The Biggest Mistake New Traders Will Make

We're hearing about record numbers of new traders opening accounts at brokerage firms lately in the U.S. and in Asia.  Why?  Commissions have dropped to near zero and trading from home suddenly looks appealing during a period of social distancing and increased unemployment.

But the risk is that these new traders will start out by trading, not by learning markets.  Enticed by self-appointed gurus, teachers, and coaches who offer little more than stale chart patterns and technical indicator readings as "edges", this new generation of traders is likely to take risks with their capital well before they have truly understood and mastered the markets and strategies they trade.

Frustrated with their failures, many will turn to trading psychology for answers.  But the answer is not just in psychology. The answer is that you have to learn the game before you can master the game.  No one starts out as a musician by trying out for concerts at Carnegie Hall, and no one takes up a sport and expects to be in the Olympics any time soon.  When we're trading, we're trading against career professionals and finely honed algorithmic systems. When you place a trade, you're stepping into the big leagues.

So here's my advice to new traders:  If you get a sales pitch promising big trading success without a rigorous learning curve, know that you're being mislead.  Those making the pitch are selling hope, not trading expertise. The biggest mistake you can make as a new trader is to take short cuts in your learning process.  How many years of playing golf does it take before someone makes the PGA tour?  How many years of piano lessons precede a solo with a recognized orchestra?  How many chess games are played and reviewed before someone reaches master and grandmaster status and wins tournaments?

I recently mentioned that I will be posting how-to videos and content on proven psychological methods for peak performance.  On a new website, I will also be laying out a curricular process that will help traders to learn markets from the ground up, drawing upon the actual learning curves of successful traders.  No fees, no sales pitches, no promotions.  If we can all do a little giving back during this time of health crisis, we will all be richer for our efforts.  In sharing, we receive.  #EachOneTeachOne

Further Reading:

Mastering Trading Psychology

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