Successful trading is similar to everything in life. In order to be successful in trading you get out of it what you put in. A trading strategy will only be successful if you put the effort into it and back it up with the right trading mentality.

The markets offer returns not found in most arenas of investing, and for those who properly prepare and keep their heads on straight along the way, life is very good.

If you’re willing to do what’s necessary, you’ll find a sense of calm reassurance that you are capable of being successful as a trader, and you’ll enjoy the lifestyle that you’re hoping for. Learning and practicing trading strategies can be a wonderful, fun, exciting, profitable, educational activity that, done right, can provide a nice living for you.

If this doesn’t match your present experience, then read on.

Many people come into the markets having heard numerous rags-to-riches (almost overnight) stories about how easy it can be; how some average Joe borrowed $1,000 on his credit card and in 30 days parlayed it into $100,000 without breaking a sweat and only working only 20 minutes a day.

Good sales job selling the dream! Better than the lottery and Publisher’s Clearing House. Too bad they don’t tell you about the emotional fire-breathing dragons waiting to turn you and your money to ashes. Though the fantasy sounds great, it is far from the reality.

You must come to the markets properly suited for battle. You must be prepared to take on the emotions of fear, doubt, anxiety, greed–and many others–or your chances of survival are slim.

Ninety percent of the people who come to the markets lose their money. This is a long-standing figure, and one that’s there for a reason. The markets don’t care about you and like it or not, you have absolutely no control over them. The markets will do as they please whether it makes you rich or poor.

That 10% of traders who are successful is largely comprised of people who started out just like you and me: not knowing much about trading nor what it’s like to cope with the incredibly strong emotions that come into play in trading.

There are even some who’ve come, lost, and left. Who return somewhat tempered, starting off better in the first weeks or months, only to fall back into earlier patterns that bring ruin.

For most long-term, successful traders, the achievement of their current position has come at the price of years of struggle, of going through the cycles of success and failure, not to mention all the money lost in the process. Many prominent figures in the trading world have said that it took them 15-20 years to become an established and consistently successful trader.

For you and me, the idea of struggling for years before we finally arrive at the dream that we had in the beginning is not a pleasant prospect. But in fact, there is no 15- minute “how-to” which allows you to sit back and do nothing while everything comes up roses. Becoming a successful trader is going to take dedication and work on your part.

The good news, however, is that there are ways to shorten the tunnel and bring that light considerably closer. There is a direct route to that point.

There will be some work to do of course. I hope to challenge you and to impel you to challenge yourself. You may have some uncomfortable realizations, but, after all, you’re here to get results.

It is exactly in your skill sets, your perceptions, your understanding, your emotional control and clarity where change is needed in order to bring positive results in your trading experience.

If you want to be a successful trader you must decide right now, however, that you are going to do the exercises, that you’ll be sincere in your effort and honest with yourself in answering any questions. If you can decide to do that, you’re halfway there. Good luck with your trading.

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