Trading has changed me definitely. Unfortunately, it has changed me for the worse.
Firstly, I thought that if I sit on my ass and read to educate myself about forex and practice, I would defy everybody around me that said Forex trading is like gambling in a casino. Well after 5 months reading and demo trading, and 11 months reading and live trading my mental state is not as stable and balanced as it was before I started. I used to be extremely patient and focused, and could easily admit a mistake and a loss, but lately I find myself more nervous and impatient. I think this is a result of my involvement in FX. I believed that with experience and knowledge I would become a better trader, but quite the contrary, trading experience corrupted me.
The high stress level resultant of trading has affected my mental state and through there my body. I've come to the realization that all that stress is not worth at all, because I'm trading with several hundreds USD account. It's not worth it even if I have a good month and I end up with 30% profit. Compared to my job, Forex trading is much more stressful and gives less money, and sometimes takes away my money.
I guess trading is not my cup of tea.
I feel very close to your experience, I was just like you about 2 years ago. I was depressed most of the days, since I would trade for a living but I couldn't make any money, it has been one of the worst experience in my life, I was neglecting my future and all my certainties were evaporated. Then, one day, I started to understand that my problem were those certainties I wasn't living my life, I was what other people wanted to see in me, my parents a doctor, my girlfriend a good guy, my friends something else, i was listening to everybody opinions, all but mine...
So when I touched the bottom I started to understand and to live my life, now I feel most of the days happy, I'm doing what I want because I want to do it, I don't give a **** about what others think about me. It hasn't been easy, I lost some friends, girlfriend, and my parents can't understand me, but surprise surprise, now I have new friends, people that often doesn't understand me, but they take me as I am, I have a girlfriend and I'll get marry in july, do you know what does she tell me when I have a bad month trading? Nick, this is what you want to do for a living, so stop thinking about money and keep doing what makes you happy.
And I'm doing it, step by step, I'll make it. I can say, I lived my life.
You have to choose, trading (money, do what you want, be your own boss, uncertainty) or another job (safer, but you need to do what others want from you). There isn't a universal answer, try to understand what you feel, take your time because no one can't rush you!
So far I can describe, the trading experience as an emotional roller coaster. The one thing that my friend stressed and I learned is that 95% of this game is your psychology and discipline. It's not a get rich quick scheme, it'll take sometime.
So right now I'm taking time to get a better feel of this business. What forex has done for me is it changed my attitude towards most of what I do. Never get attached to the outcome, even you do so much, the outcome will still be uncertain.
Be grateful with what you get and move on, you will succeed.
I believe if you can get through your first year, you have an improved chance of success.
Nothing can account for time spent in front of the charts.
I agree with some other traders here that trading is just another career that gives us tremendous opportunities. However, this career is different than the other 9 to 5 jobs. Traders are expected to spend time and work hard like in other careers, but besides that the probability of losing our money is always there.
In other career, you work and earn money, while in trading, you work and may still lose money. How beautiful is it?
There are lots of careers where you can lose.
Auditors, doctors, investment bankers, tax advisers...
If they just make a small mistake in their judgment and something severe happens because of that, you can be sure that all of them will land in prison.
Maybe they won't lose money, but they can lose a significant part of their free life, if they make mistakes.
Trading means lots of work.
I trade beside my real job, which I will quit in some months. I bought a netbook and follow-up the trading inside the train. I rarely do anything else. Last week I went to the cinema and switched on the netbook in order to see if everything was fine
But this means for me: 120 hours per week in front of the computer.
No, I'm not going to do this forever, but now it's necessary
You need patience to understand this markets,
You need patience to accept that there is no holy grail ( there is nothing magical that makes you a millionaire overnight )
You need patience to develop your own trading style/strategy.
You need patience while walking threw hell to get to heaven.
and most of the time
You need patience with yourself.
One of the reasons I believe so few traders become successful is that they, like you say don't have patience, they give up usually before a year of trading. I don't think may people will become a pro in less than a year, most of the stories of traders I have read talk of 3 years or more. Many new traders will start with real money, and after losing it , they sicken them-self's and quit.
But the longer I trade the more I believe that experience plays a huge part in success.
We learn from smaller part to achieving our goals.
What we learn on our own, can't be taught, because its the thousands of hours of screen time that develops our subconscious thoughts and instincts.
If you really give trading everything, believe you can do it, and give yourself enough time, you have a better chance of success.
I think the time you need to develop an approach (and become a trader) is the time you need to understand to know what you really want from life, some understand it very quickly others takes years...
It's no surprise to me that most traders are philosophers, first you have to know who you are, after that you'll see the whole world under a different light, then you can develop your "unique" strategy...
Any person, ignorant of "Self", will create their own unhappiness (and will curiously be blind to this). The world (or market) will master them, when they came into life to master the world (or market). Life (or market) will come down with cruel, hard feet sooner or later upon every person who knows many or few things, but does not know the "Self".
Find that "Self" and the parallel questions of Life, Meaning, God, etc. will find their answers, too.
The Trading game creates conditions inside of oneself, which if observed with clarity and a quiet mind, can be the stepping-stones leading to the Promised Land and the Grail.
It can take some time, however, especially if you are a little hard-headed, like myself.
Keeping eyes open, maintaining a quiet mind, and having a clear perspective to what you are trying to accomplish, these are lubricants to assist in the understanding of "Self".
It takes some practice, patience and some mistakes to bring in the perspective, though. Trading becomes a hobby after this, and one can easily see the 95% and the 5%.
Trading is, one word, UNCERTAINTY.
This is my biggest problem with trading, this is what makes me anxious, sometimes I can’t sleep at night because of that damn word. You can’t predict prices that’s it, again YOU CAN NOT, no matter how hard you try you must learn to cohabit with uncertainty, today you earn 1.000 buck a day, tomorrow you’ll lose 10.000, be ready for it, it will happen, maybe not today, but believe me before or later it will.
Some people is able to be conscious about his weakness, someone is not, this last sentence is the fundamental of life and trading.
If you love luxury cars and you wanna spend millions for them, do it. Just be sure you do it because you like cars and not because you can brag others how rich you are! if you love arts and you buy a Picasso even if you have to make a 30 years loan it’s great! you did something for you, you should place it in your house and look at it every time you can, it will make you happy! but if you buy it and then you make parties every night so you can show others that you OWN a Picasso, well you’re not conscious and you’re not on the right track, believe me...
The same appeals for trading, if you start trading with 100000 or 1000$ you MUST be conscious that you can lose them, be ready for it, maybe it will never happen but you have to be ready.
When you start to be conscious your life change drastically, it is the starting point, everything else will fall after. Same is for trading if you are not conscious no matter how perfect your system (how expensive your car) if you are not conscious why you trade (why you spent all that money for a car) you’ll never be happy nor successful
Trading successfully (for a living) is probably one of the toughest things you will ever accomplish (if you choose to). If you're not willing to put in the time and effort, then you're simply "wishing or hoping".
However, trading successfully will allow you a little more free time, allow you spend a little more time with your loved ones, allow you to be your own boss (when Mr. Market isn't kicking your ass), and allow for a couple of the finer things live has to offer.
Other than that ... it's just another job that happens to pay well when you play well. If you don't play well, then Mr. Market expects YOU to pay him. His take can be a lot better than what he pays you. Be careful.
Try holding on to a position that just moves opposite to your desired direction.
If you would have sold EURUSD in 2002 it never came back.
More recently if you would have bought EURUSD in 2008, it never came back.
Don't ever trade without stoploss!
"A million dollars is not cool. You know what is cool, a billion dollars." :)
this post taken from: How did trading change your life?