There is a big difference between bad traders and good traders, here is what I think separates one from the other:
- Bad traders continually have the desire to short the hottest stocks with the strongest momentum. What is their reasoning? “It can’t go any higher, this price is ridiculous.” Do they understand it is a bull market, no. Do they understand the technicals or fundamentals that are driving this stock? No. Bad traders just trade their beliefs good traders trade proven methods.
- Bad traders continually believe they have found the trade “That just can’t lose.” It is a sure thing. No doubt about it. They trade BIG, they trade a HUGE position size. Unfortunately the most obvious trades are usually the losing trades, so they lose, and lose big. Good traders divide out their trades so that no one trade has too big of an impact on their account. Good traders realize EVERY trade can win or lose so they plan a quick exit for if they are wrong.
- Bad traders do not do the proper homework before they begin to trade. Really Bad traders enter the markets with a mile of ego along with mud puddle deep understanding of what really works in trading. Bad traders have the belief that they are more clever than the markets and they can win based on their own intelligence. The problem is they do not do the homework of studying charts, trends, robust systems, winning methods, the right psychology for winning traders, risk/reward ratios, or the danger of the risk of ruin, or how the top performing stocks acted historically, and on and on. The good traders learn what it takes to succeed in trading, the complete story, while the bad traders learn some basics and think they are ready. They are wrong. The markets will show them.
- Bad traders make low probability trades, they are where the profits come from for the good traders. They go short in bull markets and long in bear markets. They sell naked puts on stocks collapsing into death spirals and sell calls on the best momentum stocks. They trade with big risks for small profits. They have a few small wins but some really huge losses. When they have a winner they take the profits quickly, but if they have a loser they let it run hoping that it will come back. They are the ones that lose the money, they are on the other side of the good traders trades.
- Bad traders want a good tip. They just want to be handed a winning system or a hot stock that just can’t lose. They do not even understand what all the talk of trading psychology and risk management is all about. They don’t need all that, they just want to make money. They just want the fish, they do not care about the fishing pole, bait, boat, or how to fish. Unfortunately they were to busy looking for that fish and didn’t understand the art of fishing, they will drown in the market ocean because they never learned how to swim themselves.