Practice and Trading Education

BarroMetrics Views: Practice and Trading Education

Despite the plethora of educators, studies show that the success ratio for successful retail trading remains the same as when I first started in the late 60’s: somewhere in the region of 77% to 92% of traders fail to make the grade and have to top up their trading capital or leave the game.

Why have we seen little improvement?

Part of the reason –

  1. The fact that some of the content is thinly disguised ‘get rich quick’ schemes that have little chance of long-term success. And part of the reason,
  2. The fact that retail traders believe that you can attain consistent without investing time, money or effort. And part of the reason,
  3. The fact that recent discoveries in Neurology show that among the educators that have content to offer, the chosen mode of delivery will fail in the majority of cases.

It’s this last aspect I want to take up here.

The ‘normal’ mode of delivery is a 2-day to a -5-day seminar where the attendee takes copious notes of the presented material. Usually, he is then left to his own devices to apply the learning. Even among the seminars that provide follow-up, the attendee’s role is usually limited to one of being a spectator.

The learning discoveries say this method is not the optimal one.  The best learning practices are ones where the attendees learnt to practice key skills multiple times and where they learned to practice correctly. In short, the seminar/workshop has to be designed so that practice is an essential part of the workshop – “the workshop (goes) from being about what the techniques (are) to how to practice them”.

For me, this meant that I had to redesign my own seminar/workshops. I commenced with with some major changes in the second part of my latest ‘live-sessions’ – the idea being that I would compare the results with the traditional, first part.

My finding?

The studies are correct – the practice format turns out better traders.  As one attendee put it:

“….during the live session was wonderful. It became an epiphany / wake up call of sorts for me personally…”

Given the work this attendee puts in, I would take the comment to mean that he is now achieving the results he deserves.

1 thought on “Practice and Trading Education”

  1. Yes, I very much agree with you Ray. As an experienced corporate trainer I teach experientially. Frankly, in my industry I continue to be amazed at the amount of training that overloads participants with data usually via powerpoint and the lack of practise exercises.

    Creating a context (or series of contexts) where participants experience the ‘patterns’ leads to ownership and better application of those patterns. As a friend of mine says, “A pattern presented belongs to the presenter, a pattern discovered belongs to the discoverer”.

    There is now a huge body of knowledge in the psychology sub-field of Expertise and Expert performance that strongly supports disciplined practise within a well designed learning context.

    In our corporate training engagements all training is supported by ‘on the job’ coaching. Great to see that you are using cutting edge training design for trader education.

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