Investing in Yourself
Are you putting time and money into honing your trading skills yet wondering how to justify it? As a novice trader, you may often wonder if it will be worth the time and effort in the end. Honing your trading skills can be frustrating at times. You can reach a plateau where you continue to execute trade after trade without making any headway. Not only may you feel that you are wasting precious time, but you may also feel you're throwing good money out the window. Trading isn't a cheap endeavor. Besides the books, courses, and computer equipment, money must be spent on drawdowns, commissions, and trading errors. It all seems so difficult at times that you may feel like giving up. But don't despair. No matter how much time and money you spend, you can feel a sense of relief by viewing it as a valuable investment in yourself.
If you are a novice trader, you tend to spend more money than you make. If you grew up in an atmosphere of limited means, you may find it difficult to justify the amount of money it takes to master the markets and become a seasoned trader. You may feel guilty or discouraged when you think about how much money you have been losing. You're not alone. Many seasoned traders have had to break away from traditional ideas about money. Family and friends may view trading as a form of gambling. If you trade impulsively just to get a quick thrill, then it's much like recreational gambling. But if you're serious about honing your skills, then you aren't wasting your money. You're learning a skilled profession that can help you earn a high salary, just like an engineer, a lawyer, or a doctor.
Many professionals had to borrow money to earn a marketable skill. Many law students, for example, owe over $100,000 by the time they are ready to practice law. Many trading coaches suggest looking at the money you spend learning to trade as tuition. It's just like other professions. But you say, "There's no guarantee that I'll be successful." That's true of other professions as well. A professional school education doesn't guarantee a high salary. Not all lawyers make over $200,000. Public defenders make about $45,000 a year. Viewing money you spend to learn to trade is best viewed as a form of tuition.
Even though you may be losing money, it will definitely pay off in the end. You will learn more about yourself. You will gain experiences that you can carry with you into other areas of your life. You can build self-esteem as a trader and that will help you master other areas of your life. You can develop self-control as a trader and that will help you approach all your goals with courage and discipline. Be patient. If you stick with it, you'll eventually reach your financial goals. Either you'll gain mastery in a year or two, or if you wait long enough, you'll be able to capitalize on the "irrational exuberance" of the masses. Many traders before the bubble of the late 90s practiced their trading for years without making significant profits. Their patience paid off, though, when the masses amateurishly started trading the markets in the 1990s. Merely having a Level II screen, for example, allowed many traders to make significant profits. For those traders with superior trading skills, money flowed from the pockets of the masses into theirs. If you keep practicing, gradually honing your trading skills over time, you'll be able to capitalize on a major market opportunity when it happens.
All traders go through a period when they feel they aren't going anywhere. They feel so stuck that they want to just give up. If you feel disappointed about the money you're spending on learning about the trading profession, stop! Don't view it as wasting money, but as a significant investment in yourself and your future.