Everyone has a plan until they get hit.Mike Tyson —
I started trading just like everyone else, by accident, when someone told me to buy a certain stock. But unlike most beginners in the market, I made more money in my first few trades than my yearly salary. It was pure beginners luck. After that, I went and got a trading education.
Every single teacher that I’ve met on my way to become a professional said to me the same thing: “Slawek, make sure you paper trade before you start investing real money”. They were right. You should spend a fair amount of time learning the skills of technical analysis, using strategies, finding entries, calculating stops, targets, etc. And in case you’re an options trader, also how to read the options chain and understand risk graphs.
Learning how to use your trading platform should also be done in a DEMO account. The rule of thumb when I was learning this craft was to double my paper trading account before going live. But is this the end of the learning curve?
Mike Tyson once said: “Everyone has a plan until they get hit.”
Do you know how it feels, to lose real money in trading?
Do you know how it feels when you get filled in a trade with “slippage (paying up for entry) and then get stopped out for a loss with “slippage”?
How does it feel not to get filled on a big winner? Do you know?
What would you do if instead of buying puts, you got in calls, because you didn’t know your platform well enough and instead of making $3,000 you’ve lost $2,000?
I know how I feel right now just writing about it. Those are some of my “I didn’t see it coming” moments, from +10 years of trading experience. There is a transition phase going from a paper to a live account.
You will find out that it does not take a blink of an eye to get fill in trades like options spreads.
There is no way to calculate your stop loss to the penny, and that in order to get in trades you need to sometimes pay up.
Partial fills on huge winners are the norm. No shares to borrow.
The list goes on. You will need to adjust to the new normal environment described above.
Did I see it all in trading? I’ve seen a lot, but probably not all of it yet. That is why, till this day, I learn new strategies in DEMO account and love to “leg in” my positions and I always start my trades calculating the loss first.
DEMO account is a crucial tool when it comes to learning how to trade. But trust me when I tell you that you will not learn it all in a DEMO account.
Slawomir Juraszek (a.k.a. Slawek J)
Born and raised in Poland. Came to the U.S. in 2002. Started Trading in 2008. First teacher Noah Davidson. Currently a professional day trader. Contributor for wallstreet.io: running trading room there “Passport to Wall Street”, making videos and writing articles about NYSE (in Polish).
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