Does It Take Long To Make Money From Trading?

by Avramis Despotis     Sep 25, 2019

One of the most common questions that gets asked all across the internet is how long it takes for someone to profit from trading. Of course, it’s a valid question. Hollywood has done a great job of painting the trader profession as one wherein people can get rich overnight, which is far from the truth. If your trading 101 didn’t cover this question, then this is the right place to get an answer.

The short answer is: it depends. Trading 101 guides make trading sound rather simple. Buying low and selling high, does that sound familiar? At the end of the day, there are a large variety of factors that determine how long it takes from someone beginning their trading career to seeing their first profits.

Anything from the market being traded in to the capital amount available and experience background in the field can have an impact on someone becoming a profitable trader.

How Does A Trader Become Profitable?

This question is arguably a lot more important than asking how long it takes. One could argue that if someone did all the things right from their first day, that they’d be a profitable trader within a week of starting trades.

Anyone that’s trading and doesn’t understand what’s needed to succeed isn’t going to succeed, of course. To make money from the markets one needs to understand them and the process of profiting from them.

From a training perspective, a trader needs the right of training to become profitable. Some take formal education, but what’s generally recommended instead is that new traders just get a demo account from any of the dozens of platforms available online and just starts trading to get a feel for it.

From a psychological perspective, the answers are a bit different as to what a trader needs to become profitable. Mindset is incredibly important to being a good trader and building it can take months and years. Failure to build an appropriate trading mindset is going to result in sure losses because even in a high probability trade, execution is everything.

Realistic Expectations

At the end of the day, becoming a profitable trader is always a case by case basis. Anyone online claiming they can turn you into a profitable trader over night or over 10 days or anything along those lines, is lying.

The biggest factor that decides whether a trader will do well or not is themselves. Their personalities, skills and approach to trading decide how well they do in the market. Some people take to trading naturally and find themselves in the green within weeks of starting.

Others require a lot of trial and error and hands-on experience to be able to understand how trading works, so they might be barely breaking even for the first year. The 3Ms are a good framework to look at here: money, mind and method.

Some traders might be really good at managing risk and capital and have a great mindset but in the end lack the method to execute well. Some other traders might have excellent skills in managing their money and have a great plan, but have a weak mental game.

To be a successful trader, one needs to be a complete package and be well versed in all 3 aspects of the job. Worrying about time is not going to shorten in. No successful trader got into trading for the desire to make a lot of money in a few months and then get out of the game. That’s not how it works.

Experience is a key factor in becoming a great trader. Every trading book out there will hammer the importance of long-term thinking. Profit is the same – play for the long haul and you will, eventually, win.

Get unlimited access to our Learning Center,
Broker Insights and Exclusive Promotions for Free!