With all the silliness and noise around trading that happens online I thought I would clarify what I see makes the rich traders win in the markets. Whether they are a professional or trading their own account the markets leave many traders broken in its wake. Below are the majors of trading while most focus on the minors, these are what make all the difference regardless of the traders method to getting to these critical components.
#1 Trading is not about winning percentage, being right all the time, or predicting the future. What it is about is having bigger winners than losers. If you are profitable after each long string of trades then you are a winning trader in that time frame. You can make money through winning percentage as long as you keep losers small and you can make money through huge wins even with lots of losses. The key is not how many times you are right but the size of your winners versus your losers. That is the magic elixir of profitability.
#2 Trading is first and foremost about surviving, the vast majority of traders not only don’t make money but they lose most of their trading capital. The only way to have a long profitable trading career is to manage risk and survive a string of losses. If your trading losses are more than 1% to 2% of total trading capital per losing trade you are in danger of blowing up your account with a string of losing trades or one big loss. To make the journey from new trader to successful trader you have to survive losing streaks and completely unexpected market action. Trading and betting big will eventually take you out of the game, it is only a question of when.
#3 Trading is one of the roughest things a person can do mentally and emotionally. Even if you win in the markets you have to keep up a large amount of personal human capital in perseverance, passion, dedication, focus, and faith in self and system. If you are missing one of these six psychological elements the odds will be against you. You have to cultivate your goals and drive into a vision of success that you are willing to pursue until you get it and pay the price as you go to have the prize you seek.