How long does it take to learn trading? - VRD Nation (2024)

This is a very common and obvious question, especially for beginners.

Moreover, since this is a serious question, it also deserves a serious answer.

So, I will answer this question from the several years of my own experience in trading and also from the experience of meeting and working with thousands of traders over the years.

So, first and foremost, I want to say that in this digital age, we are getting used to instant gratification – that is the desire to experience pleasure or fulfillment without delay. We want everything right now!!

So, if you are in the mood to watch a movie, no need to wait, go to Netflix or YouTube.

With this kind of mindset, we come to the stock market which is very flashy and exciting. Right? You keep hearing about stories of traders who doubled their money in just 1 month, or someone who made 25 lakh rupees in one trade and so our mind says “What are you waiting for?…just do it.”

It is because instant gratification might be okay when you are craving for a pizza or a movie, it is an absolutely bad mindset for learning a new skill.

Learning any skill takes time and the higher the market value of the skill, the longer it takes to learn it.

To be a carpenter might take a few months, a web designer takes a year but to become an engineer takes 4 years and a doctor takes at least 5 years to start practice.

So, when people come to me and ask to conduct a 2-day workshop or a day’s workshop and teach us how to trade, here is what I ask them:

“By trading, you are expecting to make money what a successful doctor or engineer would make but for learning this valuable skill, you are not even willing to invest the time it takes to become a mechanic or a carpenter?”

Do you see the gap in this expectation vs reality?

So, the bottom line is that learning to trade needs time and there are no shortcuts.

Now, the question comes, exactly how much does it take? Here, I divide this learning process into two categories – learning swing trading and learning intraday.

Swing trade means that you are taking delivery of a position for a few days to few weeks. It is a perfect form of trading for working professionals.

In my experience, it takes a good 6 months to learn Swing trading.

Let’s break these 6 months down to see where exactly we need to spend that time.

The first month is required to build a solid foundation of the stock market. You need to understand exactly how the stock market works, Demat account, trading account, order types, who are FIIs, who are DII etc. etc. – all the basics.

Then, you will learn technical and fundamental analysis. Now, a lot of people think that if you know a few candlestick chart patterns, Doji, bullish engulfing, dark cloud cover etc, you have learned technical analysis. So, these patterns are part of technical analysis but the subject is much broader than that.

Next, you would be spending a month or so learning about risk management, trading psychology, money management – all these are very important topics- you cannot afford to ignore them.

After this comes the mother of all topics: futures and options. Options are arguably the most complex, yet the most important topic you would learn. And because the topics are complex, it takes a good 2 months to understand them. How are options priced?– In real life, not theory- in real life understand what does delta mean, Vega, gamma…how option strategies are designed and how they are applied in different kinds of the market?

After covering all these topics, you would come to Strategies- the good news is that learning the strategies is not that hard as it would take about a couple of weeks.

As you can see, it takes a good 6 months to learn swing trading- and that too when you have someone to guide you, share the time-tested strategies and demonstrate you live how those strategies are applied in real life. If you are doing it on your own, obviously it can take longer.

Intraday trading means that you take a position and close it within the same trading session- meaning that buying and selling are happening in the same session.

For learning intraday trading, it takes about 1 year.

See, the difference between swing and intraday trading is the same as knowing how to drive a passenger car vs a Formula 1 race car.

The working of the car is the same, the engine, the accelerator work the same way and the steering wheel has the same purpose. However, what’s different in Formula 1 racing is speed. You are operating at a much higher speed.

In the same way, the knowledge you gathered for learning to swing trade is more or less the same that you need to learn intraday.

However, what is required there is practice. Practice, practice and some more practice because everything will be much faster there.

Deciding which strategy to apply, when to apply, cutting losses when they are small, selection of scripts and hundreds of other decisions that need to be made under pressure.

So, the more you practice, the more you learn about the market and your strengths and weaknesses and it takes time to master both.

There is also a practical aspect of why it takes longer to learn intraday.

See, what happens is that when you learn trading in a very short time, whatever you learn would work in that particular market context but when the market changes, you will find that those concepts are not applicable in a different market context.

The market is not static and it’s dynamic. It goes through the cycle of a bull market, bear market, accumulation, distribution, expansion, contraction, low volatility and high volatility.

For example, the traders who entered the market in 2017 were not able to cope with the volatility of 2018. The traders of 2018 had a tough time in 2019 and the traders of 2019 were not able to handle the market crash of 2020.

So, the longer you stay in the market, the higher is your likelihood of success in a different market.

The mindset of instant gratification will not work in the stock market. You will need to be patient and be ready to work hard. For learning swing trading, it takes at least 6 months and for intraday trading, at least a year.

So don’t get discouraged by the time required because this is a skill that will make you money for the rest of your life. There is no retirement in trading as you can trade from your home even when you’re 80.

Hence, think of the long-term prospects and learn trading right away.

How long does it take to learn trading? - VRD Nation (2024)


How long does it take to learn trading? - VRD Nation? ›

For learning swing trading, it takes at least 6 months and for intraday trading, at least a year.

How long do most trades take to learn? ›

Trade school programs vary by length of study. Most trade school diploma programs take between three months and one year. Though associate degree programs will usually take a bit longer - between 18 and 24 months to complete - there are also programs that are incredibly short.

How long does it take to learn trading options? ›

After college, its a lifetime of research and experimentation in this instrument or industry. As such, I would say that the time needed to attain complete mastery of options trading takes a lifetime and many experts have dedicated a lifetime of work in the area of options trading.

What is the fastest way to learn trading? ›

Scan business news and bookmark reliable online news outlets.
  1. Set Aside Funds. Assess and commit to the amount of capital you're willing to risk on each trade. ...
  2. Set Aside Time. ...
  3. Start Small. ...
  4. Avoid Penny Stocks. ...
  5. Time Those Trades. ...
  6. Cut Losses With Limit Orders. ...
  7. Be Realistic About Profits. ...
  8. Reflect on Investment Behavior.
Apr 19, 2024

How long does it take to become proficient at day trading? ›

Like any other endeavor you seek to master, you must be a good student and diligently practice daily. Not to be dismal, but only about 4% of people will make it as successful day traders. Further, it takes about six months to a year of hard work before seeing those consistent profits.

Is 30 too old to learn a trade? ›

There's no need to worry that it's too late to start a career in the skilled trades. These jobs are perfect for people of all ages and experience levels.

Which trades are hardest to learn? ›

According to other contractors, electrical and HVAC are among the hardest to learn, but flooring and cleaning specialists were most likely to call their own crafts the toughest. Again, carpentry was viewed as one of the most difficult by both groups.

Is learning trading tough? ›

Someone who's been through hard work and immense practice will know that being a consistent trader does not come easy. Yes, it is definitely hard. The ease that one gets is not overnight but a result of immense discipline, losses, hard work, and developing your own systems and strategies.

Is trading hard to learn? ›

We can say the same for trading: It's easy enough to learn but takes time to master. It's why a lot of people fail in trading: They just do not take the time to practice. If you don't put in the time to practice, you'll never make mistakes. And if you don't make mistakes, you'll never learn from them.

Can I learn trading on my own? ›

Starting trading on your own can become complicated at times, and you would need a mentor to walk you through the investment process. The mentor can be a family member, your teacher or professor, your stockbroker or just a trustworthy person you know, who has the knowledge about the market and can guide you through it.

What is the easiest trade skill to learn? ›

Carpentry is one of the easiest trades to learn. It involves constructing and repairing structures made from wood, such as houses, furniture, and other wooden objects. Carpenters typically use hand tools like saws, hammers, chisels, planes and drills to create their projects.

Which trade is best for beginners? ›

Overview: Swing trading is an excellent starting point for beginners. It strikes a balance between the fast-paced day trading and long-term investing.

What type of trading is easiest to learn? ›

Stock Trading: This involves buying and selling shares of individual companies listed on a stock exchange. Stock Trading can be a great option for beginners because it is relatively straightforward and there exists a lot of easily accessible information about individual companies.

Is it hard to make $100 a day trading? ›

You're really probably going to need closer to 4,000 or $5,000 in order to make that $100 a day consistently. And ultimately it's going to be a couple of trades a week where you total $500 a week, so it's going to take a little bit more work.

How many trades should a day trader make a day? ›

A day trader might make 100 to a few hundred trades in a day, depending on the strategy and how frequently attractive opportunities appear. With so many trades, it's important that day traders keep costs low — our online broker comparison tool can help narrow the options.

What are the easiest trades to learn? ›

Carpentry is one of the easiest trades to learn. It involves constructing and repairing structures made from wood, such as houses, furniture, and other wooden objects. Carpenters typically use hand tools like saws, hammers, chisels, planes and drills to create their projects.

Is 22 too late to learn a trade? ›

It's clear then that there isn't such a clear age limit on learning a new trade. If you do, it can be the beginnings of a career where you can gain a high level of flexibility and consistently high profits.

Is it too late to learn a trade at 25? ›

The journey of continuous learning and skill acquisition never ends. Embracing this mindset opens up endless possibilities, making any time the right time to start anew. The stories of countless individuals who've pivoted to new careers around age 25 are a testament to the power of resilience and learning.

Is 35 too late to learn a trade? ›

It's Never Too Late for a New Career

is a loud no. A fresh career can be pursued at any time. Taking advantage of education at any age allows you to follow your passions and opens doors to new opportunities and personal improvement.

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