Jim has been trading for six months. He started at $5,000, but he only has $1,500 left. He is starting to get worried. He’s frustrated and upset. He tells his friend Jason, “I think it is impossible to trade and make a living. I’ve worked at it for six months and I’ve lost money. I haven’t made a dime. I don’t believe it is possible to be a profitable trader.”
Does any of this sound familiar? Jim is facing an ailment of many novice traders. He had high hopes for achieving early success, but the downside of trading is more than he bargained for, and more than he can handle. Success has eluded him, and he is understandably upset. Indeed, trading profitably is difficult. Many people try to trade every year, and conventional wisdom among experts is that less than 20% realize long-term success.
If you want to believe that it is impossible to trade profitably, you’ll be able to find a lot of people who agree with you. Trading isn’t easy. As they say, “If trading were easy, everyone would be millionaires.” Trading is a profession where a relatively small group of persistent, dedicated people hone their skills until they achieve a level of mastery that sustains success. If you want to join the chosen few, then you can’t give up so easily. You can’t become discouraged by what others say. If you do, then it will be difficult for you to achieve success. Similarly, if you are the kind of person who can’t face the fact that trading requires special skills and dedication, you’ll just end up quitting before you achieve success. You need to be the kind of person who is willing to beat the odds and achieve success.
To be a successful trader, you must be optimistic. You must truly believe that if you put in the effort, you will eventually achieve success. That doesn’t mean that you should have a Pollyanna attitude. It doesn’t mean that you should be afraid to face the challenges of trading or try to deny that trading is difficult and requires you to overcome many obstacles. Instead, you must be ready to face the challenges and welcome them. You must identify them and tackle them with resolution. This is hard to do.
For example, you must make sure your capital matches your goals. The more capital you have available, the more likely you will be able to achieve lasting success. You must also put in long hours initially to learn how to trade and gain the experience you need to hone your trading skills. Pretending that you don’t need to meet these prerequisites isn’t going to allow you to reach your goals. You can’t become discouraged easily. You must be able to persist in the face of seemingly insurmountable obstacles. And you must not care what anyone says. If they say it can’t be done, you must reply, “Maybe it can’t be done, but I’m going to do whatever I can to see if I’m one of the few who can do it.”