10 Lessons Stock Trading Teaches About Success and Failure
When it comes to trading stocks, both for your profession and as a hobby, it is important that you understand the process is about more than just making (or losing) money. In fact, when done correctly, the stock market can teach you a great deal about success and about failure.
Throughout my nearly two decades trading stocks and now nearly a decade in teaching others, I’ve realized the stock market can also help you learn a ton about the world around you. I have learned so much so that I have made a list of more than 100 rules to help my students get through the common challenges that impact most traders.
1. Knowledge of multiple niches and industries is always beneficial.
Knowledge is power. I tell my students over and over they should research medical, technology, financial and economic fields instead of focusing on just one. Every market is related and it’s far better to understand how. More knowledge will never make you a worse trader, investor or entrepreneur.
2. Nothing substitute for hard work.
I am often asked why, if I have thousands of students, only a handful are millionaires? Why do most small businesses fail within the first few months?
There are a few reasons, from having the wrong strategy and overblown expectations, but usually it comes down to a lack of preparation and dedication to see it through. It takes a lot of time to study, learn and implement any strategy before you can see success. Many people give up along the way. They expect immediate success and fail to learn from mistakes made along the way.
For the same reason most people with gym memberships rarely even go. They are unwilling to persevere through the ups and downs. Don’t make that mistake.
3. Success won’t come without challenges.
Many people get into trading, finance and business expecting success will come quickly and without sacrifice. They believe failing means they should quit because it “doesn’t work” or that “it’s not for them.”
You will fail because no investor or trader is perfect. You need adapt and still dream big because success requires overcoming obstacles. If you keep your eyes on the prize, and become stronger and wiser overcoming failure and setbacks, you will ultimately succeed.
4. This is a historic era of business prosperity.
Now is a unique time in history. The Internet has made it easy to start a business or invest in stocks or even new crypto-currencies like Bitcoin. Take advantage of it!
We are currently in one of the biggest bull markets ever, all with political stability. That means are opportunities for everyone, from anywhere, no matter their age, race or sex to better their position in life.
5. You aren’t limited by location.
You can start a business, trade and invest from anywhere in the world thanks to the Internet. You aren’t limited to any location you don’t love, or to a single location at all.
Online discount brokers and websites dedicated to helping small businesses have revolutionized business as we know it. Sadly, only a small percentage of early adopters have taken advantage of these cultural changes. You can have freedom and location-independence if you take advantage of the opportunity to do business and trade while traveling the world.
6. Invest like a coward.
One thing you learn from stock market failure stories is being a coward works far better than being aggressive, blowing up and losing it all. Don't be ashamed that you're afraid of losing money or your company. That makes you more conservative and while your growth is often slower, you stay in the game, learn to profit from various market inefficiencies and succeed far more, with far less stress, in the end.
7. Patiently persevere for ultimate and lasting success.
Take each trade, business strategy or project one at a time. Learn from small successes and failures along the way to adapt and refine your long term strategy. Don’t try to make it big all at once. It will all pay off in the end if you wait patiently for the right opportunities and trades.
Too many greedy people want success right away and that hurts their overall performance. Don't try to rush success. Let others fail all around you. Learn from their mistakes and do better.
8. Never stop learning.
The best experts in their field will tell you all of the time that you should never stop learning. The same applies to the stock market. The market is always changing, meaning you need to be learning so you can always change with it. No matter how much you make or lose, never stop studying, researching and challenging yourself to learn more and earn more. By focusing on bettering yourself and growing your knowledge-base all the time, never getting too comfortable with your success or position in life, you’ll find you become better prepared than most everyone else.
9. Take a multi-faceted approach.
This is a lesson that can be applied to various aspects of your life, but one that is illustrated perfectly by the stock market. When trading, using both technical analysis and fundamental analysis on every trade. Most losses are caused by your own failure to consider one or more key indicators, so make sure you are analyzing a decision from every angle first. Most business failures are due to not having considered ALL the variables so learn to be meticulous…go over-the-top with your preparation and while laid-back people might hate you for it, the odds of your success are much greater.
10. Money does not buy happiness.
You will not be fulfilled by focusing only on money and profits, or thinking that money is key to your happiness. Yes, it can buy you lots of fun materialistic goods and adventures, but trust me you’ll still have a yearning deep down inside. You will never feel satisfied with money alone, it’s what money can do, namely help those less fortunate, take care of your loved ones, allow you geographical freedom, that really does satisfy you.