With the meme stock revolution, low trading commissions and pandemic-related downtime, among other market drivers, there’s a slew of new stock traders circulating these days. Like any influx of new participants to a larger marketplace (such as an increase in gamblers due to online waging or gig workers in a dynamic labor force), fledgling investors can have a big impact on the stock market.
That doesn’t make them real traders, at least not yet, says Real Money contributor James “Rev Shark” DePorre.
He writes: “It’s very easy for individuals with small amounts of money to trade stocks these days.
“Yet many of the folks recently attracted to trading view it as just a form of gambling similar to sports betting. They rely primarily on luck, which can work well in the right environment, but it never lasts long. The great likelihood is that they will eventually give up or be wiped out as soon as the market goes through a deep corrective cycle.
Some of these new market participants will evolve and become 'real' traders. They will learn a skill that will serve them well for the rest of their lives. They will eventually understand that trading can be so lucrative because it is hard to do, but persistence and effort pay off over time.”
Real traders also succeed in boosting their account values on a regular basis, primarily by hitting a lot of singles and doubles, and avoiding swinging for the fences.
Some new traders did profit from the GameStop (GME) - Get GameStop Corp. Class A Report and AMC Entertainment (AMC) - Get AMC Entertainment Holdings, Inc. Class A Report sagas. But those who kept pushing the short squeeze strategy and hoping it would work by sheer luck soon found their market accounts empty and their experience trading on Wall Street a disappointing, or even devastating one. That, DePorre said, is highly unlikely to happen to a real stock trader.
What experienced traders spend most of their time and effort on is managing their trades and controlling risk, he says. “One of the hardest things to do in trading is to build substantial positions at the right time.”