Being a pro trader is a hard craft to master, as you have to deal with all sorts of different pressures, from emotional to monetary.
As a trader, you’re dealing with your own capital and there’s great deal of stress related to that. I’ve been in the industry for over a decade now, and it’s taken me that long to get to a very comfortable stage.
So, what’s life like as a pro trader and how can you give yourself the best chance of getting there?
Three things you need to make it as a pro trader
When aspiring to be a professional trader, it can take a long time to get to a place where you feel comfortable.
It’s true what they say – as with any craft you want to master – it’s 10,000 hours of hard graft. Don’t underestimate it!
I went through a lot of trial and error, which can be really demoralising, but you have to learn how to pick yourself back up and go again.
2. A calm head under pressure
There is a lot of pressure in trading, so you must keep your emotions in check. You don’t want to be over-trading and chasing your losses. You will need to deal with your ego and figure out how to cope with both your winning streaks and your losses.
As well as that, you need to learn how to deal with the pressure of making money. There’s no guaranteed income as a trader, which can be difficult, especially when you’re just starting out.
3. A positive mindset
Trading can be quite a lonely journey. This was particularly true when I started off and there weren’t any online communities or social media channels to engage with.
You need to learn how to deal with failures and find out a way to motivate yourself to keep going, even if you’re losing money (and your mind!).
A lot of people think that trading is a get-rich-quick scheme, but that’s far from the truth. It requires a lot of your input and trial and error. Some of that can be bypassed with the right mentors and guidance, but there is always value in learning from your mistakes.
Remember that even with failures – which are inevitable – you’ll learn a lot. You’ll eventually become comfortable with your methodologies and the ways you trade.
The glam of being a pro trader
One of the best things about being a pro trader is the freedom it gives you to travel: I’ve recently spent much of my time in Dubai.
Trading gives you the freedom to do what you want to do and what makes you happy – and travel is one of my favourite things. 2019 was one of the best years of my life; I was able to travel all through Europe, across Asia, and on to Australia.
I love understanding different cultures and keeping an open mind. Trading is very strenuous, and you have to expend so much energy, so it’s good to keep yourself refreshed.
Travel does this for me. It makes me happy, but it also keeps my trading mind in a good place. I find that when I’m travelling, I produce some of my best trades.
What has trading taught me?
Before I started trading, I was very impatient. I’d lose my cool over very silly things, but trading has played a massive part in developing my patience.
In trading, patience pays. If you’re impatient, you’re going to get your fingers burned. It’s crucial that you’re able to sit back, observe, and wait to execute a trade.