That’s a question every trader must answer before taking any risk trading. Though it never comes that fast. Generally, trading is like any other profession. Trader must have some skills in trading or the technicalities. There are many things that a trader should learn and know, no matter what market he wants to trade and some specific things about that market as well.
- Discipline: Probably the first and most important ability or habit a trader must have is Discipline. If you have the best trading strategy, a huge account size and the best and fastest platform and internet connection, you can lose it all if you trade haphazardly. With a mediocre system and a small account, you can prosper over time in trading if you have discipline enough to follow your system. A trader must practice discipline and following his system/strategy rules with so much persistence that it becomes second nature to him, a HABIT to trade with discipline.
- Mental Toughness: Though it’s normally not mentioned as a trader’s trait, but it actually is one of the most crucial capabilities that a trader must have. This is a kind of muscle that must be stretched over time. Ability to concentrate and staying on track and following your system when everything is crashing around you and you lose one trade after another, is only gained by observing your performance and exercising this muscle more and more. Believe me, it’s tough to follow your system’s rules and signals when you have five or more losing trades in your trading account history. A trader, if he wants to be successful, must get used to losing trades and looks at them as cost of doing business.
- Sharpness: This quality is more obvious when trades are in lower time frames and happen fast. But, almost all successful trader’s know that seeing things, patterns, signals, formations and …. is only possible when the trade has seen and followed price, charts, assets for a long time and when something looks familiar and promising, he/she will never hesitate to take action. This sharpness comes as a by product of getting more experience and is one of the traits that separates professionals from amateurs.
- Simple Mindedness: You might think I’m crazy to say this but, believe me, there are so many traders who owe their success to thinking simple. Ed Seycota, one of the greatest trend followers of all time once said that the rules he follows to get in and out of a trade can be summarized at the back of a business card. This shows that to win big, you don’t need complicated systems with sophisticated software’s and flashy indicators. Actually as I said in the 3 previous traits, having an extraordinary system is not even one of the necessities. Following the rules and not get distracted by market noise and not losing control when things are not in your favour is the ticket to success not a system. That’s why it is being said that psychology of a trader %85 his success. Trading is more of a mind game than playing skills.
Anybody who wants to become a successful trader and make a carrier out of trading, before spending time and money on systems, robots and any kind of services that promise him success, he must work on these skills and gets his mind under control. I’m this way he can assure that when he gets his hand on a great system, he is ready to play trading game on steroid.