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How Professional Traders Spend Their Times and Talents

by TradingDrills Academy

The two decades of research on the Cycle of Excellence has shown that top performers are not born but made, and that spending a long time on a subject alone is not enough for mastery.

One major question we often receive is “How do the most profitable traders spend their time which is different from amateurs, which results in such vastly different outcomes of profitability?” Professionals were not obviously experts from the beginning, yet they somehow managed their time and talents differently. This is an important topic that we will look at this short video.

Is Spending a Long Time on any Profession Enough for Success?

The result of research by Malcolm Gladwell known as the "Rule of 10,000 Hours" shows that professionals spend many dedicated hours to develop their skills over extended period of time.

  • One needs to be extremely dedicated to become an expert in any field
  • Becoming an expert takes extended period of time, which is on average approximately 10,000 hours or about 5 to 10 years
  • But if this is so, then why do many aspiring traders that spend countless hours studying trading do not become successful and profitable?
How many hours do Traders work

How do Most Traders Spend their Time and Talents?  

Most profitable traders have a schedule for the time they spend spending learning, researching, and implementing their trading plans. The chart below summarizes a study done by Jigsaw Trading, which highlights the effectiveness of the time traders spend on different activities, and further details can be found in this video from Peter Davies.

In the section of effectiveness of Time spent to become successful trader, none of the listed below activities are very effective at helping traders, with their effectiveness ranging from 10% - 50%:

  • Buying and selling randomly, without any rules
  • Arguing on the internet with other amateurs
  • Reading lots of published trading books
  • Searching for a new "holy grail" method
How amateur traders spend their time in the stock market

Isn't Spending Hours Studying Books and Taking Online Advice Beneficial?

People may ask "Isn't spending hours studying books and taking online advice beneficial to become a successful trader?"  Not quite. To a certain extent, it can build a basic knowledge of the trading terminologies, facts, and building blocks of strategies. But more often than not, the unrelated, sporadic information received from forums and the media creates a tangled web of unrelated information. It creates a vast ocean of knowledge, with shallow depth, not really useful to build practical skills! And as you can read further here, skill matters for mastery in trading and not knowledge! 
As we can see from the study above, the real effective use of the time traders spend comes from doing the right practice on a trading system/plan that is profitable, and those concepts and learning process can be learnt effectively by Deliberate Practice under safe simulated environment in the form of drills.

Too much trading information does not help traders in the stock market

The Relationship Between the Knowledge and Practical Skills of Trading: 

To be a successful trader, you need skills

It is not surprising to see that the more knowledge of trading is acquired by traders to become successful, the less profitable they become in real market, if they don't combine the knowledge with proper trading practice and experience. 
Without practical skills, too much knowledge and analysis can lead to paralysis and costly mistakes. Most profitable traders know this, and incorporate deliberate practice into their daily routines. 

How Professionals Spend their Time for Day Trading Success:  

Professionals spend their time wisely by: 

  • Deliberately practicing smart drills
  • Receiving feedback and implementing constructive criticism
  • Working under the best coaching system developed by experts
professional traders in the stock market practice

The Best Way to Master the Knowledge of Trading: 

Three principles of success in trading

Why do so many aspiring traders self-study and not work with mentors? What is really the best method of training to master trading skills? We will answer these common questions by looking at the three main domains of knowledge and their impact on mastering trading skills on the blog post "Deliberate Practice in Trading."

Deliberate Practice in Trading

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