9 Reasons Everyone (Yes Even You) Should Learn To Trade

Can everybody learn how to trade the markets?  Well, that’s a tricky question.

A better questions is “should everybody try to learn how to trade the markets,” to which I answer a resounding “Yes!”

It’s kind of like learning to swim; why wouldn’t you at least try it.  It may help you stay afloat when you need to and you might actually be good at it.

The problem is that the term “Trading” is intimidating and needs a re-definition.  Most see it as a high risk, all-or-nothing endeavor, much of which they only know about from watching movies like “Wall Street,’ or cheesy late night infomercials.

But what if you found out that trading was not about complex systems,  risking financial ruin, or “wrecking companies because they are ‘wreckable,'” but was more about being able to add an extra ten or twenty percent of your yearly salary to your income?

Would you be interested in learning to trade then?  Is the sky blue?  Do I like beer?  Is Justin Beiber a legendary talent.  The answer is “yes, yes, yes, and no friggin’ way.”

In the following weeks I will be expanding the ideas in this post into a book and if you want to be alerted when that happens make sure to subscribe to my blog for free Via E-mail or Via RSS, but for now let me give you the cliff notes as to why everyone should learn to trade.

The Markets Don’t  Care “What” You Are

Black…Brown….White.  Male or female.  Ugly or pretty.  Skinny or fat.  No matter what label society puts on you, the markets don’t care.  Your ability to trade successfully won’t be based on any of those things.  Trading is the purest form or meritocracy I know of.

It’s A Business Without The Drawbacks

If you trade correctly, you treat it like a business, but a business without all the bad things like employees, customers, regulations, business licenses, city and county taxes, HR issues, and competitors.

Your Social Class Is Irrelevant

Sure, having a big bankroll will help you get started in trading, but it is not necessary. Nor does your success matter if you grew up in Beverly Hills or in a two-horse town in West Texas.

The Market Doesn’t Care What Or Who You Know

Your college degree won’t help when you start to trade, nor will the fact that your Grandfather was the mayor.  You can be a high school dropout who came to this country as a refugee and you will have as equal a chance as anyone else to be successful in the markets.

It’s One Of The Few Situations In Life Where You Totally Control The Risk

I guarantee you this….when you trade, you will never lose more money than you allow yourself to.  Sounds funny right, but all risk decisions are made by you, and you alone.  You can even, depending on the style of trading you choose, create a situation where outsized risk is virtually zero.

You Can Prosper In Bad Economic Times

If you learn to trade properly, you can make money in both up or down markets.

Information On Trading Is Abundant and Free (or Cheap)

Want to be a doctor, lawyer, engineer, coal miner, truck driver, bartender, whatever, good luck on finding free or cheap quality info and more importantly real-world training on how to do it.  There are a tremendous number of experienced “virtual mentors” at your fingertips via social media when it comes to learning to trade.  And most won’t charge you a dime for the benefit of their wisdom.

The Market Doesn’t Care What You Did In The Past

When you have a traditional job and you screw something up, I mean really screw up bad, if you are lucky enough to keep your job you’ll be hard pressed to wipe the stigma of failure from your reputation going forward.  If you fail one day while trading the market, well tomorrow is another day where you are automatically reborn, clean as the virgin snow.

You Have More Freedom Than In Any Other Job

You might think that any business owner has freedom to do what they want, when they want, but as a former business owner myself I can tell you that is a myth.  You have employees who depend on you, customers who expect of you, and competitors who are ready to overtake you if you let up for a moment.  Traders, especially successful traders, have more flexibility with their time than any other profession.

So, What Is Your Point?

My point is not to tell you that trading is easy or that anyone can do it, but that more people than currently try it should give it a shot.  The public at large, both here in the US and abroad, have bought into a false and uninformed concept about what trading is about and what its purpose is.

If people were to understand what trading is really about and approach it with a methodology that is risk based, I believe it could benefit a much larger percentage of the population than it currently does.

Stayed tuned to blog in the coming weeks as I go into detail as to what exactly I mean and how trading might be for you.


  • leblanc medy

    Very good post Thank you !

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  • JK

    10th reason why u need to trade. .so that the pros make money.. as 99.9% of retail traders loose in the long run..

  • Accesstotrade

    It depends which markets you are trading. In the futures market, 25k is ample.

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  • This is why I started to learn to a tee…Feel free to help me becoming a daytrader donate @ admhall@gmail.com on paypal

  • Rich

    Great idea; I fully support it. It’s educational, fulfilling, frustrating, annoying, but in the end you get to know a lot about the economy, the world, and yourself.

    • Seriously, I think they should at least teach the trading concept in school.

      • Can you imagine if they taught trading in schools, rather than useless things like trigonometry?

  • ForgetAlpha

    What would the be the minimum amount of capital you would recommend to start trading with full time? This can be different for everyone depending on necessary expenditures, lifestyle etc. But holding all of that constant, what would that level of capital be?

    • Rich

      Many recommend minimum initial capital of $25k to
      $50k. But that small of an account is very limiting, and usually
      encourages the trader to take outsize risks. And if you run into a
      streak of losing trades (very easy) it will probably wipe out that size
      account. If you’re going to try and live off of trading you’ll be living
      in poverty for a while, even assuming you have reasonable returns, which might be a year or two away. Having a partner or other support might be a good idea.

      • on $25k you would need Market Wizard type returns just to cover living expenses and build more capital. I think at least 10 times that much is a good starting point.

      • I know some that make six figures on only 5K (using prop margin). They are the exception, but it is possible.

      • That’s amazing. I might be biased by my limiting beliefs 😉

    • That is a good question, and one I will try to tackle in a blog post on Friday.

    • I’m sorry but I ran out of time for Friday, but will get a post out on this for Monday.

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  • Good philosophy: “Give it a try”

    However, I believe we in the industry must always mention that trading is not for everyone. Certain personality traits pretty much eliminate people from becoming a successful trader – unless those traits can be reversed: lack of discipline, sloppiness, getting bored easily, needing instant gratification…

  • K-BAGS

    I like the way you’re thinking!

    • Tell my wife that….lol.

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Brian C. Lund

Brian C. Lund

Great father. Good friend. Decent trader/writer. Lacking husband. Solid drummer. Sometimes funny. Often A-hole. Terrible poker player. Too smart. Punk rock. Work in an ice cream shop.

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