How long before you were breaking even?

Discussion in 'Trading' started by learninglisted, Sep 1, 2003.

  1. While discussing things on another thread, the topic came up about the length of time it took traders to become profitable. Since "profitable" means different things to different people, I thought I'd simplify things by asking the very unambiguous question of how long it took you to break even.

    I had thought the "norm" - if there is such a thing in this business, for those who don't blow out - was 1 year. But I have now heard everything from 3 months to several years.

    Let's hear your stories.
     
  2. Somewhat of a loaded question in my opinion... the tone of the question implies that it is somehow "expected" to break even... I think we can agree that the vast majority of wannabees remain consistent losers, and don't attain even breakeven status... of course, if you had established this poll in the heady days of the bubble, then every guy and his mom were making a killing without knowing what they are doing... but in these "normal" times, to merely break even is to be an above average trader and not an inferior trader...

    To answer your poll, I was one of those idiots who had an easy ride in the internet bubble, without knowing what I was doing... I had no discipline, and to have no discipline in those days actually meant you made more money... after having accumulated a pile of reserves from a minor grubstake, I started to give it back when times normalized... fortunately, I went real small when I realized that I "had lost my touch" (I never actually had a touch anyways, it was all Mother Market's blessing), so I didn't give back too much... so, in a nutshell, I was profitable from day 1, but not out of any skill... and the substantial reserves accumulated in the bubble allowed me to have a proportionately tiny $ learning curve...

    Much has to do with luck and nothing more... had I started my trading expedition in a similar environment to today's and had I traded as I traded during the bubble, I would have blown out several times by now and would have no reserves of profit whatsoever...

     
  3. Mr. Brother Candle,

    That is why I stipulated "those who don't blow out."
     
  4. My apologies... I had failed to read your opener carefully...
     
  5. No apologies needed, Senor Candle. And thank you for your civility.

    May the God of Trading bestow upon you many millions, fine garments and spices, and 72 virgins in Heav...whoops, got carried away there. :)
     
  6. Who needs virgins when you can have Mother Market... the Mother of All Bitches, who's screwed more guys than there are drops of water in the oceans of the world...
     
  7. Great post Mr candletrader
    And thank you for being honest.
     
  8. Ah, don't blame Mother Market. She's a wanton slut, we all know, just try to be her pimp instead of her customer.
     
  9. No probs... paradoxically, I made my big bucks as a crap trader in great times... now we are, relatively speaking, in normal/bad times, so the only way to make it is to be a good trader and settle for consistency of profits rather than the major big bucks... and the only way to become a consistently good trader is to have a pile of cash reserves to weather the learning curve on the path to consistency...

    These days, the only guys making money consistently with acceptable drawdowns on their equity curves are those with a solid plan who have a total subservience to risk issues... ironically, and from personal experience, these were precisely the qualities that would have stopped you from making the really big bucks during the internet mania...
     
  10. I think with extreme diligence, soul searching, persistence, finally commiting a plan to paper that has an edge, then working the plan and working on yourself. ........

    It takes a year

    3 - 6 months less if you learn what doesn't work quicker than most and stop doing those things.
     
    #10     Sep 1, 2003