Let me say from the onset that this is a difficult question to answer. E-mini traders come in varying degrees of intellect and trading acumen. In reality, the traders that have the highest natural aptitude in trading stand the very best chance of succeeding. That being said, I have trained many successful traders who persevered through hard work and diligence.
There are a number of statistics that are bandied about regarding the success rate of new traders. The general statistic that you hear quoted is a 90% failure rate within the first three months. It would be hard for me to dispute this statistic, as I see waves of traders enter the market without training and attempt to become millionaires. It doesn't work like that, and the exchanges are not ATM machines that spit out money to the uninitiated.
As an aside, I had a double major in college. I earned a degree in business and another degree in performance piano. Of course, the degree in piano was far more difficult than a degree in business. One of my teaching professors in the piano department once told me that if I wanted to be the best I “had to want it.”I have never forgotten these words, and they apply to all facets of life, especially trading e-mini contracts.
Let's talk about the reasons people fail.
1. Many traders simply lose interest in trading before they become competent. Trading is a lot of work and some traders simply don't devote the time and effort necessary to master trading concepts.
2. Many traders do not have the prerequisite skills or temperament to be effective in trading.
3. A large number of traders never master the psychological side of trading. There is a general concession that it is enough to learn the setups to be successful. Nothing could be further from the truth. Managing trades and managing your trading account are essential skills in the trading experience.
I keep fairly careful records on the outcomes of my trading education and find that about 50% of the traders in my programs succeed. In relation to the 90% failure rate, that is something of which to be proud. Just the same, 50% of the students in my program fail, and that is a disheartening statistic. The cold reality of trading is that some traders are never going to be effective and should find other work, or another career.
Of course, there is some good news, many e-mini traders go on to have successful careers in the trading business. This success is a function of natural aptitude, mental toughness, and a desire to succeed. I have met very few traders who possess these three attributes that are not successful. In order to trade successfully, you “have to want it.” There are no magic oscillators, breakthrough indicators, or trading techniques that will assure your success. Only careful study of a tried and tested system, then mastering that system, will give you the potential to succeed and e-mini trading.
From a personal standpoint, I have vowed over the past 25 years to quit trading more times than I count, but I keep coming back for more and have traded very successfully over the vast majority of my years in training. You can too.
In summary, we have looked at the overall failure rate among new traders. The numbers can be very disheartening and discouraging. We have also pointed out that one of the keys to success is perseverance and hard work. Just the same, not all traders succeed and that is a fact of life. With proper training and hard work I think most people can learn to trade successfully, some traders are more successful than others; that's also a fact of life.
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