Here in tropical Australia, the saltwater crocodile is a fearsome and intelligent predator known to wait patiently for days or weeks on end until unaware prey come to the water’s edge and become its next meal...
As traders we all spend an inordinate amount of time obsessing about our trade entries. We shop brokers to make sure that we get the lowest spread possible. We put on limit orders to assure ourselves of not paying a tenth of a pip more than we intend to...
Many people believe that trading cannot be taught. They say that the best traders in the world are born with an innate gift that allows them to trade the markets with ease. Others, however, think trading can be taught, and this was famously put to the test by Richard Dennis and his Turtle Traders.
Whatever your personal opinion, successful traders do require certain skills and here are a few:
1. Discipline to trade to follow the plan
One of the key skills a trader must have is the discipline to follow the plan. When things are going wrong and the markets are not playing as expected, it’s tempted to abandon the plan and trade by gut instinct but this is a mistake. In fact, it’s times like those when the trading plan becomes even more crucial.
2. Intense work ethic
Some people get into the markets for the money alone and it is these people who normally do not last very long. Surviving in the markets means having the work ethic to do your homework on the markets, to analyse future opportunities and to go over all of your previous trades looking for ways to improve. In the end, it’s no surprise that those who do well in the markets are those that stick at it for long hours every day of every week.
3. Recognising when you’re wrong
Being able to recognise when you’re wrong is what sets winning and losing traders apart. If the price action is telling you that your trade is wrong, you need to have the strength to throw in the towel and close the position out for a loss – before it gets even worse. All traders make losing trades so traders who can’t recognise when they are wrong stand to lose much more hanging on.
4. Pulling the trigger
To succeed in trading requires finding profitable opportunities the moment they appear so it is necessary for a winning trader not only to find the trades but to act on them without delay. Following technical indicators and watching price action can lead to good trade signals but if pulling the trigger on a trade is a problem, it will always be difficult to make money. Because, profitable trading opportunities rarely exist for very long in the forex markets.
Patience is required in large amounts in order to be a successful trader. You must be patient to wait for the perfect opportunity to trade, then you must be patient enough to watch that trade as it loses money. Finally, you must be patient enough to go through the many years of hard work which it takes to become good at trading.