Among the questions I receive often, the most frequent is: “When do I know when to trade on a real account and risk real money?”
Many people don’t even want to try to practice in the simulator before starting trading a real account, thus risking money they can’t afford to lose, with the illusion that their account will grow. I call this an inconsequential attitude!
Recently, I had a chat with someone that wanted to know why he should use an online trading journal vs his own trading spreadsheet. My answer was quick and somewhat brutal.
“Why drive a ford when you can drive a Lambo.”
Another way to put it:
“I’ll give you two options. The first one is free, but it won’t increase your returns. The other is paid and will most likely increase your returns. Which one would you go with?”
A lot of people get in touch with us asking when they can start trading with a real account. This is a genuine question and not as simple to answer as it seems.
If you are just starting on your trading journey, I really recommend you start in a simulator environment because you get to learn a ton of things without losing a dime. Such things might include:
When looking for the holy grail of trading, many people spend thousands of dollars on courses, seminars, strategies, books and of course trading capital trying to become consistently profitable. While some of these products can help, I still think they are not enough for most of us. Why? Because trading is a mental game and to teach one’s mind, you need three important components:
I started trading back in 2001 when my college buddy recommended to buy INFA. I bought 200 shares at $14 and held it for two years selling it for $8. Thanks for the tip buddy! During the next few years, I wasted a lot of time and money trying to learn to trade by myself. All and all, I lost around $5K after “playing” for about 3 years before work. I took some time off and decided to give trading another chance, but this time a real chance. I started trading in a prop firm where I had all the necessary tools to succeed. Under this new environment, I had only 4 down months out of 48 during my trading career. Most importantly, I only lost about $1500 to reach profitability. Pretty big difference from when I tried to learn by myself.
Mistakes are part of life, but if we don’t acknowledge that we make them, we are making another mistake. Like a race car engineer that needs to constantly learn from past mistakes to optimize car performance, you also need to constanly be aware of your past mistakes in order to adjust your trading strategies and profit from them.