How far did you go net negative before you became net positive?

Discussion in 'Trading' started by Thunderdog, Oct 11, 2006.

How far did you go net negative before you became net positive?

  1. $0 - $10,000

    40 vote(s)
  2. $10,001 - $20,000

    22 vote(s)
  3. $20,001 - $30,000

    14 vote(s)
  4. $30,001 - $40,000

    11 vote(s)
  5. $40,001 - $50,000

    7 vote(s)
  6. $50,001 - $75,000

    6 vote(s)
  7. $75,001 - $100,000

    4 vote(s)
  8. Over $100,000

    21 vote(s)
  1. How far did you go net negative before you became net positive? This question deals strictly with trading account drawdown. Please exclude books and other learning tools, as well as software and hardware. Those items can be the topic of another thread. This thread is about how much you cumulatively lost trading before you turned it around and became net profitable. Naturally, there will be variation in time and initial account size which may limit the usefulness of the poll for comparative purposes. However, it may provide some of the newer members who are in a hurry with some food for thought.
  2. there is too much survivorship bias in that question. you will have some who say"i lost it all but 1000 and came back to make millions". what you will not hear from are the many more who never came back.
  3. True enough. However, I think that even the majority of profitable traders lost more money learning the ropes than most newcomers might imagine. At least that is my impression judging by some of the recent posts by newer members. I was hoping that this thread might give some perspective. Of course, it would be that much more useful if the people who lost all their money and gave up also chimed in, however, we are not likely to hear from them. Perhaps we can agree that the results of the poll will provide a fairly understated picture of the financial "challenge" that those entering the trading arena can expect to encounter.
  4. lescor


    I probably pissed away $70K+ in 7 years of 'hobby trading' not knowing what I was doing. After getting serious and starting full time, I was down $13k from the learning curve before things turned around (4 months).
  5. Hmmm, I wonder what you would say to Michael Jordan who didn't make his high school team, and then came back to make history....

    If you are going to argue success, survivorship bias is not the key issue, the real issue is whether the guy standing after all the dust has cleared is there because of luck or talent/skill.

    The question with MJ or Tiger Woods or Roger Federer isn't whether the media attention on them is warranted because of survivorship bias (no one hears stories about the thousands of failed athletes out there), but whether their success is real or not. And I think we're all clear on the latter.

    With trading, it's a lot trickier to determine whether success is real or not, but a few measures such as consistency and certain trade stats can definitely clarify a lot.
  6. Survivorship bias exists and looms large by definition because the people responding are presumably those who turned net positive.

    Frankly, I'm more than a little surprised at the rather high proportion of respondents thus far who claim to have become profitable after losing no more than $10,000.
  7. if 99 traders out of 100 that had 50% drawdowns fail to come back but 1 comes back and makes it big you cant argue that it is somehow normal for a person to have big drawdowns before success. i think that is what the op was hinting at.
  8. Cesko


  9. :p
  10. Over 50K in hard cash.

    But if you include lost career income, ie add oppurtunity costs while trying this full time, its in 100s of K.
    #10     Oct 11, 2006