Where do I start?

1 July, 2010

To train to be a doctor in the UK takes a minimum of 9 years and requires considerable amounts of tuition and practice. When you trade you are in competition with seasoned professionals who have invested as much time and passion into their craft as a doctor has in theirs.

While the barrier to entry for trading is lower than in medicine, no-one is going to allow you to perform surgery by placing $5,000 at the hospital door, this is no reason to believe that it is any easier to perform with the mastery required to consistently pluck funds from the markets.

Without a sound set of beliefs, a written business plan and a firm grounding in position sizing to meet your objectives you are more than likely to fail. Broker statistics show that 80-90% of accounts opened are not profitable. So, statistically, you have at most a 20% chance of making it in this profession.

How are you going to create as large an edge (advantage) as possible to help you overcome these odds? Start with:

Supertrader and Trade Your Way to Financial Freedom by Van K Tharp

Supertrader could be the blueprint for all your further study. It outlines all the areas that I am going through in detail as I complete Van’s Supertrader course.

Trading in The Zone by Mark Douglas

Has an interesting take on why we self sabotage ourselves and what it takes to believe in a system.

Van’s Peak Performance home study course is a masterpiece and a brilliant measure of how well you have ‘got’ the necessary beliefs.

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Can you tell I’m a bit of Van Tharp junkie… Thankfully like fruit and raw veg he’s very good for you!

John Mauldin is worth reading each week for a big picture view on the economic landscape.

Brett Steenbarger has a great blog that he has iced as he moves onto working inside a hedge fund. Loads of very valuable material throughout.

Libby Adams at Academy of Self knowledge runs the most powerful psychological/spiritual course I have ever taken, and I’ve been through a few… Her course will take you from ‘doing’ what traders do to ‘being’ what a trader is…

While you are going through this material think about what you want:

How much do you want to make a year?
How much are you happy to lose per year, per trade?
Are you happy to work on margin?
How many trades do you want to make a day/month/year?
How much time do you want to use of your day/week/month trading?

With all this training complete you will be ready to choose/create a system that suits your personality. Along the way low risk ideas will present themselves and your Higher Self will guide you to which you could research further. Your system really is YOU so it must be personal. Like a bespoke suit when a system fits you it works with ease and comfort. You may find my ES system helpful as a starting point for your own research and if you do adopt it please adapt it otherwise you may not be able to trade it effectively/profitably.

Consider investing twelve months training and then six months paper trading/creating your business plan.

Budget about $12,000 in training costs… A lot less than it costs to train to be a doctor!

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