There’s no doubt about it, few professions can take someone from so little capital to extremely high levels of capital in such a short amount of time and with so few barriers to entry. The stories of people like Nicolas Darvas, who turned $30,000 into more than $2 million in roughly 18 months, remind us all of just how quickly extreme wealth can be created as a trader when all the pieces fall together just right.
Plus, you don’t have to start with a ton of cash or earn some degree or cut your way through a bunch of red tape to try your hand at trading. You can start your own little trading enterprise rather quickly and cheaply. The other reason becoming a professional trader appeals to so many is the promise of total freedom and self-reliance. As a trader, only YOUR results matter. No other person or entity can stand between you and your potential for success. However, as appealing as MONEY and FREEDOM are as motivators to become a successful trader, I’ve found that they are not the BEST reasons to become a trader.
In studying the most successful traders in the world, you will find something else that drives them. Put another way, top traders choose to be traders because they LOVE the idea of making a wealthy and self-reliant living by implementing the power of their intellect. Read an interview with Ed Seykota and you’ll find that he talks more about the convergence of psychological tendencies and metaphysics than about trading techniques. Read the Wall Street classic, Methods of a Wall Street Master by Vic Sperandeo, and you’ll find that this renowned trader turns much of his book into a manifesto on the political and philosophical virtues of Ayn Rand’s Objectivism.
Read Mark Ritchie’s autobiography, God in the Pits, and you’ll find it to be more about this legendary commodity trader’s spiritual journey than it is about his journey as a successful trader. Notice how famous traders like Richard Dennis, George Soros, Jim Rodgers, Larry Williams, and William O’Neil are so deeply involved in politics – either as thinkers, fundraisers, writers, or active participants.
Check out James Altucher’s excellent blog and notice how few of his articles have to do with trading at all.
The point is, with very few exceptions, the most successful traders are drawn to the world of trading because they see it as one big intellectual game. They’re intrigued by the idea of being able to make a living relying only on the power of their mind.
Being a great trader requires an EXTREME level of mental toughness. Few other professions will test you quite so severely and quite so regularly from a mental aspect.
If you want to be a professional trader only for the money and the freedom, you may want to reconsider. While the allure of money and freedom are excellent short-term motivators, it takes more than wanting to be rich and self-reliant to succeed in this game. If you’re drawn to trading because of the intellectual game that drives the markets, you’re in good company. If you’re drawn to trading because you LOVE the idea of making a living by utilizing your intellect, you’re on the right track. And, if nothing else, be wary of the trader whose office contains more monitors than books.
Each issue of Darvas Trader PRO includes our updated portfolio and watchlist of current Darvas Stocks – with EXACT buy points and sell points. You can instantly download the latest issue of Darvas Trader PRO by clicking here.
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