Experience, building confidence, and gaining new skills are consistently noted as the top reasons people enter trading contests, which applies equally to sporting competitions.
When you look back at the history of the human race, competition and striving to win has been around since the first cave paintings depicted sprinting and wrestling thousands of years ago.
And competition isn't just for the professionals in the world. Amateurs across every conceivable sport can compete on weekends to test their skills against their mates.
Today we're going to take a look at the 20 reasons why entering a trading contest will help you become a better trader.
Competition is designed to bring out the best in people.
No matter if you love playing golf with your mates, soccer for your local club, or you are striving to become a professional in your chosen sport, competition always pushes you to the next level.
And so too with trading.
Let's jump into the top 20 reasons why a trading contest will benefit you as a trader and as a person in general.
Trading is one of those unique skills that can be scaled up when developing strategies that have a positive expectancy (an edge).
This means if you can get it right at $2,000, then the potential is there that it could work on say $10,000. Of course, all past performance is no guarantee of future performance, but you now have a framework and statistics of your trading system to work with.
Theory is precisely that. Theory.
But when you take action in a trading contest, new ideas flow to you regularly.
When you see how your competitors are trading, you cannot help but try and reverse engineer what they are trading.
This helps you get more creative about building better trading strategies.
Experience is everything.
There are countless 'arm-chair sportspeople.' You know the ones. They have never played sport in their lives, but they are the experts and constantly yell at the TV, telling their sporting heroes how to play the sport.
That isn't experience. That's delusion.
Getting your hands 'dirty' and actively participating is where the real learning begins.
What do you believe is the best way to learn Italian? To keep rote recalling phrases or to immerse yourself in Italy, surrounded by people who can only speak Italian?
When it comes to trading, you have to get off the theory side of things and start live trading.
Gain the experience and see where it takes you.
Competition is like cramming a years' worth of trading into one month as far as experience is concerned. You will learn an incredible amount.
Trade small and build confidence.
Most trading coaches will tell you to get 'skin in the game' and allocate a small risk to each trade (relative to your total capital) and look to build confidence in your strategies.
Nothing beats having confidence in a trading strategy. You know you can scale up and help meet your financial goals.
Competition doesn't seem to work unless a worthy prize is on the line.
What else would motivate Roger Federer or Tiger Woods, who both have more money, fame, and success, to last several lifetimes.
It is the prize.
To hold another US Open trophy aloft in front of their adoring fans.
The Trading Cup trading contest provides the opportunity to win monthly prizes and some incredible Grand Final prizes.
Did you know the Grand Final of the Trading Cup trading contest is held in an exotic location, where you get to meet the best traders in the world?
You will be rubbing shoulders with those who have shown the ability to perform at the highest level.
The monthly contests are there to provide the focus and energy to set the target of getting into the top 5.
Position 1 to 5 each month qualify for the right to get to the Grand Final.
How good a trader are you?
Are you curious and want to find out?
A trading contest is the ultimate way to test your skills against your fellow traders around the world.
Even getting a group of your trading friends together and entering can provide a lot of fun and interest among your group. We've spoken about the results of various trading groups in previous blogs here.
There aren't many trading contests that provide such a powerful platform of global competition as the Trading Cup.
If you are curious to see how you rate relative to your colleagues, then a trading contest is the way to go.
You've won. You are the best trader this month.
How would that feel?
How would it feel knowing you are the best trader in the world for that month or perhaps in the Grand Final?
That's what we call incredible bragging rights.
Having said that, and having interviewed the winners over the last few years, we can confirm that all the winners are incredibly humble traders.
In the 2019 Grand Final, we did a 4-hour city tour of Macau with the top 20 traders and got to spend time with them in a social setting.
Genuinely lovely people are the only way to describe the 2019 Grand Final group of traders.
For many, a live trading contest is an incredible way to launch their professional career.
If you have potential as a trader, and you have the skillset to turn a small sum of money into larger amounts, then you have the attention of some of the most influential people in the world.
It can change your life.
Larry Williams won the World Futures Trading Challenge and built an entire career from that.
Another Australian trader, Assad Tannous, managed to get two top-ten finishes in previous trading competitions and was then asked to manage a $10 million fund.
Are you looking to break into the Forex or funds management industry?
Generating exceptional results is a great way to prove to potential employees that you can become a world-class trader.
The industry knows that all university finance and economic graduates are incredibly smart and filled with theory and enthusiasm.
But to stand out, showcasing some live trading results can give you an edge in this hyper-competitive world.
Your live trading account is most likely trading for results to help you meet your financial objectives.
But you may also be wondering if your strategies work across other instruments you may not have tried yet.
A trading contest is a great way to test your strategies.
Yuan Tsui, who came 2nd in Stage two and has been a consistent performer in other stages, consistently trades in excess of 20 instruments at once.
By the end of the trading challenges, he'll have a wealth of data to see which markets his strategies perform best on and where to focus his attention.
Not only did he get the move correct, but in the process of backing his conviction, he managed to set a new record monthly gain of 3,429%.
You can see his exact trades in July below, as he pyramided into his winning trades. Please keep in mind that trading leveraged products can result in losses larger than your starting balance.
As you review the Trading Cup leaderboard, it is not difficult to feel a touch of "I'll never be good enough to generate those returns," as the leaders push the boundaries of what is possible in just 30 days of trading.
A trading contest is a great way to explore different risk management strategies that might be more aggressive to what you normally trade.
Let me set the story straight here.
The goal isn't to recklessly throw risk at new trades ideas.
But, you may currently be allowing 1% of risk on every trade right now and are looking to test 1.5% or 2% risk per trade.
Remember, taking a risk-averse approach is sensible.
Preserving your precious capital should be your mantra at all times across all trades.
We talk more about money management here.
Now is your chance to prove it.
Click here to view the top 3 reasons why a leaderboard in a trading contest is essential and will give you a concrete target to aim for.
Have you already participated in a demo trading contest?
The next step up is to get involved in a real-money trading contest.
The reason is simple. Nothing beats a live competition with real money on the line.
Of course, we are talking about a relatively small amount of money relative to your overall trading capital, but nothing beats live trading relative to demo accounts.
We talk about the Top 5 reasons why a live contest is better than a demo trading contest here.
Trading, like sport, teaches us a lot about ourselves.
When you are in the heat of the battle, our true nature shines through.
We've seen our sporting heroes crumble as victory is within their grasp.
And we've seen the biggest turnarounds in history. Do you remember Tiger Woods winning the 2019 US Masters tournament after countless knee and back surgeries?
You will learn more about yourself in the heat of the battle relative to anything else in life.
Sometimes you need a focus.
A focus can provide a driving point that narrows your attention and helps you remove all distractions.
We've talked about the top 3 goals you should set for a live trading content here, but most of all, it is the focus that helps propel you to the next level.
When you read the stories of the most successful people in all walks of life, one common theme is how they got out of their comfort zone.
Once they got out of that area of familiarity, their life changed completely.
Have you been in a comfort zone and looking to push yourself to the next level.
Perhaps a trading contest will provide that push.
Trading is challenging.
It is easy to get into a funk. To get 'stale'.
To lose your direction.
Entering a trading contest could be the way to get out of that funk and apply new strategies, better risk management, and achieve a new level of results.
Ultimately, your goal isn't to win the trading contest.
Instead, you want to continually refine your edge, developing strategies that help you scale up.
Review your trading statistics regularly and work on developing more positive expectancy trading systems.
That concludes the top 20 benefits of entering trading contests.
We hope it inspires you to work towards bigger and better trading goals.
Are you ready to join the next Stage? Click here to register an account.
Ashley Jessen is the author of CFDs Made Simple and Chief Operating Officer at ACY Securities. He has been in the financial services industry since the year 2000 and worked for some of the leading companies in the CFD, Forex and Online Trading space.