Updated: Nov 19, 2020
I have been in this industry for two decades and worked for online brokers for over 10 years now and I have seen a lot of things.
Mostly failure. That is the truth, however I have also seen a lot of big successes and sustainable income from the committed trader.
The art of trading is not an exact science and with the increasing popularity of the Fintech industry, more and more people are trading in some shape of form.
So, what makes a successful trader? This list is endless, but I will try to highlight what I believe is the most pertinent.
· They define who they are and what they want to achieve.
Obviously, most trade to make money but understanding the time required to succeed and the capital required is a must.
You can follow thousands of courses online, YouTube etc. watch endless webinars, practice all day on demo accounts, follow people like me 😊 and still fail.
The best way to succeed is to work within your defined limits.
I have x amount I am willing to invest/speculate/gamble.
I have x amount of time to concentrate on this.
Once you have defined this, you can then choose the best path for you. Don’t get me wrong this can change through time and experience or personal circumstances.
Example. I have no knowledge, but I have money that I want to invest. You can go through the traditional ways of investing via stocks, bonds, Investment Funds, Bank Products etc.
Another way, with less capital required(initially) is learn the basics of trading with leverage.
This is up to you but from experience many find the whole industry exciting and do see the potential of making money by learning themselves.
Write down what you want and plan, “A goal without a plan is just a wish.” Adjust it as you go.
· They are realistic about risk to reward.
We all want to gain big money fast, and with leveraged trading this can happen, alas it can also go against you, so be prepared to lose small amounts until you are ready to trade big. There will always be opportunities in the market, don’t get hoodwinked by an account manager selling you a specific event. I have been trading and selling Brexit until now as a good opportunity. 😊 Successful traders lose, especially at the beginning but as Soros put it.
How much money are you prepared to risk or lose until you get to grips with trading. Most newcomers give up after losing money, some lose a lot of money .Understand risk, it’s not a dirty word, it is similar to investing in a business, some go to the wall, others eventually work, some make great returns. If you do not like risk, leverage trading is not for you.
· They Focus on a few assets or currencies & study.
Most successful traders know the assets or currencies they trade like the back of their hand. The financial markets are massive and overwhelming and there is so much to look at and consider. So, specialise in what you understand or like and improve your skills and education one step at a time. Become familiar, eventually you will remember specific prices and support and residence with the naked eye.
I am studying new theories, strategies and listening to opinions all day, it will never end, we are talking about the biggest industry in the world.
“Education, education, education”, ok showing my age here, Mr Blair.
Watch finance programmes, websites, unbiased ones and get to grips with the jargon. I learnt along time ago, when analyst overcomplicate terminology, they probably don’t know what the are talking about, so make it simple/stupid. It is not rocket science and no one is right or wrong and the successful trader will listen and act on his/her intuitions.
Be aware, study your success and failure and adapt. Keep it simple, there are so many algorithms, strategies out there, often the simple ones work best.
· They understand a Margin call.
This is for another blog! However, the successful trader understands margin calls.
Do not add to a losing position if told by a third party unless you think it’s best for you.
In terms of Forex & CFD trading, understanding what a margin call is fundamental, if you don’t, you will suffer.
· They keep emotions in check.
Easier said than done, especially when it come to your money. Successful traders are probably good at poker. You will suffer many emotions when trading. Excitement, jubilation, greed, panic, fear, and doubt all forming part of the psychology involved in trading; you need to harness them in your favour. Naïve to say you will not have them, but a good rule of thumb is, can you sleep at night when you trade? The successful ones do.
· They follow their own instinct & judgment.
The successful trader trades his/her money and choses their own risk, don’t be swayed by others what to do but do listen and take advice. Everyone has an opinion.
· They follow money management.
The mantra of most successful traders is simple “cut your losses short, and let profits ride”, but adapt as you go.
The art of trading is not an exact science the successful trader does not rely on wonder methods and promises of others but will look at them and adjust strategy if it fits at any given time.
There is no single method or style that will generate profits all the time. The successful trader minimises losses while maximising profits.
The successful trader doesn’t give up, especially having experienced learning curves including the emotions and financial strains associated with trading.
Trading has been here forever, and the Fintech surge is here to stay, so why not try it, with the above caveat.