The Ten Attributes of a Great Trader (Part 1)

01/26/2009 10:40 am EST

Focus: STRATEGIES

John Netto

Author, The Global Macro Edge

Over the course of my 20 years in the trading arena, poker business, and sports oddsmaking, certain inalienable qualities seem to resonate in those exhibiting consistent success. The process to acquire this skill set is by no means assured and represents a constant work in progress. A process invariably leading us through multiple peaks and valleys, calling into question what compels us to compete in a trading arena that oscillates so easily from unimaginably predicable to perversely difficult.

These attributes are applicable on a much grander scale, as they transcend the world of trading and investing. If you’re reading this article, odds are you possess a certain entrepreneurial zeal and penchant for taking on risk. Great leaders, doctors, lawyers, and other prominent people in society will usually possess many, if not all, of these qualities.

These ten attributes are so important that they make up the core training I conduct for those who attend my mentorship program, any in person, multi-day workshop, or those who decide to invest in my fund. They are not listed in any particular order of preference, as all have great significance and overlap with one another. I implore you to use them as a template to decide what is important and how to incorporate them to make substantive improvements to your trading and personal life.

Each day this week, I’ll feature two traits. Let’s get started:

1. Heart/Courage – Trading is a business necessitating one does things causing some degree of consternation from time to time. Trading is an institution yielding few victors at the end of the day. As a result, having the ability to buck the crowd is something that can help you achieve great things. An example of this occurs when a trade setup happens and one must battle the potential pain of a losing trade with the desire to make money. In hindsight, many of these spots look easy after the fact, but the truth remains, in real time one must have a great deal of courage to pull the trigger. For anyone who wants to learn my strategies for getting into trades with favorable reward-risk ratios and how that puts you in the driver’s seat to success, please refer to my book, One Shot–One Kill Trading.

2. Intuition – A qualitative virtue recognized by few and held by even less. Our intuition is the byproduct of the analysis performed by our subconscious. It acts much like a muscle and requires exercise to develop and grow. Like a muscle, neglect can cause atrophy. Traders with a strong intuition built on a strong trading strategy put themselves in an ideal position to achieve consistent success in the markets. Over time, traders can feel the energy a market gives off and can execute trades from this. It is an invaluable tool in one’s trading arsenal.

More tomorrow in part 2…

By John Netto, founder and chief investment strategist, NetBlack Capital, LLC

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