Before you start, have you got what it takes?


58 ratings



John Bartlett

17 May, 2005

in Getting Started and 1 more

Are you a beginner? Before you start, have you got what it takes?

It is apparent that when starting out in the adventurous worlds of financial trading, that the complete novice and beginner can, within minutes of his first post on T2W, trot down the wrong road, due in no small part to the advice so readily given by enthusiastic members imparting their own beliefs and experiences. Just today a newcomer posed the question: I’m new, what trading platform should I have? Within minutes a reply was posted by a prolific poster, buy XYZ platform it’s only ££s and you can get data feed at only ££ per month!

The thread continued, try this, and try that, and I imagined this person already starting to think that if they can get a great trading platform half their battles are over. Well sadly they are already on the slippery slope to dismal failure and frustration. To commit yourself to any financial commitment in the beginning, already places you into the “I must trade quickly to recoup my expenses” category, and these poor souls are already mentally chasing their tails.

I know what you are thinking – “you must invest”. Yes I agree, however where do you start? You certainly do not want to invest in ready made solutions, like expensive trading systems which promise you the earth, but deliver nothing but pain frustration and a rapidly declining bank balance.

Expensive software and an equally expensive data feed in the beginning are another “I must have or I will fail” syndrome which is another no, no. Perhaps you should invest in Gurus who will make you rich in weeks following their tips and advice. Is the answer Fibonacci, Elliott wave, Gann, candlesticks, pivot points, point and figure, wilder, price patterns, trends, reversals, breakouts, or is it best to toss a coin?

It’s my humble opinion that the only area a novice and a beginner needs to invest in is his or her personal computer and a very fast connection speed, ideally broadband. With Dell now selling complete desktop systems for £299, and broadband connection for around £15 per month. That’s it, maybe a couple of decent books, there are over 29,000 to choose from (so I have been told!) so that’s a minefield in itself! I’ll make a few of my choices at the end of this article for beginners.

I have been teaching beginners' courses on spread betting and forex for a number of years now, and the backgrounds of the attendees and the levels of experiences they possess never cease to amaze me. The number of people who have parted with up to £3,000  for one day, 70 to a room seminar are to numerous to mention. Many have also parted with £5000 on particularly infamous system. Worst of all was one gentleman who had done a one-to-one session with a well known trainer which cost a staggering £7,000! And he could not even place a trade. There are major rip off merchants out there of which all newcomers should be aware.

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Re: Before you start, have you got what it takes?

Took the time to answer all the questions. I think they are indeed important, plus the books solve the problem "where to start". Thanks a lot :-)

Sep 04, 2012

Member (2 posts)

I like the recommended reads.

Jan 06, 2009

Member (25 posts)

Good read, but that Somerset accent really got to me in the end, just kidding JB.

May 28, 2005

Banned (1157 posts)