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Small And Medium, Too

06/18/13 04:10:57 PM
by Austin Passamonte

One of the many misconceptions about trading is this: the vast majority of aspiring traders fail, while a relatively small percentage succeed in wild fashion. In other words, the message board warriors and twitter addicts lead themselves to believe that you will either lose money forever or you will make millions and millions each year. One or the other. Nothing in between.

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Well, like so many other public assumptions and misconceptions about this profession, that simply isn't true. By far the vast majority of profitable traders perform somewhere in the middle of the no-win and mega-rich scale. And of that group, the vast majority are part-time traders. It is a known fact that public posts in any social media forum that show a trader taking massive losses will always draw massive numbers of views... more than any other, actually. People will click through over and over again repeatedly. Why? Because they can personally identify with that experience. They can sympathize or empathize. They are conditioned to expect and believe such results.

On the other hand, when traders post anything related to modest but consistent results, they are questioned or shunned by many. Why? Because many cannot relate to that. Many are conditioned to (falsely) believe that trading either results in net loss or huge gains and nothing in between. That false assumption manifests from newbie logic: if you can make one dollar consistently from trading, just scale up big enough to make millions of dollars. Simple as that, right?.

There are numerous reasons why individual traders cannot or do not scale up their trade size exponentially. Sometimes it has to do with economics; most of the time it is mental limitations. But such internal limitations are every bit as real and fixed as other reasons such as instrument liquidity for ceilings to greater success.

Individual people are vastly different from one another in thought process and behaviors. Lumped together, group behavior blended is predictable. But individual behavior is unpredictable and wide-ranging. To repeat that in plainspeak, some people are comfortable trading larger amounts of money, that is, trade size, than others. It does not have anything to do with capital size. I've known people with seven-figure accounts who only trade one - two futures contracts while others with much less capital work much larger trade sizes than that.

Anyone who succeeds inside personal-performance pursuits discovers the same truths whether they be professional athletes, poker players, bodybuilders, etc. The limitations to ultimate pinnacle of success from outright failure and everything in between are internal and mental. Not everyone is geared to be the absolute biggest or greatest at their pursuit. But that does not mean they have failed in every way. Plenty of world-class professional and even amateur individuals in performance-based pursuits meet or exceed their personal goals for success somewhere between ultimate best and complete failure.

Rest assured that right now as we speak, a number of traders out there in the world are creating success for themselves in roughly to exactly the same manner as us. Peak performers and outright failures are at opposite ends of this bell curve. The vast bulk in the middle of that curve are small- to medium-sized, at-home traders making consistent gains and reaching their own modest goals.

Austin Passamonte

Austin is a private trader who trades emini stock index futures intraday. He currently trades various futures markets from home in addition to managing a trader's educational forum

Title: Individual Trader
Address: PO Box 633
Naples, NY 14512
E-mail address:

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