I read this on another trading forum and I am posting it here because I read the entire post and agree with every word he said.
If you pay attention to what is said in the post you will cut alot of hours off your learning curve.
It was posted by FBJS from BMT forum.
Unfortunately, there is a lot of bad advice out there, and lots of people who sound knowledgeable actually have no idea what they are talking about. It's no wonder that newbies get fooled all the time.
If you want to learn to trade, especially daytrading, you should realize that it's probably going to take you at least a few thousand hours to have any shot at it. You just have to stare at the market for a very long time, observe what it is doing, and figure out your own way to take advantage of it. The main reason 95% lose is because they don't put in the effort - they study the market for a few weeks, buy some course from a guy who claims to give them a trading system, and then put real money on the line. Needless to say, they get slaughtered, mostly because they don't have any real understanding of what is going on. You can't just follow a system without understanding market action and how your system works within it, because when real money is on the line and the pressure is on, you will crack. The only solution to this is hard work - lots of it.
If you are really serious about this, plan for and expect to put in at least a few thousand hours of time (2000 hours is 1 full year of work at 8 hours per day, 50 weeks per year)... and that's BEFORE you try trading with real money. Just observe, and/or trade on a sim until you are really, really good. How do you know when you are really good? When you stop asking questions on trading forums, and start answering them from a place of knowledge - and not until then. If you trade one penny of real money before you do that, you will not be successful.
If you don't want to do that and prefer to try the easy way, no problems - there are tons of "educators" out there willing to tell you how easy trading is and how they can teach you, if all you will do is pay them the low, low price of $500 per month, or $5000 for their trading system. I've seen a lot of these people present their "market knowledge", and let me tell you, most of them absolutely SUCK. So if you try to take the easy way out, all the sharks in the pool will simply be thanking you for your money. Good luck in your efforts, but remember that luck actually has very little to do with it - hard work and time will get you where you want to go, and nothing else... if you stick to it for long enough, you may make it.
Yes, it really is too bad that there are so many scammers out there. I actually attended a webinar a while back for the hell of it, and I couldn't believe what the guy was doing. He was selling this amazing "system", which he claimed that if you followed it would consistently return 100 pips per day. He claimed that a whole bunch of new traders had just started using his system, and that this one guy who had never traded before 3 weeks ago was now pulling thousands of dollars every day consistently. Because I have experience in trading, I KNEW for an absolute fact that this guy was lying through his teeth, and that the people giving testimonials were absolutely fake, i.e. paid shills. Unfortunately, this guy sounded absolutely confident, secure and knowledgeable in what he was saying, and it was easy to see how tons of less experienced traders would fall for his complete BS. (Sure enough, I went to Google afterwards and did a search on his name with the word "scam", and a bunch of results popped up. )
You have to use your brain here: if someone had a system that was consistently pulling out 100 pips a day, why would he selling it to you for $2000? 100 pips a day could net you hundreds of thousands of dollars every day on a liquid instrument, so why would anyone in their right mind sell that type of thing to their competition? He could make a lot more money just trading it himself instead of selling it to you.
The wonderful thing about the markets from the point of view of a scam artist, is that it's almost impossible to prove that they are scamming you... most regulators and law enforcement officials don't know nearly enough about how the markets work to actually prove an outright scam... and tons of newbies fall for it. Here is my advice: never, ever, EVER buy a system from some guy hawking it for a few thousand dollars. It almost certainly won't work, and even if it did, it's not your system, which means that you won't trust it and won't be able to execute it properly.
There really are no shortcuts, but I can tell you that after a few thousand hours of staring at the market, you can eventually begin to "get it". A funny thing happened to me when I hit the few thousand hour mark, and a whole bunch of stuff that was previously confusing about market movement all of a sudden started to make sense at that point. Just keep track of how your own understanding is progressing.... don't rely on other traders, and take every piece of advice with a huge grain of salt, because it very well might be wrong. Keep staring at the market with a fresh set of eyes (yours), and see what you can learn from it, because that is where all true knowledge will come from. Other traders and books can teach you certain techniques (market profile, VSA, whatever), but only you can combine them into something that is tradable by you, and makes sense to you.
In general, you should be feeling yourself getting more and more confident in reading the market as every month goes by... so if that is not happening after 6-12 months, it might be an indication that you should actually quit, because not everyone makes it. On the other hand, if you feel yourself making progress, then keep working at it, because at one point you will start to "get it", and from there it will all be a lot easier. Also, don't try to trade real money while you are doing this - you will not be able to really observe the market properly if you are in the middle of a trade and concentrating on not losing your shirt. All that you will do by trading with real money too early is cause yourself psychological damage which will have to be repaired later, not to mention reduce your available trading capital which will be needed once you do actually "get it". You might as well put in those thousands of hours for free, instead of paying the market some tuition on top of it. That's the best advice I can give you...