While all these have there place for every successful trader the #1 thing that will make or break every trader whether amateur or professional is risk management. The greatest traders in history were also great risk managers. The main reason the successful traders even survived the markets and gave themselves a chance to be winners is that they always understood they could be wrong about any given trade so they bet appropriately. They entered with defined risk, they understood how much money was at risk of being lost if they were wrong and they had the price level they would get out because they figured at that level they were wrong. This is the one biggest thing separates the best from the rest. The most simple way to start being a great risk manager is to only risk no more than 1% of total trading capital on any one trade with the use of correct positions sizing, stop losses, and maybe option or future contracts. When you start to focus on how much can be lost on any given trade before you focus on how much can be made you are at the point on the right road to trading success.