The siren song of easy money to be made by trading (especially forex trading these days) has been around as long as there have been brokers looking for juicy commisions.
The high failure rate of this professional should be no surprise to anyone who understands the effectively zero sum nature of the forex business.
The comparison earlier in this thread to the hard work and practice needed in professions such as medicine and sports is one that any aspiring trader needs to pay special attention to. I think a lot of scientific research in this area is becoming available to the general public.
For example, it is well worth reading Malcolm Gladwell’s most recent book ‘Outliers’ for information on this topic.
‘Outliers’ looks at research which says that reaching the pinnacle in a given field often has more to do with hard work, practice and environmental factors than it does necessarily with innate talent. Van Tharp provides a great summary of this portion of the book and its accompanying examples in a Tharp�s Thoughts Weekly Newsletter.
A more indepth look at this topic can also be found in Geoff Colvin�s book titled ‘Talent Is Overrated’. Seems like Colvin turned his original Fortune article into a fully fledged book (although there also now seems to be a more expanded up-to-date article).
Ten thousand hours seems to be the magic amount of practice needed to become highly proficient at something.
Imagine if as part of any broker’s risk of trading disclaimer (where they warn you that trading offers the potential to both make and lose money) there was a clause which stated you probably won’t see your trading skills turn you into an ATM, extracting money from the market easily, unless you put in 10,000 hours of practice.
Even though we probably all knew when we first started out that it wasn’t going to be as easy as all the ads and marketing promised, we figured we’d be able to hack it and figure it out sooner rather than later. If we knew that we’d have to put 10,000 hours of honest effort into this endeavour, how many would actually take that first step?
As an example, I�ve been trying to guesstimate how much time I�ve spent trading to date. My interest in trading blossomed in the middle of 2002. Let�s say it�s been six and a half years, or around 338 weeks.
There have been occasions when I�ve put insane amounts of time into this pursuit; other times when I�ve taken a break for weeks at a time. It has primarily been a part time endeavour, so I�m going to ballpark it and say that I�ve dedicated around 15 hours a week to trading.
Fifteen hours a week for 338 weeks means that I�ve put in just over 5000 hours of practice.
Hmmmm. Half way there!