How to be a Successful Trader? Tips to Improve Your Trading Mindset
What is a trading mindset?
You might have heard a lot of trading coaches say that a positive trading mindset is crucial if you want to achieve something in the trading world. Sounds unlikely, doesn’t it? But reality shows that trading mindset is, in fact, one of the main factors that leads to successful trades.
When you trade, you have to be ready to encounter risk, to handle this risk and to even lose money. How you react to these situations, whether you stay calm and collected or get overwhelmed by emotions and make rash decisions out of desperation, is what actually influences the outcome of your trades. You may know everything about trading, have unlimited funds to spend on your trades, but if you have the wrong mindset, you won’t see the results you’re hoping for.
In this article you will learn about the importance of a positive mindset in trading, ways to improve your trader mentality, what makes a trader successful and how to become a winning trader.
Why is a positive mindset important?
The thing about financial markets that most traders forget about is that they are void of emotions. There aren’t inherently good or bad market conditions. How you feel about them is entirely up to you. What you consider a losing trade might be a good opportunity for someone else. So trading at its core is entirely subjective and depends on a trader’s emotions and actions.
How you act under stress depends on your mindset. All living beings act out of instinct when they’re in danger, and humans are no exception. An unexpected market move can also fall under the “in danger” category in our brains, so a lot of traders fall victim to their emotions and make decisions that can cause them to lose money.
What’s more, all the chart patterns you learn about to predict future price movements are actually based on traders’ psychology. When certain market conditions come into play, lots of traders act in the exact same way. They fall victim to their emotions, which can be used by other more level-headed traders to find more trading opportunities.
Essentially, all market movements depend on how other traders act. That is why it’s important to have a positive trading mindset and keep such emotions as fear and worry out of trading. They will most certainly hinder your trading success. By keeping your emotions out of your trades, you’ll be able to see the bigger picture of the market and not become another pawn whose mistakes can be used by other traders.
Top Tips to Improve Your Trader Mentality
Of course, even most experienced traders make mistakes. Even if you don’t have the right trading mindset now, it doesn’t mean that you’re hopeless. There are ways to improve your mentality, and now we’ll discuss some tips that can help you become a more collected trader.
Get in the right trader’s mindset
Trading in itself is highly unpredictable. Regardless of your level of expertise, winning or losing a trade is pretty much out of your control. You can’t 100% predict what the market’s next move will be. But what you can do is to prepare a risk management strategy and follow it. You need to accept that losing trades is a part of any trader’s life and it’s never reflective of your abilities as a trader. Sometimes all you can do is sit back and wait. Don’t let your nerves and emotions under stress overshadow the plans and strategies you made when you were calm and rational.
No matter what you do for a living, learning is a part of every job. You need to constantly acquire new knowledge to stay on top of your game in this competitive world. In trading, learning is also a key to developing the right mindset for trading. The more you know about different techniques, tools, patterns, strategies, market conditions, the less likely you’re to panic and succumb to your emotions.
Don’t let losses get out of control
Many new traders think that if their trades go into the negative, they just need to wait it out. This is a prime example of emotions taking over logical thinking. The longer you keep your losing trades open, the more likely your losses to grow and the harder it will be to recover your balance. That’s why experienced traders know that it’s better to close losing trades early on and focus on profitable positions instead.
Keep a trading journal and make regular observations
Trading journals can be very useful, especially if you’re just making your first steps as a professional trader. Trading journals are used to keep record of all the trades you open. Once you close your trade, you should also take note of how much profit or losses it brought to you. Keeping all this information in one place can help you to analyze what needs to be improved in your trading strategies, what common mistakes you make and how you can prevent them in the future.
Observe the actions of other successful traders
Learning from others is always a good way to master any craft. Trading is not an exception. Observing how other successful traders work, how they analyze the market and what the motivation behind each of their decisions is can help you train your own logical thinking and help you stay more level-headed when dealing with your own trades.
Control your emotions
Emotions are an integral part of our everyday lives. However, there is no place for them in the trading world. Such emotions as fear and greed are very common in this line of work. How many good trades were ruined because traders either got scared and pulled the plug too early, or got too greedy and missed the chance to take their profits? Always keep your mind level and don’t let emotions rule your trades.
Remind yourself that the market doesn’t owe you anything
Newton’s third law states that for every action there’s an equal and opposite reaction. Well, this doesn’t apply to financial markets. If your trades are plummeting, don’t expect the market to turn around. The markets don’t work like that, so waiting for the price to get back to where you want it to be can be futile. Rather, close this trade and open another one to take advantage of this new development.
Key Characteristics of a Winning Trader
Now that you know what to do and not to do to develop the right mindset, let’s look at some traits that all successful traders share. As it is, all winning traders are:
- comfortable with taking risks. If you can’t handle the thought of losing, then trading is not for you. Losing trades is just part of trading, and successful traders know how to accept that their trades might cost them money instead of bringing profits;
- capable of quickly adjusting to changing market conditions. Successful traders are always ready to change their trading strategy if the market so requires. They don’t feel attached to their work and are always willing to go with the market’s flow;
- able to view the market objectively. They are dedicated to making the most out of any market. They don’t let their own emotions overwhelm their ability to think straight and make quick decisions;
- not emotionally affected by winning or losing trades. Both winning and losing trades is part of any trader’s job. Focusing too much on the outcome of each trade can hinder your ability to think straight when it comes to other open positions;
- self-disciplined traders. Winning traders know how to calculate risk and plan their strategy around it. They don’t gamble and they know when it’s time to close the trade and take their gains;
- aware that the market can’t be predicted. Winning traders know that the market doesn’t work in accordance with some premade algorithm. They are ready to take everything it has to offer at that particular moment and don’t feel bad when the market changes its flow.
Habits of Winning a Trader
- Successful traders know that they need to regularly review and evaluate their performance. This helps them find the aspects they need to improve and learn from their past mistakes.
- Winning traders are flexible. They know when it’s time to close a trade and move on to the next objective. They don’t get attached to their current trades and strategies and are always ready to make necessary changes.
- Winning traders do not hesitate to risk money when they see a genuine profit opportunity. They know that success doesn’t come to those who are afraid of risk. Nevertheless, they don’t rush into trades without thinking their options through and certainly don’t risk big amounts of money if they’re not ready to do so.
We hope that knowing all of this can help you work on your own positive trader mindset. Just remember to always be on guard, think all your decisions through and never let your emotions override the rational part of your brain!