That 95% failure rate

Discussion in 'Trading' started by Pekelo, Oct 11, 2005.

  1. Pekelo


    It is wildly quoted that 95% of the new traders eventually fail. I don't disagree with that number, but is there actually hard data on it, or is this just a guesstimate?

    But I started to think about it. What if trading itself is not so unique with its very high failure rate? I read somewhere that 9 out of 10 start up businesses go out of business quite soon, and we can look at trading as a business. (it is) So trading itself has pretty much the same failure rate as new start ups. Then why are we harder on newbie traders then on private entrepreneurs?
    We never discourage a new business idea with "oh, you have a 9 in 10 chance of not making it."

    Thinking about it more (a dangerous exercise) I was trying to find other professions with very high failure rates. I am no expert, but for example being an actor (meaning making it and having an income that is able to support one) is one such a profession. Still, we don't discourage youngsters from becoming actors...

    Furthermore, if we look at professions' failure rates as from going to school for it and let's say 10 years later still being in that profession, the failure rate can be quite high for any profession.
    (let's say out of 100 students starting dental school 70 finishes the school, 65 actually start as a dentist, but 5 years later for all kind of reasons, there might be only 30 of them practicing, thus making it a 70% failure rate)
    Still, we don't discourage students to go to school and try...

    So why do we treat trading seemingly differently and with a more negative view than other professions???
  2. It is also wildly quoted that if you are scared to become a trader because of the quote, you don't have the balls to be a trader.
  3. So if you think it's just like anything else nowadays, quit yappin' over here and get to it! That's the funny part. Some people just NEED the approval of others before commiting to something. Get off the fence! The markets welcome your cash with open arms. Then you won't have to defend your stupid dream anymore.

  4. You have already failed.

    When i started prop trading, all i wanted to do was trade and noone could stop me.

    Look in the mirror and see what you are made of.
  5. Wildly? How mistaken I have been! Until now I always thought that it was widely.
  6. Pekelo


    Until I see a reliable hard data on it, it is wildly! :)
  7. Your negativity is unfortunate. I do not expect you to succeed at anything you endeavor in. sorry, just mho.
  8. Those numbers came from the National Association of Securities Administrator's, and it applied to retail traders back in the 1990's. It did not talk about professional, full time traders such as the NYSE Specialists, Nasdaq market makers, and the other 3,000 or so at trading firms.

    It's not easy, nothing with an unlimited upside is. I don't dispute their numbers either, but I seriously doubt if the NYSE Specialists and the market makers fail at that rate (or else there would not be any of those guys around any more).

  9. How is an industry that sells the 'good life' dream ever going to divulge the failure rate of their account holders? What will they gain from it? And the percentage of failures is no dought higher among small <$25K accts, so unless some thresholds of capital are used in these calculations the figures are somewhat skewed.

    But again, why question or doubt it? Be a participant and get it over with. The sooner, the earlier you can go back to your dentistry practice
  10. Cheese


    Here is the problem.
    The mind.

    Newbie sees a market and its price. This is so obvious, the brain says. Price can only go up or down. Surely to God you can get that right more often than not.

    This 'obvious' is misleading because the answer is, no pal, you can't and you won't .. succeed. Unaided, untrained and without serious study you will not win.

    What happens? Dumb newbies keep coming along saying hey can anyone help with this or that; I've been trading for a few days, months, years.

    Can you imagine that? Trading with none of the care, training, study, smarts, research and application that the few Kings of Trading use to master the marketplace.
    #10     Oct 11, 2005