DURING THE 1990s tech boom/stock market melt-up, practically everyone with a pulse and a brokerage account called themselves “traders.” And when the bubble burst, most fell off the radar. Those who survived the wreckage when it all came crashing down were the champs. But were they traders yet?
At what point can you call yourself a trader? It’s difficult to come up with an answer when there are no criteria to meet, nor a clearly defined path to follow. It’s a bit of a “to each their own” type of profession, which makes it more difficult to know if you’ve made the cut.
Like other professions, in trading you have to take baby steps to get from beginner to pro. But it may not be very clear cut. Initially things can be chaotic, trading short-term volatility. But at some point, you’ve gotta dip your toes in the water—being careful that you don’t throw yourself in at the deep end.
So, what merits the “trader” title? Our feature article, “I Trade, Therefore I Am,” on page 16 suggests three boxes to check off before you can call yourself a trader. But don’t worry, if you can’t check off all three, it’s not a be-all, end-all. It simply gives you something to work toward.
Once there, you evolve, adapt, and expect change to happen—market caps might increase, robots could take over the market, and virtual currencies may even become trendy. And you might even try trading products you never considered. Learn about futures options; they act a lot like equity options, but they have unique characteristics, which you’ll learn about in the article “Futures Options Unpacked” on page 24. Once you figure out how they work, it could open up a new world of possibilities.
And who wouldn’t want that?