These 5 traits will help you become a successful online trader

Nirav NV (G7FX)
5 min readJun 8, 2021

Nirav (NV) is an experienced trader who left the City behind to launch his own professional trading education course called G7FX

To new retail traders, it may seem all they need to do to become successful is find a strategy somewhere and then put it into practice. It is, of course, rather more complex than that. My years of trading have shown me which traits work best for day traders, and which traits allow online traders to implement the right kind of trading strategy that will work across all market conditions.

It’s unlikely that you’ll immediately have all of these traits as a new trader. Instead, you’ll probably naturally have one or two of them, and need to work on the others. This is not bad news though. Learning how to become a successful trader shows that these skills are not inherent. Great retail and online traders work hard, learn a lot and become successful through perseverance.

The 5 traits that will help you become a successful online trader

Successful trading then depends on a lot of very hard work, the right attitude, a willingness to learn and acceptance of the need to develop the following traits: forward thinking, independence, adaptability, patience and discipline. It also helps if you an develop or enhance your existing mental resilience. All of this can — and will — pay off if you stick to learning from the right sources.

1. Discipline

Every online trader, whether trading in forex or other asset classes, must have discipline. This is probably one of the most important traits you can have. The market offers huge opportunity to trade and to make a profit. It can be tempting to dive in and trade one of the thousands of products to choose from, but this is not the best way to go about it.

Having the discipline to take the time to find out what will actually pay off is the right way to learn trading. Don’t take more trades than you should, don’t allow yourself to get distracted, hold them for too long or prematurely exit. When you have learned how to strategise, ensure you have the disciple to stick with it.

Actual trading time for anyone — even the most active day trader you can think of — is pretty small every day. The rest of the time is spent learning, watching and waiting for the right trade signals. In other words, the rest of the time takes discipline. You need to be able to do nothing when that’s the right move and to be decisive when it will pay off.

2. Patience

This is closely linked to discipline. Trading means waiting and being patient. Being too impulsive and jumping in and out of trades too early or too late are all very common with new traders in particular. Because they haven’t developed the patience necessary, they make mistakes. Use your growing discipline to remain patient until there is a direct call to action that fits your strategy. And then you need the discipline to act fast, with no hesitation and no fear.

3. Adaptability

It’s essential that you are flexible and adaptable. Trading is not a secure and easy way to make a living. Fluctuations occur all the time, and while this is where the opportunities are, it’s also difficult for newcomers to trading to be comfortable with.

When new traders learn a strategy and become comfortable with it, they may then be thrown because when they begin to implement said strategy, it all looks different. Whether the market is more volatile than their textbook example, stronger, weaker or less volatile, the point is it won’t be the same every day.

Traders that become successful are able to implement their chosen strategy in different types of market conditions. They will know when their strategy won’t work and will be able to adapt. All traders must follow the price action every day to work out whether their strategy will work, or whether they need to change it based on the conditions laid out before them. To be successful, you must be able to read the conditions and make the right decision, even if that means changing your plans.

4. Independence

I always recommend getting the right kind of training for your trading. While you can, of course, read books and online information, there’s no real substitute for learning from people who have experience as institutional investors.

However, at the end of the day you will need to be independent and understand that your success relies on you alone. When the initial period of learning is over, it’s time to become independent as a trader. Developing self-reliance and self-belief will help a lot in this regard, and trading as an individual means more profit. When you have found a way to trade that works for you, allow yourself to implement it without relying on other people’s opinions.

It’s common for unsuccessful traders to feel unsure and constantly try to find a new mentor, or a new service. They may find that the service they have been using closes down, and they feel that they have been left without a framework. Developing your own framework is the way to get through this kind of upset. Take responsibility now for your own trading education, learn how to rely on yourself and you will be set for a positive future.

This doesn’t mean not asking for assistance should you need it, of course. By independence I mean build your own tools, learn you own way and find a way to ensure you know what you’re doing at all times. For those just starting out on their trading journey, there’s never a better time to start developing this sense of independence than right now.

5. Be forward thinking

Traders must always be looking one step ahead. You need to apply what you’ve learned in real time in accordance with market conditions. As we’ve already seen, markets move all the time. You can’t ignore changing conditions just because you had a strategy ready to go. Instead, you need to constantly change what you’re doing as the new price information changes from moment to moment.

Always think about the different scenarios that could ensue from your decisions and go through the whole process in your head before you enter a trade. Traders who are successful in developing this trait of being forward thinking will be able to act decisively and not hesitate when it matters. It takes practice and times, but the more it’s put into practice, the simpler it becomes.

Don’t forget you can learn how to develop trading traits you don’t already have

If you’ve read these traits and are concerned you don’t have some of them, don’t be. My point is, you can learn all of these traits. Successful trading is about proper education, judicious learning and intelligent implementation of knowledge. By developing these five traits, you can offset any weaknesses inherent in your approach. Start by working out what your strengths and weaknesses are and work towards improving the latter.

All traders have to be able to withstand knocks and losses. They are inevitable within any form of trading. When you do experience your first loss, move on. Adapt your plan and follow it. Find out what you could achieve.

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Nirav NV (G7FX)

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