Ask Colin

I already know a lot about the psychology of markets and trading. How long will it take me to learn to trade successfully?

My experience and all that I have read suggests that it takes about the same time to learn trading as it takes to become proficient in any other profession - e.g. law, medicine, accounting and so on. This seems to involve between five to ten years for most people. There will be 3 to 5 years of formal study and than about five years getting practical experience.

Of course, it depends on where you start from in the way of knowledge, but the experience part can only be picked up in actual trading - not learning from books, seminars, courses etc. Most people start of losing and most give up. The best ones gradually learn how to make money.

If you think you are ahead of the crowd in knowledge, there is only one way to test this - start trading in a small way and see if you make money.

One thing that I think is absolutely essential is to have thought out and written down a comprehensive trading plan. That is what I try to teach in my seminars/videotape. I really believe that it is one of the real keys to success. Not everyone who has a plan will make it, but without a plan, failure is almost a certainty.