Unless you take trading seriously, you will lose money. Lots of money. If you look at trading as a game or a hobby then you will only make a profit on rare occasions, and even then that will be more about luck than about being on top of what is going on. A trader may well enjoy what they are doing, but it is still a job – and it is essential that they – and you – take trading seriously if you are going to be successful.
One of the big differences between amateur and professional traders is that the professionals take trading seriously. All the time. They never go with a trade ‘just because’ or on a whim. If they trade, they trade to make money, and that’s the whole point; that’s the bottom line.
One of the ways they do this is to have a defined and practical strategy in place before they make any trade at all. They have a proper method for their trading to take place, and they should know what all the possible outcomes of the trades will be, depending on when they place it and how much they put on it. Although this isn’t always possible, if it can be done then it will make a big difference to your success rate.
Many amateur traders think they can become professionals after just a few successful demo trades. This is not the case. This is not someone who wants to take trading seriously. This is someone getting excited over making a little bit of pretend money and deciding that that makes them ready to do it for real.
But trading doesn’t work like that. It’s not a game. Unless you take trading seriously then that leap over to the real deal will always end in a big loss of money and the end of your potentially successful trading career.
Make sure you are ready before you do any trading. It might take longer than you think it will – or hope it will – but the longer you take getting your methods and strategies right, the longer you will be trading for, and making money. Rush through this first part, the setup, and you won’t make a penny. You’ll lose plenty though.
It’s the plan that makes all the difference, and the plan that you need to work on in order to take trading seriously. Without a plan, you are lost. Think of a plan as your map in a strange place. No map, and you’ll only manage to find your way through sheer luck – and that won’t last forever. With a map you might still make mistakes, but at least you can always find your way back to the path so that you can start again.