March 11: Fifteen Characteristics of a Successful Stock Trader

by David Jenyns on March 11, 2007

Stock trading isn’t for everyone. Some folks can do it and some can’t. Even among the some who can, not everyone can be successful at it. While there are no hard and fast rules on what makes or doesn’t make a successful stock trader, those Wall Street Wizards you may hear about who made the most in the shortest amount of time, all seem to have certain characteristics in common.

1. Successful stock traders are able to go against their natural instincts.

2. Successful traders have a system. As simple a system as possible. It doesn’t matter which system you use as long as you stick to it. A Successful trader knows her system and makes trades based ONLY on the system. “The secret to success is consistency of purpose” You need to develop a separate strategy for entering a position and exiting one.

3. Successful traders are Risk Adverse. Successful traders do not like to lose money and stop themselves before losing too much, even if it means admitting they made a mistake.

4. Successful traders are willing to make mistakes. Successful traders have what many Native Americans call, “Sovereignty” Sovereignty is the right and ability, not to do the right thing, but to do the wrong thing. Sovereignty is the ability to make your own mistakes.

5. Successful traders care not embarrassed by taking a loss. Successful traders expect to take losses and know when to cut them.

6. Successful traders know, or learn how to analyze stocks. Many traders only use technical analysis, but you may want to learn to use fundamental analysis as well.

7. Successful traders led balanced lives. We all know the thrill of the hunt and the market can be addicting, a successful trader is one who knows when to walk away and can.

8. A successful trader is Patient. A successful trader lets profitably positions run, but is able to back out when proven wrong. Patience can mean resilience, courage, and conviction for when markets go against you.

9. A successful trader has a strong Desire to succeed. Success takes steady work not a haphazard effort, a strong desire to succeed can make all the difference in learning what you need to know and sticking to your strategy when the going get rough.

10. A successful trader is disciplined. Very disciplined. A successful trader will do what he needs to do, even if he isn’t in the mood. Discipline also means Sticking to your strategy, not suddenly buying or selling on a whim, or because of a” hot tip”

11. A successful trader knows the difference between defensive and offensive behavior, and when to use each. – Preserve your money first, profit later.

12. Successful traders don’t listen to rumors or get emotionally involved. To be a successful trader you have to be very hard on yourself . Your have to be able to resist the urge to prove yourself right and be ready to make mistakes. . You also need to be able to not let emotions affect your decisions. setting up stop loss points for every decision is something you are going to have to do. That will mean more than occasionally admitting that you were wrong. You and your portfolio will survive and you will be able to enter the position again when trends indicate the time is right. You are going to have to learn to ignore any emotional ties you have to your stock and make quick stock trends your master. You will miss the lowest entry points and the highest selling points, but you will be able to sleep at night. You will need to learn how to ride the train of the trends and jump off before your profits turn into losses.

13. A successful trader knows herself. Successful traders must be aware of their strengths and weaknesses. Your strengths and weakness will become very important. Have a plan for dealing with your weakness. Play on your strengths whenever you can.

14. A successful trader knows her investments. Your investments are almost as important as you are. Know their past and their strengths and weaknesses as well.

15. A successful trader sticks to the rules. The rules are there for a reason. Nothing can ruin a successful Trader as quickly, or as surely as breaking the rules.

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