Five Levels!

I know this has been posted before. I think a review would help some people realize how far they have progressed.

Sometimes the ups and downs of trading takes the focus off of the progress gained.

Every time I take a look back I notice how far I have come.

[B]Step One: [U]Unconscious Incompetence.[/U][/B]

This is the first step you take when starting to look into trading. you know that its a good way of making money because you’ve heard so many things about it and heard of so many millionaires. Unfortunately, just like when you first desire to drive a car you think it will be easy - after all, how hard can it be? Price either moves up or down - what’s the big secret to that then - lets get cracking!

Unfortunately, just as when you first take your place in front of a steering wheel you find very quickly that you haven’t got the first clue about what you’re trying to do. You take lots of trades and lots of risks. When you enter a trade it turns against you so you reverse and it turns again … and again, and again.

You may have initial success, and thats even worse - cos it tells your brain that this really is simple and you start to risk more money.

You try to turn around your losses by doubling up every time you trade. Sometimes you’ll get away with it but more often than not you will come away scathed and bruised You are totally oblivious to your incompetence at trading.

This step can last for a week or two of trading but the market is usually swift and you move onth the next stage.

[B]Step Two - [U]Conscious Incompetence[/U][/B]

Step two is where you realise that there is more work involved in trading and that you might actually have to work a few things out. You consciously realise that you are an incompetent trader - you don’t have the skills or the insight to turn a regular profit.

You now set about buying systems and e-books galore, read websites based everywhere from USA to the Ukraine. and begin your search for the holy grail. During this time you will be a system nomad - you will flick from method to method day by day and week by week never sticking with one long enough to actually see if it does work. Every time you come upon a new indicator you’ll be ecstatic that this is the one that will make all the difference.

You will test out automated systems on Metatrader, you’ll play with moving averages, Fibonacci lines, support & resistance, Pivots, Fractals, Divergence, DMI, ADX, and a hundred other things all in the vein hope that your ‘magic system’ starts today. You’ll be a top and bottom picker, trying to find the exact point of reversal with your indicators and you’ll find yourself chasing losing trades and even adding to them because you are so sure you are right.

You’ll go into the live chat room and see other traders making pips and you want to know why it’s not you - you’ll ask a million questions, some of which are so dumb that looking back you feel a bit silly. You’ll then reach the point where you think all the ones who are calling pips after pips are liars - they cant be making that amount because you’ve studied and you don’t make that, you know as much as they do and they must be lying. But they’re in there day after day and their account just grows whilst yours falls.

You will be like a teenager - the traders that make money will freely give you advice but you’re stubborn and think that you know best - you take no notice and overtrade your account even though everyone says you are mad to - but you know better. You’ll consider following the calls that others make but even then it wont work so you try paying for signals from someone else - they don’t work for you either.

You might even approach a ‘guru’ like Rob Booker or someone on a chat board who promises to make you into a trader(usually for a fee of course). Whether the guru is good or not you wont win because there is no replacement for screen time and you still think you know best.

This step can last ages and ages - in fact in reality talking with other traders as well as personal experience confirms that it can easily last well over a year and more nearer 3 years. This is also the step when you are most likely to give up through sheer frustration.

Around 60% of new traders die out in the first 3 months - they give up and this is good - think about it - if trading was easy we would all be millionaires. another 20% keep going for a year and then in desperation take risks guaranteed to blow their account which of course it does.

What may suprise you is that of the remaining 20% all of them will last around 3 years - and they will think they are safe in the water - but even at 3 years only a further 5-10% will continue and go on to actually make money consistently.

By the way - they are real figures, not just some ive picked out of my head - so when you get to 3 years in the game dont think its plain sailing from there.

I’ve had many people argue with me about these timescales - funny enough none of them have been trading for more that 3 years - if you think you know better then ask on a board for someone who’s been trading 5 years and ask them how long it takes to become fully 100% proficient. Sure i guess there will be exceptions to the rle - but i havent met any yet.

Eventually you do begin to come out of this phase. You’ve probably committed more time and money than you ever thought you would, lost 2 or 3 loaded accounts and all but given up maybe 3 or 4 times but now its in your blood

One day - im a split second moment you will enter stage 3.

[B]Step 3 - [U]The Eureka Moment[/U][/B]

Towards the end of stage two you begin to realise that it’s not the system that is making the difference. You realise that its actually possible to make money with a simple moving average and nothing else IF you can get your head and money management right You start to read books on the psychology of trading and identify with the characters portrayed in those books and finally comes the eureka moment.

The eureka moment causes a new connection to be made in your brain. You suddenly realise that neither you, nor anyone else can accurately predict what the market will do in the next ten seconds, never mind the next 20 mins.

Because of this revelation you stop taking any notice of what anyone thinks - what this news item will do, and what that event will do to the markets. You become an individual with your own method of trading

You start to work just one system that you mould to your own way of trading, you’re starting to get happy and you define your risk threshold.

You start to take every trade that your ‘edge’ shows has a good probability of winning with. When the trade turns bad you don’t get angry or even because you know in your head that as you couldn’t possibly predict it it isn’t your fault - as soon as you realise that the trade is bad you close it . The next trade or the one after it or the one after that will have higher odds of success because you know your system works.

You stop looking at trading results from a trade-to-trade perspective and start to look at weekly figures knowing that one bad trade does not a poor system make.

You have realised in an instant that the trading game is about one thing - consistency of your ‘edge’ and your discipline to take all the trades no matter what as you know the probabilities stack in your favour.

You learn about proper money management and leverage - risk of account etc etc - and this time it actually soaks in and you think back to those who advised the same thing a year ago with a smile. You weren’t ready then, but you are now. The eureka moment came the moment that you truly accepted that you cannot predict the market.

[B]Step 4 - [U]Conscious Competence[/U][/B]

You are making trades whenever your system tells you to. You take losses just as easily as you take wins You now let your winners run to their conclusion fully accepting the risk and knowing that your system makes more money than it looses and when you’re on a loser you close it swiftly with little pain to your account

You are now at a point where you break even most of the time - day in day out, you will have weeks where you make 100 pips and weeks where you lose 100 pips - generally you are breaking even and not losing money. You are now conscious of the fact that you are making calls that are generally good and you are getting respect from other traders as you chat the day away. You still have to work at it and think about your trades but as this continues you begin to make more money than you lose consistently.

You’ll start the day on a 20 pip win, take a 35 pip loss and have no feelings that you’ve given those pips back because you know that it will come back again. You will now begin to make consistent pips week in and week out 25 pips one week, 50 the next and so on.

This lasts about 6 months

[B]Step Five - [U]Unconscious Competence[/U][/B]

Now we’re cooking - just like driving a car, every day you get in your seat and trade - you do everything now on an unconscious level. You are running on autopilot. You start to pick the really big trades and getting 200 pips in a day doesnt make you any more excited that getting 1 pips.

You see the newbies in the forum shouting ‘go dollar go’ as if they are urging on a horse to win in the grand national and you see yourself - but many years ago now.

This is trading utopia - you have mastered your emotions and you are now a trader with a rapidly growing account.

You’re a star in the trading chat room and people listen to what you say. You recognise yourself in their questions from about two years ago. You pass on your advice but you know most of it is futile because they’re teenagers - some of them will get to where you are - some will do it fast and others will be slower - literally dozens and dozens will never get past stage two, but a few will.

Trading is no longer exciting - in fact it’s probably boring you to bits - like everything in life when you get good at it or do it for your job - it gets boring - you’re doing your job and that’s that.

Finally you grow out of the chat rooms and find a few choice people who you converse with about the markets without being influenced at all.

All the time you are honing your methods to extract the maximum profit from the market without increasing risk. Your method of trading doesnt change - it just gets better - you now have what women call ‘intuition’

You can now say with your head held high “I’m a currency trader” but to be honest you dont even bother telling anyone - it’s a job like any other.

I hope youve enjoyed reading this journey into a traders mind and that hopefully youve identified with some points in here.

Remember that only 5% will actually make it - but the reason for that isnt ability, its staying power and the ability to change your perceptions and paradigms as new information comes available.

The losers are those who wanted to ‘get rich quick’ but approached the market and within 6 months put on a pair of blinkers so they couldnt see the obvious - a kind of “this is the way i see it and thats that” scenario - refusing to assimilate new information that changes that perception.

Im happy to tell you that the reason i started trading was because of the ‘get rich quick’ mindset. Just that now i see it as ‘get rich slow’

If youre thinking about giving up i have one piece of advice for you …

Ask yourself the question "how many years would you go to college if you knew for a fact that there was a million dollars a year job at the end of it?

Author - Temp Unknown

I think I skipped Step One, and I’m somewhere in Step Two or maybe the beginning of Three. At my company, we develop a plan, analyze to verify the plan works, then execute the plan! I’m still analyzing. I’ve had lots of success, and at the same time I’ve learned a lot. I am preparing to execute!

I too think I might be on the cusp of 3!!!

Now that post - my friend - is almost as good as my heart rendering confessions post of a newbie trader (only kidding)!!!

It’s funny how we all like to think we are different and special - but we are actually all the same in most respects. That post is so close to the truth it is uncanny - it’s like a quick re-run of the past 2 months (I think I’m somewhere around step 2).

Thanks for that - it will be printed - and read every morning - along with my own set of rules (heart rendering confessions post) - before opening my trading platfrom (although it is alway on anyway - can’t help myself).

The other post that has kept me from jumping off something high is the one about feeling guilty about money that has been lost (on the home page somewhere).

Thanks again.



Your message prompted me to have another read of a post by from the heart. It did somehow get lost in the thread so I’m putting a link to it here as well (while we are all being so philosophical right now). After reading it it is strange how some of the things that I was trying to put across were more eloquently expressed by the author of your post. Anyway - maybe it will help someone.



Eh pipgod, I don’t mean to be prick or anything but I think you already posted that!
Did you forget, ah well it doesn’t matter matter anyway, it’s good revive, most people don’t go back and look at the posts! Best eh!

You are so busted for not reading the first few lines. :stuck_out_tongue:

Do I hear an echo?

LOL, just kidding. :stuck_out_tongue:

yeah true I jumped the gun on this one, time for some more humble pie for me! Sometimes I just don’t get my fill and I ask for more. eh what can u do? You just had to post it again didn’t u? and u knew some unsuspecting victim would do what I did eh, eh! don’t deny it:D :D!

:smiley: LOL,

My dauther wants to know “Does he think you are an evil God?”.

Love to you shadow :stuck_out_tongue:

This is a good read. Thanks for re-posting. All I have to say is “go, dollar, go!” :smiley:

no, no, ur not evil, just a tricky one!:smiley: Oh don’t worry there will be retribution! hahaha :stuck_out_tongue: just kidding been watching trading places and I seem to be quoting it not stop lately! :smiley: Take it easy eh!

LOL, I guess I need spell chacker too. :stuck_out_tongue:

well believe me or not but i skiped the 1st and 2nd step and jumped right in to the 3rd one and now in 4th i think but i have looooong way to reach the 5th one because after 12 years of gambling (betting on soccer matches,horses ect.)i know that there are only silly people who thinks that they can become a millionairs in one day(i thought that too:D ).but after my experiences of long term loosing i found forex (5 weeks ago)and thanks to friend of mine(god bless you for it)i began with i know that there is nothing like that you gonna become a millionair in one day which is helping me keep up the hard work and try to succeed and learn from my failures.after one week of playing with placing market orders and trying to figure out how the market works i created my own way(system)how to keep up gaining profits and minimalise loses and by now i had improve my system a lot and it works precisly with almost no loses and some of the members know that it is a good system(i hope you�ll have fun with it as i do) but it works very well on demo and i don�t know yet if it will works the same way with live account.i think as less you know that better chance to succeed you have and i learned it along the way i was gambling and you create many system,set many rules to keep but in the finale point to make some profits you fail and the reason is that you`re actually not able to put those systems and rules in one to be successfull.i dont understand 80% of what you guys are talking about (because of my english and dont have time to translate everything)on the forum but i know that i have one good system which is working very well for me (maybe not for the others because they might not see what i see you know 100 people 100 different ways)and i keep up practising and improving my system to final success(hope).

keep things easy as they are and then you have better chance to succeed!!!:smiley:

I’m a new member and this is my first post although ive been attempting to trade live for about 2 months and before that i’ve traded about 6 months in trial accounts.

It’s so nice to finally read a forum that dosent make me feel like i am the only one not making 1000 pips a day, i’d like to think i am newly into step 2. and i have so far spend about 500 dollars on opening and re-stocking my accounts… and ive lost about 400 of that. although i have had days where i made positive pips on average well … you understand. i have conciously not put too much into my account because i know im gonna loose it all several times … hopfully my next trading week wont go this way…

…i have so far spend about 500 dollars on opening and re-stocking my accounts… and ive lost about 400 of that. although i have had days where i made positive pips on average well … you understand. i have conciously not put too much into my account because i know im gonna loose it all several times … hopfully my next trading week wont go this way…

That’s an awsome way to get a low cost education. :stuck_out_tongue:

i am in step 4 but a little in step 3 still. but about step 5 how could you not get excited?

…about step 5 how could you not get excited?

That question will answer itself. :wink:

His is not in five.

He just made a mistake on his live account and is now shot in the A**.

LOL, ouch! :smiley: