amateur to professional trader

Outliers: The Story of Success is the remarkable book written by Malcolm Gladwell that has completely recast the definition of success in society.

Gladwell discusses the “10,000-Hour Rule:” the key to success in any field is a matter of practicing a specific task for at least 10,000 hours. Using his theory, I have developed a table showing the number of hours and weeks it will take for you to reach 10,000 hours of screen time.

Assuming markets are only open on weekdays (Mon-Fri), the below chart represents typical trader’s time investment:

The above chart is not meant to discourage you, but rather to provide you with insight on the reality of ANY profession. Whether you are an engineer, teacher, writer, or electrician, it requires practice, skill, and effort in order to achieve mastery.

It is no different with trading; lots of screen time and watching patterns and setups unfold over and over again will be required for you to get a solid understanding of the markets.

This does not mean that you cannot be making money before your 10,000 hours. It is only suggesting that you need to spend this amount of time to master the skill. Depending on the purpose of your intent, your passion, and the person from whom you are learning, your learning curve may be greater reduced.

Even if you work full time and find it hard to put in hours during the week, you can definitely still practice on the weekends with a Forex tester with historical data.

You can even fast-forward through the price action and pause when you see a favourable setup, place a trade, and watch it unfold. I truly think this helps increase your screen time when you start trading Forex. When I want to practise a new strategy, and back test the method, I use Forex tester to quickly ‘load software’ efficiently into my mind. You can try it for free here.

By ‘loading software’ and using the 80/20 rule to find your weaknesses and strengths, you are building your confidence—and hopefully you are also increasing your target hit ratio. Waiting for the proper setups on your favourable timeframes and executing them with good risk and money management rules is what it takes to go from being asleep and taken to the cleaners to becoming aware and alert of what is going on in the market.

Traders trade the market to make money. They actually love the challenge of trading, and so they are interested in the entire process.

If you don’t love what you are doing, you will never find the drive, mindset, and habits to succeed at it, and that goes for everything in life. Your journey to becoming a trader begins with learning how not to get ‘killed’ and, very importantly, how to control your losses.
Once you are able to read the price action source code, you can become a true trader by placing good trades with no emotion based on your set of rules.

Your “real” market oracle is not another trader; it is you. Trust and believing in yourself is imperative to your growth in all aspects of life and especially in trading. This is the path to true market resilience and independence.

All traders will face trading losses, however, the difference between amateurs and professionals is that they will make fewer mistakes and, when they do, they will get on their feet faster.

I won’t lie—even I still make mistakes, but I continually learn from them and make less of them as time goes on. This translates into more profits, smaller drawdowns, less emotions, and a smoother equity curve. The faster you can get back on your feet, the faster you can get back to business.