Have you ever wondered why it is so difficult to become a day trader and why so many day traders fail at achieving success in this business? Today I am going to share with you a completely open and honest account of what it takes to become a price action day trader, or any type of day trader for that matter. You probably won’t hear this explained quite the same anywhere else, although there are other teachers our there than will tell you the odds are stacked against you and that you will likely fail. Anyone that knows my work will tell you that I believe the only way to consistently make money as a day trader is by having the ability to read a price chart. There is no magic bullet or holy grail in trading, so if anyone tells you that they have an indicator or a special trading system that is guaranteed to make you money on a consistent basis, then be very concerned and do your homework thoroughly. If this magic trading system does not involve you learning how to read a price chart, then it is almost impossible that you will be able to make money for very long, if even at all, using that trading system or strategy.
My journey to become a profitable day trader was like most anyone else’s that attempts to break into this difficult business. It was a long and arduous journey that almost came to an end on more than one occasion. The consensus in the trading world is that about ninety percent of all traders fail and give up the dream of becoming a trader, and I came close to being one of those casualties myself on more than one occasion. While the failure rate is very high in this business, it is probably not very different than the drop out rate for any lucrative profession. Think about how many people choose to become a doctor, but in the end they don’t have what it takes to make it. What about professional golfers? How many golfers attempt to make it in that profession but ultimately fail at finding success? I don’t know the official drop out rate for either profession, but I think you would agree with me that it is very high and the pathway for success is very narrow.
While I’m not going to tell you that it won’t still be a difficult accomplishment, what if I told you that there was a practical reason that most traders failed and that by following a specified path that is different than the normal crowd, that I could help you improve your odds of success? Would that be of interest to you? If most traders would approach day trading with the mind set that learning to trade profitably is going to take a long time, and accept and commit to becoming educated as a trader first, while then gaining much needed experience as well, many that fail might actually succeed. Even if they can’t succeed as a trader, by following my suggested path, they would at least find out without sacrificing so much of their hard earned money. Most new comers to day trading either take a small course or read a short book, and then think that they are going to open a live chart and begin trading and making money. Most don’t realize how ludicrous this idea really is, because it’s not any different than reading a book on heart surgery, and then walking into an operating room and attempting to do heart surgery on a living patient.
Think about that for a moment and go back and read the last sentence in the previous paragraph again. Better yet, here’s some similar examples. Let’s assume you are a world class athlete, even if you are not, but let’s also assume you have never played the position of quarterback in football before. Regardless of your athletic ability, do you really think that you could just read the play book for a few weeks and then step on the field and lead the New York Giants to the Superbowl? Of course not, because it takes years of experience and practice to prepare for a job like that, and trading is no different! If you were accused of a serious crime yet innocent, would you dare hire a lawyer that had only read a few law books, yet had never entered a court room or even practiced law before? No, you would want a proven and “experienced” lawyer, because without one, you would probably spend some time in jail as an innocent person. Do you see where I am going with this? Is is starting to click as to how hard it is to make it as a day trader?
What I hope you now understand is that trading is no different than attempting these other professions with nothing more than a few trading classes or having read a few books on the subject. Even if you took the best trading class available or read the best book on trading that is out there, without any real trading experience, you will fail because you are going up against highly experienced professionals who are the very best traders in the world. Trading requires not only a good trading education, but it also requires experience and lots of it! Trading a live market with real money is like stepping onto the field and quarterbacking a team in the Superbowl. You must have a great deal of real trading experience before you ever risk a single dime of your real money.
Most new comers to the trading world never even get a decent trading education before they are stepping up to bat in the world series as a live trader with their real money. Most will get their three pitches and then strike out, never to return. Don’t be that trader. Do things the proper way by first getting a good education, and that’s done by learning how to read a price chart or through price action trading strategies. We can teach you how to read a price chart like a professional, but if you know someone else that has a better course, then take theirs, but do this first and foremost. Once you have a solid understanding of price action and price charts, you then must begin to get experience and you do that by trading live data feeds on a simulator. Don’t risk a dime of your real money until you can make money every single day on the simulator for several months or longer. No, you won’t learn to do this in a couple of weeks either. It’s going to take time and effort, but the rewards will be worth it if you have the internal fortitude to stay with it. Sadly, most don’t and they either jump in too quickly or they just give up.
I always step on a lot of toes when I say this, but I don’t care because it’s the honest truth. Don’t waste your time on fancy or expensive indicators that promise you instant profits. They don’t work and they will be a waste of your time and money in the end. The only way you will become a profitable trader is by learning to read a price chart and then getting experience watching prices print to a chart for many hours. There are no shortcuts, I can assure you of this. Practice and experience with the right tools is the only way to make money consistently as a day trader. So how do you do get live trading experience without trading a live account? There are actually many brokers out there that you can sign up with right now that offer free simulator accounts. You can sign up for a NinjaTrader demo account right here on our website. Just look over to the right hand side of the page for the sign up area.
What makes these simulator accounts so good is that they use the same live data feeds to provide your data that the real traders use. They also use the very same trading software, so you get real trading experience watching live and “real” data as it prints to your chart. The trading simulator works just like the real one with the exception that the money in your account is not real, so you are in essence, trading with the same data that you will use if you are trading with real money. If you can learn to make money on the simulator every day for a few consecutive months, then maybe you are ready to dip your toes into live trading. Think about the following statement and put some serious thought into it. If you can’t make money on a simulator, why do you think you could ever make money trading live with real money?
In my early days, we had to practice trading by paper trading, where we just wrote things down such as entry price and exit price, but it just wasn’t the same and it did very little to help you experience the rigors of live trading. Today, you won’t know the difference between live and simulated trading. I have often forgotten to turn the simulator off and actually traded the simulator when I thought I was trading live. It’s not fun to think you are making money only to find out you did not! If you want to find out what it takes to become a price action day trader, then you must start by finding a good price action course. In addition, you must open a NinjaTrader simulator account at any of the many brokers that offer them today, and start getting real trading experience. Just Google Free NinjaTrader Simulator and you should find a long list of available brokers. If not, email me and I will recommend one for you. If you are looking for additional information on our price action trading course, you can find that at http://priceactiontradingsystem.com/pats-price-action-trading-manual/.