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How Can Competent Traders Become Expert Traders?

Several comments were made lately on a blog post about “The Ten Thousand Hour Rule” I wrote a year ago. This phenomenon was explored by author Malcolm Gladwell in his book titled The Outliers: The Story of Success. As I read this book in late 2009, I calculated I could expect to find my groove in trading options at about the five-year mark.

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That is, if I devoted 40 hours per week for 50 weeks per year, I would achieve meaningful trading success in early 2012, having begun my training in 2007. Since I am passionate about my chosen profession, I continued to read, practice and measure my improvement in trading.

I found this “Time to Expertise” theme again in a current read, Enhancing Trader Performance: Proven Strategies from the Cutting Edge of Trading Psychology by Brett N. Steenbarger, Ph. D.

“Research tells us that a minimum of 10 years is required,” Steenbarger said in the first chapter. “Indeed, this ‘10-year rule’ is one of the more durable findings in expertise research spanning sports, the arts and sciences, chess, and medicine. There is so much knowledge and skill required by most fields that elite performance necessitates years of development.”

“Uh Oh!” I thought. My timeline to become an expert trader had now DOUBLED! Or, maybe Steenbarger’s researchers weren’t talking about full-time engagement in the performance field. I eagerly read more to understand just what he meant!

I wasn’t disappointed. As I continued through the text I found specific suggestions on how to break down the normal activities of the trader, create training drills and measure success. By structuring effective deliberate practice drills the trader can create a streamlined road to expertise.  What it takes is a basic desire and a willingness to take that first step.

How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. So how do YOU become an expert trader? ……

Emilu Bailes
OptionsANIMAL Instructor


Original Post: The 10,000 Hour Rule by Emilu Bailes

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