Going pro: How to make a real living from your trading
It’s the question I get all the time…
You’ve gotten started on your trading game. You’ve put up a chart. You’ve gotten some candles together. You’ve asked yourself (or your spouse or parent has asked you) why you’re not using your college degree.
You’ve got $1,000, or $10,000, or maybe even $1 million, in your account to get rolling. Maybe you find yourself a mentor—some windbag, blowhard podcaster guy who makes YouTube videos.
And you start trading.
Now you’re wondering, “OK, now what?”
How long is it going to take to become successful from here?
People come up to me and say, “I learned your system, Booker. Now when can I quit my job? When can I start buying luxuries—iPads, food, shelter—for my 400 beautiful children?”
They’ll learn the system, and they might figure out how to make a little money—but not enough to quit their jobs and support their families.
It’s a good question: How do you go from learning a trading system… to trading for a living? Especially if you’re starting with a smaller account?
Well, here’s how the journey works…
Most people think about making their first $100,000. But the number you should really be focused on is that first dollar. Then your second dollar. Then your third, then your fourth.
Then you focus on keeping it.
There’s too much emphasis placed in specialized trading systems on entries and exits and ways to manage risk. There’s not enough emphasis placed on this simple fact: The definition of a successful trader is someone who makes a little bit of money and then keeps it.
That’s the heart of everything that will come later.
Let’s say for instance that you make $1 and you keep it, and you make another $1 and you keep it, and then you make another $1 and you keep it, etc. But you’re disappointed because you only made $100 in that first year of trading.
You’ve just been more successful than basically any other person on Earth who did any trading last year. And you’re in the Pantheon of successful traders if you closed out the year with a profit. Most hedge funds won’t accomplish this. If you do, you’re ahead of the game.
Now, in your second year, let’s say you still have a small trading account. Here’s what you can do: Increase the size of your trades.
Maybe in the first year you made $500, and in the second year maybe you make $1,000 or $2,000. Now you’ve got a track record.
You may be thinking, “Whoa, slow down. It’s going to take me two years to quit my job?”
The answer is I don’t know. It may only take one month to get fired from your job. I don’t know you.
The point is that once you make and keep profit, you can start scaling up your trade size.
So the question really shouldn’t be, “How am I going to start feeding my family from my trading account?”
The question should be, how are you going to protect your trading account and grow it, even if only in small increments at a time?
That’s the only real question that matters, more than any other question that you could possibly ask about trading. Ask yourself, “Can I make $1, can I keep $1, and then can I publish those trading results and show other people that I know how to make and keep $1?”
Because the truth is most people can’t do it. If you can, then you’re on the right path.