Trading for a living: how to get started |

Trading for a living: how to get started

For some, quitting their day job and trading stocks for a living is an impossible fantasy. Of course, making a living as an independent trader is entirely possible (and many do!). That said, there are many things to consider in order to make this endeavour a success – enough to support yourself at the very least.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at
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There’s some good sound advice in there which, anyone considering ‘taking the leap’ should consider at GREAT length.

From experience, I was a successful trader in harness in the city for more than 15 years before I decided to fly solo, the number one consideration is that you have a complete and honest self-awareness of the step you are taking and that this is the right path for you, come hell or high water. If you have doubts at the beginning then it is not your time!

Determination in itself is not enough to succeed; apart from the obvious attributes of experience and a fully equipped ‘toolbox’ of the requisite skills, you must have determination, discipline and strength of character.

Mental fortitude is an absolute necessity comprising control, commitment, confidence and challenge.

These four areas can be broken down further into life control and emotional control, goal orientation and achievement orientation, confidence in your abilities and an interpersonal confidence, and finally risk orientation and learning orientation.

Don’t ever under-estimate the stressful lifestyle you will be putting yourself into; a world of high definition detail that requires you to be mentally tough.

You must have the resilience to cope with the frequent difficulties that come your way on a daily basis; you must have positivity to see and seize the opportunities when they appear;

It can be very lonely and even scary at times when big, quite literally life-changing, decisions need to be made and made fast. That’s when the previously mentioned honest self-belief and character self-assessments come in to play.

The discipline and determination ensure that you stick to your plan, work the long hours and forego many otherwise attractive distractions. Looking back at my first couple of years I recall how I became a virtual stranger to my family during that time as I remained totally focussed on my goal - to make my plan succeed - but thankfully I had their full support and understanding.

Where am I now? Comfortable is the one word that encapsulates my work and home spaces now. It was a bit of a roller-coaster ride for those first two years but now, after almost 20 years of being my own boss, the fruits of my hard labour have paid off.

Hopefully that hasn’t sounded like too much psychological gobble-de-gook; it was just an honest summation of my journey and may help you make the right choice - to jump or not to jump!

Finally, I’ll just add the words that I put in my first post on here over three years ago, the large notice still positioned prominently on my home office wall :
"Never trust a hot tip and there’s no such thing as an easy profit! "