A lot of traders talk about building their accounts.
Nothing wrong with that. It simply depends on where you are starting from.
I didn’t start with $2k but I didn’t start with $200k either, but I understand the desire.
The way I look at it is from my perspective of trading. The way I trade.
So for me, to trade, I must meet the minimum pattern day trader rule in my account. I make no exceptions.
If I made an exception to my capital then I would have to make additional exceptions for…
- The broker I use to trade my account with
- My trading plan and size of my trades
- How often I placed trades
I prefer to use the broker that I want, the trading plan that is most comfortable for me, and gives me the most edge, and place as many intraday trades as I want.
To get to this point, I of course had to work and save money over an above my living expenses and ordinary savings.
This is the path I would always recommend.
It’s not that starting with a small account is bad or doesn’t work.
It’s the idea and reason behind starting that way, to begin with.
Starting with a small account likely means you don’t have more money beyond that to lose, you are afraid to blow up your account with more capital, or your expectations about what you can accomplish with your account are misguided.
Whatever the reason, you have to do a self-check to see if that reason still aligns with your overall purpose for getting into trading in the first place.
If it is about making a killing trading penny stock, following alerts, or hitting a home run by going all-in (with leverage) on every ‘flavor-of-the-day’ momentum trade, then good luck.
You will likely lose all the money in that account.
Chalk it up to education in trading.
None of that is necessary, however.
You need to be ready to trade.
No, I don’t mean you have to buy a bunch of courses, find a coach, study for thousands of hours before you even open an account.
I’m talking financially ready.
You need to have financial stability in your life.
Not to mention financial maturity.
It’s more than just having a pile of money that you can afford to lose. If you do have that congratulations.
But seriously, have either a source of income that covers your expenses, some emergency funds that can take care of the unforeseen, savings for the future, be it in a savings account, or retirement account, and a separate account I like to call a ‘freedom account.’
When you have all that and about $30,000 (a $5k buffer over the $25k PDT rule), then you might be financially ready.
Now after all of that…is your goal to now build that $30,000 account?
That depends on your own personal choice.
I can tell you I have found success, and consistent profitability by not caring about growing my account.
I start with two separate $50,000 accounts at my broker Lightspeed.
I love the ability to switch between accounts instantly when I need to.
Note: Wonder why I have two separate accounts? Check out this post here.
Around every three months, sometimes longer, I reset my accounts back down to $50,000.
It isn’t always exact.
For example, say one account after three months is now $64,320. I will wire out $14,000, and reset the account to $50,320.
I then start the process over again trading every day until the next reset.
Continuing in the example above, that $14,000 gets divided between my checking and savings accounts for monthly expenses, a long term savings account, an emergency funds account, and a freedom account.
So did I grow my trading account?
Depends on how you look at it.
I didn’t because I am not trying to get to $70k, $80k, $100k.
Because I can do what I just spent the last three months doing over again, with the same capital.
I don’t need more capital in my account because I am not taking on more size with my trades than before, nor am I trying to use up more capital than necessary on any given day.
I extract my performance, reset, then focus on repeating.
I don’t need more than the original $50,000 (technically a total of $100,000 with the two accounts).
I used to believe that building my account to $200k, $300k, $500k+ was the way to go.
At least that’s what I saw other traders focused on, and actually accomplishing.
But I simply realized, that’s not my path, my purpose, or my goal.
I realized that path inevitably leads to taking on more risks by taking on more size, because after all, you have built huge padding, so why not go bigger.
I’ve seen that plan lead to huge blow-ups as well.
No shortage of trader stories about losing it all.
I want to make a living trading. I know what enough is. I am content with my performance and the outcome.
I’m living the life I want and providing for my family.
When I found contentment and a balance with the amount of capital I felt was necessary to accomplish what I set out to, I made a strict rule to follow that setup.
And it works.
I don’t need to care about growing my account because I don’t plan on needing more capital to take bigger trades, taking more risk, for a bigger reward.
My goals are not tied to the amount of money that I make on any given trade, or any given day, week, or month.
So going to that next level, is not something I focus on or teach.
For some, building their account to six or even seven figures is their sole endeavor.
To me, money is not everything.
It is just a tool.
I don’t need more of it for the sake of having more of it.
I just need enough of it.
It’s a mindset and a specific relationship with money that can get you there.
I can tell you there is a huge difference between going for it every day, pushing yourself to reach huge levels as a trader, and keeping it low-key, simple, and enough.
Many people will learn to trade, and start trading, have some successes and failures, and either burn out and blow up.
Others will breakeven for years.
A select few may end up really growing their accounts to incredible levels.
We all travel our own road and experience the trading journey differently.
The way I do things is just one way.
I’m not saying it is the best way by any means.
But it is the best way for me.
It’s not easy to do but over time, I implore you to find the best way for you, then stick to it.
If you can’t stick to it, you obviously haven’t found it yet…keep working at it.
I don’t care about building accounts or making millions.
Trading provides me everything I need today because I went through the trenches for years to discover and develop my trading plan and rule framework.
I learned to find contentment with my performance.
I learned how to define what was good enough.
If you set yourself up the right way, in my opinion, then you won’t be starting your own trading journey with a need to grow your account, nor will you trade with the pressure of measuring your success on how much money you make.
It might take a while to get there if you even want to get there.
If you do, then know it is possible, and I’m happy to help you discover it.