How Come It’s Easier to Teach a 10 Year Old How to Trade?

10 yr old

For many, learning to become a successful trader has been a real challenge. While I’m not trying to rub salt to the wound, here’s the truth about learning how to trade, it’s actually easier to teach a 10 year old kid how to do it – compared to teaching an adult. Believe it or not, kids can become better traders if given the chance.

It’s not the easiest point to apprehend and I was a little skeptical initially as well. Nonetheless, thinking about it now, I believe there are some truth in there. More importantly, there’s definitely some lessons to take away.

Hence, if kids can learn trading easily, I believe adults can do the same as well. With that, today’s article is about understanding the differences between a 10 year old kid and an adult. Hopefully, we (adults) can learn a lesson or two from them on how to become good traders.

1. Adults Love Complications

Generally, we (and I’m guilty of it too) have a tendency to make things more complicated than they need to be. As adults, we want trading to be like the society we live in – where things are complexed and multi-layered. In fact, many adults are programmed to make complexity a norm and that’s the pretty sad truth.

For example, if you had a trading coach who shows you a trading system (with, say, 4 simple rules only), many of us will feel uncomfortable because its too simple and we question the system. We then test the system to find that it’s actually a good set of rules. However, we always have reasons to add one or two new rules to the system to make ourselves feel better. Many don’t see anything wrong with adding more rules that but as soon as we start doing that, we have already made it more complicated.

PaperAnother classic example is this, when we were told to keep our trading plan to only one A4 page, we usually start with that one page but almost always end up making it 10 pages long.

Or when we start our market analysis using a naked chart. 10 minutes later, we add a moving average indicator. 2 hours later, we add daily, weekly and monthly pivot points. 3 days later, we add, not just another indicator, but an Ichimoku trading system.

Do you see how adults love to make things complicated?

2. Kids Know that Once Bitten Twice Shy, Adults Don’t

The great thing about being a 10 year old is that they take everything as it comes. Don’t get me wrong, kids can make mistakes too and they do go outside their boundaries once in awhile. The only difference between a kid and an adult is that, once bitten, kids know when to stop and they learn quickly to not do it again.

On the other hand, when we adults start our trading career, we tend to think that we are mature enough to make our own decisions. We are used to being independent and we want to take control as soon as possible, just like how we’ve done so in other aspects of our lives.

The unfortunate truth is that adults want to prove themselves right – even though we might be wrong. When we make mistakes, our pride and/or ego speak louder than the pain we hold and that encourages us to repeat the same mistakes over and over again. In other words, we never really learn.

3. Kids Just Grab Their Goals

candyIt’s amazing how kids’ mind work. If you haven’t realised, 10 year old kids usually have very clear goals. When they want something, they’ll do what ever it takes to move towards it.

For example, offer them $5 bucks (or what ever the amount is) to clean the garage and they will clean it immediately. For the younger ones, if you reward them a candy (or what ever that they like) to complete a set of tasks, they will do it diligently without any questions.

It’s so easy to get kids to do things because, at the back of their mind, all they can see is their goals. They don’t complicate things by asking “what ifs” questions. Hence, when they don’t get what they want, they throw a tantrum or they just cry. In the examples above, when they perform their tasks, these kids can already the see the $5 bucks in their hands or taste the candy in their mouth while doing the job.

If you believe that the above statements are true, then you should also believe that it is those clear and vivid goals that really motivates and helps a 10 year old achieve their goals. It’s as though their goals are already in front of them and all they need to do is to stretch their hands and grab it.

Guess what? This is completely the opposite of what adults do. As adults, we over-analyse, rationalise and create reasons for achieving and for NOT achieving our our goals. Looking at my example again (on trading rules in Pt 1), just because adults can’t see their goals clearly, they keep adding more rules to the trading system so that they feel better about it. They forget that, when a coach gives us their rules, that is like giving us $5 bucks or a candy. Instead, we fail to just reach out to grab our goals, and that is what separate adults from a 10 year old kid.

4. Kids Enjoy Whatever They Do

Yes, kids love to have fun and they enjoy everything they do. Think about it, they can even play with food before they eat it. At the same time, if they don’t enjoy what they do, they don’t learn. That’s why school teachers are consistently trying to be creative and trying to make learning fun so that the kids will engage in learning.

Honestly, I’m sure the same applies for adults. As adults, we go trough trading thinking that we must be serious and boring. In the end, we make trading more boring than it should be. Some even make it unnecessarily stressful and end up not learning anything.

While I’m not asking you to “play” with the market, I’m inviting you to enjoy trading or at least make it more interesting. Just like the teachers, be creative and make learning fun. Because, if you are serious about long term success, then you better be somewhat interested in it. If not, you might want to consider leaving this career all together.


Kids have no fear in many things yet they are able to achieve their goals when they want to. Unfortunately, society introduces complexity as they grow up.

While you don’t have to be a kid to think like one, it is useful to change your mindset as a trader by learning to be kids again. I believe these are the stumbling blocks of many traders. Even though you might have some useful life experience behind you, it is useful to remember that you are just a kid in the trading world.

Thank you and have a great day!

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