What personality should a winning trader have? Does it even matter?

Pat494

Legendary member
13,580 1,345
Many good points have been made above.
The trading can become a grind or be a pleasure. Make it the latter.
 

Exscudo

Member
51 6
When you trade real money you'll quickly find out what your weakness are. No demo account will do this for you. You then need to build a strategy around your weaknesses and exploit your strengths..

There is always a big difference between the trader you want to be and the trader you should be.
Took me about 10 years to figure that out..
That is true man, I've experienced this for myself. You found out something about yourself when you win for the first time, but you really find out a lot when you lose. There is no experience like it in the world.
 

Exscudo

Member
51 6
FF is right and that it is by trading that you will discover whether you have the "right" personality. That said, having that personality doesn't necessarily mean that you'll make money and furthermore, not having it doesn't necessarily mean that you'll lose your shirt. Hence the above-mentioned decade :)

Some clues as to why you might have the wrong personality are: can you walk away from the table any time you like? Can you walk away when you've taken a loss/made a profit? Do you have any compulsive or addictive traits? Are you impatient...and if so, can you still stick to a plan whilst being so? Can you concentrate on what you want to concentrate on and for as long as you think is necessary?

On the matter of trading to find out whether you're a trader - I would add to the above by saying that you don't need to jump into the deep-end from a demo account into a serious money one. You can quite easily start trading for real on a nano-account at 10 pence a pip and that will tell you a lot. If you become a good manager and are consistently profitable over time then you can gradually scale up until you're ready for a more grown up account.

I can't remember who said/wrote this but it's quite useful: "Learn for free. Practice cheap. Trade for profit."
So, basically what you are saying is - no matter what inherent personality traits you have, your determination, wits and will power will decide whether you can be successful or not.
 

Exscudo

Member
51 6
Just to add to Cantagril's point about nano accounts.
I preferred to move to a real money account very soon after I started. Essentially I learned how to operate my brokers platform on the demo, and then moved to a micro account.

I deposited £35 into it and after 2 months was down 68%.
I still trade that same account and have made a rule that I cannot deposit more money until I get back to break even (only 28% down now).
While there will certainly be some new factors when I move to an account in the thousands, but for now I can learn quite a lot for essentially peanuts.

I am not focused on monetary value. It's % growth and % drawdown that I am focused on.
Once I have that fine tuned, it's just a matter of scaling up (apart from the psychology difference trading pennies per pip, to trading pounds per pip).

Good luck and steer clear of the fools and deceivers ;)
Thank you for sharing your experience man!
 

Exscudo

Member
51 6
I would like to add one more personality trait to the good ones that the others have written.

Humility.

Never think that you are bigger than the market. Never think that you are a better than other people. In most trading situations you won't have to worry about having an ego for too long because the market will be happy to cut you down to size by handing you some major losses.

Be aware that improving your trading is a life long adventure and is not something that will happen in the short run. It takes time and a dedicated effort on your part.
This makes a lot of sense. Ego can take anybody down in any field.
 

cantagril

Senior member
2,230 499
So, basically what you are saying is - no matter what inherent personality traits you have, your determination, wits and will power will decide whether you can be successful or not.
Um, actually, no.....

I do believe that "determination" and "will power" (which are close relatives) are essential factors and that one's "wits" play a part; however, there are other aspects which are equally or yet more important. You can be as determined as is humanly possible but that doesn't make you profitable and the same goes for will-power.....and as for wits (by which I assume you mean "intelligence" rather than knowledge) there, I don't agree at all. I have known some consistently very profitable traders who could barely tie their own shoe-laces and in my experience one can be too clever and over-think and over-perceive what one is trying to do and what is happening in the markets. Being smart can be a handicap....but of course, so can being stoopid.

In my profile details I have a short list of quotations which I primarily use to remind myself of my own failings. I think that when it comes to personality, the one that keeps coming back to bite me is the one about doing what is necessary to achieve a particular goal, whatever that goal may be: "In order to do what is necessary, it is first necessary to understand what is necessary". This may sound self-evident but it's directly connected to critical thinking and the more philosophical foundations of what we do and why we do it. Check out "Necessary and Sufficient Conditions" in phil and the concepts of "Necessity and Sufficiency" in statistics.
 
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Exscudo

Member
51 6
Um, actually, no.....

I do believe that "determination" and "will power" (which are close relatives) are essential factors and that one's "wits" play a part; however, there are other aspects which are equally or yet more important. You can be as determined as is humanly possible but that doesn't make you profitable and the same goes for will-power.....and as for wits (by which I assume you mean "intelligence" rather than knowledge) there, I don't agree at all. I have known some consistently very profitable traders who could barely tie their own shoe-laces and in my experience one can be too clever and over-think and over-perceive what one is trying to do and what is happening in the markets. Being smart can be a handicap....but of course, so can being stoopid.

In my profile details I have a short list of quotations which I primarily use to remind myself of my own failings. I think that when it comes to personality, the one that keeps coming back to bite me is the one about doing what is necessary to achieve a particular goal, whatever that goal may be: "In order to do what is necessary, it is first necessary to understand what is necessary". This may sound self-evident but it's directly connected to critical thinking and the more philosophical foundations of what we do and why we do it. Check out "Necessary and Sufficient Conditions" in phil and the concepts of "Necessity and Sufficiency" in statistics.
I feel like we are talking about the same things but in different words.
Thanks, I will check out the resources that you suggested!
 

Nowler

Established member
896 71
There's one sure fire way of seeing whether you have the ability to be a profitable trader... and that's to trade.

Losing money in the beginning doesnt mean you dont have what it takes, but you will have a good idea whether you can do it. Or perhaps more accurately, whether you are willing to change enough in order to be profitable.

There are so many ways to make money in the market that asking whether its nature or nurture that makes the trader makes no sense. It just depends. Nothing is certain. And even things that are highly probably, change.

One thing that I can say which I am certain of is, I am not the same person that I was before I started trading. The traits and thought processes I have for trading have spread through my entire life. It's more of a perspective than a skill. Just like I found my psychology degree to be.

Embrace the uncertainty!
It's an amazing journey though mate :)
 

Exscudo

Member
51 6
d
There's one sure fire way of seeing whether you have the ability to be a profitable trader... and that's to trade.

Losing money in the beginning doesnt mean you dont have what it takes, but you will have a good idea whether you can do it. Or perhaps more accurately, whether you are willing to change enough in order to be profitable.

There are so many ways to make money in the market that asking whether its nature or nurture that makes the trader makes no sense. It just depends. Nothing is certain. And even things that are highly probably, change.

One thing that I can say which I am certain of is, I am not the same person that I was before I started trading. The traits and thought processes I have for trading have spread through my entire life. It's more of a perspective than a skill. Just like I found my psychology degree to be.

Embrace the uncertainty!
It's an amazing journey though mate :)
Amen
 

cantagril

Senior member
2,230 499
...............
While there will certainly be some new factors when I move to an account in the thousands, but for now I can learn quite a lot for essentially peanuts.
I am not focused on monetary value. It's % growth and % drawdown that I am focused on.
Once I have that fine tuned, it's just a matter of scaling up (apart from the psychology difference trading pennies per pip, to trading pounds per pip).
IMO Nowler's honest resumé of his own progress is one of the most valuable contributions to this thread ( I don't mean to denigrate anybody else's though) as experiences that are recent and therefore fresh, and his perspective is directly related to the steeper part of the learning curve.
His observations about being "a different person" now and the part that psychology plays are very accurate. Most people judge themselves very poorly, which absolutely fine if you get a kick out of, say, cheating at solitaire.... but is a quick way to ruin yourself in the markets. If you haven't already worked out who you really are then trading can be an efficient way of finding out - the only question is how much this will cost.
 

Nowler

Established member
896 71
... Most people judge themselves very poorly, which absolutely fine if you get a kick out of, say, cheating at solitaire.... but is a quick way to ruin yourself in the markets. If you haven't already worked out who you really are then trading can be an efficient way of finding out - the only question is how much this will cost.
This is very true!
We are full of inconsistencies and contradictions.
We largely live our lives an auto, massively relying on stereotypes/schemata formed in earlier stages of development.

It is one problem when we all do this, and as a result we dont get called out on it. But another problem is that even if these biases and inconsistencies do come to our attention, a lot of the time we justify it or move past it some other way without really addressing it.

As amazing as we are, we are very vulnerable. Just look at things like Stockholm syndrome, or how little things as a child manifest in massive things later in life. Fascinating creatures.

The reluctance of so many to fine tune themselves psychologically is a massive advantage for those who are willing to.
 

J Livermore

Junior member
25 2
On the matter of trading to find out whether you're a trader - I would add to the above by saying that you don't need to jump into the deep-end from a demo account into a serious money one. You can quite easily start trading for real on a nano-account at 10 pence a pip and that will tell you a lot. If you become a good manager and are consistently profitable over time then you can gradually scale up until you're ready for a more grown up account.

I can't remember who said/wrote this but it's quite useful: "Learn for free. Practice cheap. Trade for profit."
This post is in response to either cantagril or Nowler:

Are nano accounts a different type of account that a brokerage house can open for you, if you want to trade small, or is it just depositing a small amount of money with your broker in your regular account?

I’m in the U.S., so I don’t know if these type of accounts are available in the UK only or if they can be done with U.S. brokerages. I’ve never heard the term nano accounts before.

When I’m ready to plunk my money down I will most likely be going with TD Ameritrade if that helps.

Thanks.
 

Nowler

Established member
896 71
This post is in response to either cantagril or Nowler:

Are nano accounts a different type of account that a brokerage house can open for you, if you want to trade small, or is it just depositing a small amount of money with your broker in your regular account?

I’m in the U.S., so I don’t know if these type of accounts are available in the UK only or if they can be done with U.S. brokerages. I’ve never heard the term nano accounts before.

When I’m ready to plunk my money down I will most likely be going with TD Ameritrade if that helps.

Thanks.
Good morning mate.

For me, it's just a small deposit with a broker.
Oanda is who I trade with. They are a market maker (no Direct Market Access with them).

I've had no problems with them in over 2 years.
You can trade less than a cent per pip if you wish. I think I initially deposited 5 pounds...
 
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Daniel Jones

Newbie
4 0
For me a winning trader has to have the following traits:-

- he should be disciplined, that’s most important
- not get affected by what others do
- should be able to make right decisions at the right time
- can deal strongly with losses