Why most people do not succeed at day trading e-mini futures

There could be more than one reason for that, but one definitely stands out and it's universal: they simply give up.

Yes, it's universal and it applies to practically every field of human endeavor worth pursuing and hence being relatively challenging. I have known it for quite a while (and I doubt I am the only one to know this secret) and I have mentioned it a number of times on this website, but let me re-iterate it one more time.

The reason why so many fail at day trading emini futures or trading, in general, has nothing to do with trading being more difficult than many other occupations. This, I believe, is a myth, perpetuated by the trading psychobabble industry that wants you to believe that the main reason traders fail is because of the mental aspects of trading that most people handle indeed pretty poorly.

No, the main reason this is so is because they don't have what it truly takes to be successful and hence they just quit. Happens all the time, across many occupations or professions that people choose to pursue. It has nothing to do with trading per se.

Let me give you one more example of this that I just found in the recent Reuters news. The example, posted by Reuters on May 2nd, 2012, has to do with with the free online course offered by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Here is the relevant piece: "MIT said 120,000 people signed up for the first such course - Introduction to Circuits and Electronics - that MITx rolled out earlier this year. Halfway through the course, some 20,000 were still actively keeping up with it."

See? That means that 80% or more have given up already halfway through the course. Same with trading. Yes, it's challenging, but the 90% or so failure rate among wannabe traders should not be attributed to trading being somehow particularly challenging. Not at all.

It should be attributed first and foremost to a simple fact that 80% of humans don't have or even don't know what it takes to be successful and hence end up as failures, whether they like to be called that way or not, and so no wonder that there are so many of those among traders as well.

If you are considering an emini trading career, you may want to keep in mind that it's your commitment, passion, desire to succeed that are much more likely to make or break you as a trader than some arcane aspects of trading psychology (or virtually anything, for that matter) and I don't mean to discount trading psychology, but I do think that it tends to be pretty overrated.

I believe that psychology can be very useful in advising you if you are a good candidate for a trader. Unfortunately, not so many trading psychologists seem to address this issue at all, let alone as a very important one, perhaps because doing so would dramatically lower their number of clients.

Still, before you embark on studying how you can improve your trading performance through psychology, you may as well ask yourself if your psychological profile makes you likely to succeed in the trading business. If not, perhaps it's better to accept it for there is nothing wrong with that, and it makes little sense to struggle to prove something. There is more than one way to succeed in life, and succeeding at trading may not even be the most important or rewarding one.

But if you believe that you can do it, even if your befriended online psychologist does not concur, then by all means go for it. Sometimes, it's really better to give it a try than to regret not doing so. Proceed with caution, though, and seek wise advice of those who have succeeded, but perhaps also of those who have failed before you. You will probably learn more from the former, but it's prudent to avoid the mistakes made by the latter.