How Long Does it Take to Become a Successful Trader?

We want to know!

Traders want to know this! Different trading schools promise or estimate different answers, from 10,000 hours of screen time to a few days. There’s no shortage of opinions on the subject. A client asked the other day, in frustration, how long was it going to take him to finally get it? He’d been attending one of the well known trading schools for a few years, has studied like crazy, had good discipline, etc. Why hadn’t he arrived yet?!

The Happiness Factor

It’s a fair question. I think success actually has more to do with how happy you are and how healthy your childhood was. . . than how long you’ve been studying trading or who you study with! This may sound strange to most, but it’s worth investigating. The challenge is that one disruptive or destructive belief, fear, self doubt, etc. can sneak into your trade and sabotage you. This alone can devastate your trades.

The Culprit

Unless you are aware of the inner culprit, you won’t even know this is happening. And you may do it over and over, hoping for a different result. Here’s a client example. Let’s say “John” takes a solid trade, good entry, following his plan–and the trade ends up being a loser. His mind says, “I did everything well, that should have been a winner,” . . . and then frustration sets in, with confusion and fear. He decides not to take the next trade because of the fear he’s now feeling.

Now, he’s stopped following his plan that tells him to take the next trade, for the correct odds. There are many examples of how trading can go wrong when our unhealed “child-self” pops into our trading. And, there are numerous books on the subject of trading psychology, and this is why. If our mindset is not healthy, our trading won’t be either. So, what does one do?

Is there a Solution?

How you can solve this. . .

  1. Come to an understanding of the importance of, and impact of, your psychology trading. Really get it.
  2. Find tools, books, groups, coaches, peers, etc. to help identify your specific blocks. Create a plan of what you want to correct and how you are going to do it.
  3. Enlist the support needed to implement the plan. (This step might come before step 3 for some.)
  4. Get started! Work on YOU as much or more than you work on your trades.
  5. Support is often critical as we can’t see our own blind spots.

This isn’t necessarily an easy path. For most of us, it is harder to look at ourselves and uncover our challenges than it is to study the market and charts. But, if you’ve repeatedly sabotaged yourself without success as a trader, this may be the next indicated step.

Wishing You Awareness,

Andrea Wylan, MPH, CPCC
Trader Coach

Visit my website here.
Sign up for my newsletter here.
Join the LinkedIn Trading Psychology group.

For a complimentary private consultation, please contact
Andrea at or 619-665-7558


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