By Chris Ebert
Ordinarily there is little advice a television evangelist can offer a trader. However, in one such broadcast recently, an evangelist made the following remark.
I paid $90 for a book written by a 70-year old man. Why? Because, what it took him 70 years to learn, I’ll know in three hours.
There are very few professions in which one can practice for a lifetime and still continue to learn. Certainly experience is an asset in any line of work; but it is also true that most occupations have a limited scope that allows one to master the skills of the career over a period of a few years.
Exceptions to the rule are occupations such as law or medicine, for example, in which the scope is so wide that even after a lifetime it is not possible to master every aspect of the field. Trading fits into that category.
Just as a doctor can’t specialize in every aspect of medicine and be expected to be a master of each specialty, neither can a trader be expected to do so. There are just so many products to trade, it is impossible to be an expert in all of them.
It is difficult enough to master the stock market. Then there are currencies, derivatives such as futures and options, and even options on futures. Within the derivatives market there are subsets relating to different facets of the industry, for example commodities or equities, and among those are countless different contracts.
Even if a trader attempts to keep things simple by only trading a single instrument, such as shares of stock, there are different methods of trading. Some traders use technical charts, others trade more by corporate fundamentals. And even among those there are different subsets ranging from day-traders to those who prefer long-term buy-and-hold positions.
It is not inconceivable that there are perhaps a million ways to trade. Therefore it makes sense that (more…)