Russell (Full time trader), Tim (BOWS), Tim (Vegastrader66), Kunal (BOWS), Craig (Speedtrader Pro), Cameron (Fous Alerts)

As promised I wanted to share what I learned and my observations from the recent stock seminars here in Sunny Las Vegas. The two seminars were very different.
The first seminar was more intimate and the primary purpose was to support charities first and foremost while providing an exquisite lineup of educational presenters from a broad spectrum of experience and style primarily geared towards trading stocks. The Second had more of a promotional feel to it in a much larger venue with speakers covering many different subjects like Bitcoin, Forex, Hedge funds, Options, Penny stocks, Swing trading and Momentum trading.
I always go into these types of events with the attitude that If I can learn at least one new thing then it’s worth my time and the price of admission. I am happy to say that they both achieved that goal.
Before we get into the meat of this first post I want to emphasize that these are my own opinions and I am not trying to discredit anyone with their intent or suggest that these events should be avoided. I think they present a great opportunity to interact with other likeminded individuals where you can learn just as much from other participants as you can from the actual presenters.
One of the most glaring things I took away from both events is that people are always looking for the silver bullet. They want someone to give them the simple answer that will make them overnight stars in the trading world. They want a Guru to unveil the secrets of the universe and save them from the trials and tribulations of becoming a seasoned full time trader. There was one unifying message that almost all of the presenters at each event shared with the eager participants in the audience.

The school of hard knocks will be your ultimate educator.
Peter Brandt has been trading full time for 4 decades and presented the following video which is something every aspiring trader should watch.

Peter shared his personal journey and like most traders in the beginning, he felt that since he had the intellect, the ability and a strong work ethic, he was destined for success. In reality it took him roughly 5 to 7 years and several blown up accounts to achieve that success. One of the main themes from his presentation was learning how to deal with complete surprises. I am paraphrasing a little bit here but one of his quotes was “How a novice trader deals with complete surprises will determine his fate and dealing with those complete surprises is something every novice must take to become a journeyman trader.” Making many mistakes during 3 to 5 years is typical for most traders during what he calls the journeyman apprenticeship.
This is just one example of what almost every presenter shared. They all had stories of the learning curve and the trials and tribulations of becoming a successful trader. Surprisingly the time frame to achieving success was very consistent across the board.
When you are considering becoming a full time trader you really need to ask yourself what you are prepared to do to achieve success. How committed are you to really putting in the work? How long can you accept failure? What kind of capital will you need to achieve your goal? Will you be able to withstand a 3 to 5 year learning curve? Do you have enough passion to get you through the tough times?
Before you attend an event like these two seminars ask yourself why you are going? Are you looking for that silver bullet? It is critical to answer yourself honestly. If you are thinking that you are going to find the easy way to be an overnight success you are likely going to be very disappointed and I would recommend saving your money and time. The main reason to go to an event like this is to learn.
There were some tremendous presenters at each of the events and they all had their own style. They had some niche of the market that they excelled at but it took them years to discover what that was and how to become consistently profitable. Of all the presenters, there were only a handful that resonated with my style of trade but all of them had little nuggets of information that I could glean something constructive from. That is why I went to the events>> I wanted to find those little nuggets to help me grow as a trader.
The following is a list of the nuggets that I picked up while attending these events

Know yourself (personality, character traits, tolerance for risk, discipline, what motivates you, strengths and weaknesses)
There is a huge difference between being right and being profitable
Learning to trade is an act of problem solving
Learn how to lose before you learn how to win
What you do with losing trades is more important than what you do with winners> Exiting a trade is much harder than entering a trade
NEVER follow someone’s trade alert (idea generation is fine but you have to define your own trade with your own risk reward setup)

*** An Excellent trade may or may not be profitable***  
This point is HUGE in my mind and it was delivered in several different forms by several different presenters. 

An excellent trade is one where you followed every detail of your plan. If you know your risk / reward and you execute your plan accordingly then whether it was profitable or not doesn’t matter. 

What matters> is that you followed the process and were disciplined enough to see it through without letting emotions interfere. That is the definition of an excellent trade.
Emotions are the enemy and the markets will exploit them

 I have identified this with myself,new novice traders and experienced traders going through a slump.  We get lazy or too comfortable and start taking trades without clearly defined plans. Worse yet, sometimes we will create the plan but then fail to honor it and occasionally we get rewarded for not following the plan and it becomes a "PROFITABLE" trade. 

That unfortunately only reinforces in our subconscious mind that it is okay to break our own trading rules or not following a trading plan. We got lucky! It wasn't like we planned out our trade and executed it to perfection but yet we still walked away a winner. That is actually more dangerous than not having a plan at all.

A story was shared by one of the presenters that I thought really communicated why its so important to have a plan and why every profitable trade is not necessarily a good trade.  

Take two individuals on the side of a 6 lane busy highway and they both need to get to the other side without getting injured. One is blind and the other can see just fine. The blind individual  without any hesitation steps off the curb into traffic and manages to get to the other side unscathed. The second individual monitors the traffic flow,puts together his strategy, waits for an opening and makes a move only to be struck down about halfway across. 

This sounds like a terrible story but ask yourself this. If you were to take those same two individuals and run through this scenario a hundred times who do you think will have a better percentage outcome? Who is likely to make it across the street more often? The guy that can put together a plan, build a strategy and has the ability to see the risks and potential opening of an opportunity. Or the individual that has no plan and is literally flying blind? My money would go on the individual that has a plan and can see. 

If you're not putting together a trading plan for each and every trade you take and following it with clearly defined risk/reward targets. You are flying blind! You may have some profitable trades and unfortunately those trades will only reinforce your bad behavior. Over time your luck will run out the law of averages will catch up and your lack of discipline will be exposed through your poor performance. 

I will be sharing much much more of what I learned  at these seminars over the next several weeks. I hope you find this helpful.