There is tonne of trading literature out there that is full of so called wisdom on how to become a profitable trader.
Indicators to use.
Theories to follow.
News channels to listen to.
Forget all of this.
To become profitable you first have to know what an unprofitable trader looks like.
Here are a few characteristics and behaviours to get you started.
1) Ego. We all have one.
If you were to plot ego vs profitability, you'd find that they are inversely correlated.
One increases, the other decreases.
Trading is an occupation that tends to bring out inflated ego on mass. Yet you'd be wise to keep this part of your personality in check.
2) Having biases and sticking to them no matter what. It's hard not to have an opinion when you enter a trade. It's human nature. Yet sticking to that opinion when you are wrong is when it all starts to fall apart.
3) An inability to take small losses. All you are telling yourself here is that you know what the markets are going to do next. The reality is that you don't know what the markets are going to do on any given day. Neither does anyone else. Let your protective stop tell you when you are wrong, not your opinion or personal view.
4) Spending time trying to work out why the markets are moving in a particular direction at any given moment. At the end of the day, the need to know why is irrelevant.
And this leads us to our final point.
5) Not respecting price. We say it over and over again. Price action is everything. Ignoring it by spending your energy on all the factors above, is going to leave your trading account in pretty poor shape.
Other factors to keep in mind.
Flooding your charts with too many indicators.
All these things are what can kill profitability.
They are behaviours that create clutter and noise.
A great quote from Mark Douglas that sums all of this up perfectly:
'The consistency you seek is in your mind, not in the markets'