5 Things you need to be a successful trader

Successful Trading: Five things you need:

 

  • Mental toughness
  • Focus
  • Toolkit
  • Process
  • Support

 

This list is by no means exhaustive, but it’s a good start. I could spend ages talking about each subject here. If I get asked enough then I probably will!

 

 

  • Mental Toughness

Let me be blunt. Trading is a real head fuck. It really gets inside your head and messes with it. Making what are normally rational decisions become very difficult in the heat of the battle. When you have your hard earned money involved it changes everything. Some people are over cautious. Others think they are invincible. It’s not until after the event and they see the result of their actions that reality kicks in. The key skill is to be able to manage your emotions, keep them in some sort of control. This enables you to apply the focus and processes you need to make a successful trade. Learning to trade is a long and arduous road. Even with a high level of training, it will take lots of practice and screen time. Lots of knock backs, false starts and disappointments. It is no coincidence that the guys I have been involved with long-term are mostly successful. The ones that lack the mental toughness to “dig in” are the ones who don’t quite get there.

 

  • Focus

Focus is something I think many of us overlook when it comes to planning a trading session. A lap top in the front room while eating your tea, listening to the days news from your partner and having a couple of excitable kids jumping all over you is not ideal conditions for a successful trading session.

Make sure you have a quiet place to trade with no interruptions. Imagine being Neo when he plugs into the Matrix – You won’t go far wrong.

BUT, do not exchange trading for spending a little time with your family.

 

  • Toolkit

What do I mean by a toolkit?  The tools of the trade. Starting with a bank. This should be money put aside specifically to trade with. Money that you can afford to lose, (who can afford to lose money????) i.e You won’t need it back to pay your rent or mortgage at the end of the month. It doesn’t have to be a huge amount. Even £50 can get you started.

 

Second on the list is hardware/internet. A mid-spec PC will be fine to trade with, as long as you have 10MB internet speed you will be fine. The most important part of a hardware set up is a decent sized screen. The bigger the better. (I use a 27”).

 

Third on the toolkit list is a third party App. This is essential. It enables you to see the signals that the market provides and find your trades. You can execute them quickly with one click mostly and enable protection systems like “Take SP”.  I am not going to recommend an App, but the most popular ones are Bet Angel, Gruss Betting Assistant and The Geeks Toy. All slightly different and all top class products.

 

  • Process

Sitting there blindly clicking away may well make you a few quid. But in general, knowing what you are doing is a good idea! The markets throw up signals that help you to work out what may happen next. Your mission is to find these signals and interpret them.

What is vital is to concentrate on the process and execution, NOT how much profit you are making. That will come with time once you have mastered the PROCESS.

Training is an excellent idea. Whether that is with me or with someone else. Going alone isn’t always the best investment in your time or bank balance. Invest in yourself!

 

  • Support

This comes into two parts really.

 

Part 1 – Partner and family

You must have the support of your partner when starting this journey. They will soon get fed up with you being away from the family unit every spare hour you have, possibly losing money too. Partners expect instant results!!!! This is very unlikely. However much you make, it isn’t worth losing your partner for.

 

Part 2 – Other Traders/Mentors

From my experience running MGW, our Mastermind Program is a great success. It brings like-minded folk together, lets them learn from each other in a friendly and creative environment. Having a shoulder to cry on. Someone who understands what you are actually talking about means a lot. It’s hugely beneficial both in terms of learning and your mental health too.

 

My next Workshop runs on 24thSeptember in Coventry.

There are still a few places left.

Workshop Link

 

3 thoughts on “5 Things you need to be a successful trader

  1. Thanks for posting this, Steve.

    It’s good that you mentioned mental toughness as that is something that is rarely considered by new traders and for those already on their journey to becoming profitable, it is without doubt a massive stumbling block.

    On your recent interview on Dean’s podcast, I think you mentioned that you react to a big loss / big win with no emotion at all and I know from your videos on YouTube that you are almost clinical about the way you take a loss before it gets out of control.

    What steps did you take to make that emotionless behaviour and controlling losses automatic?

    • Hi Chris, Good to hear from you again.
      The way I overcome it was to trust in the process. I know what I am doing, I have done it 1000’s of times with success. So it’s a case of repeat it over and over. When things do not go as expected, that’s fine. I expect that too. It’s just “variance”. When a Green Grocer goes to the wholesale market and buys his fruit, he expects to have some wastage, some loss from the top price he can sell it. This is factored into his business plan. In MY Trading plan, losses I also expect to have losses, but I have I guess what’s called “big picture” thinking. Trust your plan and take the loss.
      Hope that makes sense Chris

      • Hi Steve,

        That is a brilliant response and the analogy of the greengrocer is spot on and easy to understand.

        Thank you

        Chris

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