Does Personality Have Anything to Do With Trading Success? 

I like many people have wondered about this for a long time. Not only that, it’s probably taken me well over five years of trading failure to finally realise what it was which held me back from succeeding in the financial markets for so long.

For years, I went from seminar to seminar, learning from so called guru to guru, paying several thousand dollars at a time to spend a weekend with hundreds of other future wannabe traders hoping to learn the ‘Holy Grail’ of trading systems to put into action after our weekend seminars ended. I would then be off living on an island sipping martini’s (I actually don’t drink at all but thought this sounded good) with my laptop executing trades and making a six figure income, quitting my full time job and working less than an hour a day. What a dream…And it was only that a dream for a full ten years.

Tell me, have you ever at any point in time ever at least had a fantasy about what I just said? Now now, be truthful here…I’m sharing my experience and thoughts, hope you can be honest and share yours too!

I can tell you I had that exact fantasy when I just started. I was looking for the ‘Holy Grail’ of all trading systems which would give me easy ‘automated profits’ working less than an hour a day, forever being able to leave the comfort of my full time corporate banking job.

Don’t get me wrong, I actually did enjoy my job as I got to meet and connect with my colleagues and serve customers everyday, but I knew I always wanted more than the four weeks of entitled breaks per year. Alas, along comes trading, and my fantasies began.

It was really after another ten years from when my original fantasies actually began which I could finally leave my full time job and pursue trading full time knowing I had already succeeded after many years of hard work and hard lessons along the way. I persisted through the harsh first five years making money, losing what I made, at times losing even more than what I made and blowing up my account several times. Perhaps I am just a slow learner but these early years taught me valuable lessons which I know I would not have learned if I did not go through this process.

Would I make more mistakes along the way as I continue to invest and trade everyday, absolutely..but at least they will be new lessons and they will no longer be as harsh as what they were in the past simply because of the experiences throughout my journey of becoming a full time trader and then hedge fund manager looking after others.

It wasn’t until I took a back seat after a few years of active day trading and thought to myself, I don’t really enjoy this, but I know I do enjoy long term value investing and medium term ‘slower’ trading and I am willing to patiently look and wait for much surer positive outcomes…is when my trading finally took off.

In other words, I matched my personality to my trading style. I learned the hard way through trial and error over the years and tried all different styles of trading, from trading very actively to investing very slowly waiting for long term ‘Warren Buffett’ style value, and finally tweaking it to my own style to suit my personality. In the end, I developed over time multiple investing and trading systems which allowed me to take advantage of all different time frames bar one, intraday trading.

Once you get this, your trading like mine will take off. Why?

Because you not only do what you love daily so that it no longer becomes work, but because it matches your personality, your trading becomes effortless and what famed psychologist Carl Jung calls, being in ‘Flow’.

Nowadays, I do regard my trading as effortless because every system I develop and trade, matches my personality and consequently I am able to stick and trade my systems without fear or hesitation. And no, when there are trades available, it still takes me a couple of hours to prepare because I enjoy the process and don’t see it as work so I don’t attempt to shrink the work time to less than an hour. I have no intention to do so. I get paid very well to do what I love and learn everyday.

My hope is for you to do the same. To be able to sit back, look at what you naturally like to do, and find or develop a trading system which suits your personality like a glove. Once you find your ‘Flow’, that is when I can almost guarantee you that your trading success is inevitable.


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