In my 30-year career as a professional trader and trading coach, I have rubbed shoulders with traders of different calibers at all levels of success. Frankly speaking, many are mediocre, at best, but a small group of traders enjoys the perks of a successful trading career; moreover, a handful of them are successful beyond most peoples' imaginations.
I was interested in finding out what made the difference between average traders and high achievers. So, throughout the years, I observed and surveyed my fellow traders, students, and coaching clients. It did not surprise me when I found out that the traders' intelligence, education, prior experience, and personal caliber all play a part in their levels of success. However, a trader who lacks some of these qualities can do equally well, and in some cases better, with hard work.
So, I asked myself, “What can I conclude from this?” More importantly, I was curious to find out if there is a single deciding factor that determines whether a trader will succeed or not.
It turns out that there is.
Revisiting the Cases of Fred and Stacey
Previously, we looked at the different behaviors of two traders: Fred and Stacey. Let's review their cases again before we move on to discussing some of the lessons we can learn from them.
Fred was a highly paid engineer who was sick of being stuck in the cubicle nation. Perhaps it was out of desperation or impulse or simply because of the groovy “life of a trader” story ...