By Meir Barak
Ever since I have become quite renowned as a successful day trader, who teaches thousands of traders worldwide, I have been asked the same question over and over again: “What does it take to become a successful day trader”. There are many ways to answer that sort of question.
Firstly, it takes education. At Tradenet, our main focus is trading education. If you don’t know the difference between a stock and an option, or between a long and a short, then you are definitely unable to trade successfully.
Second, you have the very important part of experience. It took me about three or four years to become successful. Some people are luckier and it takes them fewer years, and to others it takes longer. But without a substantial level of experience you have absolutely no shot at becoming a successful day trader.
But now, let me tell you the secret. Some folks would take all the courses Tradenet and any other company has to offer, attempt to trade the markets for years, and never succeed. You know why it is so? Let me tell you.
Key Traits to Becoming a Day Trader
There are some traits that a day trader must have. And the one thing I’ve learned over my many years in the markets, teaching student, is that if you don’t have these traits you can’t succeed in day trading. That’s ok though, because you can train yourself into having them. But if you don’t adopt them, it’s an uphill battle.
For the sake of the arguments, let’s assume Tradenet has the best day trading instructors and traders in the market, or even in the world. You, as a student must still do your homework. If you think that just by following the course while it’s aired, or just by browsing through the material you would become a successful trader, you are up for a terrible disappointment. My advice to you is to sit down and read. The course material, my book (The Market Whisperer), material on Tradenet’s website, and on Tradenet’s YouTube channel. Without following all those closely, you are up for a difficult start.
Probably one of the most important ones, if not the most. Discipline in trading is priceless. If you keep moving your stops because the stock is coming too close – you’re going to fail. If you have three losing trades in a row – and you don’t leave – you’re revenge trading and you are done with. Set your rules and most importantly, always (always), follow them.
There are countless difficult days when starting to trade. I remember myself in the early 2000’s telling my wife I’m not sure I’m cut out for it. But I stayed, and so should you, if you believe it is the right thing for you. There’s always going to by critics, people holding you back, and so on. But never let others draw you from where you want to go.
This goes for swing traders mostly, but also to day traders. There is one thing we know for sure – the markets open at 9:30am and close at 4:00pm daily, NY time. Now, if trading is not your full time job, yet, you need to see how to juggle those times with your other commitments in life. If you won’t manage your time properly, you would never get to trading.
When trading, you are looking at a million things. For example, a stock’s 1min, 5min, and daily graph, watching the overall market, watching CNBC or Bloomberg many times, and following Tradenet’s live trading chat room. If that’s too confusing to you, you need to make sure you train yourself to hold a grip of all at the same time.
That’s the last, best, and most important one for me. There are many red days for day traders. You have to keep yourself focused and balanced and then go to sleep. Tomorrow is a new day. Wake up, and be optimistic again. New day, new trading, all green!
Following this advice isn’t going to make you rich or the best trader in the world. But it would be quite a substantial leap towards learning who you are, and where you are lacking. I am trusting you to always get better!