Allegedly, 90% of all traders fail
This cliché is posted on the boards almost daily. It may or may not be true. Evidence to support this figure is mostly anecdotal, however, it’s certain that many who try their hand at trading quit with less money in their pockets than when they started. So, the balance of probabilities suggests that you would be wise to ‘expect’ to lose money rather than to make any. But hey, that’s a negative attitude and, besides, you’re not one of the 90% are you? No sir, let’s assume that you’re destined to join the elite 10% of profitable traders!
Now the good news
The positive spin on the ‘90% of all traders fail’ statistic is twofold:
1. Many of those that fail are ‘get rich quick’ punters who play at trading in the vein hope that they can turn £100 into a million in next to no time. If this describes you – here’s some great advice for you. . . If it’s money you can afford to lose and you want to have a laugh gambling, go to the races or take a trip to Las Vegas. It’ll be a whole lot more fun.
2. The good news is that the failure rate needs to be high in order to provide the mega profits for the 10% who succeed. In this respect, trading is a bit like the lottery. The jackpot is divided between those who have the winning numbers. The more winners there are, the smaller the cash prize that each winner receives. So, if you’re willing to put in the huge amounts of time and effort required to succeed – the upside is big. Huge. The sky’s the limit!
But . . . (there’s always a ‘but’!)
But here’s the rub. The secret to trading success is not to focus on reward, but on risk. You must minimise risk and keep your losses small. Coupled with this is the need to focus on trading really well, rather than the money you’ll make if you do. In this respect, good traders are like the best premiership footballers. First and foremost, footy stars have to focus on their training, fitness and how to excel on the field of play. The fame, money and beautiful WAGs come second.
The holy grail to success in trading is understanding and applying sound risk and money management principles. Failure to do so could be disastrous. No joke. In extreme cases, this could result in bankruptcy and loss of your house or other assets. If you've not read it already, before continuing with this FAQ; check out this sticky: Essentials Of 'Risk & Money Management'