Does it really take 10000 hours to learn to trade?

Oct 11, 2011
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0
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#1
Hi All,

I've read many times in various forums and trader's blogs that it takes about 10000 hours (4-5 years, full time) to learn to trade successfully.

Is this really the case or the number assumes that one had zero previous financial knowledge or experience?

I traded with real money in the past (2001-2004) and lost half of it due to emotions, lack of knowledge, impatience, and other personal flaws.

I've been watching financial markets ever since and finally decided to do it right this time. I've been paper-trading stocks and options on a demo account for the last 3 months. My account went between -8% to +5% (current) but I am not yet confident that it will last.

My current goal is 1% a week for at least 6 months. If I can pull that off, I may gain more confidence, but again it is a far cry from 10000 hours.

I wonder how long should I paper-trade before switching to real money?

Thanks
--
GH
 

Lord Flasheart

Well-known member
Jan 20, 2004
9,796
975
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#2
took me longer than that and still have problems. Dont really like demo trading either.It is nothing like the same and id you fall into bad habits they will be hard to break
 

VielGeld

Well-known member
Jul 27, 2011
1,421
179
73
#3
^ Demo is good to prevent the inevitable initial losses, though. If you're smart you'll start on demo and slowly build up rather than start off with $5k and blow it in a couple months.

Once you have live experience, you can practice the psychology on demo up to a point, too.

It is nothing like live, but if it keeps you from losing it all, then it's the best thing ever!
 

BILLV

Active member
Dec 12, 2011
128
2
28
#4
Does it really take 10000 hours to learn to trade? GH
Good question.
It could take even longer and for some it may take forever.
Judging by my experience, I think a new person who's up to date with financial terms and on how markets work will probably need at least 6 months of constant stuying of charts and strategies before they become 2nd nature to him.

Our biggest problem is impatience, we don't want to do the necessary baby steps
and want to jump straight in therefore risking being slaughtered.
I agree with others that demo accounts don't give you the feel of a real account. They are good for practicing your strategies and learning to use the software but that's about it.

I used a demo account for 2 days, made heaps of money and then went live but my risk profile in the live account changed and I had also started trading mini lots so I didn't make much money at all but the important thing is that I didn't lose much either.

IMO its all about risk minimisation. Open a mini account trading mini lots $1/pip so any mistakes you make won't hurt you much and the sooner you start developing some strategies and then perfecting them the sooner you'll start making real money
 

DionysusToast

Well-known member
Dec 6, 2009
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#5
The 10,000 hours is just a bogus number that gets thrown around.

10,000 / 8 = 1,250 working days
1,250 / 5 = 250 working weeks
250 / 48 = 5.2 working years

Consider a prop shop that takes on a new recruit. Do you think they keep that person on for 5 working years before they start making money?

Do you think anyone out there has the backing to spend 5 years full time learning to trade without earning a salary?

Fact is, you can spend a lot of time on trading without learning anything. Most of the information you read about trading in books, forums, web sites is totally bogus. Combine this with the fact that most people start out looking for mechanical magic bullets and you have a perfect storm, a whole industry that is geared around teaching you how NOT to trade.

With the right information at hand and the right mindset, there is no reason a total newbie couldn't be profitable in 6 months full time.

The time spent isn't the issue. The issue is the time spent on irrelevant stuff.
 
Oct 11, 2006
8,072
1,301
223
#6
The 10,000 hours is just a bogus number that gets thrown around.

10,000 / 8 = 1,250 working days
1,250 / 5 = 250 working weeks
250 / 48 = 5.2 working years

Consider a prop shop that takes on a new recruit. Do you think they keep that person on for 5 working years before they start making money?

Do you think anyone out there has the backing to spend 5 years full time learning to trade without earning a salary?

Fact is, you can spend a lot of time on trading without learning anything. Most of the information you read about trading in books, forums, web sites is totally bogus. Combine this with the fact that most people start out looking for mechanical magic bullets and you have a perfect storm, a whole industry that is gHeared around teaching you how NOT to trade.

With the right information at hand and the right mindset, there is no reason a total newbie couldn't be profitable in 6 months full time.

The time spent isn't the issue. The issue is the time spent on irrelevant stuff.
Yes but what percentage of people taken on by prop houses even get close to making it?
 

Lord Flasheart

Well-known member
Jan 20, 2004
9,796
975
173
#7
^ Demo is good to prevent the inevitable initial losses, though. If you're smart you'll start on demo and slowly build up rather than start off with $5k and blow it in a couple months.

Once you have live experience, you can practice the psychology on demo up to a point, too.

It is nothing like live, but if it keeps you from losing it all, then it's the best thing ever!
i guess its a matter of opinion,but id much rather start with a micro lot account than a demo. The main point is whatever you do you must treat the demo or micro account as though its the real thing, we are creatures of habits,get into bad habits and you will fail and continue to fail
 
Aug 16, 2008
866
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#8
i guess its a matter of opinion,but id much rather start with a micro lot account than a demo. The main point is whatever you do you must treat the demo or micro account as though its the real thing, we are creatures of habits,get into bad habits and you will fail and continue to fail
agree. take a trade that goes +30 points into profit. now consider how you would manage the trade whilst on a demo/chump change account and compare this to how you would manage the trade using a $100,000 account. with the former you are more likely to let it run and hope for a runner, with the latter are you going to be able to watch $1000s disappear form your account if it comes back on you? I think demo is good for learning the basics and proving to yourself that you can be profitable.
 
Apr 10, 2006
2,949
1,282
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Valletta
#10
Not sure how true that was but none of them spent 5 years training.
The typical prop shop buiness model isnt a million miles away from what I do with my random robots, so its entirely feasible that they can operate profitably with traders with limited training.

But thats not the same as teaching a bunch of guys how to trade, its about the prop firm making money.
 
Jul 28, 2011
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#11
The trading community might be the #1 source for made up statistics in the world. They always have a (made up) number to describe how difficult it is to make it in the markets.

Say, what if instead of 90% losing and 10% making a killing, what if 10% lost everything and 90% made a decent living? You may as well spew out that statistic since neither are verified.
 

barjon

Well-known member
May 6, 2003
10,050
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#12
The trading community might be the #1 source for made up statistics in the world. They always have a (made up) number to describe how difficult it is to make it in the markets.

Say, what if instead of 90% losing and 10% making a killing, what if 10% lost everything and 90% made a decent living? You may as well spew out that statistic since neither are verified.
Maybe, but common sense would suggest that trading is no different from other forms of human endeavour. Sure, there are a few child prodigies that burst onto the scene, but for most it is a long hard slog to translate budding talent into success.

Trouble with trading is that landing a few punches in a saturday night brawl down the pub (paper trading) immediately convinces people that they can jump in the ring against the Mike Tysons (showing my age!!) of this world and come out unscathed.

jon
 
Likes: the hare
Apr 10, 2006
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Valletta
#13
They always have a (made up) number to describe how difficult it is to make it in the markets.
Thats quite easily resolved. Brokers could publish statistics, but they wont. For lulz try getting any sensible data from any of the broker representatives at t2w :LOL:

As a proxy, why not ask t2w for detailed stats from the forex desk platform (they wont give them to you, but at least the excuses they come up with will be highly entertaining)

Why do people find it so difficult to understand that the failure rate is so high when playing a negative sum game ? why do people fail to understand that by random chance 50% of people will perform better than average !

Its a simple enough question, why wont those people who could very easily give a definitive answer, refuse to do so, and go to such lengths to confuse. It should be quite obvious !
 

Splitlink

Well-known member
Nov 18, 2001
10,850
1,231
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#14
Hi All,

I've read many times in various forums and trader's blogs that it takes about 10000 hours (4-5 years, full time) to learn to trade successfully.

Is this really the case or the number assumes that one had zero previous financial knowledge or experience?

I traded with real money in the past (2001-2004) and lost half of it due to emotions, lack of knowledge, impatience, and other personal flaws.

I've been watching financial markets ever since and finally decided to do it right this time. I've been paper-trading stocks and options on a demo account for the last 3 months. My account went between -8% to +5% (current) but I am not yet confident that it will last.

My current goal is 1% a week for at least 6 months. If I can pull that off, I may gain more confidence, but again it is a far cry from 10000 hours.

I wonder how long should I paper-trade before switching to real money?

Thanks
--
GH
This is a question of character. I had to trade for money right from the start. I don't believe that losing paper trades makes you sick enough. You have to not sleep at night to, really, appreciate what is likely to happen if you keep on losing. Like losing your house, going bankrupt and getting divorced, for instance.

That sharpens the mind to

Trade within a sensible parameter, where you can replace the amount lost without too much strain and without rocking the domestic boat. If you are successful, you will build your trading style at your own speed.

Paper trading does not give you that feeling. Trade for 50p per point, if necessary, but get your feet wet and stop paper trading.

My opinion is based on my experience which is that I did not start trading until after I retired. I am on a pension and it is easy for me to talk. The fact is that I do not trade to make a fortune but, IMO, it works better for a younger person because he has time on his side. Don't go mad and take your time, but paper trading is like playing patience, no loss, no pain. It is not the complete experience.
 

new_trader

Well-known member
Jan 1, 2006
6,166
1,253
223
#15
The trading community might be the #1 source for made up statistics in the world. They always have a (made up) number to describe how difficult it is to make it in the markets.

Say, what if instead of 90% losing and 10% making a killing, what if 10% lost everything and 90% made a decent living? You may as well spew out that statistic since neither are verified.
There is a 67.56% chance you are right.
 
Likes: debrox