Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Match Your Trading Style With Your Personality

Have you ever noticed that traders with seemingly the same skills are not making the same amount of money?

Have you ever attributed success to being in the right place, at the right time, or just being lucky?

Well, there is a lot more to it than that. What if I told you, that your own thought patterns affect your success as a trader?

Since birth, our parents, friends, families, places we’ve lived and TV, among other things, have influenced the way we think. Some of these thoughts and behaviors are so deeply ingrained that they’ve now become habits.

A lot of the time, we are not conscious of what we are doing. This is where each person is drastically different from another.

So how does this impact you? You might have heard that you are not trading markets, you are trading your beliefs. Why would that be true? It’s because we all have our points of view (our filters) and we view things through them.

Think about four people watching an accident from different corners of a street. Their stories have some similarities and some differences. Where do the differences come in? Are they lying? No. They are viewing things and running them through their own point of view. That is where the differences come in.

So what are beliefs? Beliefs are your internal programming. They are similar to the operating system of your computer.

There is good news and bad news. The good news is that you know it is a program and that you can change it. The bad news is that you might not even be aware of your programming.

Your program may have served a purpose when you adopted it, however you might not have reviewed it for a long time. Now that your needs have changed, it is time for a review and possibly an upgrade to serve your current needs.

If you don’t, consider how much your outdated program is costing you.

Let’s take a closer look at your programming and see what kind of trader you might be.

Why do you suppose this information might be useful? There are many reasons. You will be able to:

* Discover what kind of market best suits you.
* Learn what kind of system best suits you.
* Identify whom you should follow.
* Make a lot more money.
* Experience less stress.
* joy a better life. 

So, what kind of trader are you? Answer the following questions as honestly as you can.

* Are you a bench warmer or a player?
* Are you an offensive trader or a defensive one?
* How much information do you need before making a decision?
* For capturing your P&L do you follow your system, or do you let your emotions dictate it?
* Do you have a hard time pulling the trigger?
* Can you make your decisions quickly, or do you need to really think it through?
* When you’re trading, what is your number one outcome?
o Capital preservation
o Making money 
* Are you playing to win or playing not to lose?
* Do you have a risk tolerance? If so, is it firm or is it ruled by your emotions?
* Do you cut your losses quickly or let it run?
* Are you taking your profits too fast, or would you let it run longer?
* Are you letting your ego influence the game? 

Well, we all go through these emotions at some point. What would be beneficial is to find out what our primary mode of operation is.

There are 4 primary types of traders. The following questions will help you identify which category best describes your primary mode of operation.

1. Risk taker
* Are you an offensive trader?
* Are you a calculated risk taker?
* Are you an aggressive trader?
* Are you determined / focused?
* Are you competitive?
* Are you results oriented?
* Can you make decisions quickly and decisively? 

2. Perfectionist
* Are you a cautious trader?
* Is capital preservation your first priority?
* Are you playing defensively?
* Do you need all of your data before making any decisions?
* When you come to your conclusions, do you still hesitate to pull the trigger?
* Do you feel like you are missing something?
* Do you second guess yourself?
* Are you a perfectionist?
* Are you critical of yourself?
* Do you suffer from “analysis paralysis” and never pull the trigger?
* Are you missing the boat because you are thinking too much? 

3. Starter, not a Finisher
* Are you an “idea” person?
* Do you get distracted easily?
* Do you have a hard time with follow-ups?
* Do you get overwhelmed?
* Do you have a lot of enthusiasm, but do not take that many actions?
* Do you have a hard time pulling the trigger? 

4. Emotional
* Are you easily persuaded by other people’s opinions?
* Do you let your emotions run your trades?
* Do you have any systems in place? If so, do you follow them?
* Are you losing money because you either do not have a plan or do not follow your plan?
* Do you seek others’ approval?
* Do you get out a trade at the first sign of trouble?
* Do you linger longer than you should with the hope that things will get better?
* Do you freeze because you are not sure how to react? 

As mentioned before, you could be a combination of all of these types at one time or another. However, once you understand your primary mode of operation, you can make better decisions about what kinds of markets you want to be in and what kind of team you need around you. Pick the style and the market that best suits your personality.

Remember, you always have a choice. Once you know what your program is, you can reprogram your mind to become the type of trader that you want to be.

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