I cannot say that I have been trading for 10 years.
However, I have been trading for 8 years, out of which I traded full time from 2012 through to 2014 on a harmonic patterns strategy as well as for a whole year in 2015.
Only recently have I taken it up again on a serious level but not full time (several hours a week).
I initially, like most other traders, was searching for the best signal service, best strategy, best indicator, where I tried thousands in the hope of finding the holy grail. There were numerous times where I was sure I had found the correct methodology, only to then be outdone by very poor trade plans. I was shooting for the stars, listening to all the rhetoric that I had heard online, believing that I could outperform anyone, even the greatest - how idiotic of myself. I was so sure of what I would achieve that I completely ignored the steps required to achieve them. The one thing that let me down at the start was my inability to hold out on my winners and therefore my average would be usually half of my average loss.
After I got over this hump I was then further held back by overtrading and 'chasing the market' particularly after a loss - rather than looking at the market in a strategic and naked way (price action).
I took a break from trading and focused on finding a job in the financial markets sector, which I can say that I have successfuly sought, although in more of an IT than pure markets role. Nontheless, this helped me think about what was really important to me and also re-evaluate my expectations from trading as it was something that I did want to eventually go back into.
I came across a very basic price action strategy and did some back-testing towards the middle of last year as well as some demo trading (which I must admit I found quite unmotivating as I would rather use real money). After three months of demo trading, and positive results, I took the system live.
I used a fairly small amount of capital to ensure that I do not let emotions get the better of me as well as not being too overconfident and trusting. I do, however, maintain that trust in my strategy but what I have learnt is that you cannot just rely on your strategy and apply it in a binary method. There will be an element of having a view on the market and that is sometimes subjective. It helps decide whether I stay in or out of the market on any given day.
My system went live in November, it's a manual system by the way, and within 2 weeks I was just under 15% up for the month, however, as I was still trialling my system, I decided to take on some alternative strategies along with my current strategy and did up giving a sizeable chunk back to the market. I ended up around 1% down for the month of November (my first month witht the adoption of this strategy). It was hard to take as I was continuously thinking 'what if I had stuck to this, or not done that, or traded this pair more, and this pair less, etc, etc). I decided that it would be important to review all my trades and do some deeper analysis into the rationale for the trade and the overall market view.
I cannot stress how important it is to review your trades and document them. It is easy to screenshot but it is a lot more time consuming and beneficial to carry out some quantitative research into the behaviour of the trades. It is simply invaluable. I have even managed to become more aware of my feelings when I am trading and I can distinguish when I have a gambler's mentality or a trader's mindset. There is that feeling in your stomach which is hard to explain.
Nonetheless, I took the time out to examine what had gone wrong and also decided to select what I trade more carefully which was tricky at first but necessary.
I managed to generate just shy of 4% during the month of December and in this volatile and rocky first week of January I have generated 14%
It is easy to get ahead of yourself in this game but the one thing to remember is that nothing is decided in a day. Trading is a long-term game and it requires a very level headed psyche. I could go on for hours but what I will recommend to everyone, and I'm sure the more experienced traders have said this, is to focus on price action trading or really keeping your system as simple as possible with minimal reliance on indicators.
I wish everyone on this thread well, happy trading, and never stop learning.
May the odds be ever in your favour.
When you lose, don't lose the Lesson