The traits of a successful trader

Every pro or successful trader is different. They have different strengths and flaws (and, whatever they might like you to think, even the most successful traders have flaws). There are a plethora of different techniques, styles and trading habits but, while they might differ widely in the minutiae of how they trade, most successful traders have a few qualities and traits in common.

Successful Forex Trader


 Being confident in your abilities and your preferred trading strategies is essential to successful trading. Without a certain measure of confidence, it is likely that you will miss good trading opportunities and perhaps get stuck in a cycle of ‘over-analysis paralysis’. Confidence is also important when it comes to dealing with losses. Every trader makes a loss occasionally and trade for long enough and you’re almost certain to encounter a series of losses or what feels like an extended losing streak. With confidence in your abilities and methods you can see this as the statistical occurrence it probably is and stick to your conviction that you will make more (or at least more significant) wins than losses in the long run. This can also prevent you from making a losing streak even worse by panic trading in an attempt to put things right with one big score.

They learn and adapt

 There’s a lot to learn when it comes to playing the Forex market. There are methods of technical analysis and news items, techniques and strategies. A good trader will learn what he or she can of all of this, even if they do not use it all on a regular basis. All good traders have their own preferred techniques but it certainly does no harm to know what some of the alternatives are. This can allow you to make an informed choice and, initially at least, a certain degree of experimentation can provide a very useful learning experience.

Good traders will also learn about themselves. They will know how emotional stresses, tiredness, temptation and other changing circumstances can affect them in terms of their trading. If their head isn’t right for trading, they know it’s time to pull back.

They’re aware of their emotions

 A large part of that learning about themselves is knowing how their emotions can affect their trading.

Fear can be a very powerful motivating factor and in Forex terms that generally means a fear of making a losing trade. Fear can cause you to make a premature exit before your own exit signal, to open a position that is smaller than your system suggests it should be or to avoid making a trade altogether.

The flipside is greed, excitement and over-confidence. This can cause the exact opposite, seeing you hold onto a position for too long or open your position with too large an amount. If the losing streak discussed above can cause some traders to clam up, a winning streak can sometimes cause recklessness. Moderation is not always best but sticking to a carefully worked out strategy usually is.