The Only Way to Get Rich Trading

11/30/2011 8:00 am EST


Traders drawn to the allure of quick riches are virtually certain to ignore proven methods and risk parameters, destroying their accounts as a result. The only path to trading riches is via consistent profits over the long run.

Many novice market timers (traders and investors) have difficulty facing a cold, hard fact about the stock market: You can’t get rich overnight.

Experienced timers know this. They expect to make big profits in the long run, but they focus on making as many reasonably profitable trades as possible. They do not focus on a single, life-changing trade.

Many timers also realize this, but it is hard to accept. And some are initially drawn to market timing with the hopes of making big profits quickly; the kind of money that can be used to finance a luxurious, exciting lifestyle, or money that can be used to show family and friends that one is deserving of envy or respect.

However, it is dangerous to approach trading in the financial markets from this perspective. It directly contradicts the fact that it’s going to take some time before one makes enough money to support a new lifestyle or impress others.

What’s Wrong with Dreaming?

So what’s the harm in dreaming about making big riches? Nothing, as long as you realize that "quick riches" is just a fantasy. If you don’t, you may want to act on it.

If you dream about how big wins can change your life, you may start to want to make extremely huge profits…fast. If that happens, you may be tempted to start taking measures to make those big wins by ignoring tested timing strategies which provide not only long-term profits, but also risk management to safeguard your capital.

You may take riskier trades with the hope of being lucky enough to triple your capital. Or you may be tempted to stray from your timing strategy because you are "certain" you see the potential to score a big win. This is the first step to disaster for any trader, whether a novice or experienced professional.

You may even abandon all risk controls because you may start to think, "Unless I can make some big money fast, market timing isn’t worth it anyway."

The "get rich quick" urge is felt by all market participants. After all, we are there to make money! But this particular urge must be ignored if you value your savings.

Going for the Big Win

It’s important to stay modest. It is unlikely that you will be lucky enough to be set for life after only a few big trades. You will have to stay with the timing strategies for year after year, just as all seasoned, successful market timers have done.

It’s vital to your very survival when trading the financial markets that you keep the proper perspective.  Someday you may very well be wealthy and have an exciting lifestyle, but it isn’t going to happen tomorrow, or in the next year.

See related: Why P&L Doesn’t Determine Success

Sticking with a Strategy

For now, just focus on the process of sticking with the strategy through good times as well as bad times. Recognize that this is a process that takes years to complete. No one creates instant wealth from trading (except for Dan Aykroyd and Eddie Murphy in the movie Trading Places).

You must stand the test of time to succeed. When you take this perspective, you will be satisfied over time and realize that you are among the select few market participants who have found the path to profits. When you have traded a proven timing strategy for a few years, you will realize solid profits, and maybe over time, you will even make the kind of money that can fulfill your grandest dreams.

But for now, realistic goals, discipline, and a good market timing strategy are the only things that will help you become a consistently profitable market timer.

By Frank Kollar of

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