The opentrader.com commercial is making the rounds again. I am glad that it is stirring up the pot. I will write a response to the responses at a later day when I more calm.
Moving on, I like the angle that Barry Ritholz took in his article How Hard is it to Become the Michael Jordan of Trading? and I believe his argument is fair. He likens trading to professional athletes. He gives the detail statistics about the success rate, being on the other side I am fully aware of those stats.
I believe today is the best time in history to be a trader. Note: I am going to put everything in the context of futures trading but I am sure it is the same for equities.
Costs- Trading is a business and should always be looked at as a business. The hard costs have dramatically gone down. You can get a nice setup; computer, monitor, and stands for a bit over $1000. The first monitor I used was an IBM 15 or 16 inch monitor that retailed for a $1000. The cost of commissions have come down dramatically. I heard of people paying 15 bucks a round turn now you should be able to get it for under 5 bucks. If you do not want to, you do not have to pay for charts your broker will provide them. The difference between the high end and low end is getting wider but as a functioning minimum it has never been more cost effective.
Decentralization- With Dodd-Frank many banks laid off their desks and the trading pits have all but dried up. The amount of money is now spread over more people. Yes high frequency trading has sucked up some of that money. Many ideas in the marketplace means money is more spread around.
Community- Free can be very expensive but stocktwits and twitter at least gives you an chance to see different people and point of views. The quality of blogs out there is amazing and what people are willing to share in exchange for eyeballs is not any small matter.
Mr. Ritholz is right, it is nearly impossible to be the Michael Jordan of trading. But it has never been more cost effective to find out. More over, there are more Scottie Pippens and Steve Kerrs then there ever have been in the history. Many fail at trading but there are other factors other than it being difficult.
(For my international readers or non sports fans, Michael Jordan is considered the best basketball player of all time and Scottie Pippen and Steve Kerr were his side kicks.)
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