Characteristics of Successful and Unsuccessful Traders

Discussion in 'Psychology' started by CharlesTrader, Mar 31, 2004.

  1. Two viewpoints on the characteristics or Successful and Unsuccessful traders.

    The first is from "The Psychology of Trading" by Brett N. Steenbarger, PhD, Pages 43-44:

    "The traders who reported the greatest success tended to score high in conscientiousness (the capacity to be reliable, steady and trustworthy).

    The traders who reported the greatest problems with their trading tended to score high in neuroticism (the tendency toward negative emotions) and openness (a desire for novelty, variety and risk taking). They were experiencing many negative emotions and tended to use trading for excitement.

    The conscientious traders tended to be highly rule-governed in their trading. There was little excitement in their trading. Instead, they very consistently developed their plans and followed them.

    The neurotic and risk-taking traders tended to make their decisions impulsively, without prior planning. They tended to revel in telling stories of their great wins and losses.

    The survey drove home one important lesson: Success in trading is related to the ability to stay consistent and plan-driven."

    A second viewpoint from Innerworth:

    "Two Traders, Two Very Different Personalities

    Is there an ideal personality for trading? There are a few key personality traits that would give a trader an edge. It's useful to be disciplined rather than impulsive, for example. And since the markets are often unpredictable and chaotic, it's also useful to be thick-skinned, not easily distressed by even the most unexpected or dramatic trading losses. But what if you don't have the ideal personality for trading, can you change it or are you stuck with what you have? Let's explore this question by comparing Jack and John, two traders who are having difficulty trading with discipline and logic.
    Both Jack and John are often fearful and easily knocked off balance by even the slightest ripple in market conditions. Jack has never had problems controlling his emotions, though. He is usually very upbeat. He started his own business right after college and built it up into one of the most successful in the city. He's viewed by his friends as carefree, outgoing, and always at ease in a variety of social settings. But when it comes to trading, it's as if he is a completely different person. He is often fearful, on edge, and easily frustrated. Why is Jack so emotionally volatile? One of the main reasons is that Jack doesn't trade a detailed trading plan. He makes trading decisions on the spur of the moment, without careful planning. He doesn't have a clearly defined plan for when to enter and when to exit a trade. And he doesn't control his risk. He often risks substantial amounts of capital on setups that have a low probability of success. Jack's rollercoaster ride of emoti! ons is understandable. Without a detailed trading plan or adequate risk controls, Jack is easily frustrated and frightened when market conditions are sporadic and unpredictable. For Jack, the solution to his lack of discipline and self-control is simple: Plan the trade carefully and stick with the trading plan. By following this strategy, Jack can control his emotions more easily and trade logically, consistently, and profitably.

    John, on the other hand, doesn't have it so easy. He has always been the anxious and nervous type. He is often shy and timid in social settings and has always been easily frustrated by even the most minor of setbacks. John is a successful database manager. He likes his job because he can work by himself and he prefers settings where the rules are clear cut and easy to follow. Trading is stressful for John. Even when he carefully plans his trades and limits his risk, he has difficulty controlling his anxiety. He is often so fearful that he acts on impulse. It's possible that John can learn psychological techniques to control his emotions. For example, he can examine his self-talk. He might discover, for example, that he assumes that the markets will move against him more often than they actually will, and that it would be devastating or catastrophic if that were to happen. By changing his self-talk, John may be able to more easily control his emotions. Unfortunately, it's qui! te possible, however, that John will always have difficulty controlling his emotions. It may be necessary for John to work around his anxiety prone personality. For example, he may want to make longer-term trades, which are less stressful, or he may want to use the automatic settings on his trading platform to take the emotions out of his decision-making and to trade in a manner that is consistent with his trading plan. The point is that one needs to be aware of his or her personality and develop a trading method that is consistent with it. Some people are not easily fazed by even the most chaotic circumstances, yet others are taken aback by even a minor setback. There's only so much you can do to change your personality. It's more useful to acknowledge precisely how your personality may or may not be conducive to trading. It's often easier to work around your personality than to change it. But whatever your personality, you can always work around it. With the proper tradin! g approach, you can trade profitably and consistently. "

  2. Soo...

    Wait, I'll get this cliche over with for some people...

    Great Thread dude... !!!

    This thread helps... It's great... ummm... I completely agree... ummm... thank you for your contribution.... ummm...

    OK, I can't come up with anymore...

    So... now that's done...

    What about it?

    How do you want people to actually elaborate on your "contribution"?

    Do you want people to randomly comment on it?

    Do you want people to critique based on relative assessment?

    Do you want people to pick which side they agree on and why based on subjective terms? personal? empirical?



    In another words, it's another pointless / directionless thread.
  3. Galt,

    Thinking isn't your game; glib is.

    What I observed is a contributor who has been here for 2 years (less actually) ; a person who has made 100 posts.

    The two sources combine to relate perconality (temperment and character) to trading. Further solutions and their difficulties are noted.

    So I look at my Myers-Briggs and see where I fit into the infinite scheme of things. I have an easy road ahead it looks like as an EXTJ. The way it looks to me is that the thread can be forwarded by people showing others how they changed over time as they used particular aids to overcome where they started. Getting rid of baggage is a good step to take. It is also very important to change what is possible and to know what is not possible to change.

    You could read what comes up and begin to get out of the traps with which you are presently not dealing, conscious of, nor even able to deal with ultimately.
  4. glibbing ROCKS!!!