A few years ago a friend (who had never placed a single trade) told me she was going to day trade during the Summer to make money instead of getting a regular Summer job.
Such words are insulting to a real trader. It’s like telling a physician that you’re going to do heart surgery as a Summer job.
Most people wouldn’t equate trading with something as difficult as surgery. Of course when they try to make a living at trading, they realize that it’s much harder than they thought it would be.
And for anyone who makes a living at trading, they know very well how many years of blood, sweat and tears they put into their business to develop the skills they now possess. They also know that a very, very, even minute percentage of people ever reach that status no matter how hard they try.
Still, the truth is, at the risk of sounding cliche:
Trading is simple, but not easy.
Of course that’s true of most things. The principles of Mastery are the same for any discipline.
The great martial artist, Bruce Lee said (I’m paraphrasing):
“Before you take Kung Fu, a punch is just a punch.
When you learn Kung Fu, a punch is no longer just a punch.
When you master Kung Fu, a punch is just a punch.”
That’s been true of anything I’ve learned. Every sport, every business and every art. And it’s true in trading as well.
Before we start trading, it looks so simple and easy:
- Just follow the trend, and buy on dips.
- Just buy the breakout
- Just trade the double tops, double bottoms and head and shoulders
- Just trade the trendline.
- Just …
Then you learn about trading and find out it’s not as easy as it first looked.
So you try different moving averages and different indicators and different time frames and different charting platforms and different books and different trainers and …. then you realize that trading is not easy or simple.
But if you stick with it long enough, and go through all that “stuff,” and don’t quit, you get frustrated with it all and you realize that there is nothing that predicts what the market is going to do.
So you go back to basics.
And after seeing all the stuff that doesn’t work, you fall back on the simple basic things:
- A basic trend indicator
- A basic momentum indicator
- A basic cycle indicator
- Be more patient and take fewer, better trades.
- Employ impeccible discipline and money management (the most well-known secret to trading).
And then trading becomes more simple, less exciting, but more profitable!