What are the Traits of Successful Traders?

Some (Perhaps Unpopular) Tips for Learners



Quit Quick!
TL:DR - If it's even possible you will quit, do it early. Otherwise, succeed. No matter what.

Commit, or quit. The markets are no place for part timers or hobbiest. The hard stats here are 3/4 of you will not make it. The ones that do, are going to take a lot of shit from the market before you do. If you are not going to be as determined to succeed in 5 years of failing as you are starting, quit quick. Save yourself the hassle.

If you think you're going to get it quick ... you're not. You might 'get it' a little bit, but then be smashed by market changes that you have no experience of. Early success in trading can be like building sand castle at the tideline. You're putting it together and it looks great, then whooosh, and you're starting again.

Even if you read all the books, attend all the courses, have personal training .... whatever. For you to be able to stand on your own two feet in the markets is going to take some time. There is an eliment of 'snakes and ladders' to it that is just inherent in aiming to build wealth (or produce ROI) on a speculative skill.

I am not saying this because I want you to quit. I want you to succeed. What I do not want to see is you quitting in 4 years time. Lots of people take over 5 years to learn this. Some 10. You want to get a payoff on that investment of time and effort, so make sure you will stick it out for that time. Be all in, or be out. There is no shame in noticing early trading is not for you. It is technically and mentally hard. It is not a natural skill, it takes some rewiring to do it.

Do Not Assume People Know More Than You
TL;DR - A lot of people know less than they appear to/think.

Even if you a very new. They often do not. People often repeat what they have heard. Some people think popularity is the same as profitabiliy .... we call these people "poor with statistics". Reality is, most people do not know how to make money. They are telling you what others said (and who knows where they got it?).

Worse than this, is there are people who think they know a lot. I think about the dumbest point in my trading carreer was once I got a few years in and thought I knew everything. The more you think you know, the less you probably do. These people often talk down at newbies, which can make it seem like they are smarter. Appearances are not always what they seem.

Do not assume you know more than people, either. Both are equally foolish. You do not know what people know, and since whatever you think you know may later change, you do not fully know what 'think' you know now. Just hold the conclusions you draw to a high standard of proof, and look for others demonstrating their own conclusions with similar high standards of proof (not chatter).

Lose Money
TL;DR - You're going to anyway, get good at it.

"Say what?????".

Yeah! Lose some money. Don't be a fucking baby.

You are going to lose money at some time. If you take the time to read the stories of highly successful traders, you will see we all bust. Exceptionally few do not. The ones who have the worst busts are the ones who start out winning.

You need to know how to lose. It is better to learn this losing a grand or so than a million. When losing, we end up facing the urges to produce a panic (or revenge) sort of responce ... which will epicly fuck up everything. You need to learn to feel this burn, and still make the logical choice. Good judegement will come from bad judgement.

Two things humans really dislike generally speaking are losing money and being wrong. Forex will give you a whole lot of both of them. You're probably going to have to make adaptions to your thinking patterns to be able to deal with this. [Action point: Read "Trading in the Zone"]

Observe Others Strategies
TL;DR - Watching other people trading opens up new perspectives.

Both winning and losing ones have their purposes. Make sure however you are observing them you can see the actual trades on a chart. So you can see specifically what is done (not just results or what is said). Personally I done this watching managed accounts. I learned a lot from it.

From highly profitable ones, I learned traits of the 'trader brain'. I seen how they protected equity, and siezed opportunities. Their strategies had structure and rational. It could be seen to be repeatable and the trades became predictable - and I could see why that made sense to do.

From losing ones, I got to look into a mirror of mistakes I made. When you see someone else doing dumb shit, it is more obvious it is dumb shit than when you do the same 'stuff'. I would say I learned the most from the accounts that were unprofitable.

(Note, if doing this make sure you use copy trading or MAM. Never PAMM. Due to technical allocation differences in trades, PAMM accounts do not yield the information you need)
Other examples of this are following signals services. Signals services are frowned upon here in this sub. I've noticed. These services are not 'useless' - it depends on how well they are used. There are many free ones, you can trade demo accounts to follow them. If you think you can not learn from bad traders, fair enough. People can. If you think there are not more skilled people than you doing this (anywhere!), you're 99.99% probability wrong.

Learn to Discard, Without IgnoringTL;DR - Have a critical mind.

No information is useless, and as such should not be called 'bad'. Much information is incorrect. You have to learn how to assess information and test it for yourself. Never let what others say influence the trades you make when you are testing strategies (remember, people disagreeing can be good. 20/80 success rate ... do we want 100% agreement?)

Everything we think we know should always be preliminary, and this means information we get we should use to re-check conclusions from information we have previous gleamed. For you to do this well it is important you have solid conclusions of your own, which you do not get from being a recievetransmitter of others opinons. There is a fine balance to this. You have to be open to new ideas, without being whimsical in your conclusions.

Do not accept information as true just because a lot of people say it is. Always hunt for the why, and be careful to seperate what are opinons from what are facts. Take time to learn all the popular opinions. Then look for people who give unique insights and ideas outside of (or tweaking) they opinions - they may have rare information, because they have evidendly done self study. [Action point: Write down all the things you think are true about trading, work on getting answers as to why they are true, or accept they are unproven]

Put a Value on the Skill
TL;DR - Become clear on the expected reward for your efforts.

Not enough people do this. What is the skill of trading worth to you in dollar value over your expected lifetime trading? Since trading can be a tough and time consuming thing to learn, you should be clear on the reward of it. Personally, this 'carrot on the stick' is what's pulled me through the hardest times.

The value of the skill depends on how you want to use it. I value it over $100 million. People may think this is hype, but I do not have any "How to make $100 million" training courses to sell. That's what it is worth to me, and it will remain worth that irrespective of if it is believed. This is not saying I have made over $100 million, just the skill I consider to be worth at least that having worked to obtain it.

If you are someone who wants to make a lot of money and thinks the numbers I am saying are hype. Numbers like $5,000 - $10,000 a month even seeming unrealistic - get yourself around different people! These are 'easy' numbers if you have good skills. If you get yourself into the top 15% (which is not all that hard if you remember breakeven beats 80%) you have an ability to do something almost no one can do, yet almost everyone wants. It's valuable.

This has been the most motivating factor for me in trading. I've seen real examples of people making millions (a year) because they have honed in a skill. I've also seen complete idiots getting into positions where they could easily make themsevles a million (maybe more than once), but then fuck it up ... because it's easier to pretend to have the skill (or think you have) than actually have it.

So from early on I have always had a framework in which I knew learning to trade (really well) would make me millions. This has given me an attitude of "closer to it now than I've ever been" ... no mather how devistatingly bad things may have went.
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