5 Things I Wish I Had Known When Starting Out as a Trader

psychology Dec 15, 2022

As a trader who's been trading over 35 years... I've learned a lot about the ins and outs of the market. But looking back, there are a few things that I wish I had known when I was first starting out as a trader.

When I first started trading, I was young and eager to make a name for myself. I wanted to make big trades and make big money. But I quickly learned that this kind of mindset can be dangerous, and it's not the key to long-term success.

So if you're just starting out, here are five pieces of advice that I wish I could have given myself:

  1. Risk management is key.

    When you're starting out, it can be tempting to take on big positions and aim for big wins. But this is a recipe for disaster. Instead, you should focus on risk management and protecting your capital. This means sizing down, setting strict stop-losses, and being disciplined in your trade decisions.

    I learned this lesson the hard way, when I took on a big position and ended up losing a significant amount of money. It was a painful lesson, but it taught me the importance of risk management. So don't make the same mistake I did – focus on managing your risk, and you'll be more likely to succeed in the long run.

  2. Patience is a virtue.

    Trading can be a fast-paced and exciting career, but it's not for the impatient. The market doesn't always move in the direction you want it to, and there will be times when you have to wait for the right opportunity to come along.

    In the beginning, I struggled with this. I wanted to make money right away, and I was constantly looking for the next big trade. But this approach only led to frustration and costly mistakes. It wasn't until I learned to be patient that I started to see real success.

    So if you're starting out, it's important to be patient. Don't force trades that aren't there, and don't get frustrated if you're not making money right away. Instead, focus on building your skills and waiting for the right opportunities to arise.

  3. It's not just about the money.

    When you're starting out, it can be easy to focus on the potential rewards of trading. But the truth is, money shouldn't be your primary motivation. Instead, you should be motivated by the challenge of the market and building long-term consistency.

    When I first started trading, I was obsessed with making money. But this obsession only led to poor decision-making and unfulfilled expectations. It wasn't until I shifted my focus from the money to the process that I started to truly enjoy trading and find success.

    Of course, making money is important. But if you're in it for the money alone, you're likely to be disappointed. So focus on the process, not the reward, and you'll be more likely to enjoy your trading journey.

  4. Learn from your mistakes.

    When you're starting out, you're bound to make mistakes. It's part of the learning process. But the key is to learn from these mistakes and use them to improve your skills and strategies.

    In the beginning, I was too hard on myself when I made mistakes. I would beat myself up and let it affect my confidence. But this only made things worse. It wasn't until I started to view mistakes as opportunities to learn and grow that I started to make real progress.

    So if you make a mistake, don't beat yourself up. Instead, take a step back, reflect on what went wrong, and figure out how you can do better next time. By doing this, you'll be able to learn from your mistakes and become a better trader.

  5. Never stop learning.

    Finally, the most important thing I wish I had known when starting out is that you can never stop learning. The market is always changing, and there's always something new to learn. So if you want to succeed as a trader, you need to be willing to keep learning and adapting.

    In the beginning, I thought I knew everything there was to know about trading. But I quickly realized that this was a mistake. The market is constantly evolving, and you have to be willing to evolve with it. So I made a commitment to never stop learning, and it has paid off in spades.

    This means staying up to date with market news, learning from other traders, and experimenting with new strategies. By doing this, you'll be able to stay ahead of the game and keep growing as a trader.

In conclusion, starting out as a trader can be a challenging and exciting journey. But by keeping these five things in mind, you can set yourself up for success and avoid some of the mistakes that I made along the way.

TL;DR:
1) risk management is key, 2) patience is a virtue, 3) it's not just about the money, 4) learn from your mistakes, 5) and never stop learning.

— "Vet"

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