A few key attributes of successful traders.

The best traders I know are all different.  Some dress like they are coming from the gym and some dress like Liberace.  Some are family men and some aren’t.  Some are 100k millionaires and some are millionaires that spend like a 15 year with an allowance.  Some are a part of trading and for some trading is a part of them.  Some came from resources and some made their own.  They are all different but have learned and honed a few basic skills.

Quick Perspective.

The more you experience situations and take the time to learn about yourself, the market, and the relationship between the two, the faster you gain perspective.  I know which situations lead me to poor decisions and performance.  This is very fluid but I can usually see a problem starting early.  Now I do not always fix it right away.   Or I cannot fix it right away.  Or I attempt to work through them.  Having quick perspective is the ability to tell the difference between an aberration and a trend.  Both in market conditions and internal conditions.  They know the difference and take appropriate action.  Like the market you do not have to buy the low or sell the high, but the closer you are to that place the better.

They be who they are.

This ties into having a quick perspective but they are unapologetically themselves.  They trade who they are.  They do not try to be something they are not.  When they do not have an advantage they don’t try to make one up.  When they are done, they are done and they do not look back.  They do not accumulate emotional baggage.  They are cognizant of who and where they are.

Separation.

Separating an event from how that event made you feel is hard.  It is also necessary.  There is hardly a day I don’t get burned.  Some hurt worse than others.  Emotions cloud our judgement.  I do not fault myself  for the actions I take in the heat of the moment.  But, I am hyper critical of what I did that lead me to that moment.   It is not that successful traders are not emotional, it is just they are not there for an extended period of time.  They give up psychological rewards for monetary rewards.  They have great memories because situations are not saturated in emotion.

To summarize in one sentence.  A successful trader knows how to best use their skills, they know when to make an adjustment because their vision is not clouded.

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  • Which of these attributes do you think is most important to successful development?

    • I think they are the same attribute. I think you have to be yourself. My DNA is that of a mutt, both figuratively and actually. I know the strengths and weaknesses of my attributes. If you are purely a technical guy, when technicals are working press it. If you are a fundamental guy, when fundamentals are working press it.

      My techniques on trading is mixed, I need that creativity to trade one market. If I traded several markets I would just trade what market was most accepting of that philosophy. “Who is winning or what is working, now” is a question I ask myself several times.

      The weakness of this is I am never first to notice a change and I am out before the next change happens. It means that I make a day on a few trades, my week on a few days, etc. It takes patience and admittedly it is wearing me down a little. Most importantly I am willing to accept the advantages and disadvantages of it.

      The problem is most people do not want to take the time to figure that out and so they are not in a position to accept the outcome. It is especially hard in this market because it is sub-optimal for my strategy. I am constantly making adjustments but the current markets makes it hard for me to be aggressive. I have to take the bread crumbs now, completely understanding that on the other side there are loaves and loaves of breads.

  • Anonymous

    At first I thought the picture might be a self portrait, then I started reading. Good post about the real work of becoming a trader.

    When I started reading your post I thought points two and three were related – that point three being separation from the opinions of others. (Although I’d rather get away from myself more often)

    Getting instruction, guidance and feedback can be very important when learning to trade or working to improve your trading. In the end, however, it’s important to have the self confidence and faith in yourself to stand on your own rather than follow others. Figuring out your own solution to the trading game is key to long term success; it’s how you develop the confidence to do the right thing at the right time. Following someone else is a way to enable you to avoid taking responsibility for your trading actions.

    You’re absolutely right about emotionally distancing yourself from your trading being a big goal in developing as a trader. I think it was Ed Seykota who said “It’s not you against the markets, it’s you against you”. Distancing yourself emotionally from trading makes that battle that much easier.

    • You are the second person to tell me that in the recent week, thank you. I appreciate it. As someone who has been a moderator in a chat room way and then when I had my own room, I agree with you. Important to teach someone how to fish but you can’t let them starve either.

      There is a joke about the reason you have a guru, so you have someone to blame. I like the concept of emotional distancing, easier said than done.

      Once again thanks for reading and commenting.

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5 Responses to A few key attributes of successful traders.

  1. Which of these attributes do you think is most important to successful development?

    • Eradke says:

      I think they are the same attribute. I think you have to be yourself. My DNA is that of a mutt, both figuratively and actually. I know the strengths and weaknesses of my attributes. If you are purely a technical guy, when technicals are working press it. If you are a fundamental guy, when fundamentals are working press it.

      My techniques on trading is mixed, I need that creativity to trade one market. If I traded several markets I would just trade what market was most accepting of that philosophy. “Who is winning or what is working, now” is a question I ask myself several times.

      The weakness of this is I am never first to notice a change and I am out before the next change happens. It means that I make a day on a few trades, my week on a few days, etc. It takes patience and admittedly it is wearing me down a little. Most importantly I am willing to accept the advantages and disadvantages of it.

      The problem is most people do not want to take the time to figure that out and so they are not in a position to accept the outcome. It is especially hard in this market because it is sub-optimal for my strategy. I am constantly making adjustments but the current markets makes it hard for me to be aggressive. I have to take the bread crumbs now, completely understanding that on the other side there are loaves and loaves of breads.

  2. Anonymous says:

    At first I thought the picture might be a self portrait, then I started reading. Good post about the real work of becoming a trader.

    When I started reading your post I thought points two and three were related – that point three being separation from the opinions of others. (Although I’d rather get away from myself more often)

    Getting instruction, guidance and feedback can be very important when learning to trade or working to improve your trading. In the end, however, it’s important to have the self confidence and faith in yourself to stand on your own rather than follow others. Figuring out your own solution to the trading game is key to long term success; it’s how you develop the confidence to do the right thing at the right time. Following someone else is a way to enable you to avoid taking responsibility for your trading actions.

    You’re absolutely right about emotionally distancing yourself from your trading being a big goal in developing as a trader. I think it was Ed Seykota who said “It’s not you against the markets, it’s you against you”. Distancing yourself emotionally from trading makes that battle that much easier.

    • Eradke says:

      You are the second person to tell me that in the recent week, thank you. I appreciate it. As someone who has been a moderator in a chat room way and then when I had my own room, I agree with you. Important to teach someone how to fish but you can’t let them starve either.

      There is a joke about the reason you have a guru, so you have someone to blame. I like the concept of emotional distancing, easier said than done.

      Once again thanks for reading and commenting.

  3. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Eli Radke and Jeff White, John Dillinger. John Dillinger said: RT @eradke: A few key attributes of successful traders.http://stk.ly/g4DhCD $$ $Study #ft71 […]

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