Any experienced day trader will champion proper mindset as one of the most important factors to having success in the markets. To put it simply, day trading is not for the faint of heart. This style of trading moves very quickly as opposed to many others and having the nerves of steel and inner calmness cannot be stressed enough. However, this mindset is comprised of multiple traits that will all be working uniformly throughout the course of a day. Here’s a quick exploration into some of these traits of a successful trader.
Emotions have no place in the trading strategy
Emotions run hot throughout the day, and can even overwhelm the trader. Keeping them in check is certainly one of the key components of all this. Many new day traders make the mistake of falling in love with a particular position. They’ve set up their Bollinger bands correctly. They made their entry when the price broke through a new Fibonacci level. Still the trade continues to run south on them. All the stars appeared to be in line, and the trader refuses to accept the fact they’ve missed something until they’ve been margin called.
Perhaps, that’s because they failed to notice one other minor detail, and that being an early-morning release of a poor GDP report that has sunk their trade. Whatever the reason may be, it’s important to keep emotions completely out of the equation and certainly cut losses early and often.
Control the trade not the market
Self-discipline is another critical trait of the successful trader. With day trading, it’s especially easy to get wrapped up in the moment. Trades are happening fast, and all too often one little slip up turns into a landslide of poor judgments to follow. Some days just won’t go the way they were planned. The trader needs to be disciplined enough to recognize these days and put themselves on the sideline when it does happen. All seasoned pros will echo that proper money management is essential, and having the right discipline goes hand-in-hand with this.
The psyche of the trader
Day trading certainly plays into the psyche of the investor as well. It’s important they keep their highs and lows in perspective. Again, keeping things even keeled will only benefit the trader and is certainly a good habit worthy of picking up. This means keeping the ego in check as well. Traders might get on a roll for a few days straight cleaning up everything in their path. They have a tendency to confuse this good fortune with indestructibility. This bravery could lead to unnecessary trades and have unnecessary consequences as a result. Always keep the ego and lows in check.
Finally, every speculator needs to have patience. This is also a tough one in particular for day traders. Day trading is unique from other styles as these traders tend to make their living from their efforts. They’ll often set daily goals for the amount of trades or dollar amount they expect to be awarded. However, that doesn’t mean that smart trades are going to happen at 10 o’clock every morning, or the whole day for that matter. Day traders have to stick with their formula and if the trades aren’t happening then they shouldn’t be forcing it. Positions are all about timing, and no one wants to give their money away foolishly. This is where patience truly does become a virtue.
In the end, many of these traits can be learned instead of inherited. However, putting them all into practice when real money is on the line is a whole other ball game. That’s why so many fail in this arena. While nothing is guaranteed, those who do pay heed to the advice of the seasoned traders are far more likely to carve out their own fortune in the markets.