A well-known statistic, one that's held true for many years, is that 90% of the people who come into the markets lose their money in the first six months. The primary reason is that the markets welcome everyone. Anyone with some money can start trading as quickly as they can get that money into an account. It doesn't matter if they know what they're doing. It doesn't matter if they've learned a thing or two about stock trading strategy or not.
Though the government has established agencies to regulate the institutions in the industry, there's nothing protecting people from their own ignorance and lack of self-control. And the markets are ruthless. They don't play by rules, they do as they will and answer to no master.
Any trader who shows up unprepared will have their money extracted from them sooner or later, and the markets just don't care. There is no place where the phrase "A fool and his money are soon parted" is more applicable than in trading.
In trading, there are no pre-requisites like there are for driving a car, where you have to go through Driver's Ed and then take a test. On the road, ignorance or lack of knowledge of stock trading strategy basics at a minimum can hurt others. In the markets, however, the only person hurt by ignorance is the trader.
The fact that you're here and have some money to trade is an indicator that you're smarter than average. But, like in any profession, if you're new to it, you start off ignorant and unaware of the many details that make up that particular industry. There are many things you need to learn to establish yourself and become successful.
When you opened your account, you were required to sign disclosures acknowledging that you understand there's risk in trading, but beyond that initial disclosure, there's no learning or preparation required.
There are thousands of good brokers out there who will share their expertise with you, help you learn their methodology, stock trading strategy and trading systems. Unfortunately, what is needed to be a consistent, long-term, profitable trader goes well beyond reading a chart and entering trades according to a specific system.
Trading may be a rather lonely activity, but it's not lonely at the top. The statistic that 90% are losing money also tells us that 10% are making money--and that's a lot of people. There are so many people who have consciously made the commitment to get there that--believe it or not--it's a good-sized group.
Let's look at some real numbers. As of January 31st, 2006, there were 1,451 introducing brokers holding memberships with the National Futures Association. Of course the number of clients for each broker is something that they keep to themselves. However, a conservative estimate of 1,000 clients per IB would give the number of traders on that date as 1,451,000. Ninety percent--the losers--total 1,305,900 people.
But that means that 145,100 people are making money on a consistent basis. That's right, the good news is that there are over 100,000 traders who are now where you want to be.
Do you sincerely want to be part of the 10% that make money year after year? Many people say they want it, but they just aren't willing to put forth the sincere effort that it takes to study stock trading strategy as an ongoing interest.
Are you sincere?
I ask this for a reason. Because if you make the commitment to do what it takes to reach that 10% group, to reach that competence level, to develop the skills that you need, then you've taken the first step on the journey there.
If you can't make that commitment to yourself, then you're only dreaming. You might as well resign yourself to large and painful losses in the markets. If you're not willing to make that commitment for yourself, then you are better off taking your money elsewhere. Because otherwise, the markets will take it.
You're used to being one who excels. You're a trader because you're used to being above average and getting above average results. You're smarter than average, enjoy a lifestyle well above the poverty line, your ambitions exceed the average person's. You're used to being in the top 10%. Sincerely commit now that you will be in the top ten in trading and continue your efforts to learn stock trading strategy as long as you trade.
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