Only Six Percent Make The Cut As Professional Traders

By | August 8, 2019 4:16 pm
 Only six percent of the people who attempt to become professional traders actually succeed. Why do most fail?

Lack of passion

When people come into the world of trading many think that they only need to learn a strategy and follow the rules of that strategy. And, there are some people who actually do this for awhile. The problem with those who do not first get a good foundation of the markets is that when the markets change or when they have a drawdown, they start making mistakes. Those mistakes lead to self-sabotage even in the healthiest of minds.

There are those who are only trading to make money. The process of trading is not enjoyable to them at all. When you do something you do not enjoy, eventually your subconscious mind will figure out ways to make you stop.

Those who start out with passion very often find that those feeling are not there any more when they realize how much work and in some cases sacrifice there is to becoming a trader. When the passion goes, the motivation goes.

Lack of money

Any entrepreneurial endeavor needs money to make the business profitable. Too many people come into the trading business with the idea that the money will somehow appear, someone will give them money or there will not be any losses. Most find out this is not the case. However, I do encourage those with the passion for trading to study while saving. When you wait for the money to appear, you will have lost time in becoming a trader.

I have met a number of people who had the passion for trading that found their way into the business by becoming money managers for others, working in a prop house where money was provided and/or being hired into a trading room. It takes an exceptional human being to make any of these three work without any money of their own.

Lack of education

There are so many teachers, strategies, books, seminars, workshops and webinars available. Where many fall short is that they do not do the research to choose the best teachers to work with. You will save a great deal of time, energy and money if you decide what type of trading you want to do before you choose a teacher.

Too many choose teachers based on the teacher’s ability to sell them, on the teacher’s reputation for making huge profits or the ability for a teacher to make it look like there will be instant profits with little effort. In my seminars I hear traders telling their war stories about the bad experiences they have had with teachers and the thousands that it cost them.

Lack of a plan

A trading business plan will make you accountable for your actions. Many traders do not want to put together a plan because they do not want to admit to themselves that they are working with a strategy that does not work. They also do not want to feel accountable to their strategy. They want to be master traders who follow intuition/discretion before they prove they can follow their technical strategy.

Until you have a plan, you will not reap the greatest rewards from your strategy. You will not be able to fully understand what needs to be adjusted and transformed.

Trade without testing

The only way that you will trust your strategy is if you back and forward test it. If you do not, when you have a drawdown, you will start to question it and yourself. Then it might be too late because you could run out of money and run out of passion. Additionally, where there was support from your family, you now have conflict.

Trader’s psychology

Let us say that you have the passion, education, plan and you have proven to yourself that you have a viable strategy. The next step is whether or not you can follow your strategy. If you cannot, the problem is you. This last step is where most traders fail because they do not want to admit it to themselves, they will not invest in themselves or they have run out of money.

One of my clients once said when asked for the most important lesson that he learned in becoming a money manager, “Handle your psychology first because you are going to eventually have to handle it and then it might be too late.”


Trading is a viable profession and a great way to enjoy the process of making money. If you are willing to do what it takes, then you will be among the six percent who enjoy their lives as professional traders.

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