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Nextek

Why are people attracted to trading?

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If the failure rate is so high (90-95%) why is trading so popular? It seems like providing service or products for traders has a higher chance of profitability. Any thoughts on this?

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If the failure rate is so high (90-95%) why is trading so popular? It seems like providing service or products for traders has a higher chance of profitability. Any thoughts on this?

 

Same reason why people start new businesses every year. Also its the attraction of big bucks.

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Trading advertisement is similar to the tobacco industry. They make it appear so simple and easy. Also many corporate people assume trading can replace their income easily. Most of them become humbled.

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The potential of a decent income and independence. Trading is a one man job which offers plenty of freedom.

 

Trading must be treated like a business. Those who read one technical analysis book and enter the markets have close to a 100% failure rate.

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Over 80% of all small businesses fail in the first year. And yet numerous amounts of people start their own businesses. Same as trading... no one expects to fail. When traders start out, all they see is fortune.

 

Profits before thinking risks is a sure way to lose.

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We cannot look on the faluire side while trading. you need to look on both the side. people forgo the chances of losing when they keep the track on the potential of trading to win billions and millions in short time

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If the failure rate is so high (90-95%) why is trading so popular? It seems like providing service or products for traders has a higher chance of profitability. Any thoughts on this?

 

To get the answer to your questions, u must answer this questions:

 

Why do million people per month visit las vegas?

Why do more than 97% of people lose playing casino games?

 

 

If you can answer these questions, that is your answer to your question

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The entertainment dollar.....

there is no co-incidence that its associated with the "chance" to win big.

So maybe trading is just an expensive form of entertainment for some

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The entertainment dollar.....

there is no co-incidence that its associated with the "chance" to win big.

So maybe trading is just an expensive form of entertainment for some

 

Very true. Entertainment is very big. Trading allows people to dream too.

Some like to be able to call themselves traders so it also provides an Identity.

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From my observation, people are driven to trading for the goals of financial freedom and time freedom. Self deception about the emotional labor required to develop the techincal skills and the psychology to use those skills effectively to become successful is rarely acknowledged until the pain involved in learning (making mistakes, read taking losses) forces them out of their deception (or not). People are naturally resistent to moving out of their comfort zone and developing a new way of perceiving. But until this happens, the probabilities remain the same -- loss.

Rande Howell

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in casino gambling you at least have a slight chance of winning. the online gamblers are the real addicts. they know they are being cheated and still transfer their monthly home mortgage payments to an offshore account in Costa Rica.

 

for those of you that understand and enjoy poker, you will love this video showing an absolute poker.com tournament. you can pause the game and see ALL the hands.this is the view that Scott Tom, AKA "Potripper" had when he scammed $20 million.

 

google "The Absolute Poker Scandal"

 

peter

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In addition to all the valid reasons cited above, many aging Boomers are attracted to trading because their other options have already failed - the job market is hostile to older workers, brokerage accounts have delivered teipd results, their 401Ks have become 201Ks, etc. The reason new traders fail is not their ATTRACTION to trading, but their lack of PREPARATION, EDUCATION and DISCPLINE. They are smoking "hopium", not doing "workium". Many marriages and new business fail for similar reaons.

 

Hollis

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In addition to all the valid reasons cited above, many aging Boomers are attracted to trading because their other options have already failed - the job market is hostile to older workers, brokerage accounts have delivered teipd results, their 401Ks have become 201Ks, etc. The reason new traders fail is not their ATTRACTION to trading, but their lack of PREPARATION, EDUCATION and DISCPLINE. They are smoking "hopium", not doing "workium". Many marriages and new business fail for similar reaons.

 

Hollis

 

I agree with hollisnan that all of the above reasons are valid. I also think that what hollisnan wrote is the most valid reason of all of them, at least when it comes to boomers. Many boomers thought that, when they were 30 or 40 years old, they would always be 30 or 40 years old and, like everything else in their lives up to that point, all they had to do was wait for a comfortable retirement to drop out of the sky and into their laps. In their 50s, when they began to realize that retirement wasn't going to drop into their laps on cue, it was at this time that they began to scramble for a retirement savings.

 

All this is IMO even though it probably seems "off the wall."

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From my observation, people are driven to trading for the goals of financial freedom and time freedom. Self deception about the emotional labor required to develop the techincal skills and the psychology to use those skills effectively to become successful is rarely acknowledged until the pain involved in learning (making mistakes, read taking losses) forces them out of their deception (or not). People are naturally resistent to moving out of their comfort zone and developing a new way of perceiving. But until this happens, the probabilities remain the same -- loss.

Rande Howell

 

Rande,

 

Mistakes also lead to gains. If you stay in a trade longer than you should have and it nets you more money, then that was a mistake.

 

If you enter the market when you were not supposed to and it makes you money, that too was a mistake.

 

On the other hand, if you entered properly and you exited properly and you had a loss, that was a perfect trade.

 

There are only 4 mistakes:

1. You enter when you were not supposed to enter.

2. You do not enter when you were supposed to enter.

3. You get out sooner than you were supposed to exit.

4. You get out later than you were supposed to exit.

 

A trader should be able to identify the 4 if he knows his system in and out and up and down.

 

Whether you made money or not, if you not guilty of one of the above 4, then you had a perfect trade. If you are guilty of one of the above 4, then you made a mistake.

 

I am pretty certain that the distribution of wins and losses when one of the above 4 occurs is equal, just that people tend take credit for the winner and give blame for the loser. And, we go on.

 

MM

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many . . are attracted to trading because their other options have already failed - the job market is hostile to older workers, brokerage accounts have delivered teipd results, their 401Ks have become 201Ks, etc.

 

I agree. Originally, I just wanted to manage my own retirement account. (What was left of it.) I figured I could loose just as much money on my own as a broker could loose for me. So I might as well do it that way.

 

I thought it was going to be easy. I did not know what the failure rate was.

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As with other professions, there can be a wide variety of motivations for trading. Some are indeed just gamblers or seeking entertainment, etc. But many people enter into trading that have already shown vast competence in various professional fields; intead they yearn for freedom from an imposed schedule, and they also might be hopeful of earning more money than in their current profession, since theoretically the sky is the limit within this realm of uncertainty and probability. And as most of us know, it also looks much, much easier than it really is, which is another (deceptive) source of attraction.

 

With me, I was day trading stocks in the 96-98 period, part time. Loved the independance, being my own boss. Did quite well. But I was also concurrently developing other skills in the health care arena and wilderness survival instruction, which eventually crowded out the trading.

 

Now I am back full circle working part-time at trading, this time exclusively in the futures market, with an aim of over time greatly supplementing the income that I make teaching wilderness survival, qigong, and helping people with their health. A main goal with trading is that eventually I will be able to afford to take on only those students and clients who are highly motivated and work hard at learning the material or improving their health. Tired of being a baby sitter. Eventually I will free up my time to spend more time in the wilderness, playing music, travelling the world. Futures trading is on its way to becoming a vehicle for improving the overall quality of my life, including eventually being able to live anywhere in the world which have decent internet connections.

 

A greater level of FREEDOM in many realms of life is the over-arching goal for me. Some days I passionately yell this word at the top of my lungs, like at the end of Braveheart, to remind me of my destiny...

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Why are people attracted to trading? Why are people attracted to sugar? Why are people attracted to other physically good looking people? Why are people attracted to luxury goods?

 

To a certain degree, human behavior is pre-determined. All human beings have been programed to behave a certain way. It is in your DNA, and in the formation of your mind. Don't misunderstand me, you can manage your natural instincts, and you have a certain degree of free will and choice. Probably a lot, lot less than you would like to believe, but there is some degree of choice.

 

If you or I do not admit to the extent of influence that our natural instincts have on our behavior, then you are powerless against the pre-wired behavior. Many human beings are practically mindless robots, who have no idea why they act, speak or behave the way they do.

 

Observe a child who is 6 or 7 years old acting and talking just like one of their parents. That child has absolutely no comprehension of what they are doing, or why they are doing it. They are mimicking what they see around them, trying to form their identity. But it is done on "auto-pilot". The child did not consciously make a decision to start mimicking other people. They are behaving and talking in a way that is totally "mindless".

 

That child might realize at some later point what they are doing. So there is self-awareness that automatically comes into play at some point. We are a mixture of automatic, pre-programmed behavior, and the ability to make our own decisions. Some people defer to the automatic, pre-programmed behavior, and give up their will to external forces.

 

There are a mix of natural and instinctual behaviors. I'm not saying that they are good or bad. It's a matter of context, and how they are being used.

 

In trading, if I defer to the natural, instinctual behaviors that run contrary to executing a good strategy, then I WILL loose money, . . guaranteed. I do have natural, instinctual behaviors to take on risk, and that can actually help me in trading. It depends on what behaviors I am "tapping into", and how I am managing those influences when I trade, that determines the outcome. I can not erase my natural instincts, but I hope to manage them.

 

The reason I bring up the subject of instinctual behavior, within the context of the question, "Why are people attracted to trading?", is to state that some people are "hard-wired", to a certain degree, to take big risks. The natural world is a system of over compensation for a high attrition rate. In the natural world, there needs to be a lot of propagation in order to replenish the affects of a very high death rate. Very low survival rates would cause extinction of everything unless there is enough regeneration to outweigh the attrition rate. There needs to be more children than people dying.

 

I'm not trying to promote a certain belief system here about why the world is the way it is, or how things got to this point. I'm just stating the way it is.

 

This is the world we are programed to survive in. Because it is a world of death, disease, injury, sickness and attrition, we are looking for ways to combat those problems. And it would be nice to build up some reserves for the seasons of scarceness.

 

Human beings have a strange mix of being fearful and cautious, but also being attracted to the big payoff. Why will bears risk being stung by the bees to go after the honey? There is a risk/reward battle going on.

 

So, the reasons why people are attracted to trading have to do with our nature to seek out opportunities for gaining resources. We are wired to feel good when we propagate, get plenty of food and shelter, and do things to guarantee the perpetual regeneration of life. And we are hard wired to seek comfort. Of course, the irony is, that loosing all your money doesn't give you comfort or help guarantee your survival.

 

But for progress to be made, and for long term survival to happen, at least some of the population needs to take a risk. If you are a caveman, running out of food in the winter, then you might be willing to try to kill a monster animal with a little stick that has nothing more than a sharp rock tied to the end of it.

 

A certain percentage of the population will be wired to take the risk, or they will just automatically take the risk when conditions put them into the situation.

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MightyMouse properly identifies the four categories of trading mistakes. This applies to someone who has already "succumbed" to the attraction of trading and has made the decision to trade.

 

IMHO, the things that attracted me to trading were broadly superficial but valid (the desire for financial freedom, independence, recognition of limited alternatives). The things that KEEP me trading are deeper and equally valid (an appreciation of the required discipline, pride in accomplishment, and the opportunity to create a profession and livelihood that I can maintain for the rest of my life, regardless of age and possible infirmity.) The initial reasons morphed as I learned more about trading and what it entails.

 

In a riff on that old saw... "Many are called, few are chosen, and only a handful are successful." The field narrows as the challenges of trading discipline and risk management flush out the ones who can't handle it or don't want to. Caveat attemptor!

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Why are people attracted to trading? Why are people attracted to sugar? Why are people attracted to other physically good looking people? Why are people attracted to luxury goods?

 

To a certain degree, human behavior is pre-determined. All human beings have been programed to behave a certain way. It is in your DNA, and in the formation of your mind. Don't misunderstand me, you can manage your natural instincts, and you have a certain degree of free will and choice. Probably a lot, lot less than you would like to believe, but there is some degree of choice.

 

If you or I do not admit to the extent of influence that our natural instincts have on our behavior, then you are powerless against the pre-wired behavior. Many human beings are practically mindless robots, who have no idea why they act, speak or behave the way they do.

 

Observe a child who is 6 or 7 years old acting and talking just like one of their parents. That child has absolutely no comprehension of what they are doing, or why they are doing it. They are mimicking what they see around them, trying to form their identity. But it is done on "auto-pilot". The child did not consciously make a decision to start mimicking other people. They are behaving and talking in a way that is totally "mindless".

 

That child might realize at some later point what they are doing. So there is self-awareness that automatically comes into play at some point. We are a mixture of automatic, pre-programmed behavior, and the ability to make our own decisions. Some people defer to the automatic, pre-programmed behavior, and give up their will to external forces.

 

There are a mix of natural and instinctual behaviors. I'm not saying that they are good or bad. It's a matter of context, and how they are being used.

 

In trading, if I defer to the natural, instinctual behaviors that run contrary to executing a good strategy, then I WILL loose money, . . guaranteed. I do have natural, instinctual behaviors to take on risk, and that can actually help me in trading. It depends on what behaviors I am "tapping into", and how I am managing those influences when I trade, that determines the outcome. I can not erase my natural instincts, but I hope to manage them.

 

The reason I bring up the subject of instinctual behavior, within the context of the question, "Why are people attracted to trading?", is to state that some people are "hard-wired", to a certain degree, to take big risks. The natural world is a system of over compensation for a high attrition rate. In the natural world, there needs to be a lot of propagation in order to replenish the affects of a very high death rate. Very low survival rates would cause extinction of everything unless there is enough regeneration to outweigh the attrition rate. There needs to be more children than people dying.

 

I'm not trying to promote a certain belief system here about why the world is the way it is, or how things got to this point. I'm just stating the way it is.

 

This is the world we are programed to survive in. Because it is a world of death, disease, injury, sickness and attrition, we are looking for ways to combat those problems. And it would be nice to build up some reserves for the seasons of scarceness.

 

Human beings have a strange mix of being fearful and cautious, but also being attracted to the big payoff. Why will bears risk being stung by the bees to go after the honey? There is a risk/reward battle going on.

 

So, the reasons why people are attracted to trading have to do with our nature to seek out opportunities for gaining resources. We are wired to feel good when we propagate, get plenty of food and shelter, and do things to guarantee the perpetual regeneration of life. And we are hard wired to seek comfort. Of course, the irony is, that loosing all your money doesn't give you comfort or help guarantee your survival.

 

But for progress to be made, and for long term survival to happen, at least some of the population needs to take a risk. If you are a caveman, running out of food in the winter, then you might be willing to try to kill a monster animal with a little stick that has nothing more than a sharp rock tied to the end of it.

 

A certain percentage of the population will be wired to take the risk, or they will just automatically take the risk when conditions put them into the situation.

 

I don't think we are naturally pre-programmed to fail at trading at all. I think we are slowly taught to have the ingredients of failure, but are born as naturally capable traders. I think you can blame your family, schooling, religion, society, but I truly doubt your genes have anything to do with it.

 

We are born with no instincts and are taught everything. except for maybe the sucking motion a baby seems to instinctively know how to do. Not sure that you can use that in the market.

 

Also, the often quoted 95% failure rate is an illusion. I say this because I believe that most traders give up rather than fail.

 

The reasons they give up are that they realize that it is difficult to make the money they were hoping to make, they do not have enough capital, etc.

 

Think about it. It is just as hard to consistently make money as it is to consistently lose money if you do not consider commissions. Consistently profitable traders exist, because disenchanted traders give up.

 

MM

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I don't think we are naturally pre-programmed to fail at trading at all. I think we are slowly taught to have the ingredients of failure, but are born as naturally capable traders. I think you can blame your family, schooling, religion, society, but I truly doubt your genes have anything to do with it. MM

 

I like what you are saying, and it does make sense. I do agree that outside influences have a huge affect on our lives and on the mental and psychological part of trading. So I think you are saying that we are born neutral, and that all the negative stuff comes from external experiences?

 

Well, you have got me thinking now. LOL. So if a child from birth was raised perfectly, and only taught good things, and brought up to be a confident and well adjusted person, those influences would guarantee that the child would grow up to be a good person and a good trader?

 

If that really is the case, then how do we explain the bad things that happen in the world? I guess there is the possibility that people are born neutral, or born "good traders", and then some force of evil in the world has shifted that neutrality from birth to a downward cycle of problems and destructiveness. Unless the pure randomness of life guarantees a certain degree of bad things, that then perpetuates itself. But then why don't we overcome all those bad things?

 

I guess whether it's pre-programed genetics, or 100% outside influences, or some combination of the two, in any case, "it is what it is", and how does it get fixed?

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I like what you are saying, and it does make sense. I do agree that outside influences have a huge affect on our lives and on the mental and psychological part of trading. So I think you are saying that we are born neutral, and that all the negative stuff comes from external experiences?

 

Well, you have got me thinking now. LOL. So if a child from birth was raised perfectly, and only taught good things, and brought up to be a confident and well adjusted person, those influences would guarantee that the child would grow up to be a good person and a good trader?

 

If that really is the case, then how do we explain the bad things that happen in the world? I guess there is the possibility that people are born neutral, or born "good traders", and then some force of evil in the world has shifted that neutrality from birth to a downward cycle of problems and destructiveness. Unless the pure randomness of life guarantees a certain degree of bad things, that then perpetuates itself. But then why don't we overcome all those bad things?

 

I guess whether it's pre-programed genetics, or 100% outside influences, or some combination of the two, in any case, "it is what it is", and how does it get fixed?

 

I think the "evil" that happens to us that makes us poor traders is that we are taught to share and be kind. These "evils" are the things that make us fit for society.

 

If we saw a child being fleeced of his lunch money by an adult, we would be horrified by the sight because we have learned that to be wrong. But, figuratively, that type of predatory activity occurs all the time in the market.

 

I do suppose that we can be genetically predisposed to certain things. I doubt that there is a trading gene and if there is we probably all have it rather than not have it since trading was a natural way of surviving for early humans and the very fact that you are here means that someone along your lineage was able to survive and pass it along. Unless, you are of the first to walk erect and, therefore, somewhat behind the rest of us.

 

Not being able to trade because of fear or what have you I think is a function of a fat and happy bourgeois existence.

 

 

MM

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