'Am I really a trader?'

Hello peeps!

The world of retail trading is often filled

with hopefuls who call themselves ‘traders’

without actually having the credentials: I am

guilty of that too.

As the pit-trading, open-outcry days of

the CBE and CME, where fortunes have

been made and lost, has slowly been

replaced almost entirely by computer

trading, the boundaries of ‘professional’

versus ‘amateur’ trading have become

increasingly blurred.

The university or high-school graduates

formed a fresh supply of pit traders a few

decades ago, whereas the professional traders

of now are more likely to be people with

coding/programming skills etc. - a different breed.

What about us, clicking orders from our home laptops?

Are we ‘traders’?

Technically we are…but, culturally, no,

and vocationally neither… What I say

I ‘do’ when I meet other people is never

‘trader’… I would be a bit insincere if I

made out to be a trader, when I do not

earn my living that way…

I often use my bicycle, for example, but

I do not label myself as a ‘cyclist’: equally,

I trade online but I do not call myself a ‘trader’…

More and more, in fact, reading the hundred of

newbie posts on BabyPips where beginners label

themselves as ‘traders’, I wondered about my own

idea of what a ‘trader’ is in the retail sense, and

whether the old distinction between ‘professional’

and ‘amateur’ even matters anymore.

Before I end to let people leave their

comments, I also wish to add this:

if you were an ‘amateur’ musician

playing in a band in your spare time,

but not actually making your living

from that (but, for example, by working

a 9-5 office job trough the week), would

you go around telling people that you were

‘a musician’? I guess what I am driving at is

that a lot of beginner traders (and I speak for

myself here too) probably call themselves

‘traders’ as a sign of an ambition, but it could

in the end be to their own detriment…

I just noticed in my own, 3.5 years of being

involved with trading financial instruments,

how the better I have become at managing

this activity, the least likely I have felt

inclined to call myself a ‘trader’.

So the question is: in the retail world,

is it mostly beginners who flash around

their ‘trader’ identity? I would be particularly

interested to hear from ‘old timers’ on here,

to see how they identify themselves with

regard to their trading activities.

Sorry for the long post.

According to Investopedia a trader is:

[I]“A trader is an individual who engages in the transfer of financial assets in any financial market, either for themselves, or on behalf of a someone else. The main difference between a trader and an investor is the duration for which the person holds the asset. Investors tend to have a longer term time horizon, whereas traders tend to hold assets for shorter periods of time in order to capitalize on short-term trends.”[/I]

This is a specific definition relating to financial markets and does not imply any degree of expertise or professionalism.

Another more general definition is:

[I]“a person who buys and sells in search of short-term profits”[/I]

Although there are no credentials required in order to call oneself a trader, I think there is at least an implication that one has been doing it for some time, is still doing it continually, and therefore by definition is reasonably successful at it.

Perhaps an analogy is photography. If I just take snaps with my mobile whenever something appeals then I would not call myself a photographer. But if I am sufficiently interested in photography that it has become my hobby or even my profession and I therefore study it both technically and artistically then I would say that I am a photographer.

Since it seems most new posters here who say that are starting with forex and then disappear within a few months, sometimes in a few weeks, sometimes after their one and only post, then I would hesitate to refer to them as traders…

As an aside, does anyone know with what logic the forum “new posts” works? Even though the opening post on this thread is timed as “today” it never appeared in my list of new posts when I opened it. I only stumbled across this post when browsing through the various forum topics.

I have often noticed that I miss many posts because the “new posts” cuts them off so quickly. Sometimes I open it and there are 2-3 pages of new posts listed but I cannot read them all at once. But when I return after maybe one hour there are only 6-8 posts and the rest have disappeared even though they are unread…

I am a Trader. :slight_smile:

…or are you a robot! …I like your new Avatar, Ying! :smiley:

Thanks Bro, haha…! some boring trading days sometimes while waiting for entry. Just made my new avatar to keep the game running.

whoever is trying can call himself a trader in my opinion.

you buy a car sell it for more, youre a trader
you buy a car sell it for less youre a bad trader

were all trader in all aspects of our lifes somehow.

oh btw, if you want some hard truth. to be honest i think many people fail as “trader” simply because they are going in with a technical approach but have no adequate charts with which they can work.

I tried MT4 = crap
i tried the FXCM Market scope = crap

its all way to buggy and missleading. just as an example, the FXCM marketscope is working on a different time zone, so what looks like a pinpar on the new york and bloomberg charts (where the big guys get their datas from) in the marketscope is giving no sign at all. sometimes candles simply get forgetten, especially in the 4 hours chart.

MT$ similar issues.

god, why am i talking about that right now at all? the topics theme is something completely different. sorry guys

heres a comparison of reputable sources (just to name a few):

deutsche bank:

sorry have to skip FXCM as theyre closed weekends and chart sources arent working. will post on monday night.

so many people try to be sucessfull as scalper and swing trader. but it doesnt work. partially because they dont get the same sources the big guys do.

retail traders trading the daily chart frame get better results partially because the perfect accuracy in the daily charts is not necesarrily needed to know where the market is heading. variations of 10-20% (lack of knowledge about actions) are easy to compensate by the bigger timeframe and the longterm positions.

Great comments everyone!

I guess I can call myself an…

‘amateur investor’


I am not sure, Manxx, about the new post blip you mentioned… not sure at all how that works…

To paraphrase Descartes, “I trade, therefore I am” :slight_smile:

Seriously though, it all depends on the question and context.
If I were asked what I do for a living, fx trading wouldn’t enter my head.
If asked what my hobbies were, trading fx might be 2nd or 3rd on my list

Excellent , Eddie :slight_smile:

Getting knowledge and informations become easier worldwide
People can easily use shortcuts to be anything they want to be
Many people making music video and singers and being dj very fast , everyone publish a book and become author , they writing many title book after steve jobs dies
Things are getting fast and faster , lose weight gain weight , even die fast ,
So we are a trader maybe still doesnt know that small details to achieve perfection

…depending, of course, on the outcome of the last trade…:21:

Hell no and who would want to be!

Happy, sitting out home, profiting by speculating on short term currency fluctuations on the EURUSD. I am a specialist.

Then again others may have varied opinions. Personally, don’t give too much for labels.

We all are traders, good or bad ones :d

Good answer, Bob…

I did not want to.make this too much of a semantics exercise, as labels are of little importance, in the end…

Great reply, thank you…


As the saying goes:

“You are only as good as your last trade”

A successful trading career in the Forex trade is not impossible. There are people who have become successful in it while there are also people who lost everything in the trade. A new player in the game of Forex trading must learn from the experience of others so as not to experience the same pitfalls of those who failed.