Yes I'm a newbie. And yes I'd like to make a lot of money.

Discussion in 'Professional Trading' started by CaptnDustball, Feb 13, 2008.

  1. Okay, I shudder to think how this will be received. There seems to be a lot of angry people on this board who live for posts by ignorant newbies like myself asking dumb questions. I am not going to stop you guys. Blast away! But for those who are helpful, let me give you a little bit of background. I know next to nothing. Well, I read Investing For Dummies so I know the very basics. But I wanted to get your opinions on how I should approach trading.

    I'm a little under 30 with a knack for taking some risks. I would like to make a decent amount of money as fast as is not considered reckless. I don't expect to make 500k in a year, but 100k would be nice once I'm up and running for a couple of years.

    When all is said and done, I will (yes, very unfortunately) probably only start with 10k. So I know that makes things very difficult. But that's why I'm reaching out for your expertise. Here are my questions:

    1) How long should I practice before I start trading for real?

    2) What is the practice-trading software preferred by people on this board?

    2) I expect to get a lot of varied responses on this one but which strategy is proven to work better? Fundamental or Technical. To be honest, I'm not entirely sure what either of these mean. But I believe fundamental is more Cramer-like (do a lot of research on the company, stock, etc.) and technical is more graph-based (study the graph and try to find trends).

    3) How much should I realistically expect to make? I know this is a vague question requiring more information (how much are you going to risk? are you going for big gains or small gains? etc.) but from a brief glance at the threads in this forum, it's hard to figure out who, if anyone is actually making any money. Are there people on this board who make a comfortable (>100k) living just by trading? Or is that a pipe dream? If you are one of those people, how long did you work at trading before you became successful? What system do you use? Any advice?

    5) How helpful is software in this job? I'm a computer freak so I'm leaning towards anything that involves software helping me out. Is there software out there that traders just can't live without? The software that recognizes trends and, I assume, gives you probabilities on when to buy a stock is something I'm intrigued by. But I don't know if it works. Does it?

    6) Finally, any general advice? Maybe you can recount your earliest mistakes so I don't make them.

    Thanks for you time guys. I appreciate the responses (if any).

  2. Kap


  3. Be prepared to go through your capital once, maybe even twice (or more depending on your personality) before learning to trade. If you are able to be breakeven after 1 full year, you've done very well. Get the idea of making money out of your mind right now and just focus on learning to trade. The more you focus on making money, the longer your learning curve will be.
    Good luck amigo.
  4. maxpi


    I have trashed a newbie or two but I'm all better now.... :D

    The time to learn and become profitable varies greatly, it can depend on the individual and/or luck in finding a good strategy or finding the knowledge... all I can say is assume there might be half truth in anything you see and try to get ahold of all the right halves.. and it will take time and it will take effort and if you persist long enough it will be rewarding..
  5. yes, that's advice I keep hearing. it's hard because money is the end result. And yet you're not supposed to think about it. How do people go about doing this? I heard one method is to think of your trades in "units", to completely disassociate money from the equation.

    thanks for reminding. that seems to be an important one.
  6. Read books voraciously, pick out the smart ones here (yes, there are a few I promise) and read what they have to say, maybe even send them a few PM's. You will learn to process the information and separate the wheat from the chaff soon enough.

    You will end up with some crappy books from time to time, but even they will help as you will learn what DOESN'T work and you will soon be able to spot BS from a Tennessee mile away while learning to focus on viable concepts and ideas.

    Think for yourself, and question everything. Eventually it will hit you and then your main focus will be having the balls to stick with your method, as well as focusing on your psychology. You must learn to live in a world of constant uncertainty.

    Best of luck in your journey. It's tough, but worth it.
  7. Well good for you. Knowing what you want is the first step to any success plan. The next step is getting to that goal but that will take a little longer and will be a little harder im afraid.

    Don't worry about the people that do nothing but put you down on these boards. They are usually middle aged people who couldn't trade their way out of a cardboard box so they take out the frustration on you and others. This was my first bit of advice when I came to et and it has proven to be some of the best advice I have ever recieved from et.

    I will leave most of the more in depth stuff to the other posters (technicals, fundamentals, software, probability, etc).

    All I can say is read as much on the subject as you possibly can about trading, the markets, investing, money, etc. I find that most books you buy on these topics will at least pay for themselves (although most of the info might be bad there is usually always that little nugget of info that was worth the price). Read Read Read!!!

    Next, you have to eat, sleep and breath the market at all times. I can't remember the last time I went to bed not thinking about what trades I have on or what my plan for tomorrow was. It is so important that you always keep focused and concentrated on the market.

    You have to love it man! The people that last the longest in this biz are the people that absolutely love what they do every single day! They like I said eat, sleep and breath the market.

    Remember you are swimming with sharks. Traders are by far some of the sharpest minds in the world. You are going against people who are masters of mass psychology. The average person couldn't come close to competing with these people on a regular basis. This is their arena and they aren't just giving away money.

    Sorry for the long post!

    Hope this helps!
  8. aerial, thanks for pointing out the search engine.

    I should have added that I am searching through tons of threads on ET for this very information. Thought I might ask my specific questions in the meantime. Just to speed things up.

  9. We all trade for the end result but we all learn that focusing on it is a major hinderance to success. In essense, you cannot make money without trading correctly so learn to trade correctly and the money will come.

    Make sure you have enough money saved up (or a second job) during your first year+ to take the pressure off. I was fortunate to have sold a small company for a decent chunk of change that allowed me to learn w/o the pressures of earning creeping in.

    #10     Feb 13, 2008