Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Two Qualities of Successful Traders

One of the qualities I've noted in highly successful traders is that they don't just follow markets; they also observe themselves. They keep rigorous score: they know how much they make or lose, and they identify what they do right and wrong. In my meetings with them, they don't just look for support. They seek ways to improve themselves and their trading. The very best traders are every bit as hungry to make improvements when they're making money as when they're drawing down.

A second quality I've observed in very successful traders is that they are focused on positive goals, not negative ones. The best traders identify what they want to be doing and turn those ideas into concrete goals for the coming day, week, or month. Lesser traders identify negative goals. They can verbalize what they *don't* want to be doing, but lack a clear vision of what they should be doing to trade well. As a result, they never formulate concrete goals for improvement.

Suppose I reviewed today's trading with you and asked, "What were you working on in today's session? What were your specific trading goals?"

Would you have a clear answer? Were you working on you as a trader, or were you simply working to make money?

The really fine traders turn themselves into objects of study. They never stop improving their trading, refining themselves.