It’s not unusual for me to peruse prominent (and some not so prominent) e-mini trading education sites and see what’s being promoted and how it’s being promoted. Often times, I find the promises and guarantees espoused on these sites appalling. On the other hand, there are a handful of training educators who seem honest and realistic in the manner in which they portray e-mini trading. That being said, many of the sites promote e-mini trading as something akin to the California gold rush. It is not uncommon to see e-mini trading portrayed as a method to “get rich quick” with a minimal amount of effort.
For the record: E-mini trading is not a get rich quick scheme and takes a considerable amount of effort and time to become proficient and profitable. Further, if an individual believes he or she can read an e-book or two and then slay the markets they are hopelessly mistaken. In this article, I would like to present an accurate portrayal of what e-mini trading “is,” and what e-mini trading “is not.” Some may find my description of the path to e-mini trading success daunting and be terribly disappointed. That’s okay with me because every potential new trader should have a clear idea of this high competition arena they are considering for a career.
Let’s start with a clear idea of what e-mini trading is not:
E-mini trading is not a “get rich quick” profession. The stark truth is that the majority of people who embark on a career in trading lose some or all of their money.
There are very few individuals who are “natural” traders. The vast majority of new traders will find many of the concepts in e-mini trading unnatural and confusing. It takes time and experience to become a consistently profitable e-mini trader.
Most trading books or manuals present a specific system for a new trader to study. The system approach to trading is fraught with danger. These systems may work very well under certain market conditions, but the market is a creature of many moods and very few systems work well in all market situations. The vast majority of mechanical e-mini trading systems fail miserably in non-trending or consolidating markets.
Most consistently profitable traders are highly disciplined in their approach to the market and have developed their trading style and discipline through years of study and experience.
One common characteristic I see on many trading sites is a quote that suggests that you should be able to double your account value on a monthly basis. Some sites even suggest that you may earn even more than double your account value on a monthly basis. It’s not unusual to see headlines on these sites claim returns ranging from 300% to infinity.
It is highly improbable that you are going to double your account on a monthly basis. It’s improbable that I am going to double my account on a monthly basis. Granted, I have had some exceptional months in my trading career, but the notion that I can consistently double my account each month is preposterous.
Fact: In the first several months of your e-mini trading career you will be lucky to break even. Even more to the point, most new traders lose considerable sums of money during the early stages of their trading career. The statistics suggest that 50% of all new traders lose their entire trading account balance.