Have you ever wondered what sets the best traders apart from the amateurs? Why is it that certain traders can consistently outperform no matter what the market cycle?
Below is a list of the Top 10 Traits Of Successful Traders.
They Are Properly Capitalized – A very common mistake for beginner traders is not being properly capitalized. Beginners see the power of leverage option trading offers and think they can turn $2,000 into $20,000 in a matter of weeks. Before they know it, a couple of losing trades have completely wiped out their capital. I must admit I was also guilty of this. I was living in NZ and had just started trading. I think in my first 6 months I broke just about every trading rule possible. I had a couple of small positions in the Australian stock market, one a utilities company and the other a REIT (real estate investment trust). Both of these positions had a low beta, meaning that the stocks did not move as much as the general market. So, through lack of knowledge and understanding I thought I would sell some call options on the main ASX index to hedge and protect my long positions. I obviously didn’t understand my net exposure was now hugely short as the short calls easily outweighed my stock holdings. Sure enough the market rallied, I refused to admit my mistake and take my losses and hoped and prayed that the position would come back my way. Next thing you know my capital has been completely wiped out. Not a great experience for me, but one that I certainly learnt from!
They Have A Low Tolerance For Risk – Another important aspect of successful binary options trading is having a low tolerance for risk. The best traders will only trade when there is a low risk high reward scenario. They want to have the odds skewed in their favour as far as possible. The best traders will not try to hit home runs with every trade.
They Trade Only When The Market Provides An Opportunity – One quality all great traders have is patience. Successful investors will only enter into trades when the odds are stacked in their favour. They would much rather be the house rather than the average guy on the street trying to win big. They are focused on the bigger picture and are willing to wait and have the patience to only trade when the right opportunity presents itself. Some of the best traders often talk about sitting idle and just watching the markets, waiting for the perfect time to make a trade. Amateur investors find it very hard to not trade and are captivated by all the red and green numbers on their screen and feel like they are missing out on the action.
Can you think of times in your trading when you have experienced this?
Are you able to sit on the sidelines and just watch the market without jumping in?
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They Have A Trading Plan – Before opening an account, everyone should have a trading plan. This shouldn’t just be something in your head either you need to write it down! By writing it down, it is clearly defined and you can refer back to it at any time. It will also be more real if you write it down and you’ll be much more likely to stick to it. Like anything in life, in order to be successful you need to have a plan and think things through rather than just flying by the seat of your pants. When I first started trading I would just place random trades based on how I was feeling at the time. I’d put on a bull call spread, then I’d try shorting stocks I thought were over valued and then I’d be making volatility trades. Needless to say I was not very successful during this time. While some of my trades were winners it was like I was taking 1 step forward and 2 steps back. All the great traders have a clearly defined trading plan. This is crucial to your success as a beginner binary options trader.
They Have A Risk Management Plan – Only trade what you can afford, don’t risk money you can’t afford to lose. Trade defensively, rather than think of what you can make, every time you make a trade you should be thinking about the worst case scenario. What could you lose and how you are going to handle the position if things go badly? Beginner traders have trouble getting a handle on how much to risk on each trade. When starting out you do not want to have 90% of your capital tied up in one trade. One thing for beginner traders to consider is to split your trading capital in half, place half in an interest bearing account and use the rest to trade. This way, no matter what happens, you will never lose all of your capital. Another good risk management rule is to set a fixed percentage of you capital as your risk per trade. A common method would be to set 5% as the maximum capital to risk per trade, but for beginners you could even make that lower. Once a trade is placed you need to continue to monitor risk levels, you can’t just have a set and forget policy, you have to stay on top of your positions and your total portfolio risk. Having a risk management plan is crucial to success as a trader and something that should be done before you start trading. Everyone wants to make a great trade and make lots of money, but you should never take risk management too lightly. What risk management rules do you have in your trading plan?
They Can Control Emotions – Binary Options trading is an incredibly emotional journey and one that you cannot fully appreciate until you have your own hard earned money on the line. The best traders are able to control their emotions not just when times are bad, but probably even more importantly when times are good. In my experience, and I’m sure this is the same for most traders starting out, some of my biggest losses have come when my confidence has been high. The best traders can keep their ego out of the equation and are able to stay grounded even in the midst of tremendous winning streaks. Also, when one of their trades turns out to be a loser, they are able to admit they were wrong and close out the trade. Great traders never get attached to a trade or a particular stock. A bad trade could turn out to be ok, but sticking to your pre-defined trading rules is crucial. You can be 100% right on a particular trade, but you also need to have the right timing. If your timing is off and your trade breaks your stop-loss you should always stick to your trading rules and keep your emotions out of it.
They Are Incredibly Disciplined – Successful binary option trading takes a great deal of discipline. Beginner traders may find it incredibly difficult to just sit and wait for a good opportunity to trade. Waiting for the right opportunities may mean you don’t trade for a while, but trading out of boredom or excitement is one of the worst things you can do.
Having a money management and a risk management plan is one thing, but in order to be a successful trader, you need to have the discipline to stick to it. You also need discipline to stick to the types of trades you are successful with and not start trading strategies that you are not an expert in.
They Are Focused – For beginner traders it is very easy to get carried away and get excited by all the green P&L numbers on their account statement. Keeping a level head is essential. Staying focused can also be hard when there is so much news on the markets and so many experts, each with a different opinion. The most important thing is to stay focused on your goals, your trading strategy and your rules. Don’t try to copy someone else’s trades or go against your trading rules just because of something Jim Cramer said. Get to know yourself as a trader as well, I have had a few periods when I wasn’t focused and that led to some big losses. I now can recognize those periods and I know those are the times when I really need to refocus my energies and review my trading plan. If you find yourself losing focus, or getting too distracted and stressed with everything going on, it can be a wise move to close out all of your positions and take break for a while. Sometimes that is the best medicine and will allow you to come back with a clear head, more relaxed and more focused.
They Are Committed – Trading takes a great deal of commitment. Any time you have your hard earned money at risk, you should be trying to get the most out of your investment strategies and controlling your risk. You need to be on top of your game all the time. Any time you stop paying attention to the market, you will get burned. Not only do you need to keep an eye on your trading performance, you need to be staying abreast of the current news, market cycles and investment outlook.