One of the first questions that beginner traders ask me is about how long it will take them before they can trade profitably.
Good question. This article will explain what beginner traders can expect from their learning curve and which three factors will help speed it up.
We will also show six key points how traders can reach their goals in step-by-step overview.
What is Learning Curve when Trading Charts?
Analysing and trading the charts is in my view a skill, just like playing tennis or the piano. This means that traders can improve their results by practising and gaining more experience.
Many beginner traders might think that trading is easy and only needs a few hours of studying before fully mastering it. They start with false expectations and anticipate spectacular results almost instantly.
With high hopes, disappointment is likely. Unfortunately, analysing and trading takes practice and time to improve. They both require a learning curve that can only be improved through training and studying, similar to other skills.
What Are the Key Factors for Beginner Traders?
There are many factors that attribute to a learning curve. Time is a key aspect, but, in my opinion, has its limits. Other factors remain more important, such as how the time is actually used.
In my view, the three main characteristics are:
- Having fun
- Being persistent
Intensity: An important factor in learning how to analyse and trade is the intensity and energy you invest in this skill. An active approach offers the best return because traders learn from their mistakes, improve their trading plan, and try again. This short feedback cycle helps traders learn quickly.
Having fun: Another key element is simply enjoying analysis and trading. Humans tend to absorb and learn much faster when they like what they are doing. So, if you are having fun when analysing the charts, reviewing chart patterns, back testing, and trading, you will learn quicker and be more persistent.
Being persistent: In fact, persistence is another key factor, if not the most crucial one. All roads that lead to success have ups and downs, and trading is no different. The best way to move to the next level is by embracing these bumps on the road and learning from them.
To sum it up, if you learn intensively while enjoying the process and being persistence, you are more likely to see success at an earlier stage of your trading career.
How Long Will It Take?
The exact length will vary from trader to trader. It depends on your goals, your starting point, your learning curve, etc.
That said, I do recommend beginner traders the following step-by-step approach:
- Start with testing the platform and trading ideas on a Demo account first, at least during the first few days and weeks.
- Take your time to explore indicators and tools, such as MetaTrader Supreme Edition.
- When you feel ready for a Live account, take a small risk on each trade so that you do not feel nervous about losing a trade.
- Keep in mind that you need a series of at least 40 to 50 trades before you can judge whether the strategy will work out or not in the long run. Anything less than that as well as luck and randomness can obscure the results.
- Be prepared that in the first year or two, you might face some setbacks that require your attention to fix. This is actually a very normal process. Traders think that finally everything is going smoothly and then still manage to bump into a snag. Take a deep breath and step back... Often you will notice how to solve the issue and move on.
- Once you made it to step 5, then the number of corrections and mistakes starts to decline. You settle with your own style and groove. There will still be some minor corrections and improvements along the way, but you are working on details now.
Last but not least, I want to end the article with one more piece of advice.
Find a trading style that matches your trading psychology. Everyone has their own preferences and vision. In the beginning, you might try a wide range of systems, methods, indicators, tools, and ideas. But eventually you want to get closer to a method that suits and fits your trading personality. You want to work towards a method that you feel most comfortable with.
Wishing you a happy week of trading,