application before mastery is achieved. Learning about the basic trading principles solely on a trial and error basis is not a recommended approach for gaining the skills necessary to be a successful trader. There are 4 stages of learning any new skill:


“You don’t know what you don’t know”

“You’ve learned something new, time to investigate”

“You know what to do, but practice makes perfect”

“You know what you know, and it’s now habitual”


Stage 3 is where the rubber meets the road. If you follow a plan under the tutelage of a veteran trading educator and a community of like-minded traders, then you will accelerate your learning process. The goal is to get to Stage 4, where trading has to become instinctive and reflexive. You get to know everything about trading, its probability of success, and how to manage the trade almost without thinking.


  • Lack of Discipline – A plan is only of value if you actually have the patience and the discipline to follow it. While this can be difficult, it is necessary if you expect to be successful. Discipline or in other words, Mind Management, is the most important factor in order to succeed in this profession.


  • The absence of a sound trading plan – Next to having unreasonable expectations with regards to the risks associated with forex trading and the amount of time required to be successful, a common mistake made by new traders is the lack of a trading plan. In reality, there are two aspects to this plan; an overall objective for your trading activities and a plan for each trade you make. In addition to your overall objectives plan, you also need an exit strategy plan for each trade you make that includes the upper and lower boundaries of the trade.


  • Excessive Leverage – Leverage is a double-edged sword. It can be a powerful tool to help you maximize returns, or it can be the cause of your downfall. It is not something to be taken lightly and if you do not understand how it works, don’t trade until you do understand. Leverage and margin are the two most misunderstood concepts among retails traders and the major causes for account blow-outs.


  • Lack of Money Management – Most people who start trading don’t have the clear knowledge of the power of compounding. They all want to become a millionaire overnight. The important thing is to consider trading as your own business and plan it out for a longer period. Also, one of the most notable mistake that most retail traders make is they start off with a small trading capital aiming to make extraordinary returns on it. The right way to proceed is to start off with a decent capital, trade small and make consistent returns on a daily basis.


  • Lack of wider perspective- One day Millionaires – First off, stop believing all the “get-rich-quick” hype still perpetuated by some. Yes, there are those that do get rich trading forex but some people also get rich selling houses. In either case, it does not happen overnight and it requires few weeks to a few months to gain the experience and insight to turn trading into a full-time, successful occupation.


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