Time of active trading before becoming profitable

Discussion in 'Professional Trading' started by 4DTrader, Nov 30, 2007.

  1. I am curious about the time (number of years, number of months) a profitable day trader spent on active trading before becoming profitable (making a living out of day trading)? I believe that the answers of successful traders will provide good guidance to new traders.:)
  2. it took me 2 years of full time trading to go to noob to breakeven point. i blew up come serious money during that time

    it then took another year to go to breakeven to consistently profitable. at that point it was discipline issues that prevented me from being profitable.

    With that path behind me now, i can honestly say that the goal for all newbie traders should be to generate steady income. (my initial goal of course was millions in 2 minutes) Even if you generate a average of a dollar a day, everyday, thats put you ahead of a large majority of traders. Then when you're able to do this you have all the time in the world to do modeling, stats, etc to improve the result and transform a dollar a day into 100 dollars a day to thousands of dollars per day.
  3. ... :)
  4. lindq


    My experience as well. 2 years to become "technically" proficient, another year to begin to overcome the the discipline hurdles. A total of 4 years to be profitable and confident in all market conditions.

    Really, not unlike any higher education. A year in the dark. A second year of some slight enlightenment. A third year of growing understanding. A fourth year of getting it together.

    And all the time, tuition and expenses are being paid.
  5. jolor


    Good post.
  6. weld1


    nice to see someone out there is honest and can really give a assessment of the time it takes to learning a very hard job. good posts...
  7. Having absolutely no guidance or mentor.

    First two years were nothing but losses.

    Approximately two years for a solid understanding and obtain a break even level.

    Approximately three years for constant profitability.

    Approximately four years to quit my day job, was lucky enough to study the market during the initial years while at my day job.

    Approximately six years to reach a very comfortable financial level.

    Roughly the equivalent of a bachelor and masters degree for a fraction of the cost and much bigger returns.

  8. It took me many years to get to the break-even point. Once I tasted success my account took off like a rocket. I had a crash (not back to break-even but a severe crash) and then it took off like a rocket at a faster pace. I was running a mile a minute back in these days.

    After the second thrust up I crashed, trended up, crashed again, trended up, crashed again, and then trended up consistently. My profit curve now looks like a mature company with consistent growth. Even when you become successful you'll go through the boom and bust cycle. Your ultimate goal should be to generate consistent growth, like a GE, or a KO, PEP, etc.....you don't want to look like a biotech company back in the go-go days but I think it's unavoidable. That's just the normal progression of any new business/trader.
  9. Many years for consistency. Not sure how many exactly. It was a roller coaster for quite some time.

    The main thing for me was money management. I am very risk averse now, and get really small when going bad. I never risk more than 2.5% on any trade, or group of correlated trades. This drops to about 1% if I'm not having a good month.

    I've also become very picky on trade selection. Went from about 20 trades per day to about half a dozen. I've settled into a routine that I don't even think about much anymore now.
  10. lindq


    I'm wondering here if my experience is common that trading doesn't really become consistently profitable until it becomes almost instinctive. And that doesn't happen overnight.

    Whatever setups one uses, it really comes down to price action and 'feeling' when to move in, and when to move out.

    Whether shooting hoops, hitting golf balls, or trading, to become a professional (self supporting) one has to put in the thousands of hours of doing it until it becomes second nature.
    #10     Dec 1, 2007