Full time traders

ffsear

Senior member
2,260 513
Hi all, Is anyone here a full time trader. I've been at this for about 5 years on and off. Never able to make profits. I never lost anything but I never made anything either. One of issues I keep running into is I make trades, make some money. Then flow up with bad trades always coming up to 0 over a period of time. For those you who are profitable and I mean over a long period of time, how did you solve this problem.?

Keep a trade Journal. Don't rely purely on technicals. Take a fundamental view also
 

kevinkdog

Junior member
34 20
Can I become a full-time trader even if I have a day job? Is it safe, or is it risky?
"Full time" implies that you do it as a day job. If you already have a day job, then you will have 2 day jobs. More power to you if you can perform well at 2 full time jobs simultaneously, but chances are you will underperform at both.

If you want to trade - day trade or otherwise - I suggest you do it part time at first. Maybe eventually it could replace your current full time job. But in the meantime you could keep the two jobs separate.
 

tomorton

Legendary member
8,432 1,363
Can I become a full-time trader even if I have a day job? Is it safe, or is it risky?
Use the daily charts for trade decisions, set your entry orders and stop-losses (and take-profit orders if required) in the evenings. Refer to the weekly charts to confirm if the market is trending and make sure you're not long when the weekly says sell. A very historic strategy is buy-on-the-pull-backs - if a market is in a consistent uptrend, set a buy order above a recent low daily high - if the order is triggered, you're long in an uptrend, if price doesn't go up your order won't be triggered and you're safe. Trade small.
 

Jim B

Junior member
22 2
Hi all, Is anyone here a full time trader. I've been at this for about 5 years on and off. Never able to make profits. I never lost anything but I never made anything either. One of issues I keep running into is I make trades, make some money. Then flow up with bad trades always coming up to 0 over a period of time. For those you who are profitable and I mean over a long period of time, how did you solve this problem.?
I’m not full time either not ready to fully commit to it. I’ve been making small profits quite consistently but it’s a side earner for me, would like to go full time one day though.
 

kevinkdog

Junior member
34 20
I would like to know what trading strategies have you adopted for your trades over the last five years, because that is a really long time for a trader to go to zero.
I know people who have been trading 10-15 years, and are still not profitable - much less consistently profitable.

For 90% of traders, long term profitability is a myth. And for probably 99% of traders, long term consistent profitability is an even bigger myth.

I know it seems like everyone on Twitter, Discord, YouTube etc is crushing it, but the reality is MUCH different.

One example: look at the results of pro traders (CTA, Hedge Funds) on sites like iasg.com, autumngold.com or barclayhedge.com. They track actual results of PROFESIONAL traders. You'll find most of these guys are not consistent, and often times not even profitable.

Trading is a tough world.

Edit: these percentages are guesses, but educated ones. I have literally spoken over the last 30 years to dozens of brokers and thousands of traders. FWIW.
 
Last edited:

hatemypips

Established member
698 61
I know people who have been trading 10-15 years, and are still not profitable - much less consistently profitable.

For 90% of traders, long term profitability is a myth. And for probably 99% of traders, long term consistent profitability is an even bigger myth.

I know it seems like everyone on Twitter, Discord, YouTube etc is crushing it, but the reality is MUCH different.

One example: look at the results of pro traders (CTA, Hedge Funds) on sites like iasg.com, autumngold.com or barclayhedge.com. They track actual results of PROFESIONAL traders. You'll find most of these guys are not consistent, and often times not even profitable.

Trading is a tough world.

Edit: these percentages are guesses, but educated ones. I have literally spoken over the last 30 years to dozens of brokers and thousands of traders. FWIW.
If you don't have insider info you have to look for price irregularities and this is extremely challenging in markets which are close to efficient
 

ridgeback

Junior member
23 11
@kevinkdog i agree with you, that the trading world is tough and even though I have had my share of losses, I have always managed to make and recover my money through trading. What I would like to know is that is it wise for the traders to continue trading consistently for 10-15 years without earning any profit? And when you say ‘these traders are still not profitable’ , do you imply that they are closing their trades at break even point or at losses. Because bearing losses for 10-15 years isn't ideal. And if they are inconsistent with their profit dont you think they should backtest their strategies and see why their plans aren't working most of the time?
I think if you are a loser for 10-15 years, you are not by definition a trader. Many people use "Trader" to describe themselves and it makes them feel better.
In the real world you are only a trader if you are profitable long term.
Let me ask you this, if you go to the market every day and there is a man there selling apples, he buys them for £1, wants to sell them for £3 and then ends up selling them for 10 pence at the end of the day. He does this everyday, loses money every month, would you call him a trader?
 

kevinkdog

Junior member
34 20
@kevinkdog i agree with you, that the trading world is tough and even though I have had my share of losses, I have always managed to make and recover my money through trading. What I would like to know is that is it wise for the traders to continue trading consistently for 10-15 years without earning any profit? And when you say ‘these traders are still not profitable’ , do you imply that they are closing their trades at break even point or at losses. Because bearing losses for 10-15 years isn't ideal. And if they are inconsistent with their profit dont you think they should backtest their strategies and see why their plans aren't working most of the time?

I have seen people who are net losers over 10-15 years still try to make a go of it. They may jump from approach to approach, backtest some methods, work on their psychology, etc. and still come out losers. They don't give up, yet they are net losers. Why would they do that? Probably a million reasons, but they probably get some benefit out of losing trading that is non-monetary.
 

kevinkdog

Junior member
34 20
I think if you are a loser for 10-15 years, you are not by definition a trader. Many people use "Trader" to describe themselves and it makes them feel better.
In the real world you are only a trader if you are profitable long term.
Let me ask you this, if you go to the market every day and there is a man there selling apples, he buys them for £1, wants to sell them for £3 and then ends up selling them for 10 pence at the end of the day. He does this everyday, loses money every month, would you call him a trader?
I would call him a trader. A pretty bad one though! If trader=profitable then there are very, very few traders out there.
 

-Catalin-

Junior member
49 9
I had the same issue and years ago I got in touch with a guy who‘s diagnosis I didnt like at first but over the years I had to admit that he was right.

I was right not to send him a Christmas card though as he was ridiculously patronising but still, the message was right.

I was able to make money following a strategy and then give it back. At the end of the week Id calculate what my strategy should have made and compare that to what I actually made to judge my efficiency and work out ways to get better. All great so far, however, there was always another figure to take into account, what I made overall. At times i wouldn’t get a signal for ages and I found it hard to watch the market drop a few hundred points and then rally same amount without a single signal so I found myself taking trades which either didnt fully fulfill my criteria, followed social media or just made crap up. I couldnt even have these trades on the same journal because the stats at the end wouldnt teach me anything. Lets be honest thats nothing more than gambling but my desire for profits was stronger than my ability to assess the reality.

What the bloke said.....

1. I didnt fully trust my strategy and its profitability so needed to work on that. Serious bouts of testing and simplifying things meant that eventually random trades fazed out.
2. Stop looking at returns in isolation, the number is meaningless. Look instead at risk adjusted returns, as in what you put on the line to make your returns.

My thoughts ....

You need an edge. If you truly have one, all other parts of trading are easier to soldier through. If for example you have a market open breakout strategy which pays over time its within most peoples ability to wait for the market open, place the order and win or lose walk away till the next day. Its when we’re flooded with doubt that we start freestyling.

Focusing on psychology is a waste of time if you dont have an edge, if anything it can damage you.

I hope you’ll find a way.
 

kevinkdog

Junior member
34 20
I had the same issue and years ago I got in touch with a guy who‘s diagnosis I didnt like at first but over the years I had to admit that he was right.

I was right not to send him a Christmas card though as he was ridiculously patronising but still, the message was right.

I was able to make money following a strategy and then give it back. At the end of the week Id calculate what my strategy should have made and compare that to what I actually made to judge my efficiency and work out ways to get better. All great so far, however, there was always another figure to take into account, what I made overall. At times i wouldn’t get a signal for ages and I found it hard to watch the market drop a few hundred points and then rally same amount without a single signal so I found myself taking trades which either didnt fully fulfill my criteria, followed social media or just made crap up. I couldnt even have these trades on the same journal because the stats at the end wouldnt teach me anything. Lets be honest thats nothing more than gambling but my desire for profits was stronger than my ability to assess the reality.

What the bloke said.....

1. I didnt fully trust my strategy and its profitability so needed to work on that. Serious bouts of testing and simplifying things meant that eventually random trades fazed out.
2. Stop looking at returns in isolation, the number is meaningless. Look instead at risk adjusted returns, as in what you put on the line to make your returns.

My thoughts ....

You need an edge. If you truly have one, all other parts of trading are easier to soldier through. If for example you have a market open breakout strategy which pays over time its within most peoples ability to wait for the market open, place the order and win or lose walk away till the next day. Its when we’re flooded with doubt that we start freestyling.

Focusing on psychology is a waste of time if you dont have an edge, if anything it can damage you.

I hope you’ll find a way.
This ^^^^^

I always tell people:

No edge (profitable strategy), bad psychology - YOU LOSE
No edge (profitable strategy), great psychology - YOU LOSE
Good edge (profitable strategy), bad psychology - YOU LOSE
Good edge (profitable strategy), great psychology - YOU WIN (but it will still be hard)
 

ridgeback

Junior member
23 11
Also many become obsessed with their "system" when actually money management, targets, drawdown management is probably more important. The money management has to fit you before the strategy and I think that can only happen through experience. When it all fits together you become consistently profitable.
 

RachelFX

Active member
107 28
Hi all, Is anyone here a full time trader. I've been at this for about 5 years on and off. Never able to make profits. I never lost anything but I never made anything either. One of issues I keep running into is I make trades, make some money. Then flow up with bad trades always coming up to 0 over a period of time. For those you who are profitable and I mean over a long period of time, how did you solve this problem.?
Link up your account to myfxbook and review evey 20 trades.
One other questions are you using a good RRR?
 

sharabela

Member
70 11
I have been able to make money by Forex trading, but I am still not a full time trader. I have been going slowly with my investment. I have a part time job, which gives me a consistent income. Yes, I do have a plan to be a full time trader and depend on it completely. It may take another year or two.
 
 
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