The 10,000-hour rule is a theory that was developed by Malcolm Gladwell in a book called Outliers. In this book he stated that practicing daily, weekly and monthly over the course of 10 years will equate to around 10,000 hours of practice, this is the magic number needed to be able to perform a task to the standard of a professional, Malcolm was not being specific to a particular skill, instead, he suggested that anything can be taught in this manner, so how does this apply to Forex trading?
We all know that practice is important, you cant get good at anything without it, but when it comes to Forex, is this based on time? If we take the example literally and suggest that you have now been trading daily for the past 10 years, you would have experienced some of the major ups and downs that have occurred from 2010, these include things like the US financial crisis, the European debt crisis as well as the most recent drop of oil prices into the negatives. The experience of going through and experiencing those major moments in financial history can give you a much better understanding of major events and thus can enable you to plan your trades and strategies better.
Those are just the major events, trading in more standard trading conditions can also give you a better-developed understanding of how the markets actually behave and how they like to move in trends and patterns, the timeframes, trading session differences, and which currency pairs you prefer. It will also help you to understand a little about yourself, what your risk tolerance is, and how your personality dictates some of your trading decisions. We would also hope that the 10 years of trading experience would help you to develop some of the better trading habits and to have worked out some of the more damaging ones.
So does the 10,000-hour rule actually work? It is impossible to say and it will also vary for everyone, how much and how quickly you pick up and retain information and habits. A quick learner or more technical-minded person may get to the performance and have the knowledge of a professional in 1,000 hours or less, someone that takes longer to learn may take 20,000 hours to learn what is needed. The 10,000-hour rule should be taken as guidance rather than as a rule, once you hit that 10,000-hour mark it does not magically make you an expert.
Within the world of Forex, there are far more important things to learn than just putting in the hours, just trading for 10,000 hours will not teach you a thing if you just contact output in trades with no reasoning behind them or no learning from your mistakes. Using your time wisely to develop a working strategy, to help remove those bad habits and learn new good habits to replace them is just as important as the time you are putting in.
While we cannot deny that becoming a professional or even profitable trader, in the long run, does take time, a lot of time, we can’t really put a figure on how much, that will come down to you, your dedication and your willingness to learn.