80:20 Principle – Trading With a Sound Strategy

Could you be a One Percenter?

I mean…someone at the top of their game — better than the other 99%.

Naturally, most people won’t crack the top 1%. It simply isn’t possible. There’s only room for one in every 100 people.

So does this make anything below that the top 1% a failure?

I was recently reading the comments section of a blogger I enjoy. He’s been highly successful in his line of business, and he has great insights about human behaviour.

One comment really got my attention. It was from a guy called Charlie.

Here’s what he said:

This is funny. You’re in the top one percent of your field, and you’re talking to the 99 percent who will never achieve the same level of success. This is not my opinion. This is the 80/20 principle, which says relatively few people get most of the rewards.

Really, what’s the point of listening?

And do you know what?

Charlie has a point…

Most people aren’t super successful. It simply isn’t possible for everyone to get to the top. Some people will reach a notch or two below, while others won’t get far at all.

So does that mean it’s a waste of time trying?

And to be clear, I’m not specifically talking about trading. This could apply to anything that you want to excel at — be it your career, wealth, or hobbies.

If the odds of being a ‘One Percenter’ are low, should you simply not bother at all?

Build on others success

Charlie’s comment got me thinking about the service I provide.

It made me ask myself this question: Could my subscribers become top traders by following Quant Trader’s signals and learning from my experience?

I’ll answer this in a moment.

But before I do, think about this…

Just about every success is built upon an earlier success. Those who came before lead the way — they blaze a trail for others to follow.

But do you know what?

Not everyone wants to follow, and many won’t.

And if they do, they still may not have the same level of success.

But here’s the thing…

You don’t need to perfectly recreate someone’s success to do well. Suppose you had 50%, or 30%, or even 10% of a market leader’s success, could that change your life?

I believe the answer to this has to be: yes.

Personally, I’d happily take a fraction of the success of some of my heroes.

Now, I don’t know if I’m in the top 1% of my field. I’m not aware of any stats or research that rank traders — the task of doing so would probably be impossible.

But I do know I’ve done well from the markets…

I haven’t had a boss since leaving Bankers Trust in 1999. I’ve also got the financial freedom to set my own course. I guess that makes me a decent role model for aspiring traders.

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Maximise your odds

There’s another point Charlie misses…

If you’re going to learn, if you’re going to move forward, you need to learn from someone.

And if you’re like me, you’ll want to learn from people with experience.

These are the people who’ve had the struggles and made the mistakes. These are the people who’ve made it out the other side — they have reached where you want to be.

That’s exactly how my career began…

A few weeks ago, I wrote a series about how the best traders make fortunes. The lessons I told you about were the lessons passed down from my mentors.

These were the people who blazed the trail for me. They spent their careers becoming the trader I wanted to be. All I had to do was study their ways and follow their path.

Tapping into their wisdom was a career maker — I couldn’t have done it on my own.

An alternative would have been to listen to a mate, or some guy on a stock forum.

But that would have been a career ender…

Learning from people who haven’t had success is a receipt for disaster. You pick up their bad habits and you practice methods that don’t work. No one ever got anywhere by doing that.

On the contrary, I want to study people who’ve had success.

Sure, I may not have exactly the same experience. But if I can step inside their world and see what they do and how they do it, then my chances of success take a big leap forward.

I can tell you this: the experience of others could make a massive difference to your life. For someone like Charlie to dismiss this is simply crazy.

And does it even matter if you reach the top 1%?

Simply having some of the success of the best could give you amazing results.

And that’s my aim…

I want to help you become a more confident and profitable trader. I want you to learn how to put the odds in your favour, how to maximise your profits, and how to know when to sell.

Charlie brings up the 80:20 principle — a concept that 80% of output comes from 20% of inputs. For example, you could say that the top 20% of the traders make 80% of the money.

Now, what are the odds of you getting into the top 20%?

Some people (like Charlie) would say your chances are low. They’ll point out that trading is highly competitive, and that regular people don’t have the skills to get ahead.

But I disagree.

Sure, many people won’t have success…

They rely on tips from friends, they jump from strategy to strategy, they hold their worst stocks and sell their best, they follow anonymous advice on chat sites, the list goes on.

These people make up much of the 80% who don’t achieve much.

But that doesn’t have to be you…

If you approach trading with a sound strategy, you could leapfrog the many people with little or no idea. Your odds of success could be a lot better than those like Charlie expect.

Just understanding the basic principles could make a huge difference. That’s why I place so much importance on not just giving you trade signals, but also explaining the process.

I’m forever grateful to those who taught me along the way. These people took the time to share their experiences. My success is every bit a function of their earlier achievements.

I hope my journey can be just as helpful to you.

Until next week,

Jason McIntosh,
Editor, Quant Trader

PS: Income specialist reveals five stocks he calls ‘…the best dividend paying stocks on the Aussie market today.’ Find out which stocks he picked here (free).


Jason McIntosh is a professional quantitative analyst. Before he graduated in 1991 he joined Bankers Trust — a Wall Street investment bank — to be a trader. After Bankers Trust was taken over in 1999, Jason, already financially independent, co-founded a stock market advisory and funds management business called Fat Prophets. At 37 he sold his part of that business and retired. These days, he’s a private trader and system developer. In 2014 he launched the wildly successful trading service: Quant Trader.


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