How long did it take you to become consistently profitable ?

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Old Jul 11, 2009, 12:51am   #1
Joined Dec 2007
How long did it take you to become consistently profitable ?

There are endless threads from people asking :

"how many pips does a professional make each month?"
"Is it possible to make 1000 pips a month?"
"How much can I expect to make from trading?"

These (quite rightly) end up in a heated discussion about the relevance (or rather irrelevance) of such a question.

I believe a much more useful question would be :

How long did it take you to become consistently profitable ?

I know the answer to this personally : a long time ... and I'm still not quite there yet.

I've been trading now for 16 months. Full time. Hours and hours of screentime. (about 10 per day)

This was my path -

Learning / sim for first 6 months.
Blew 2.5k account within the next 4 months.
Took a 1 month break.
Back to demo account for 3 months.
Live again for last 2 months.
Doing ok , but yet to have a true consistent track record. I'm working on it !

I wanted to start this thread because I get the impression that so many people think that all you need to do is pick up a couple of trading books and "voila!". And quite frankly I find it frustrating that people think trading is that simple. My family/ friends can't understand why I'm not driving round in a Ferrari yet after 16 months ...

This isn't to put newbies off (in fact I still very much include myself in the newbie category), but rather show the dedication involved ....

Would anybody like to contribute to this thread by showing the stage there are at and how long / how much dedication it took to get there ?

Please no discussion of profitablilty itself. I don't want any discussion along the lines of "I made x number of pips/ percent within x amount of time". This is totally irrelevant to everybody.

I'm just interested in how long it took to attain profitablilty ....

To avoid any discussion about "what is consistently profitable?" - let's say 3-6 months of consistent profitablilty where you were confident you could pay youself a monthly income... (or if part-time, to pay yourself a consistent supplement to your income).

I'd be interested to hear from institutional traders as well ... how long did it take for you to become profitable for the bank/ institution you were employed with ? (I have no idea about the training / structure of this)

I hope this will be an eye-opener for anybody who thinks trading profitabilty is straight forward.

All the best,

Paulie

Last edited by Paulie_5; Jul 11, 2009 at 1:15am. Reason: clarification
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Old Jul 11, 2009, 2:32am   #2
Joined Oct 2008
An interesting thread. I think (as you have mentioned) an important aspect is how much time is spent on trading during this period, full time, part time, one afternoon a week?

Personally I am at a stage ware I know I have an edge and can produce profit but I have not mastered exits and money management. I am working on new time frames to fit in better with my employed work and family life and hopefully this will enable me to nail the for mentioned.

I have been trading evenings for about 8 months. I have had my nose in books and listening to trader pod casts etc most spare moments.

I know this does not really answer your question but I wanted to get the ball rolling.

Jason
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Old Jul 11, 2009, 4:40am   #3
Joined Feb 2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paulie_5 View Post
There are endless threads from people asking :

"how many pips does a professional make each month?"
"Is it possible to make 1000 pips a month?"
"How much can I expect to make from trading?"

These (quite rightly) end up in a heated discussion about the relevance (or rather irrelevance) of such a question.

I believe a much more useful question would be :

How long did it take you to become consistently profitable ?

I know the answer to this personally : a long time ... and I'm still not quite there yet.

I've been trading now for 16 months. Full time. Hours and hours of screentime. (about 10 per day)

This was my path -

Learning / sim for first 6 months.
Blew 2.5k account within the next 4 months.
Took a 1 month break.
Back to demo account for 3 months.
Live again for last 2 months.
Doing ok , but yet to have a true consistent track record. I'm working on it !

I wanted to start this thread because I get the impression that so many people think that all you need to do is pick up a couple of trading books and "voila!". And quite frankly I find it frustrating that people think trading is that simple. My family/ friends can't understand why I'm not driving round in a Ferrari yet after 16 months ...

This isn't to put newbies off (in fact I still very much include myself in the newbie category), but rather show the dedication involved ....

Would anybody like to contribute to this thread by showing the stage there are at and how long / how much dedication it took to get there ?

Please no discussion of profitablilty itself. I don't want any discussion along the lines of "I made x number of pips/ percent within x amount of time". This is totally irrelevant to everybody.

I'm just interested in how long it took to attain profitablilty ....

To avoid any discussion about "what is consistently profitable?" - let's say 3-6 months of consistent profitablilty where you were confident you could pay youself a monthly income... (or if part-time, to pay yourself a consistent supplement to your income).

I'd be interested to hear from institutional traders as well ... how long did it take for you to become profitable for the bank/ institution you were employed with ? (I have no idea about the training / structure of this)

I hope this will be an eye-opener for anybody who thinks trading profitabilty is straight forward.

All the best,

Paulie
Unfortunately, with trading, you can try for a lifetime and still never become consistently pofitable.
There are, simply, no guarantees in this game.

-Take Whichever Way Works-
Bruce Lee
Jeet Kon Do
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Old Jul 11, 2009, 10:37am   #4
Joined Nov 2008
no indicator, no technical, no fundamental, nothing else.. its only you and a chart.
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Old Jul 11, 2009, 11:26am   #5
Joined Aug 2003
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrsoul View Post
Unfortunately, with trading, you can try for a lifetime and still never become consistently pofitable.
There are, simply, no guarantees in this game.

-Take Whichever Way Works-
Bruce Lee
Jeet Kon Do
Indeed.
I myself tend to make money most days now, although I still trade at small stakes, and am only slightly profitable considering that I lost alot of money when I very first started trying to trade when I was about 17 (im 24 now)

Of that 7 years, about 2 of them I was able to dedicate all day to trading (and I did - getting up at 6am, reading and learning, and then trading the US open until the close, and then staying up till gone midnight to carry on reading forums, studing charts endlessly, and then trading on a simulator)
The other years have been spells of the above, mixed with fulltime employment, and other patches where I took time off assuming that it simply was NOT possible to be consistently profitable. (Even to this day I am not 100% sure, but am much more convinced)

I know of a few people in the 'real world' who have dedicated fulltime hours to trying to learn for about 8 years and are still not consitently profitable - These are clever guys - friends of my dads (who i first saw trading which got me interested when i was a kid).

When newbies come to sites like this expecting instant riches, they are often told to expect to have to wait more like 18 months. This tends to shock them. Well in my opinion/experience/observations of others - the wait will be alot longer IF AT ALL!!

There will be exceptions to the rule. Some people will find true consistency within a few years. Some people probably think they have 'got it' right now, but will be having second thoughts a year down the line. It is a tough old game. As 'mr soul' says - "no guarantees"

Im content at the moment with making money most days. its been this way for a fair while now, but im taking nothing for granted!

good luck!!
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Old Jul 11, 2009, 11:58am   #6
 
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What they said!
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Old Jul 11, 2009, 4:18pm   #7
 
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4 months.
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Old Jul 13, 2009, 8:51am   #8
Joined Dec 2007
Paulie_5 started this thread
Quote:
4 months.
Wow - and your profile says you only trade in your spare time - good going !
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Old Jul 13, 2009, 9:57am   #9
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hahaha..
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Old Jul 13, 2009, 10:54am   #10
Joined Jun 2009
No not yet, not all the time

find it pretty easy to trade in profit for weeks / months on end ..... then !!! ### !!! typical blow up trader, never been able to identify the trigger to it over the years

these days do not trade that active, no real point I trade forward for a few months then it happens again, some kind of inner self distruct button, very hard to identify the cause

I post the warning ........ BEWARE ! ........ I consider myself very lucky that no real damage was done

Start - Finish

1982 - 1986

1 year horses / snooker / poker - odd bets on considered good things :-) + 200 % - my edge - I was inside the snooker game, access to watching the players practice and bookmakers offering many silly prices at that time

2 years approaching full time active from thursday - Sunday every week - life was sweet + running at + 15 K approx, never really counted proper in those days, it was easy money

1 year poor results - resulting in giving about half back ( benifit of hindsight (very young at time) I changed method of operation ... method drift ... God complex crept in ....Greed ... thought it was my right to win ! the usual rubbish

moved on in life, did not push it, never bet again for many years, odd share purchase, odd snooker wager etc - some good some bad - in the main positive - no real interest in taking it more serious with a young family etc

Dot com bubble - never got involved - very busy at the time - a business friend at the time who I went out of my way to warn regards what he was getting involved in after he had given me a very soundly based share tip -

his lack of knowledge - what it can do to you if unprepared etc etc etc etc etc etc etc etc etc

NO GOOD - DEAF EARS - WAS A BIG WINNER AT THE TIME - WANTED MORE - LOST A LIFE TIMES WORK - EVERYTHING - HOUSE - BUSINESS

he was very lucky, he just avoided full bankruptcy and his wife stood by him, it worked out for him and many others - he found himself - he fosters children :-)

I have lost contact with him over the years, was informed he absolutely loves it

others may not be so fortunate !

trading runs, some reflection gaps in between

1 year reading etc, demo trade ideas, odd live single trade ideas ..... + 30 %

3 months - SB account very simple method + 50 % intra day

6 months - blown 1 SB account intra day

3 months - blown 50 % of 2nd SB account intra day

3 months - recovered the lost 50 % SB account intra day

6 months - doubled above SB account intra day

3 - 6 months - DMA intra day - running at + 40 % at 3 months - ended period at Scratch .... 1 very large error ! (66% of account in one hit ... over everything / complete brain down / complete rape of emotional bank / total step out of .. or perhaps not !)

since then (1 yr ago) consistant runs out to 2 months then problem arrives like magic, have built a very sound method with tight stop / MM etc in an attempt to protect myself from the step outside myself days, even went so far to request my broker de-activates platform at certain limits

account closed, gave up on intra day - cannot trust myself five days out of a hundred to do the right thing !


these days I trade longer timeframe ideas with much smaller size/lever - consistant at the moment :-) running total + 50 % over last 6 months




noticed from the posts and the posts on many threads on this site how many repeat the same ~ hours of looking at screen and reading etc etc required to master trading


my advice to anybody just starting out or anybody who is not yet profitable who is putting in hours on end of screen time in to attempt to learn to trade is

STOP why would you need to look at something for hours on end

what are you looking at exactly ?

take yourself for a walk and just consider what your looking at and who provides it, what the market actually is, what it does ? If you cannot answer that question, then find out

get yourself a very simple set up based on your new understanding and make sure you have the math on yourside everytime you trade

be watchful of self

sorry off on one again :-)




in answer to the thread question

so a touch consistant with an aberration here and there


trading = Death or Glory no inbetween :-)


Andy

Last edited by tenbobtrader; Jul 13, 2009 at 1:32pm. Reason: typo
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