How Do I Start Trading?

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Hello Mr. Bellafiore,

I just read an article/post from you, and I think you are one of the few out there who know what they are doing and not after the quick buck.

I’ve wanted to be a trader for close to 15 years. I’m 41 now, and I still have this desire. I never quite could get my head around where to begin and what to do.

Do you have any suggestions?

I hope that you aren’t tired of these emails, I bet you get them a lot.

BTW: I live in Belgium


In the upper right hand corner of our blog, you can signup for our Free 10 Day Training Class.  You might start there. You will gain exposure to key concepts in trading with HD videos, podcasts and written lectures we created for the trading community.

Read the trading classics: Steenbarger, Schwager, O’Neill, Douglas, Elder, Livermore, Darvas, Lewis, Covel.

Visit essential sites that are great themselves and for pointing out the excellent works of others:  TraderFeed, Abnormal Returns, The Kirk Report.

Papertrade and test trading strategies.

Along the way answer an essential question for yourself…… Are you enjoying the study of trading?

If so, then you might consider next steps.  This is where we must make the important distinction between books, blogs, educational videos and TRADER TRAINING.

Videos and books and blogs are NOT trader training.  They are an important first step.  We say you must develop domain knowledge about a subject to start the process of mastery.

But then, and this is enormously important, you must start TRAINING to become a trader.  Subsequent trader education programs you enroll in must TRAIN you how to trade.  Drills, mentoring, coaching, introduction of trading edge, immersion into groups and contact in real-time of other pro traders is essential.

If you wanted to become a high level golfer would you read a book and watch a video and then stop there?  No you would continue by signing up for lessons, TRAINING, with a local golf pro.  You must do the same with your trading development.  And that training must be intensive and focused on drills to build your skill development.

When we were discussing adding options education to SMB with featured video education from awesome educators, we added intensive mentoring sessions to all the options education.  The 3 Day Training Camp we just had in-house was an opportunity for students to be immersed into our culture and firm and training.

Trading is a skill!

And then you must start slowly.  Our newest class trades one trade at a time, with a tight loss limit and a max share size of 300 shares.  They earn the privilege to trade bigger after showing real-time profitability.  We are two weeks into them trading live and mentoring and we are still training them to trade one play.

I hope that helps!

Related Posts:

Insufficient Trader Training

Video of Bella at Indiana University

“You can be better tomorrow than you are today!”

Mike Bellafiore is the Co-Founder of SMB Capital and SMBU, which provides trading education in stocks, options, forex and futures. Bella is the author of One Good Trade and The PlayBook. He welcomes your trading questions at [email protected].

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