Brief Update:

I’d like to clarify a concept, as many asked me about it: I believe one can absolutely live and make money as a trader, but it will never be a 9-to-5 job. I wanted to dispel a myth that is too often propaganda and creates false illusions. Trading as a living is possible, but it does not mean, however, to bring home the salary each month, as there may always be losing months.


Hi, guys. Andrea Unger here. I want to answer a question that I’m often asked. “Can I get a steady income, monthly income from trading?” Or, “I want to do this because I want a monthly income from trading—additional or a salary.”

Okay, well, I wish to be sincere and to say that this is not very likely. I know that you’ll get disappointed listening to this, but if you imagine, you gain, 1 1 1, expect sometimes this. And you go back to the top. You don’t even know if you spent some money; probably, you did because if that’s your salary you need money to live with, okay?

So, actually, trading is difficult to manage to get a clear linear equity income just because it’s too difficult to set up the necessary tools to do so. There are strategies that show monthly and many months of such an equity line, okay? There are. And you find them on the internet; and you find them from people selling the method. But what happens suddenly when you don’t know is this. You’re lucky if it stops here, but it might go even down. So, actually, I’m not here to tell you bullsh*t, obviously. I just say that this is what’s likely to happen. The more this scenario is there, the higher the risk when things go wrong.

What normally happens is this. If you are a profitable trader, you go from here to here. Look at it. But, you see what happened? And if you need that money to live, if you need that money to pay school for your kids, pay food for your family, how do you feel here? You must be aware of it. You can perfectly do that, but you must be aware; this alone, or let’s say this, does not exist. It’s a pity. I would like it. I’m not saying it does not exist because I have not found it; I can tell you it does not exist because I have seen many of these the majority out of the profitable traders, and I have seen some of these. There are hedge funds who show this equity, so it is no secret; you can find them. They were able to do that, and all of a sudden, they did this.

Just because if a method, a technique allows to get this, that technique has insider risk of this kind. Again, you will not be holding that amount; you will not be on vacation. You will be trading. You must be aware, there is no technique, no method, no system to have a linear income month after month. Trading is a passion, trading can be a hobby, trading can be a job—can be a full-time job, you can trade for a living, but you will never get a linear income month after month. No salary; you will get, always, things like that. You must be aware; you must be ready to face it.

This is trading. It’s fine, it’s beautiful, but it will not be regular. If you want a regular income, you need to apply for a 9-to-5 job hoping that you can find it; but that is something that assure you, at the end of the month, your deserved salary. Trading is not linear. Either this, or this. And if you want this, be aware that here, somewhere, you could expect another heavy, even heavier than that, fall.

I know this is not what you wanted to listen to. I know you might now think that I am an idiot. Some traders will laugh at me, but I’ve seen these things. I know this is what happens out there. I have never seen anything like that, and I don’t think it really exists. Sorry about that. Stay tuned for more stuff to come. Ciao, from Andrea Unger.

 

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Andrea Unger

Known as the only Four-Time Trading World Champion (2008, 2009, 2010, and 2012), Andrea Unger is a full-time professional trader since 2001 and part of the Scientific Committee of SIAT (Italian Society of Technical Analysis).
Appreciated author, he is often invited as a speaker all around the world.

7 Comments

Paolo · August 8, 2017 at 08:01

mmmhhh I have to disagree here. However, only few, skilled, talented, properly capitalized and experienced traders eventually will succeed in the financial markets. Having a good teacher like you or Kevin is the first step to avoid huge loss at the first beginning stage. According to Kevin which I have talked on the same subject not long time ago and the stats provided by A US broker, only less than 5% are profitable in the long term. Then We need to account also outliners in that 5% so the number are even less. This is a job only for those with a truly passion passion for fin. markets and crazy enough to step in and work hard in the long term.

    Andrea Unger · August 8, 2017 at 09:19

    Ciao Paolo, which part do you disagree with exactly?

Paolo · August 8, 2017 at 10:40

Hello Andrea, Why introduce an arbitrary time measure such as Month? Why not weekly or yearly? Just because salary are paid monthly? We all Know that monthly steadly incomes does not exist in trading ( with the exception of some HFT trading firm perhaps) but I found the example misleading. Time length to evaluate a portfolio and retrieve of expected return should be related to a full typical economical cycle (where It can be seen which return is expected by a portfolio in the different phases). For this reason I mentioned properly capitalized trader as a mandatory requirement. The other mandatory requirement in which Unfortunately the majority miserably fail (including PHD, Solons, Highly? respected book writers) is enclosed in what I call: Have reasonable expectations. There are of course many other things to be aware to properly account a steadly income (in the long term) but I believe You got my point.

    Alvaro · August 8, 2017 at 11:05

    I agree with what you say Paolo, but Andrea simply states something different: Propaganda such as “trading is like having a (passive) monthly income” proposed by some brokers… is simply not true.

Paolo · August 8, 2017 at 10:46

So to conclude is possible to have a steadly Montly income (even daily if needed) providing that the capital employed by the trader is used also to that specific arbitrary task. Perhaps the real uneasy question is: How much can i spend daily?

    Alvaro · August 8, 2017 at 11:07

    I don’t understand what you mean here: in the previous comment you state “We all Know that monthly steadily incomes does not exist in trading”, not you say it’s even possible to have a steadily daily income… which to me it’s impossible.

Paolo · August 8, 2017 at 11:37

Sorry that was a typo: I should write instead: … a daily expenditure (without capital burning) . In other words a properly capitalized trader is able to handle situation of protracted DD which Andrea was referring that however can be smoothed at the portfolio level through different technik AND properly calculate what is the optimal expenditure related to his/her portfolio and different level of risk that the trader is going to take.

Note: There are many assumptions in this statement which I am sure Andrea addresses in his lessons and in general become more clear with the growing experience of the trader. Cheers, Paolo

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