Unsuccessful Vs Successful Trader

May 3, 2018

What separates a long-term successful trader/investor from an unsuccessful one? Here are 5 main differences between Successful and Unsuccessful Traders.



Defined Strategies

Unsuccessful Trader

  • They have no defined trading strategy.

  • They made a trading decision based on Gut-Feelings.

  • Keep repeating the mistakes due to lack of discipline.

Successful Trader

  • They have an trading plan.

  • They have well formulated trading strategy for every market condition.

  • Each time analyse the Signal calls they have implemented.

Focusing on the Money


Unsuccessful Trader

  • The unsuccessful trader focuses on the money, hoping he will make a certain amount on this or that trade so that he can make X amount of money, or buy his dream car.

Successful Trader

  • The successful trader knows that the market couldn’t care less about how much money he needs to make. He knows that focusing on the money may cause him to neglect his entry/exit rules so he focuses on the process instead, making sure he does not violate any of his rules. He knows that since his strategy has a positive expectancy over a certain number of trades, by focusing on the trading perfectly, the money will follow.

Certainty VS Probability


Unsuccessful Trader

  • The unsuccessful trader thinks that if he finds the perfect setup (chart pattern/indicator/news), he’s sure to make money on a particular trade and he discards any setup that didn’t work in the past

Successful Trader

  • The successful traders doesn’t give much importance to the outcome of one particular trade. He knows that if over the long term, probabilities are in his favour, he will make money over time, regardless of how many losing trades in a row he gets.

The Need to Trade

Unsuccessful Trader

  • The unsuccessful trader has to trade almost everyday because he’s a trader, after all, and he loves the action.

Successful Trader

  • The successful trader will only take the highest probability trades, where all the variables align, even if he has to wait for months and do nothing in the meantime. He’s in the game for one reason only. To make money.

Betting Big

Unsuccessful Trader

  • The unsuccessful trader wants to bet big right from the start in order to make as much money as possible

Successful Trader

  • The successful trader knows how to spot the few very high probability opportunities and how take full advantage of those. He developed this ability over many years of experience in the market, going through several bull/bear cycles.


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