I listened to a radio interview of Bill Whisenant that was originally broadcast on December 27, 2008.
Bill received a doctorate in clinical psychology and practiced for 20 years before getting tired of listening to people complain. Now he is a trader, trading coach, and instructor.
Not everyone can be a successful trader, one that makes a living by trading the markets. Based on research, Bill identified three factors that are key to trading success.
Before I describe what they are, let's take a quiz by answering yes or no to the following questions.
Do you worry a lot?
Do you remain calm and relaxed in tense situations?
Are you a trusting individual?
Do you drive at or below the speed limit most of the time?
Are you a perfectionist?
Do you work on a project from start to end before beginning another one?
Do you like to complete projects?
Did you score well on your SATs, that is, do you possess above average intelligence?
Do you like math or are a good problem solver?
When driving and the stop light turns green, do you accelerate faster than the car next to you?
Score one point for each "Yes" answer except on the first (#1) and last (#10) questions. Those should be "No." Add up your score. The higher the score the more likely
it will be that you can become a successful trader.
The following describes the qualities that successful traders possess.
Emotional stability. You don't have to be nuts to trade, but it helps! That is a joke, of course.
Emotional stability is grace under pressure. A successful trader must be able to remain calm in difficult situations. Traders that rank very high on the emotional stability scale
have very low anxiety levels, remain calm, relaxed, and have a low suspicion level. They tend to be trusting individuals and are not paranoid. You won't hear them blame the market
makers for forcing the stock to hit their stop and they take responsibility for their actions. Successful traders tend to be well grounded.
Discipline. Successful traders are ones that can follow the rules. They are the guys that drive the speed limit. They tend to be perfectionist and take pride in their work.
They like to take a project from start to finish and get joy from completing it successfully. Pilots, trained to follow checklists, tend to make good traders. An impulse oriented
individual will have difficulty achieving the discipline to become a successful trader.
Intelligence. Bill says that successful traders tend to be intelligent. They need not have the IQ of Einstein but they are above average in intelligence. They tend to be
good problem solvers and good with numbers, such as statistics. They understand that trading is based on probability, that not every trade will work as planned.
Can you learn to become a successful trader? Yes. But sometimes if you don't have what it takes, try another profession.
-- Thomas Bulkowski
The centered trader. Are you the type of trader that lets emotions flow by without reacting, focused only on the trade?
Take the quiz to test how centered you are and how to fix any problems you discover.