6 Ways to Emulate Talented Traders by Aaron Fifield
Back in 2017 we were lucky to have Aaron Fifield, of Chat With Traders Podcast fame, attend Noosapalooza® to share his wisdom. After more than one hundred interviews (at the time), Aaron had managed to decipher the best ways to emulate talented traders.
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Our next presenter is Aaron Fifield. We’ve invited Aaron to condense his interviews into a presentation for you today and to reveal six ways that you can emulate talented traders.
I’m absolutely stoked to be here. So first of all, thank you very much to Trish and Nick Radge for inviting me out here. It’s a real honor.
As Trish mentioned, my name is Aaron Fifield, a host the Chat With Traders podcast, and I mentioned this because it’s essentially why I’m here. So, I interview traders from all across the globe who trade all different markets, all different timeframes, all different methods and styles, and that type of thing. So when Nick and Trish initially reached out and asked if I could come along and speak with you guys, they asked if I could perhaps pull upon some of the best insight which I’ve been able to gather from, which is now over 130 different episodes.
I do want preface this by saying that some of the things I’m going to be talking about here, we are speaking in general terms to a certain extent, you know, there will be traders who do almost the exact opposite of everything I’m about to say and still have some success. But for the most part, I think these things are fairly effective.
6 Ways to Emulate Talented Traders
I’ve appropriately titled this talk, 6 Ways to Emulate Talented Traders. The way I’m going to go through this is, or how I’m going to structure the talk is I will pull upon a quote, which has come up from one of the conversations I’ve had. Which I feel like actually in some ways frames that particular point, and then we’ll go through and we’ll flesh things out.
So the very first thing I want to address, I guess is point number one, have an unstoppable demeanor. So, the quote I’m going to pull upon here is from a trader Darren Reed. A prop trader, for most of his career. Most of his trading career, I should say, he’s been a prop trader in Sydney as he just moved back to Perth to start up a firm of his own.
So Darren says, the number one thing is grit. You need to be like a bulldog that gets his teeth around a bone and will not let go. Now this of course refers to the, and I don’t use this word lightly, insane work ethic, that so many of the traders have spoken with have. It’s not uncommon that some of my guests to put in up to 80 hours a week into their trading. Now, I’m certainly not saying that’s something you guys will need to do and I’d be a hypocrite if I did say that, because I certainly don’t spend that much time on my trading directly. But I think it’s worthwhile mentioning because you need to have an appreciation that there are people who are putting in that many hours and taking this, that seriously.
Tom Dante, if any of you guys are on Twitter, you’re probably well aware of who that is. A trader who I’ve interviewed from the UK, has this brilliant line, which he mentioned, while you’re not working on your edge, someone else is.
So no one got to where they are now, by putting in mediocre effort, and no one got to where they are now by half-assing it. Right? So, when we’re talking about having an unstoppable demeanor, this of course refers to having a really strong work ethic, putting in the time. It also refers to things such as overcoming challenges, overcoming adversity, and overcoming various failures.
So I’m going to share a couple examples of some of the guests. Which I think captures how some traders who are very successful in their own right today have overcome those types of challenges. Now, these are certainly not the most extreme cases, but I think they’re somewhat relatable. And you know, we’re not really talking about anomalies here.
So, the first trader that comes to mind is a trader named Jonathan, I’ll keep his last name private, at his request, but Jonathan’s a trader I interviewed, he’s from, I’m pretty sure he’s from Texas. So, he actually was in a fortunate position when he got into trading that he was mentored for about a year, fairly intensively by a former trader from SAC, Steve Cohen’s hedge fund. After a year of trading, being mentored by this particular trader, he went out on his own. He was like, I’m going to fund an account and have a crack at this. He took out a $35,000 student loan to fund an account to begin day trading futures. So, I certainly don’t recommend anyone does that, but he certainly did, needless to say he lost every dollar of that in a fairly short period of time. The next rational thing that someone in that situation might do is approach a family member and ask them for a similar amount of money, another 30, $35,000. Same thing happened, he lost every dollar of that. At this point, he’s $70,000 in the red. So it’s hardly a position that any of us would be envious of. Anyway, he didn’t stop at that point. He realized that maybe he would try and get into a hedge fund. You know, getting into a hedge fund’s a pretty tough thing for many people because of the, you know, what they’re looking for. He went to university, got a degree or two, I don’t remember one or two degrees anyway, that would potentially give them a really good shot at getting a job at a hedge fund. So he went, got his education, got his degree, then, so he was all qualified, still really struggled to get his foot in the door at a hedge fund. He emailed something like 92 different hedge funds over the space of a few months, trying to get an interview. Finally got into a hedge fund. Within six months, he was promoted to head trader at a billion dollar hedge fund. He was there for a few years, he left, I think it was about five years later where he was head trader. He left to go out on his own. So he cashed out. I think he’d become a partner at that point, funded a trading account of about $200,000-$250,000. The past two or three years he’s run that account off to over $2 million. So that’s a really great example of someone who had it very tough in the beginning, but has managed to pull through.
Someone else who comes to mind. Sean Hendelman. Now I’ll mention who Sean is in just a moment, but Sean started out as more of an investor. He had summer jobs. This is when he was a bit younger and saved up a bit of money, he got into investing, and actually did quite well. Decided he was going to have a shot at active trading, so that, I guess it started out okay, but soon turned pear shaped. Lost all the money he had. Okay. Back to zero. Picked himself up, dusted off his shoulders, I guess, changed his approach to train a little bit and actually started to have some really good success and was making some real progress with his trading. Him and a couple others at that point decided that they were going to start a hedge fund. So they went about that, they started a hedge fund, but it’s set up, but so whatever reason, and it’s not really important, but the hedge fund failed to gain traction. They ended up having to wind it down. Through that process, Sean actually lost all his money again. So twice over now, he’s lost almost every dollar he had.
If we look at where Sean is today, he’s the CEO of one of the largest proprietary trading firms in the US in terms of number of traders, which is T3. But when we’re talking about having an unstoppable demeanor, and overcoming sacrifice, sorry, adversity and challenges, and that type of thing, we’re not just talking about losing money through trading areas, trading errors, and poor trading, etc. We can also talk about sacrifices that people have made to pursue their trading career.
So, you know, for example, we can take Darren Reed who I’ve quoted up on the board here. At the time Darren was working at a brokerage in Perth. He was, it was kind of an old school shop and he really wanted to pursue his trade, his career as a trader. He felt as though the best bet to do that was to join a proprietary trading firm. As, I’m sure you guys are well aware, most of them are located in Sydney. So, he moved away from his partner, moved away from his family, over to Sydney. He wasn’t getting paid a salary at this firm, and really had to try and make it on his own. So it was a huge risk to take a really big sacrifice. And, you know, it’s obviously paid off for him.
Another really great example, which I’d like to share is my buddy Bryce Edwards, who’s a brilliant day trader. He’s also in Sydney. So Bryce, a few years back, actually had a few hundred thousand dollars with a particular broker. For whatever reason, and I don’t know all the details of the story, but that broker went bust. He pretty much lost all the money he had with that broker. So, pretty much one day he woke up, a few hundred thousand dollars had disappeared through no fault of his own. If we look at where Bryce is today, he’s a seven figure trader, many times over.
Now I share these few examples because I think they’re really great in the sense that I think probably most sane people, would probably walk away if these types of things happen to them. But as these four examples show, you know, when things get tough, they tend to double down. Having spoken with the founders of some of the really prominent prop trading firms. I even spoke with one gentleman, he’s a recruiter. He’s a head hunter for some of the very large prop firms in the US and Europe, and that type of thing. Also some of the bigger hedge funds and even banks, and every single one of these guys said to me that when the hiring, they really like to see that you’ve experienced some form of hardship and being able to push through it. You know, they really respect those with a competitive drive, which is important because if you’re going to fall at the first few setbacks, which are inevitable, you’re not going to get far as a trader. I can promise you that.
Just to take that one step further, I interviewed a trader, a prop trader in the UK, somebody who also actually funny enough, moved from South Africa to the UK to pursue his trading career, putting himself in a really great environment. He said, when we spoke earlier in the year, this is, and I quote, one of the key characteristics of a successful trader is dogfight. Meaning, you keep going and going and going. This job will turn you over and spit you out so many times, if you can’t keep coming back and rolling with the punches, you’ll never survive.
Now, I do realize when we’re talking about this type of thing, there is a certain amount of survivorship bias, but anyway you want to look at it, there is no replacement for grit. It’s such a big part of the makeup of any successful trader. However, it’s not the only parts.
The next piece of the puzzle, playing the long game, have a willingness to play the long game. So I’m going to refer to a quote here from Peter Brandt, and I’ll tell you who Peter is in just a moment. But Peter says, it’s been quite a ride for me. It’s been one I’ve enjoyed. I like trading, I like watching markets. I love being a student of markets, I guess more than I actually like to trade. I’m a real student of the markets.
So, Peter Brandt is someone who’s been trading for 45 years. Has a very respectable track record, and to hear someone in his situation refer to himself as a student of markets, I think is very powerful. You know, that speaks volumes. What it says to me is that you need to be humble enough to know that you’ll never reach a point where you know everything. Just to really emphasize that. This comes from a conversation I had with Peter, must’ve been at the earlier part of 2016. Now, Peter had not long actually just recovered from the largest drawdown of his trading career. Okay. This is a man who has been trading 45 years yet only recently has experienced the largest drawdown in his career. You know, so it just goes to show, you will never reach a point where you know everything. And because of that, you really do need to enjoy the challenge of trading. Every one of my guests, although they’ll express it in different ways, if you get to the root of it, there’s no denying that they have a curiosity for learning new things.
Now, many people are attracted to trading because of the great earning potential. I’d be lying if I said that wasn’t partially the reason why I got into trading. I know for many of my guests, it was certainly one of the stronger motives for getting into trading as well. But as Kevin Davey, one of my guests who is a championship winning algorithmic trader says, trading is the hardest way to make easy money. So, I bring this up because the money alone is not going to be enough because it doesn’t come right away.
Most people I’ve interviewed, as I mentioned, I’ve interviewed over 130 different traders and market participants now. It’s something I quite frequently ask. If I had to think in general terms, how long it actually took them to gain some consistency and gain some real traction with their trading, I think probably around about five years is an average type of answer. To some people I think that might be shocking, but really if you think about it, I don’t think it should come as a surprise.
Normally I hate analogies, right? But I feel like it’s probably appropriate in this case. So, if we look at someone who’s perhaps an Olympic swimmer, okay, you really need to think about all the work they’ve put in to get to the point of where they are now. You know, how long have they been participating in that sport? They’re probably been swimming since they were 5, 6, 7, 8 years old. You know, how many hours a day they put in, how long they’ve been participating in that sport to get to the point of where they are now. Really in many ways, I don’t see trading as being that different from any other discipline where high performance is a requirement. So yeah, anyone who comes into trading, certainly has to have the willingness to play the long game.
I interviewed a trader, Nico, again, I won’t mention his last name, but he’s from the US and just an average sort of guy, he was running an IT business at the time. I think one of his clients was more of an investor, but that kind of peaked his interest in trading. Anyway, so he got into trading, started dabbling in it. One thing led to another, and he really started like putting some money behind it. He’d make some money, lose some money, could never really hit his stride. Anyway, this went on for eight years. He didn’t give up. He kept pushing on, and these days he’s very consistent, consistently making five figures a month. But, you know, had he not had a willingness to play the long game, he would never got to that point where he’s now making five figures a month. I think really he’s just getting started. So, the ones who are doing this for real, do not have a get rich quick mentality. They have a mentality of longevity and building real wealth in the long run.
I’m going to share a story with you. So I mentioned Tom Dante in the last point I made. When I interviewed Tom, has he shared this story, so this is not word for word, but you’ll get the general gist. So, Tom used to work at a prop firm in the UK. He says there was a huge trader there, and this guy, it wouldn’t be uncommon for him to make a couple of hundred thousand dollars in a week, right? This was one particular day when this guy had an absolutely stellar day, they had a huge gain. Tom says there was a real buzz around the office, but this guy, you know, he was emotionally cool, he had a smile on his face, but he wasn’t running around doing back flips off the desk or anything like that. 5:00 PM comes around, Tom gets on the train, heading out of the city, going home. Gets home, thinks, oh shit, forgot my keys. Doesn’t wanna pay for a locksmith, gets back onto the train, into the city, back to the office. Gets to the office, by this time it’s around about 9:30 PM at night. All the lights are out except for one light. Underneath that light is the same trader who had just had the absolute stellar day, okay. Tom says, this particular moment for him was a real eye-opener, because a lot of people get into trading for an easy life. But if you look at the ones who are really making a whole lot of money, they work very, very hard at this.
So, anyway, just to finish up this point, getting good at anything takes time, and in trading you certainly have to be amongst the best to make money. This is not something we can afford to be mediocre.
Point number three, know your strategy, intimately. Keyword being intimately. So I’m going to point to a quote here from Jeff Davis, who’s a, he trades the S&P 500 futures day trader. Anyway, that’s not really important. But Jeff Davis has these few words, which are absolutely fantastic, nice and simple, but very effective.
This is what he says. “Do less, do it better, do it bigger”.
Then just a few things on this. I want to make it very clear, there is no best way to trade. All right? You can be a day trader. You can be a long-term investor. You can trade technical patterns. You can trade a hypothesis. You can data mine for strategies, like Nick. Almost everyone I’ve interviewed trades in their own unique way. So there is no best way to trade, but regardless, however you do decide to trade, there is no replacement for knowing your strategy intimately, because every single person I’ve interviewed can tell you with absolute certainty, what they do trade, and what they do not trade. And just to give you an example on this, someone who might trade, let’s say small cap stocks here in Australia.
They don’t wake up one morning and see that crude oil is up 5%, and for the rest of that week, they just start trading energy futures, right? It just doesn’t work like that. The only way to know your strategy intimately is to specialize. Now for everyone. Now, everyone specializes in some form shape, or another. How you choose to specialise is certainly going to vary from person to person. I think it’s quite a personal thing in many ways. You know, some people are going to specialise, just running with that theme, energy futures. Maybe some people are gonna specialise in certain types of strategies. You know, they might just trade news events or earnings. They might trade breakouts. They might be a trend follower. They might trade just small caps on the Australian market. Whatever it is, find what your thing is, and then specialize in that.
I guess in some ways, I’m just gonna echo what Nick said earlier on, but, I actually got a note here to pull upon a conversation I had with Nick for the podcast. Nick’s on the podcast twice now. I’m sure he’s probably said the same thing both times he was on in maybe slightly different ways. But I’m gonna quote Nick here.
So Nick says, “you must know why your strategy makes money”. Because if you don’t understand why, you’re going to find it very difficult to stay with your strategy when it goes a little bit pear shaped, as every strategy will at times.
Now, I just want to take this one step further because I think that’s a huge benefit of knowing your strategy intimately, but when you really focus and you begin to build confidence from knowing the strategy and getting comfortable with it, that’s when you can really begin to scale. As Jeff says up here, do less, do it better, do it bigger. When you can begin to scale your strategies, that’s really when it all becomes worthwhile. As I mentioned, focused just before, I’d like to add this saying, cause I think it’s really cool and it might help in some ways.
So, just recently, actually, I interviewed someone who up until recently was the performance director at a oil trading firm in United Kingdom in London. This guy was the performance director. So, he wasn’t a trader, but his sole job was to help accelerate excellence at this trading firm. They had this question that they would, or this sort of sign that they would use around the office. “Will it make the boat go faster?” I think they actually pinched it from the great Britain rowing team. I think that’s something they used when the Olympics were on there. Will it make the boat go faster? You know, and if we want to tie that back into trading, maybe we would ask something like, is this increasing profitability or mitigating risk?
You know, it’s very easy for us to go down rabbit holes and get sidetracked. So, I think if you use a question like, will it make the boat go faster, that’s something that should really help to guide every decision you make as a trader.
Now, point number four, trade with an edge. This is perhaps my favorite point. Who better to quote than Blair Hull. If you’re missing an edge, there is no reason to play. Absolutely love that line. And I really think if this one line alone could save traders untold amounts of money, if understood, ’cause when I first got into trading, I would suddenly, I would hear traders talking about having an edge, and that type of thing, I guess I’d never really fully understood. It took me a while to fully understand it. I guess by the time I actually got to a point where I could interview Blair Hull, I had kind of worked out what it meant to have an edge. But I wanted to hear how Blair would put it in his own words, because the way, my opinion, Blair is like the master of edge.
So I asked Blair, what does it mean to have an edge? And I quote, if you do the same kind of trade, hundreds of times, in the long run, you’ll have more money than when you started. And he goes on to say, without an edge, it’s gambling. It might be fun, but it’s going to hurt you financially. Now, I spoke with Blair for probably about 60 minutes or more. From that conversation, it was just so obvious that here’s a man who’s not going to bet or wager on anything unless he feels as though he has an advantage. You know, with the probabilities of him winning, winning a bet or whatever it might be, and in his favor.
He even actually said, and this is a direct quote, “whether I’m on the golf course or anything, I must have an edge in my favor”. That’s the man worthwhile listening to.
Now, someone who influenced Blair, now I referred to Blair as the master of edge, so this gentleman is on another level again, and someone who I’ve had the great opportunity of interviewing is Edward Thorp.
Now, if anyone plays blackjack or maybe has any interest in gambling, Edward Thorp actually invented card counting. He wrote the book, Beat the Dealer. So when, he actually started out in Las Vegas, where he played blackjack, he beat roulette and a couple other games as well. But you know, when things got a bit hot and heavy in Las Vegas, he moved to financial markets and ultimately became a legend in the hedge fund world.
Anyway, so I interviewed Edward Thorp and I wanted to hear in his words, how he would describe having an edge, specifically around financial markets. So, Edward Thorp said, I try to think through how good or how bad something might be compared with my most probable estimate. And even if the bad situation looks good, then I know I’ve got something worth playing on. Like I mentioned, Ed comes from more of a gambling background, and has sort of applied some of that theory to financial markets. Ed actually said, understanding gambling games like blackjack, and some of the others is one of the best possible training grounds for getting into the investment world because you learn how to manage money, how to compute odds, and how to reason what to do when you have an advantage or when you have an edge.
Now I’m not going to gloss over that last point, ’cause I think that’s absolutely okay. Reasoning what to do when you have an advantage. So we’ve talked about trading with an edge, this is take this one step further, when you’ve got an edge, how do you actually make the most of that?
So, I interviewed a gentleman, Victor Haghani. Now, Victor was one of the founding partners of Long-Term Capital Management. Now, Long-Term Capital Management for anyone who doesn’t know was a hedge fund that came about in the 90s, did extremely well, had an amazing track record until 1998. Then they failed in a spectacular fashion. They failed so badly that the federal reserve, I think it was, actually had to step in and organize a bailout in order to prevent the possibility of a collapse in the global financial system. So they messed up pretty bad. Anyway, I had the opportunity of speaking with Victor, and he’s still around today.
Victor actually ran this experiment, funny enough with the help of Ed Thorp. This was an experiment that I did recently. I gathered 61 participants in a room, and each one of these participants came from a background in either, in math, science, investing, finance in some form or another. So these are smart people, they, as you’ll find out, they should know better. The experiment was, they were given $25 of real money and they were told to flip a coin for 30 minutes straight, just flip, flip, flip, as much as they could. If they bet $10 on heads, they made $10. If they bet $10 and it came up heads, then they’d win $10. If they bid, bet $10 on heads and it came up tails, they’d lose $10. Okay? The catch was, this was a biased coin. So, 60% of the time it would land on heads, 40% of the time it would land on tails. Okay. So, there’s a very clear edge to be had by betting on heads. However, at the end of 30 minutes, and even before, a third of all participants had managed to go bust. So, even with a very clear edge, they still found a way to mess it up. So I think as this experiment proves, if you can build your knowledge on, you know, probability and maybe some basic statistics can really help you make the most of how to reason what to do when you have an advantage, as Ed Thorp says.
Now, any of the astute traders in the audience here, I’m sure would, were waiting for me to bring up something like this. Manage your lifeblood, manage your risk, essentially. Okay? This quote here it comes from Saul Knapp. He says, “it’s not all about getting one trade right. It’s about staying in the game by having the right risk management”.
Now, Saul is someone who was the risk manager at a prop firm for 120 traders. So he managed risk controls for all of these guys. Now, some people might say on the subject of risk management, that this is the most crucial part, you know. I guess it would be difficult for me to disagree because as a trader, your capital is your lifeblood. You know, if you lose your money, you’re out of the game. It’s plain and simple.
As a trader, your job is to position yourself so that no one trade or series of trades should take you out of the game. From doing these interviews and speaking with so many really great talented traders, it’s been so obvious to me that they really do have a deep respect for just how quickly the market can take away their money. And believe me, if they ever forget they’re very quickly reminded.
I’ve interviewed numerous people who have lost hundreds of thousands of dollars in the space of just a couple short days. I even interviewed one trader who lost a million dollars in the space of four hours.
Of course, when these type of events occur, it takes them months and months to recoup from those losses, not to mention opportunity costs. Okay? So, on a balance sheet, there’s no column for opportunity costs.
Now, something I want to bring up on risk management. Now, I mentioned Peter Brandt on the second point I made earlier on. Peter Brandt, when I spoke with him, he said something along the lines of this. He said, he makes about 80% of his gains from 20% of his trades.
I’ve interviewed Tom Basso, who some might consider to be a legendary trend follower, was profiled in The New Market Wizards book. Tom said something along the similar lines. He said that some years, two or three trades were so profitable that if he had not have had them in his portfolio, he would have broken even for the year.
Jerry Parker, who Nick talked up earlier on, one of the turtle traders. When I spoke with Jerry Parker, he said also something along the same sort of lines, five to 10% of his trades will often make the majority of his money. So I think it’s important to mention these three examples, because I think this in many ways kind of captures, or is the crux of why risk management is so important. Often we have a lot of small trades that don’t really add much to our bottom line. So that’s why you need to effectively manage risk. Making sure you don’t go bust in the meantime, waiting for those really decent, good trades to roll around, which make it all worthwhile.
How do these traders manage risk?
So I guess, you know, someone might ask the question, well, how do these traders manage risk? And to be fair, I think that probably deserves its own 45 minute talk. But I can certainly say one thing that’s been echoed throughout many conversations I’ve had is having a plan. Now, I know that sounds very simple and basic, but, you know, who says it needs to be complex? Everyone’s plan is obviously going to vary. Jack Schrager I think is well known for saying, no, we are gonna get out before you get in. So, that’s all part of having a plan. So important because as soon as you’ve got real money on the line, emotion obviously comes in and can cloud or get in the way of good decision-making.
Mark Gardner, prominent figure in Australian prop trading, who I’ve interviewed. He actually has power generators running at his house in case he loses power, he needs to be able to manage any positions that are open. I mean, that’s probably not something that most of us need to worry about at this stage.
Point number six, stick to the game plan. All right? Jerry Parker, when I interviewed him, he said, there’s been many times in my earlier years when I didn’t follow my systems. I would be much wealthier now, if I had. Now, this is someone who’s been trading a very very long time. One of the most successful total traders, manages billions of dollars, you know for sure that he’s already very wealthy. So, to hear him say something like that, I think is worthwhile paying attention to. Jerry also went on to say, we’re not concerned with performance, we’re concerned with following the system. Now, obviously that comes from someone who has huge amounts of confidence in their system. I think that’s something that each one of us should really strive for, is obviously having the discipline to follow a strategy during periods of bad performance, which we know are going to happen occasionally.
But this point is twofold. So they’ve obviously talked a little bit about strategy, sticking to the game plan in terms, sticking to the systems in terms of a trading system. I also want to hit upon the point of process. So, processes for your workflow, processes or routines, and the discipline to follow those as well.
As my buddy from New York, Dan Shapiro says, your God given talent is not going to make you money. One of the things I’ve come to notice from doing these interviews, and speaking to so many traders, is that in many cases, certainly not all, but in many cases traders don’t use highly complex methodologies. Instead they consistently apply a well thought out process. I think one of the flaws of new traders in, you know, through no fault of their own, but when they come in to trade, I think what might be helpful is instead of thinking about, I want to become a trader, thinking about I’m starting a trading business, okay, like an actual business. How do you run a business? Right? Well, from my experience, most businesses operate on well thought out processes.
So, when we’re talking about trading, these processes might be, you know, how do you scan for potential trades? How do you evaluate? How do you manage positions? How do you adjust your strategy if necessary, those types of things. To continue on process, I interviewed Michael Mauboussin, who some of you may know or may not know, he’s a best-selling author. He’s also very high up at credit sway. So I’m not sure of his exact title, just off the top of my head, but he’s also someone who’s highly regarded as an expert on decision-making. He’s very well known also for three very simple words, process over outcome, meaning you need to judge outcomes based on you made the decision. Okay. Meaning, did you follow your processes? It’s very difficult. And I really don’t think you should judge yourself based on the outcome of whether a single trade made or lost money. Instead, you should really be judging yourself based upon how well you follow your processes with the information you had at the time.
Adrian, a futures from, a futures trader from UK. I know it sounds like I interview a lot of traders from UK, but I didn’t realize that was the case. Adrian, when I interviewed him, he said the common link between profitable traders is not so much their edge, of course, because everyone trades differently as we’ve already established, but how they approach the business of trading.
So, everyone who I know of has a very big focus on process, very process orientated. Now, just to close things out here, I often get asked and I guess that leads on from the top, the topic of this particular talk.
What are the characteristics of great traders?
What are the personality traits of great traders?
I really think it’s very hard to try and, what’s the word, come up with a perfect answer. There’s no one size fits all. I guess that’s what I’m trying to say. There is no one personality type which is best for trading. Now this quote comes from a gentleman who was the very first person I actually interviewed. His name’s Tim Walker. And he said something to me. He said, “amateurs never win in the game of life”. So like I just said, it’s very difficult to say there’s one personality type or one characteristic, which makes the ultimate trader, but whoever they are, the one thing I can tell you is that they hold themselves as professionals in every way. Trading is not something we can afford to be mediocre, because amateurs never win in the game of life.