How Long

Brandon Wendell
Instructor, CMT

Another common question I get from students is: “How long should it take me to become successful in trading?” This has always been an extremely difficult, if not impossible question to answer. The reason is that everyone is different. We all have different abilities and also define success very differently.

In a student’s progression from novice to competent, successful trader, there are several steps that should not be skipped.  To do so would delay their ability to achieve success in the markets.  So what exactly are those steps and what can you do to increase your chances for becoming a consistently profitable trader?

First, you need to build a good foundation.  This requires a solid education and discovery of a strategy that has been proven to work consistently in any market and over any timeframe.  This is what our students receive in our Professional Trader Course.  The core Online Trading Academy Strategy has been employed by professional traders for decades.  It is simple and works.

In addition to the core education, a trader must also learn proper risk management.  It does little good to apply a core strategy if you do not manage your risk properly.  No strategy is going to profit 100% of the time.  You will be fortunate to be right more than 75% of the time on a long term basis.  So manage your risk by using proper share sizing, filtering out marginal trades, and identifying the right market environment to offer low risk, high profit, and high probability trading opportunities.

Continuing the foundation building requires a trader to create a trading plan.  In order to be successful in trading, you need consistency.  Consistency is created by following a detailed plan for your trading.  It is nearly impossible for a person to remember all of their trading rules.  It is also very easy to stray from those rules unless they are written down.  The trading plan builds consistence and confidence when a trader sees it working.  This will help to remove the fear of pulling the trigger on a trade as you know you are using a successful plan.

Following the above prescribed steps, I have often seen students trading well after a period of one year on average.  For many people, this is not fast enough.  They want or need to generate income from their trading activities much faster.  For a way to do this, I will rely on my own progression from a neophyte to successful trader.

When I graduated from the Online Trading Academy Professional Trader course, I had the fortunate opportunity to shadow successful traders on the old trading floor in Irvine, California.  I would watch as these traders planned and executed their trades and observed their reactions to both winners and losers.  This examination of a live trading environment and practical application of the techniques I had learned was probably the best thing I could have done.

If you think of any profession, doctor, pilot, teacher, etc., the process usually includes a period of apprenticeship and internship.  This gives the student a chance to watch and even perform under the eye of a professional.  For trading, most of the trading floors are gone but Online Trading Academy offers the Extended Learning Track (XLT).

In the XLT, you get to watch a professional trader as they identify market opportunities, plan and execute individual trades, and even review their and potentially your trading actions.  I have seen this apprenticeship cut the learning curve for many traders down to three to six months instead of one year.

While there is never a guarantee that anyone will be successful, even with the tools offered to them, if is a much higher probability when they do attempt to use what has been provided from Online Trading Academy.

This newsletter is written for educational purposes only. By no means do any of its contents recommend, advocate or urge the buying, selling or holding of any financial instrument whatsoever. Trading and Investing involves high levels of risk. The author expresses personal opinions and will not assume any responsibility whatsoever for the actions of the reader. The author may or may not have positions in Financial Instruments discussed in this newsletter. Future results can be dramatically different from the opinions expressed herein. Past performance does not guarantee future results. Reprints allowed for private reading only, for all else, please obtain permission.