10,000 Trades

Yesterday, during dinner my son asked me what was the most important quality to succeed in business. Without hesitation I replied, “Perseverance.” Intelligence, talent, good looks, creativity are all great.. But all of them combined cannot act as a substitute for perseverance.

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I have lived long enough to see some extremely bright ,Ivy-League-educated friends flounder through life while others less intelligent, less attractive and less talented succeeded beyond their wildest imagination.

Many of us have read the famous book by Malcolm Galdwell which argues that any great skill requires at least 10,000 hours of practice. I think that idea is especially true in trading, but I would amend it a bit. I think that if you want really understand daytrading -- especially in the FX market -- you need to make 10,000 trades before can get comfortable with the market.

That’s 10 trades per day for 1000 days before you have enough experience to begin to understand price action. Mind you 10,000 trades will in no way guarantee you success, but will hopefully provide you with enough mistakes so that you can start to develop more intelligent ideas that may actually work.

Perhaps I am wrong. Perhaps it is only I who is dim witted enough to need so much time to become competent in trading. I have always been a slow learner, but my perseverance has always kept me in the game.

I do know one thing however. Most people who try trading quit much too quickly. Three, four losing trades in a row, a blown account or two and suddenly trading doesn’t look so appealing anymore. The get rich quick fantasy that was supposed to help you escape the drudgery of your regular job, suddenly turns into yet another complicated, difficult .activity that requires real skill and discipline.

That’s why the most successful traders, the ones that have survived the longest, are not in it for the money. They love the challenge of the markets.Trading to them is a lifelong pursuit of intellectual, emotional and physical perfection. It is perhaps the ultimate irony that those who do best in markets are not really motivated the money, but by the pursuit of excellence. Ultimately their perseverance is what off in the end.

Boris Schlossberg

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