So you’ve decided to become a trader.
You’ve taken the time to read up on what it takes to become a trader. You’ve researched the best hardware and software for trading and found a great trading course to help you get started.
Now you want to know how long it is going to take before you start to see some serious profit.
So how long does it take to become a profitable trader?
Unfortunately there is no simple one-size-fits-all answer to this question. Every trader’s journey to success and profitability will be different, and will depend on a number of different factors.
Fortunately it is pretty straightforward to break down the elements involved in every trader’s journey to success, so let’s examine what it takes to become a profitable trader.
Time and Effort
Obviously the more time you have available for focusing on trading, the sooner you are likely to start turning out regular profit.
The time that you spend honing your trading skills and refining your trading strategy helps to build your direct knowledge of trading and your live experience of trading in the markets. While a solid education in trading is essential before you start, nothing can replace the value of actual trading experience with real money.
As a new trader you should be looking to spend a solid amount of time each day on perfecting your craft. The more time that you spend, the sooner you will become a profitable trader.
Every trader will have a different metric for what constitutes success. Some traders may just be looking to beat their returns from managed investments, while others will be looking for a 6 figure salary that will rapidly carry them into an early comfortable retirement.
Your goals for profitability will have a large role to play in how long it takes you to get there. Generally, the lower your desired rate of return, the less risk you take on and the sooner you can achieve stable probability from trading.
Many traders recommend gradually increasing your desired profit levels as you are able to comfortably and consistently maintain each new target. This way you can become a profitable trader early in your career, and then simply spend your time becoming even more profitable than you were before.
Have a Strategy
Your trading strategy or strategies will have an out-sized influence on the length of time that it takes you to become a profitable trader.
For example, many technical analysis strategies for the equity markets are relatively easy to pick up and master, but have a hard limit on the relative returns that you can make. There are only so many different stocks that you can track at one time, and even the masters have a lot of downtime while they wait for the next profitable trade or for an existing position to turn a profit.
By contrast, there are many extremely complex and sophisticated options-based strategies that require a lot of knowledge and experience to master. However, some of these strategies, when employed correctly, can offer rates of return upwards of %1,000, often in a matter of days or even hours.
The trading strategies that you decide to focus on will determine how long it takes before you start to see a consistent profit, so be sure to pick the ones that are the right fit for your trading goals.
Previous Knowledge and Experience
Traders who come from a background in finance and economics tend to have an easier time getting to a position of profitability. While anyone can learn a wide variety of trading strategies, especially day trading, people who are already familiar with how markets work and a lot of the associated language will have an easier time navigating the world of active trading.
This doesn’t mean that people new to trading should get discouraged, just that they should understand why it takes them a little longer to get their feet under them when compared to people who have worked in the financial industry for years.
Likely the most important factor in determining your path to profitable trading is your access to quality mentorship.
Having access to a mentor can mean the difference between overcoming obstacles in minutes compared to days (or more). Problems that might take you hours of Internet searches before you can even properly frame a question can be solved by a mentor’s input in minutes. Even more than helping you to deal with hurdles and hiccups, mentors will offer advice and input that you didn’t even know you needed, which will save you from dealing with a huge range of problems in the first place.
For those traders who are not lucky enough to have friends or families to turn to, there are a number of great trading education websites that can act in the mentorship role.
Having access to a trading mentor is a guaranteed fast track to trading success and consistent profitability that can not be overstated.
Your Road to Profitable Trading Depends on You
Every trader has the capacity to go from beginner to consistent profitability, but how they get there will depend on them.
Your goals for trading, the time and effort you put into your trading, the trading strategies that you choose to employ and your prior experience will all help to shape your road to trading success. Standing above all these other factors is your access to a professional trading mentor, which can rapidly accelerate every trader’s development.
It is important, therefore, that you set your expectations for success according to your own personal circumstances. If you make an effort to organize your trading with the aim of achieving profitability as soon as possible, then you will likely achieve this goal. However, this may also mean large sacrifices of time and effort, as well as using trading strategies that limit your full potential and the profits that you can achieve.
No matter what course you decide on in the end, every trader should ensure that they have access to quality professional mentorship so that they can achieve whatever trading goals they set for themselves as quickly and as easily as possible.