Lessons from the Pros


Frequently Asked Trading Questions

Hello traders! This week I’d like to address a few of the questions that come up in nearly every class, or even when I meet someone new who finds out that I trade.

Question One: Can anyone learn to trade?

Answer: No. If you have no discipline, you have no chance. Sorry to be blunt about it, but that is the truth. In my opinion, discipline is the true Holy Grail in trading. I have met numerous struggling traders who know just about everything there is to know about technical analysis, but don’t make money trading. When shown a few of their trades, it is obvious that they know what to look for, but too often they chase trades, or just as bad, they average down on trades going the wrong way. These would be rules to not do in your trading plan, but the undisciplined trader does them anyway. As has been mentioned numerous times in these Lessons from the Pros newsletters, it only takes a couple of mistakes per week or month to keep you from making a good living at trading. Eliminate these mistakes through good discipline, and the sky is the limit! The good thing is that if you are a disciplined person, trading can be a great!

Question Two: What is your typical student?

Answer: While we could average out the ages of everyone in class to get a pure numerical average, and study everyone through those simple metrics, I don’t believe it matters. When you go to the “Photo Gallery” of any of our centers on the Online Trading Academy website, you will see how diverse our student population is. I’ve personally taught students as young as 15, up to as young as 92, and people of every race and religion that I know of. The only things that our students really have in common is the desire to take control of their own lives financially and the determination to do something about it. If this describes you, hope to see you in class!

Question Three: How much money do your students make?

Answer: I have no idea. Because personal finances are none of my business, nor would I even think of asking questions like that in class as most would be uncomfortable discussing such things in a classroom setting. Occasionally a student will offer up this type of information as an aside, outside of class. What I am more interested in is percent returns instead of how much money you are making. If you have a million dollar account and make $1,000 a month, vs. someone who has a $10,000 account and makes that same $1,000, who do you think impresses me more? (Provided the trader is following our risk management rules, that is!)

Question Four: What made you become an instructor?

Answer: Again, to be a bit blunt, at first it was boredom. When I first joined Online Trading Academy about 8 years ago, I had been trading since 1997. Trading at home in 2006, all by my lonesome, was becoming a bit boring. Yes, trading from home is the dream, but I wanted to do something a bit more interesting as well. Becoming a travelling instructor let me see different parts of the country, talk to people about trading, and get the heck out of the house for a while! After a few short months, I started to realize how much what we do truly helps people change their lives. The feedback we get as instructors from our students is an amazing payback! Imagine an email from a person you met 6 months ago, and their email states that they have completely changed their lives, from leaving a dead end job and doubling their income, moving to a new house, making enough money to… you get the point. I have been brought to tears more than once when talking to past students and hearing about their success.

Question Five: When will I learn it all?

Answer: Never. One of the amazing things about trading is that the more you learn, the more you realize there is to know! This is actually a good thing, in more than one way. First of all, if it could all be known, perhaps written down in a manual, eventually everyone would know everything about trading. At which point there wouldn’t be any money in it! The wide world of trading changes constantly, little by little. If I tried to use everything from my 1997 stock trading and applied it to today’s trading, I would make little or no money at all. The second reason that not being able to know it all is a good thing is that it stays interesting! Trading is definitely not monotonous like attaching tab “A” to tab “B” with one rivet for every hour of every day for the rest of your life. Every day is a little different, just enough to be interesting. Every day is also a bit the same, to help us make money by looking for certain things over and over again on the charts. The third reason is that by taking some things you learn in our Pro Trader class, you may choose to explore forex or futures, learning more and more about different asset classes. By exploring other asset classes, you may find that you really “jive” with one, which is where you can make a fine living. I believe we can help you find that niche for you!

Hopefully this week’s newsletter answers a few of your questions! Until next time,

Rick Wright

DISCLAIMER 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.