How many years are necessary to consider yourself a successful trader?

Discussion in 'Trading' started by Evermore2017, Dec 20, 2017.

  1. With that volatility,i`m still learning how not to fall asleep.
    #11     Dec 20, 2017
  2. True, but there's always more and better!
    #12     Dec 20, 2017
    d08 likes this.
  3. Xela


    I think it probably has more to do with numbers of trades and variability/steadiness of results than with years?

    It's going to take a swing-trader from weekly charts far longer to feel confident that s/he's a successful trader than someone trading 10 times a day from 2-minute charts (a "semi-scalper", let's say), because the evidence for that belief is clearly going to take hugely longer to achieve statistical significance?

    I was advised, at the time, that I "should" consider myself a successful trader (and the frame of reference for defining the words "successful trader", at the time, was more or less "someone who can have a reasonable expectation of eventually being able to make a full-time living from it, given adequate trading capital, etc. etc.") when I was able to collate the results of a minimum of 300 consecutive trades without overall loss and without any peak-to-trough drawdowns bigger than 7.5%.

    Obviously people's ideas of what constitutes a "successful trader" will vary significantly, but I certainly don't think the one above is a bad or misleading or unrealistic one, overall (and more specifically, I think it's right for the "results component" of the definition to be described in terms of drawdown-avoidance rather than in terms of profit achieved - though doubtless some people here will disagree with me about that, too).

    Interesting analogy, there! I think I agree. (But I'm probably biased: I was much better at physics than I am at chess!).
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2017
    #13     Dec 20, 2017
    Sprout likes this.
  4. Nope. Ditto!
    #14     Dec 20, 2017
    Xela likes this.
  5. TraDaToR


    2017 was my 11th year trading as my sole income. I have never had a year when I spent more than I earned, so I guess I must qualify...LOL
    #15     Dec 20, 2017
    trader99, nbbo, JamesEM and 2 others like this.
  6. Pekelo


    When you can pay your bills with your profits...
    #16     Dec 20, 2017
    d08 likes this.
  7. wrbtrader


    You'll know via your family and close personal friends. You trading your own account is viewed by them just as a job...boring / stressful job.

    They know its OK when they know you're paying your bills and supporting your family. :D

    #17     Dec 20, 2017
    comagnum and Xela like this.
  8. Pekelo


    People, without definitions questions like these are meaningless. Also I would like to remind you that profitable =/= successful, again, depending on the definition and one's goals.

    1. Trader A makes 10K on a 5K futures account, 200% return in one year. Can he live on 10K? No. But it is an excellent return for such an account.
    2. Trader B makes 10K on a 100K stock account, year after year. Can he live on 10K? No. But it is a pretty respectable return for growing capital specially if made in consecutive years.
    3. Trader C makes 5% on a 1 mill account and lives off of it. He doesn't have to work other job. (let's say he lives in Vietnam)

    So would the OP consider these traders successful? I guess beside a definition it also depends on one's goals. If the goals were achieved one can consider himself successful.
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2017
    #18     Dec 20, 2017
    light12 and Xela like this.
  9. Depends. You could have had a string of good, consistent profitable years during this raging market. (Note the expression, "confusing brains with a bull market".) You won't know where you stand as a trader until you experience a big smashola and come out of it relatively unscathed.

    Over your trading career, the market is going to "take a run at you"... the kind that could leave you bankrupt and in tears.... perhaps a half-dozen times. It only needs to nail you once or twice to ruin everything. Until you have dealt with that, you don't really know where you stand.

    Stated another way... "One bad year, Hell... even one string of bad short-term decisions, could wipe out 20 years of success".

    You haven't "won" the game of trading until you quit and are holding the market's money. It's like poker. You've only won when the game breaks up and you're the one with the chips.
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2017
    #19     Dec 20, 2017
  10. SteveM


    As someone who has had glimpses of "it" but is still not "there" yet, everything said here intuitively feels like the truth.
    #20     Dec 20, 2017