The 10,000 hour rule.

Discussion in 'Psychology' started by rmb623, Dec 15, 2009.

  1. rmb623


    Anyone read Malcom Gladwell's book Outlier. In it he says that he has found proof that the people who are the most successful at what they do have logged at least 10,000 hours of practice before they become highly proficient at what they do. I was wondering if any successul traders can shed light on this statistic. Do you think you have spent at least 10,000 hours practicing before you could call yourself good? Also, it seems apparent that one would have to have an unusual financial circumstance where they could learn and practice for 10,000 hours before they become highly proficient. I would imagine most people dont get the opportunity to dedicate this much time because they have to pay the bill and eat and therefore do not become highly proficient at something.
  2. I would want to know this too...young trader just started trading in a prop firm here 1 month ago, I'm very motivated and I can allow to sacrafice some time since I am still young..
  3. If you spend 50 hours a week for a year, that would be approximately 2,500 hours a year. 10,000 hours would be 4 years. Based on my experience and that of other traders that I know, most people do not become consistently profitable in 4 years. Realistically, I think it takes 10 years.

    Some people may be lucky and have an experienced person to learn from. Most people will never learn. Most people, who join chat rooms that have viable systems, never take the systems to heart. They try to add pieces of the systems to whatever they are already doing.

    As you point out, it does take unusual financial circumstances to be able to go a long period without any income from trading.

    This is disheartening but I wish that I knew this when I started. I would never have done this. My advice to anyone starting to trade is to find something else to do. This post may get lots of flames about me being dumb or slow. I am neither as I stood first in my class in post graduate work. My only intent is for new traders to start with their eyes open.
  4. A good mentor can bring cut that by a third but other wise I agree with the rule.
  5. heypa


    Stolen from Vince Lombardi." Practice makes perfect. If the practice is perfect."
    No amount of incorrect losing trading will result in a winning trader. There are just too many things that can go wrong.
    I suggest that one should pick any reasonable method and hone it.Nothing wrong with being a one trick pony. Ride it as long as it works. Reverse it when it doesn't.
    Learn to recognize difficult markets and stay out.
  6. rmb623


    accutrader why are you so miserable or wish you wouldn't have started trading in the first place? will you share your story - especially since you used took your graduate degree and started trading. what has gone wrong?
  7. It took me 2 yrs ON MY OWN before I was able to make a good living trading full time.

    You need to find new people to surround yourself with because they do not sound like people who are going places.

    New traders, he does have a point about needing circumstances favorable to giving yourself enough time without the worry of shelter or food. I'm a firm believer than most anyone can make it is this biz, but you do need to go a good deal of time without making anything at all.

  8. Get a copy of the Gladwell interview on PBS.

    He was totally fooled by his interview with Taleb that he referred to on PBS.

    As a New Yorker writer his job is to get interviews and he believes what he hears. Over time he has piled up some info form people who took the time to let him ask them questions. Poor sample to say the least.

    He ID's with Obama for the usual superficial reasons.

    Pruposeful learning about trading does not take very long. Putting it into practice is a normal outcome.

    I haven't had any of the experiences Gladwell casts in stone. It is now the 10,000 hour rule for those like the OP.

    Write out a dichotomous key that shows you how a person can waste 10,000 hours. Look at all the shortcuts that were bypassed in the dichotomous key. Why did Gladwell pick up on these things? He is in a survival modeus apparently and very unlucky.

    Can a person be so stupid to have to spend all those hours? If they do they are called stuckers.
  9. RMB - Most people can become doctors, lawyers, etc. Assuming that most wannabe traders are smart enough, it is only a matter of doing the work; putting in the time and eventually you graduate. Trading is very different.

    Like most people I looked for a Guru. I think that I found the person who is probably the best futures trader that exists at I spent years there until I realized that I would never be able to do what Barry Lutz can do. A person with whom I became friends with in the room was a Harvard MBA. Other people who were also obviously bright and motivated but after long periods of time, they dropped out.

    Another trading friend wrote a paper on the half life of matter. I can not even understand the title of his paper. He has been trying to trade for 7 years without success.

    Trading is so tough because what works one day may not work the next day. One trader said the reason that most wannabe traders fail is that they really don’t want to do what trading requires which is take positions that may lose. We all say that we understand that a certain percentage of trades will be losers. Most people can understand that intellectually but deep down we want certainty.

    So RMB I am not miserable but my advice to anyone who is not financially independent is do something else. I started trading because my former partner was doing the same. I had no idea of what I was getting into. I am posting this thread only because it may help someone.
  10. 10,000 hours is probably right I know Gladwell, and have discussed this at length with him, and he's in the ballpark. I've been in the business 35 years and still make mistakes every day The market mistress teaches me something new every day. In my case, I started out in the pit and it took me a year to be profitable. When I went to the screen, I suspect it took another year to regain my profitability.

    #10     Dec 15, 2009