Sometime back a full-time trader gave me a good understanding of how my journey into learning to trade should be. Was wondering what the members here think of this? Do you agree?

This is what he wrote on my question on how to learn to trade and how much time does it take.

~~If you want to reduce the learning curve and not make the mistakes that stubborn people (like myself) have done, you’ll need to accept that becoming a good trader requires you to have a long-term approach to learning this craft and not rush things. There will be times when you think you know it all when in fact you’re still “blind”.

I’d put it this way:

  • give it 1 year to learn the basics about forex and do not even consider wasting a cent of your money. Use demo accounts to try everything that you are learning and grow your starting capital on the side. Resist the temptation to think you can make a few bucks in a live account… (you might get lucky one time and the next you’ll give it all back and there you start the emotional rollercoaster)

  • Learn all the indicators stuff, play with it and understand what they do. Try out some EA’s. ALL THIS IN A DEMO ACCOUNT. This is a fun phase but do not even consider that the holy grail lies in here… it doesn’t!

  • Give it a 2nd year to work on your psychology: Buy yourself a couple of classic books about trading psychology (Van Tharp, Mark Douglas) and work on yourself at this level. At the same time, toss the indicators completely and begin learning PRICE ACTION and naked charts. STILL IN DEMO. Do some hard backtesting and record some statistics about your performance. Start building some estimates about your probabilities and strategy.

  • Draft a simple trading plan with an enphasis on money management and price action rules. Open a small live account for “testing” purposes to take very small size trades (do not even think you will make it at this point, this is a couple hundred that you most likely will lose), record all your trades and most of all, analyze your behavior. Record everything and analyze over and over again.

At this point, there will come a time when you start to have a feel for the market and the many hours of screen time will start to reveal a sense of knowledge about the instruments you constantly watch.

Refining and constantly reevaluting your trading plan, putting it to the test and gaining confidence in it will gradually prove that your edge is developing, and consistency will start to show, gradually. I’d say this will happen by the end of the third year.


I would agree to parts of it where he advices you to learn and evolve. But 2 years on a demo account can really put you in a comfort zone. It is like preparing to goto a war by reading a book…you can never really do this. Open a trading account and start practicing what you have learnt with real money, maybe with money that can afford to lose. This will have a better impact on your learning curve.

Having said that, from my own experience the best lessons that I have learnt and respected is when I lost money that was really important to me. It hurt me so much that I was determined to understand why I did such stupid mistakes and ensured I never repeat them.

It is a tricky situation…there is no prescribed formula and each persons experience is unique. For example I know a person who was experimenting with small amounts (with money that he could afford to lose) and he was always casual about his losses…he always thought it was a small amount…and he never really got an opportunity to experience serious losses…and therefore he never really made any serious money. Even today, he trades but its more like a hobby to him rather than a serious profession.

So your walk will be different from mine and different for all others. But the final destination is the same - wealth creation!

Good Luck.


First of all, trading (global) spot FX is illegal in India. So things like EA etc is a total waste of time. Focus on reading books by Al Brooks, Lance Beggs, and other price action traders so you understand the movement of market. Indicators, oscillators can be only used as support tools, but surest way to lose if you use them as primary decision making tools.

I share the same thoughts as that of Karthik when it comes to demo trading. Orders are slightly complicated, so trade small and this way you will be able to master order punching as well. Instead of risking 1%, you may want to risk maybe just 0.1%, you’ll master position sizing also this way. Gradually increase your size to 1-2% as you start to feel confident about your trading.

Lastly, its true that no matter what you do, it takes 3 years to become consistently profitable, provided you do not stall in between. Brett Steenbarger mentions this in his book too.

Just keep moving forward. Mistakes are also important, for they are lessons in disguise which take you towards your ultimate goal.

Good Luck!

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Its difficult to follow anyones advise doing something or anything for that matter. You may remember a few points but thats about it. The reason why this is so is because it has not yet been a part of your life or reality YET. Also the life circumstances that the other person giving advise at that point in time and the mental state that he was in is difficult to replicate. He/ She may tell you that this is what my “learning lesson” is and this is what you should do if you face such a situation. I feel that the most part of truly valuable life lessons can only be taught by oneself - Cos no ones advise is efficient enough. For me all the advise I get about trading or life in general is good to read/hear but most part is just mental masturbation.


Absolutely, trading full time is wonderful! :slight_smile: In fact, I’ve made nearly a million dollar and continuing to grow but you need to know the well-guarded secrets of the trading world. :slight_smile: Shoot me an email if you’re interested in knowing about a career in full-time trading. Email me at: [email protected]

Hi Adam,

Really appreciate your support for this trading community. I would like to become full time trader.

Dropping an email to you…please check your mail box.



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Thanks for sharing!

ho, a long description for a 5 line content. Can you please point to the query where it was answered to you?

2 years in demo… are you serious. You will never learn because the best way to learn is to make loss and try not to do that mistake second time.

nice reply on trading and life…mental masturbation…that’s a new one!!! lol.

million dollara!
thr r so many unanswered queries waiting to be answered in the forum. please share ur million dollar gyan through answers to the query.

:smiley: It’s not a “gyaan”, when you read the Buffett books and over 3000 books on Investing since a young age, you’ll understand how easy it is. If possible, go visit Wall Street.

OMG!, u hv read 3000books on investing. Gr8. Please share ur ‘gyaan’ through the queries.
I hv visited wall st. By looking at the way ppl treat money ovr thr, i termed ‘dollar’ as ‘dollara’.

That’s great! So, what is that “Gyaan” that you wanna know? :slight_smile: Feel free to ask, anything!

Sure, i will look eagerly fwd for ur answers.
Have u joined zerodha in india now?

Umm, yes! Only Zerodha and ICICI Direct is the best broker that India can ever get. Slowly, transferring my assets to Zerodha as soon as they are releasing Pi and Kite. Because Pi doesn’t work on Mac.

u can try out other gud names. u can gather info from this query.

Yes! I tried them all. And all suck! Sharekhan is famous for its Trade Tiger, nothing special since I have eSignal. And regarding Ventura, they are just not worth it. ICICI Direct gives me a brokerage of 0.25% and Zerodha the discount broker. Trading with ICICI and Zerodha is like a magic especially the tech and services offered by ICICI and innovations by Zerodha.

Yes Vicky! Got and replied to your mail. :slight_smile:

I learned this from one of my mentors which really worked for me. You can never really learn to trade if you just played with demo accounts or paper trade. It is important that you start trading with live account. It is true that you WILL make losses, sooner or later. But if you do not take risk you will never learn how to manage it.

To offset your losses, take small trades. 1 share, 5 shares, 10 shares. Limit yourself to it and try to remain in a position. Only that way you can psyche yourself up for bigger trades and be successful in long term.

You cannot actually learn to drive by using virtual environment. You actually have to sit in the car, take it for a ride and feel the wheel and gear shift to become a good driver. The real and virtual experience are always very different.

Very important point. Don’t stop trading whether you make profit or loss.