What is the average age of a consistent trader?

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May 23, 2011
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#1
Does anybody know if there is any research into the average age that a trader becomes consistently profitable?

Somebody on another thread stated that a lot of people start in their mid-30s and hit their stride by mid 40s. (sorry, I can't remember the exact quote or person who said this)

I know it's a difficult question to answer, but it got me thinking....

- Are you more likely to succeed if you start later in life? (perhaps because you might take a more mature approach?)

- Or perhaps your chances of suceeding are greater if you sit down infront of a chart at 14 years old? (you then get your 10,000 hours in early)

- In today's society, perhaps the older generation are more geared to succeed because the younger generation get bored more easily? (I admit, a sweeping generalisation)

- Or perhaps a kid out of school with no qualifications is more hungry for success?


Any thoughts?
 
Jul 22, 2018
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#2
It's a very subjective question as you may have younger people who can control their emotions better than older people and also who have a better understanding within the economic conditions because they've studied economics but on the other hand you have much older people who have been trading for donkeys years and dedicate their lives to this so therefor they have the time to research about the economy and also have a better understanding on technical analysis. In regards to a 14 year old becoming successful is never impossible but unlikely because as you said the maturity is nowhere near substantial enough. But the conclusion for this discussion for me is that the younger you start the better of course with more experience you'll gain a lot of knowledge, but trading is all about YOU and THE COMPUTER no one else. Some people learn quicker than others, WE ARE ALL DIFFERENT. It doesn't take a genius to learn about the economy if you put in the time to study it.
 

NVP

Well-known member
Jun 21, 2004
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#3
Gregorian Calender age or mental age ? :cool::LOL::LOL:

seriously folks ...good question

i would rate it off of # trading hours they have spent .......nothing more and nothing less

so if youve clocked up the (roughly) 10,000+ hours needed.... you could easlily be in your 20's

also ....14-18 year olds cant trade legally............:)

having said that i was gambling from the age of about 11 and at 14 i was already regularly using an bookmaking account of my dads to make good money on Horseracing....but i couldnt legally make money until i was 18

and making money on horseracing in the 1970's was a lot easier than trading markets as it stands today ...so unless that little dude has their 10,000+ hours in then no ...they will blow it all ......

N
 
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NVP

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#4
Does anybody know if there is any research into the average age that a trader becomes consistently profitable?

ALL below assumes 10,000 hours are in

- Are you more likely to succeed if you start later in life? (perhaps because you might take a more mature approach?).....probably....the mental game may be easier to win at 40-50+.....

- Or perhaps your chances of suceeding are greater if you sit down in front of a chart at 14 years old? (you then get your 10,000 hours in early).....already answered above ....

- In today's society, perhaps the older generation are more geared to succeed because the younger generation get bored more easily? (I admit, a sweeping generalisation).........but older people suffer from more risk averse attitudes ??......and if you find trading boring then you wont have done the 10,000 hours ?

- Or perhaps a kid out of school with no qualifications is more hungry for success?
recipe for disaster ......"hungry" and associated traits is not what we need to achieve trading success

Any thoughts?
see above
 
May 23, 2011
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#5
Interesting responses, thanks very much.

I agree, the 10,000 hours is what counts. I guess it doesn't matter what age you are, you just need to put the hours in.

I started my trading journey 11 years ago, when I was in my late 20s. I really wish I'd started much earlier. That said, I have a feeling I would have got too frustrated and jacked it in.

My gut tells me that the older you start, the more chance you have at sticking it out.
 

FXX

Well-known member
Oct 12, 2017
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#6
We need to be careful here because the 10k hours referenced doesn't apply to a fundamental trader, at least not in my experience. I havent done near 10k hours and growing my account after 6 months starting. I have been profitable for 10 months straight but prior to that was learning fundamentals and applying it on demo for about 6 months.
 
May 23, 2011
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#7
Ok , I accept there are exceptions.

FXX - I'd say you are definitely an outlier to be profitable after 6 months. But hats off to you, I still didn't have a clue after about 8 years! (that's was putting in a couple of hours a day)
 

tomorton

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Feb 28, 2002
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#8
Stop it with this 10,000 hours story. Its based on studies that had nothing to do with trading or anything similar.

A usable TA-based strategy should be capable of being learned within 1 or 2 days and demo'ed for a month. I emphasise learned, not developed from zero knowledge and experience.
 

FXX

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Oct 12, 2017
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#9
Ok , I accept there are exceptions.

FXX - I'd say you are definitely an outlier to be profitable after 6 months. But hats off to you, I still didn't have a clue after about 8 years! (that's was putting in a couple of hours a day)
I am probably an outlier because I don't use charts like everyone else does and this is why you probably need 10k+ hours to become profitable. I was lucky in that I have worked in the industry and had access to institutional traders to tap into their knowledge. I base every trading decision entirely off fundamentals and sentiment and only use charts to manage trades.

I don't think I am unique just applying the right approach or the market from roughly the beginning. I was laughed at by the pros when I asked them for technical analysis tips which was what set me off in this direction.
 
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May 23, 2011
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#10
Stop it with this 10,000 hours story. Its based on studies that had nothing to do with trading or anything similar.

A usable TA-based strategy should be capable of being learned within 1 or 2 days and demo'ed for a month. I emphasise learned, not developed from zero knowledge and experience.
I didn't really want this thread to go down the "10,000 hours or not" route.
(Although my view is, yes it is needed. But we'll beg to differ on that)

I am interested in the average age at which traders become profitable. I only know traders who went full time in their 40s or above.

Is anyone on this forum who is younger and genuinely trades, makes money and pays the bills on that basis alone?

I'd love to hear from you...
 

FXX

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Oct 12, 2017
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#11
i don't think age is relevant. So long as the individual is able to apply an approach to the market. I have seen young traders at banks coining it. I recall watching a UK based documentary with a 25 year old trading hundreds of thousands on a daily basis.
 
May 23, 2011
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#12
i don't think age is relevant. So long as the individual is able to apply an approach to the market. I have seen young traders at banks coining it. I recall watching a UK based documentary with a 25 year old trading hundreds of thousands on a daily basis.
You're right. Age isn't relevant. Anyone can make it as a trader at any age.

But it's interesting that you are talking about young traders working at banks. They have graduated, been taken under the wing of the experienced guys and you said yourself, you were lucky to have access to institutionalised traders.

What about those going it alone? Own account, own research, trading from home

I still maintain that the odds are in favour of those who start later in life. Maybe I'm wrong...
 

FXX

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Oct 12, 2017
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#13
You're right. Age isn't relevant. Anyone can make it as a trader at any age.

But it's interesting that you are talking about young traders working at banks. They have graduated, been taken under the wing of the experienced guys and you said yourself, you were lucky to have access to institutionalised traders.

What about those going it alone? Own account, own research, trading from home

I still maintain that the odds are in favour of those who start later in life. Maybe I'm wrong...
This is just my personal opinion. I think the major cause of failure is trying to make it off charts alone. I have heard about guys 10 years into this and still not profitable. It doesn't surprise me because charts give enough hindsight evidence to keep pulling people into a cycle that for most doesn't end well. The ones that do make it admit they have a lot of losers and effectively become risk managers. That's the key to making it off charts I think but isn't for me. I prefer knowing why price is doing what it is which keeps me out of all the noise that chart traders have to endure.
 
Jul 18, 2018
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#14
Mot of the trader's i work with are between 25-40. However, we only work with experienced trader's so I imagine they started in their early 20s. Also have very profitable traders 45+, so i don't believe there is any correlation between age and success as a trader.
 

DionysusToast

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Dec 6, 2009
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#16
Stop it with this 10,000 hours story. Its based on studies that had nothing to do with trading or anything similar.

A usable TA-based strategy should be capable of being learned within 1 or 2 days and demo'ed for a month. I emphasise learned, not developed from zero knowledge and experience.
+1

If the 10,000 hours was true - there would not be a single prop firm in existence today.

That's approximately 250 working weeks.

So your average intern in a prop firm would be a loss maker for 5 years.

The best rule of thumb with the 10,000 hours thing - anyone spouting it should be summarily ignored.
 
Likes: tomorton

dbphoenix

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Aug 24, 2003
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#17
. . . there is little reason for the proponents of either fundamental or technical analysis to worry about the numberless traders speedily adopting the useful methods employed in selecting securities and timing commitments. At least 95% of those who enter the stock market can never be stimulated to study it seriously and logically – the greatest proportion because they haven't the time, or are simply too lazy. The market opinion of this 95% is at heart the perennial human hope to make something for nothing; and the results are, and will continue to be commensurate with the reasonableness of the hope.

–H M Gartley
 

FXX

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Oct 12, 2017
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#18
. . . there is little reason for the proponents of either fundamental or technical analysis to worry about the numberless traders speedily adopting the useful methods employed in selecting securities and timing commitments. At least 95% of those who enter the stock market can never be stimulated to study it seriously and logically – the greatest proportion because they haven't the time, or are simply too lazy. The market opinion of this 95% is at heart the perennial human hope to make something for nothing; and the results are, and will continue to be commensurate with the reasonableness of the hope.

–H M Gartley
Interesting because my broker have release a report stating 79% of its clients were unsuccessfully implying that 21% are which is a very different picture to the 95% constantly being mentioned in public domain. Perhaps 95% is an old stat and since then the proportion of successful has grown.
 

dbphoenix

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Aug 24, 2003
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#19
Interesting because my broker have release a report stating 79% of its clients were unsuccessfully implying that 21% are which is a very different picture to the 95% constantly being mentioned in public domain. Perhaps 95% is an old stat and since then the proportion of successful has grown.
Given the number of brokers, one is a nearly infinitesimally small sample. Then there is the matter of defining "successful". IOW, what are the characteristics of these allegedly successful traders? Of the 21%, how many are break even? How many are successful enough to make it worthwhile? How many make a living off their trading? How many are daytraders and how many are longer-term? How old are they? How educated? How intelligent? Which gender predominates? In any case, a 79% failure rate isn't exactly a ringing endorsement.

You might be interested in this 2011 review: The Behavior of Individual Investors.

Db
 

FXX

Well-known member
Oct 12, 2017
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#20
Given the number of brokers, one is a nearly infinitesimally small sample. Then there is the matter of defining "successful". IOW, what are the characteristics of these allegedly successful traders? Of the 21%, how many are break even? How many are successful enough to make it worthwhile? How many make a living off their trading? How many are daytraders and how many are longer-term? How old are they? How educated? How intelligent? Which gender predominates? In any case, a 79% failure rate isn't exactly a ringing endorsement.

You might be interested in this 2011 review: The Behavior of Individual Investors.

Db
Nope according to forex magnates it's 20 percent of accounts are profitable spanning a year. This tallies with my broker and they have just under 200k customers so roughly 40k traders are profitable. That is a good sample size. Who makes a living off trading, type of trading, education is irrelevant, its about profitability of each account spanning 4 quarters reported.