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The Psychology of the Successful Trader

May 14, 2008
To be a successful futures trader you have to master three essential elements: technique, psychology and money management. Mastery and balance of all three elements is vital to success. In this article, we're going to discuss the psychology that drives every great trader.

Get Your Head Into The Profit Zone

If you don't BELIEVE you will succeed, you won't. You have to believe in yourself and in your system or you're dead in the water before you even start the engine! Proper trading psychology is the key to success as a futures trader. You have to realign yourself mentally and get your head into the profit zone.

Three basic emotions control the market: patience, fear and greed. If you're going to be a successful futures trader, you can't afford to let your emotions control you. YOU must always be in control, and here are some methods to consider:

1. Don't second guess yourself. If you stop believing in your system and/or if you lose your Patience, you'll pull out too fast. When you pull out too fast, you lose profit.

2. Don't wait for the "perfect trade". The perfect trade is a myth. Don't let Fear put you on the sidelines. Stick with your system, believe in yourself and Get In The Game!

3. Don't get greedy. If you stop using your system and give in to GREED, you'll hold on too long, and risk losing the profit.

The Qualities and Characteristics of Top Traders
There many qualities that go into the making of a successful trader. These may be innate traits or developed along the way, but you'll see evidence of each in the best traders in the industry.

1. Passion. You have to like the action. You have to live for the thrill and greet every Monday charged up and ready to play.

2. Daring. You have to be willing to boldly go where no man has gone before. You can't jump on the bandwagon or follow the crowd. You have to trust your system and forge your own way.

3. Confidence. You have to have attitude, and lots of it. You can't allow yourself be beaten down by losses. You have to be able to pull yourself back up and still believe in yourself and your system.

4. Intelligence. You have to be willing to learn and have an aptitude for math.

5. Discipline. You have to be able to stick with it, work hard, and tough it out. You have to have the discipline to stick with your system even when you lose.

6. Humility. You have to be able to look past your pride and ego. You can't afford to cling to a losing scenario because you're too proud to admit a mistake. Take your lumps and learn from them.

7. Stamina. Futures trading is a stressful occupation. It's a roller coaster ride that taxes your brain and your body. You have to have the physical and mental stamina to stay on top of things.

8. Professionalism. Futures trading is business. Follow your brain, not your heart. You have to detach your emotions or they'll suck you into bad decisions.

Do you have what it takes to be a successful futures trader?
About the Author
Bill McCready is a futures trader. His trading course, Futures Trading Secrets, has helped students all over the world improve their trading. To get 11 FREE futures trading lessons, a video, and free ebook, THE TRUTH ABOUT DAY TRADING, visit his website, FuturesTradingSecrets.com.
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