Trading the market is a full-time commitment. A novice trader begins his trading journey with great aspirations and a certain level of excitement. He has a lot to learn and miles to traverse on this rather uncertain path. He has very little idea of what lies in store for him.
Unfortunately, the lessons of life are shades of grey whereas the lessons of the market when simply put, are black or white. Fears, biases, greed, ego, etc. which in real life are only emotions and a state of mind are quantified in the market as profit or loss. Thus knowing oneself is extremely important before one enters the trading arena. Knowing the market equations is a far simpler job!
- The very first challenge that he comes across is the ordeal of convincing his family and friends that the path chosen by him is the right one. Most visualize the market as a dangerous place where huge sums of money are lost and are only meant for gamblers. It causes panic and fear in the hearts of most people. The novice trader, though convinced he, is unable to justify his claims as he has not yet attained success. He can only do so with documented proof and a flourishing account. This creates pressure on his mind-perform or perish.
- The second challenge for any trader is to acquire an edge in his trades. With the outcome of every trade being a 50-50 chance, he needs to acquire the ability to increase the chances of him being right and reduce the chances of him being wrong. When this is achieved it results in the ability to be right for a large profit and be wrong for a small loss. This edge allows one to stick to his convictions and take larger bets for larger profits. This also helps one to ignore the small noise and pursue his conviction to the very end.
- Those who survive this move to the next level where they try to re-discover themselves. By this time, they have familiarised themselves with the uncertainties of the market. They tread the path a little more steadily and are now aware of the pitfalls. They manage to keep afloat with their losses pulling them down and their gains pulling them up once again. With their heads bobbing out in this financial whirlpool they keep searching for that one system which will help them stay afloat. By this time experiments are done with and the final results are awaited.
In the quest for covering their losses, many traders lose balance at this stage and not only overtrade but also create a position size greater than their risk appetite. This leads to further losses and despite having a successful trading system they are unable to cope with the pressure.
The journey of a trader is full of pitfalls and extremely challenging physically, mentally, emotionally and financially. But with perseverance, honesty, and discipline all the hurdles can be overcome and the fruit of this ordeal is extremely sweet!!!