It’s an interesting question, how long does it take to learn to trade? The fact of the matter is that there is not a set amount of time. You could technically learn to trade within the time it takes you to sign up with a broker, download the trading platform, log in, and push the trade button. Having said that, it is far easier to simply put on a trade than it is to actually know what it is that you are doing and why you are putting on that trade. So that is what we are going to be looking at today, how long it can take for you to become efficient and to have the knowledge required to trade properly. Of course, it will be different for everyone, so take it with a pinch of salt, but this is our idea of how long it will take to learn to trade.
For many, picking up the basics, things like how to actually place the trade within the trading platform, gaining the knowledge needed to look at the charts, and work out at least the basics of what is going on can happen pretty quickly. The basics are there all over the internet, simply reading about forex will mean you probably gained enough knowledge for a basic understanding of what is going on and why things are moving the way that they are. What isn’t so simple, is actually trying to master what it is that you know, gaining the experience to really understand how things work and how you can use what you know to improve on your own trading skills.
There is one main aspect that we need to think about when it comes to learning to trade, and that is simply how much time it can take. There is not one person when it comes to trading who knows everything that there is to know, nor will there ever be. No one person will be able to tell you exactly how long it will take for you to learn or how long it will take for you to become profitable. There are a few different questions that you are able to ask yourself though, which may give you a little idea as to how long it may take you and whether or not you are up to the challenge.
How much time and work are you willing to put in?
We are going to throw this out there straight away, there is a lot of work ahead of you, and when we say a lot, we mean A LOT. Forex and trading as a whole is an exercise that you will never fully master, there will always be things to learn and things to improve on. Due to this, you will be required to put in a lot of effort and a lot of time, you need to consider what some of your other commitments are. If you are working full time, then you may well find that you struggle to find enough time to effectively learn and develop yourself as a trader.
When you are just starting out, you will be coming into it excited and eager to learn. However, you will need to limit the amount of time that you are putting into it. This sounds counterproductive and goes against what we stated above, but if you put all of your time into it, you will be attempting to learn things a little too fast which will lead to missed information, it could also cause you to simply burnout. Doing something every minute of every day will make anything see and feel a little boring, so you need to limit yourself a little when it comes to learning.
How much money do you have available to invest?
We will of course give the usual warning, do not invest anything that you cannot afford to lose. If you want to be truly successful in trading, then you do not actually need a lot of money, you do however need a lot of time. The more money you have to begin with the less time it will potentially take for you to reach your target. Having a higher capital within your account will offer you a lot of additional options when it comes to available assets to trade and the risk management plans that you are able to put in place, it also helps to increase your profit potential. Having some extra money also gives you access to trading courses and education that those without a lot of money may need to miss out on, giving you another avenue for some more education and learning.
We must point out again though do not invest anything you cannot afford to lose, we have seen a lot of people put all their savings into their accounts or to even borrow money in order to trade and to pay for courses. Don’t be one of these people.
For many traders or wannabe traders, they do not want to put in years of effort before becoming profitable, some don’t even put in a week. If you want to truly experience trading and to know whether or not it will be for you, then you need to give it at least a month, that is the absolute minimum, the longer you give it the better. Going through the basics, getting an understanding of styles, strategies, and risk management will probably take you that initial month, then you have to practice on a demo account and finally actually attempt liv trading. So it will take time, you need to give it time. It will differ from person to person. We all learn at different paces and we all manage to get past our natural habits at different paces. So if you see someone doing better than you, just remember that they are different, you may be doing things at a slower pace, but this does not mean that you are doing them any worse.
So it takes time to become an expert trader, or even just a profitable one (unless you are one of the few that get incredibly lucky early on), but it takes more than just that and there are also other aspects that will make things take a little longer or a little less time. We briefly spoke about the dedication that you will need to put in, the time you need to set aside to learn and to do it consistently, if you take regular long breaks, as in days at a time, then it will take you far longer than someone who has set aside an hour or two each day, doing irregularly helps to keep the info fresh and allows you to retain a lot more of it. If you are easily distracted, then this can again make things take a little longer, make sure that your trading environment is free from distractions, and that it is an environment where you will be able to focus and keep focus during your time of learning and trading.
There are also the psychological aspects of trading, being able to remain calm in stressful situations, and being able to control your emotions, especially ones like greed and overconfidence can keep you on the right track. As soon as you let one of those emotions take over then it can set you back quite a considerable period of time, especially if it leads to a lesser two. Learn to control your emotions, do not allow them to influence your analysis or trade taking thoughts and processes, they will only hinder you.
Risk management is another thing that if you get it wrong, it will set you back a long way and even has the potential to make you want to quit. You need to be able to protect your capital if you are thinking of becoming a successful trade, a single loss without a proper risk management plan in place will have the potential to completely blow your account. It does not take long to learn or to develop your own trading risk management plan. You will need to get this in place before you start trading on a live account, so take the time (it won’t be a long time) to create one and do not be afraid of making alterations to it as you go, that is what a good trader does.
Ultimately, trading will take you a long time to get good at, it is easy to trade but certainly not easy to trade well. You will need to be prepared to put in a lot of effort, to be able to put certain other aspects of your life aside if you want to learn it quickly, otherwise, be prepared for a long process. There is no set time as to how long it will take you to learn to trade profitably, it will be different for everyone, so do not try to compare yourself, simply focus on your own career, if you are enjoying it then it won’t matter how long it takes, the time will fly by and you will be enjoying yourself doing it. So we cannot give you an exact answer as to how long it will take to learn to trade, but we can say that you should simply not expect it to be a quick process.