The Common Traits That Separates New VS Professional Traders

Apr 04, 2023

Booking reliable profits from the financial markets is harder than it looks.  

Estimates suggest that more than 80% of would-be traders eventually fail, lose money on a net basis, and end up quitting.  

Statistically, most new traders lose most of their money within their account within the first 90 days.  

The consistently profitable trader has unique character traits that separate them from the rest of the herd.  


Here are 5 character traits that keep the pro traders in the winner's circle. 

1. Discipline 

Discipline cannot be learned or taught.  

Once a trader has confidence in their trading plan, they must have the discipline to keep using it properly, even during inevitable losing streaks.  

Professional traders must have the discipline to study and analyze the markets every day, week, and month.  

My ways of developing discipline are: Reading for 30 minutes to 1 hour per day, start running regularly, training in the gym, or do martial arts 3 x per week.  

These are all great methods of increasing your focus, willpower, and discipline. 

 2. Independent  

The professional trader does their own analysis and has their own methodology for understanding the markets.  

They do not follow the crowd into markets or trust analysis from random accounts on Twitter. 

Ultimately all professional traders have their own view of the market based on sound fundamental and technical analysis.  

In the 'professional' trading world, they do an 80% fundamental and 20% technical approach and trade longer term.  

With ICT concepts we have the top-down analysis that we do each day, week, and month.  

This way you can come to your own conclusion about the markets independently.  

3. Rule Following  

Professional traders have rules and follow them to the T.  

But are also discerning enough to understand when is good to bend their rules to exploit profits out of the market.  

The new trader has no rules.  They get in and out of the market at a whim.  

They over-trade 7 times a day and blow their account.  

A good practical rule of engagement when starting out is:  

Trade London session: if you lose a trade, don't trade for the rest of the day.  

If you don't find a trade in London, find a trade in New York.  

If you lose 1 trade do not trade for the rest of the day.  

If you win a trade in London, it's up to you to trade in New York, your choice.  

See how night and day difference this is from a noob strategy?  

Traders need rules to stop and protect them from the unlimited freedoms achievable in the market.  

4. Realistic  

A professional trader knows that trading well over time will lead to gains in their capital.  

The professional aims at low-hanging fruit. 

 6% per month.  10% per month.  Up to 30% per month.  

They try to double their account over 1 year.  

Doubling an account every year for 5-10 years is a life-changing sum of money.  

The new trader expects to be a millionaire within their first 1 year of trading and quits when they lose once trade.  

5. Equanimous  

New traders are extremely emotional when under pressure.  They don't hold stop losses because they are hurt by losses.  

They blow their accounts because they trade without stop losses and then lose their minds for a couple of days.  Come back, and pack in their trading bags.  

But if they decide to stick at it after blowing their account then they do actually have a chance at truly succeeding.  

They have risk management etched into their very being and won't make the same mistake twice I hope.  

But the professional trader is indifferent to losses and gains.  

Equanimous means having emotional stability and composure, particularly in times of high stress.  

Both gains and losses are part of his positively expectant system.  

The professional back tests his system every weekend, or every two weeks.  

He understands thoroughly the ins and outs of his trading model.  

With his expectant system, the win rate is higher than the losses or the risk-to-reward ratio is high therefore allowing a lower win rate and still being able to attain profitability.  

Of course, the new trader barely has a system, so how can he be equanimous?  

The new trader is extremely emotional.   In stark contrast to the professional where it is 'just another day at the office'.  


The way a new trader can achieve equanimity is by understanding and getting a trading model that he can follow no matter what, that being his 'bread and butter' in trading.  

Also, by backtesting that model and understanding what its win rate is during certain conditions.  

By backtesting, you can see where its win rate is and also how you can improve that win rate.  

Maybe your trading model has a higher win rate during the New York Killzone vs the London Killzone?  

Food for thought.  


So to recap, here are the 5 common traits that separate the professional trader from the newbie. 

1. Discipline 

2. Independent 

3. Rule Following 

4. Realistic 

5. Equanimous 


I hope this helped.  

Best Regards


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