Why Most People Fail Miserably At Options Trading (And How To Avoid It)

Avoid Losing Money

Facts are facts right? They can’t be argued.

The truth is that most people who trade options fail miserably and lose money each year. But if you’re reading this blog I think it’s safe to assume that you could be one of the people who prosper from options trading.

Let’s be honest though, most beginner options traders are not professionals by any stretch. In fact, most of them don’t even have a background in finance and don’t understand why things happen the way they do in the stock market or the economy.

For traders like this, learning to trade options and analyze the markets can be a disastrous attempt at first. But rest assured, if you practice and learn you CAN become very successful trading – don’t let anyone convince you otherwise!

Options Trading Is “Simple”

Have you ever attended an options seminar, learned from some guy how “simple” it is to make a high money from options trading but yet when you when home and started trading you failed to make any money consistently?

What a classic story that is told over and over. I have been to those seminars as well and have the scares to prove it.

Realizing right now that options trading is NOT a “get rich quick” industry will save you thousands over the course of your life – maybe even millions. You have to establish a strong trading mentality which comes not by nature but is something that can be trained.

Options trading is like running a marathon. There is no short cut and no easy way to make money or else everyone would be doing it right?

You have to make a conscious effort each day to learn and get better.

Create A Non-Emotional Trading Plan

This is where a lot of beginners quite frankly fail.

In order for beginners to become consistent in options trading, a robust and objective trading system should be created so that all you need to do is follow your own rules and make very limited emotional decisions. We are all human and thus our EQ (Emotional IQ) leads our decision making.

With a proven system and framework for trading like a business (and not a hobby) I can teach any person to trade options successfully. Because at this points it not about how “smart” you are, it’s about following the system and making non-emotional trades that generate consistent returns.

It’s Always Lack Of Knowledge That Kills

If anything we do in life, it’s always a lack of knowledge that hurts us the most. I always use the mechanic example when coaching students each week. It goes a little something like this…

My father was a mechanic for Nissan for many years so he knows specifically how to tear down a car and rebuild it from the ground up. I do not know how to do this and would fail miserably if I tried.

It’s not that I don’t have a lack of ability – I can absolutely do the hard labor. And if anything, since he’s older it should be much easier for me to do the work. So the only real difference between us is that he has the KNOWLEDGE and I don’t.

As with anything, people who are wildly successful trading options continue to learn and grow each and every month. They put together a great trading plan, have solid risk management and learn about new strategies.

About The Author

Kirk Du Plessis

Kirk founded Option Alpha in early 2007 and currently serves as the Head Trader. Formerly an Investment Banker in the Mergers and Acquisitions Group for Deutsche Bank in New York and REIT Analyst for BB&T Capital Markets in Washington D.C., he's a Full-time Options Trader and Real Estate Investor. He's been interviewed on dozens of investing websites/podcasts and he's been seen in Barron’s Magazine, SmartMoney, and various other financial publications. Kirk currently lives in Pennsylvania (USA) with his beautiful wife and two daughters.

  • Kirk – Admin

    I'm sure today's wild market ride has tested some emotions out there? Mine included some some crude oil trades are that are tying up way too much margin

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  • James Vornes Jr.

    Just curious, how does becoming an options trader make one an entrepreneur, if that’s possible?

    • Can you elaborate?

      • James Vornes Jr.

        I kept coming across the idea through books to treat trading like a business.

        I’m just trying to find the connection between being a trader and an entrepreneur…

      • Gotcha – I think there are many things that we could cover but the key for me is that you are committed long-term. For example, if you opened a new business (store, consulting practice, etc.) you wouldn’t open the doors for 2 months then suddenly close right? You’d work at it each day and be committed. That’s how you have to treat trading – it’s a long-term commitment that you need to work at if you really want to be successful.

    • Al Red

      An entrepreneur is some who starts businesses and a options trader is someone who buys and sells option contacts.