It is not going to happen unless you are a trading savant. I don't know any trading savants,
so, if you are one, please write to me?
No matter how educated, intelligent or confident you are, every single person who wants to be
a self-directed and successful trader must progress through four very distinct stages in order to
get there. These are the same stages that it takes to learn any new skill, and, no matter what
you call them or who first described them, they are the same and have been the same since
Unconscious Incompetence: You don't know that you don't know and you don't know what you don't know.
At this stage of your trading, you are not aware of the existence of or need for specific trading skills.
You are, thus, not aware that you have any deficiencies whatsoever as far as trading is concerned
(since you don't know that there are any specific trading skills). Denial may come into play here as
well, as you may think that such skills are unnecessary of not useful and all you have to do is to
subscribe to a service or a hot line or jump on the next "hot" pick and money will come rolling
into your account.
In order to move to the next stage, you must overcome your denial and become consciously aware
of your incompetence. Without taking this next step, you will not progress and no new skill will be
acquired. There will be no learning. You must become fully aware that you don't know what you don't
know in order to proceed to the next stage which is called:
Conscious Incompetence: You know that you don't know
At this stage, you become aware that trading is a skill, which exists, which is practiced by many and
which is relevant to your success. You also become aware of your deficiencies in this area by attempting to trade or practicing how to trade. This is the stage in which you learn how much you don't know, which takes you to the next level of trying to figure out to know what you don't know in order to move forward. Successful traders will, at some point during this stage of the learning process, make a commitment to learn.
They will make a commitment to study, to be teachable and to practice, practice and practice more so that they can move to the next level of the learning pyramid, which is called:
Conscious Competence: You know what you know and you can trade, but you have to think about it.
During this stage, the skill of trading can be performed reliably, consistently and at will. However, you have to concentrate a lot, and think a lot in order to do it. It is not second nature, nor is it automatic. At this stage, you are totally open to more learning, but you are not able to teach anyone else how to do it. The only way to proceed from this stage to the final stage is to practice more and more until...eureka...one day you have reached the stage of:
Unconscious Competence: You know how to do it and don't have to think about it. You just do it.
At this stage, the act and process of trading enters the subconscious areas of your brain. It becomes second nature. If you are really good at it, you can trade and do other things at the same time. Certain people at this stage are capable of teaching others, but it is not a universal trait that such people can teach. In fact, it may be more difficult to teach at this stage since the skill has become largely instinctual. It is at this stage when, if someone asks you how you knew to do that you have to pause, think and say "Hmmm.. I don't really know. I just did it." That is mastery.
There is another, final and rarely discussed stage, which is called Conscious Unconscious Competence. These are the best teachers, and they are rare and difficult to find. Find one of these people to guide and teach you if you really want to learn how to trade.
Recommended Reading: Market Wizards by Jack Schwager. (Look for a trading savant in there and
please let me know if you find one?)