So, you did it.
You moved to a live account and you got your pants pulled down.
They were pulled down hard and fast, and then you were smacked on the bum and sent packing. Surprising? Not really. Are you surprised? You shouldn’t be. We have all been there.
This is a story I hear a lot throughout the week from traders who are emailing me for the first time looking for help when they are looking to pick up the pieces and their pants.
The story tends to be very similar and it nearly always ends with a trader on a live account before they should be. The reason is always because of the FEAR of missing out; the huge fear that they may miss out on making a huge profit.
What if somehow I am different and I do make a profit all of a sudden and I am wasting all these profit-making trades on a demo account. It would be such a waste. Whether this is the conscious thought and they are thinking this consciously or it is going on in the background of their minds, this is quite often what pushes people to move to live accounts way before they should.
Instead of thinking, oh crap, I have no idea if I am a consistently profitable trader yet and I have no proven method of making money. There is no way I should be risking real money yet. Madness more often than not prevails and wins out.
A lot of you know that I was a soldier in the Australian Army before I made trading full time. Four huge parts of Army and the Defence are Discipline, Teamwork, Initiative, and Courage.
These four core beliefs are what members live by. These beliefs or core values guide the way the members live and train. They guide the way the training is written up and how everything is ran. Everything is built around building a strong team that has a lot of discipline and courage and is the best.
There was a saying or slogan in the Army;
“Train Hard and Fight Easy”
This basically just meant, when you are training, you are there to train and you do it hard and properly, so that when it comes time and it is your turn to fight at war, you will be well prepared and you will have an edge over the other side no matter who they are.
Like a lot of things we discuss on this site, the markets are exactly the same. There are those who are really well prepared in the markets and those less so. There are those that have trained super hard and are raring to go. These traders have done the hard yards. They did the hard training and made sure they had an edge over the market with the correct price action education.
The other traders are in the market trying to get lucky. It becomes a very lopsided contest very quickly.
If you go into the live markets unprepared and before you know if you have an edge or not, you are going to get your pants pulled down and you are going to get your bum smacked all the way home. There are no if’s or but’s about it. You may get lucky and win a few trades, but eventually, the pro traders will come out on top – every – single – time.
The pro traders will have their edge over the market, make money, and after your “luck” runs out, you will start to lose and because you have no edge over the market, you will continue to lose, and lose, and lose.
Whilst the saying goes that 95% of traders lose money, it’s actually true that we all lose money, every single one of us.
It is only those traders who are super well prepared, are really well educated and who have a high probability trading edge that they know inside and out and trust that will make profits overall once their edge plays out and rises to the top above the market.
Earning Your Way to Profits – a Novel Approach
You need to earn your way to the live account and prove to yourself that you can first make money consistently and that you have a profitable edge on a demo account. Once you can do that, then you can move to the live account.
I have heard all the rubbish excuses about why traders should not be using demo accounts, such as “traders need to trade with real money to experience trading emotions”, and “unless I am risking money, I don’t take trading seriously”.
There is plenty of time for traders to trade with real money. Real accounts are not going anywhere anytime soon. The excuse that any trader needs to trade with real money is another cop-out to get on a real account and once again start gambling before they are ready and have a business and proven method to trade with. This is even more the case if the trader then goes on to only trade with pennies.
If a trader can’t take their trading seriously with a demo account, then you have to question their commitment to becoming a serious and consistently profitable trader. The reason for this is because some things we have to do are not fun, but we do them knowing they are going to make us great and that, in a way, makes them fun.
Use the Army Mindset
You need to trade with the mindset of a soldier in the Army, which means training harder and preparing better than the rest. You need to be super disciplined and stick at it. You need to “Train Hard and Fight Easy”! You need to get a great education and, before moving into your live account, make sure you are making money consistently.
This is a lesson I have needed to write for a little while now. It is short and to the point, but I think it will help a lot of people to stop falling into the trap that a lot of people are falling into.
Please share this with as many traders as you know and please make sure you hit the like/share/Google+ buttons at the bottom, so other traders can benefit from this lesson and not fall into the same trap.
I would also love to hear your comments or thoughts or any experiences you have had with this or other ideas for other traders coming up on how they could avoid it??
Safe trading and all the success!