Top 4 Skills of a Successful Trader

Today, the financial market is a tough place to make a living, but there are ways you can be a successful trader. Gone are the days where a family man could work a 9-5 job and provide for his household without worry. Savings accounts yield almost nothing in terms of interest, and inflation is on the rise. To maintain their current standard of living, it is becoming more critical than ever that individuals take control of their financial future by investing wisely.

To invest well successfully requires many skills. Technical analysis, which involves charts and graphs to forecast future price movements, takes time to develop into an art form. Picking stocks can involve hours of research before finding just one company that perfectly matches your criteria. And let’s not forget about risk management, which ensures that you won’t lose everything you have worked hard for in the market.

Being a successful trader isn’t about finding an edge or learning the most advanced techniques in the world. It is about knowing how to use simple tools properly, even if it takes years of practice.

However, a few skills go above and beyond technical analysis or stock picking that set successful traders apart from your average individual trying to get ahead. In order to be a successful trader, one must master these four essential skills below.


It is not uncommon for an investor to become anxious while watching their portfolio drop significantly in value. They go against their gut feeling and sell off stocks, turning a slight loss into a sizable one because of fear. Successful traders know better than to make quick decisions during turbulent times, waiting until they have “clear sailing” before selling or buying. Even if it means taking huge losses, patience will keep you afloat until the market comes back in your favor.


Staying patient is much easier said than done, especially when everyone around you is panicking. Successful traders can stay composed through good markets and bad, refusing to allow emotions to influence their decisions. This may mean that one has to sell off stocks at a loss just so they can “let go” of their losing positions, but it all balances out in the end.

Decision Making

Making split-second decisions can be highly beneficial in the stock market, where prices change by the second. Although no degree or class is required for this skill, it develops over time as individuals learn from past mistakes. Those who have mastered the skill of decision making can quickly identify their next move and react upon it immediately.


Successful traders do not always have to rely on others. They know how to stand up for themselves and make tough decisions on their own, such as selling off stocks when necessary. While some people are comfortable working with a team or group, things can get complicated fast if not everyone is on the same page. If you want to be successful in trading, independence is vital.


Trading tips and tricks do not work all the time. Nothing works all the time. The only thing that always works is patience, discipline, understanding how markets work and maintaining emotional control. If you focus on those things first, then applying charting techniques or using specific strategies becomes easy as pie.

Although these four skills take some time and effort to develop into an actual talent, they will ultimately help any investor trade better and become wealthier over time. There are many paths that one can take to reach their goal. In the financial market, it may seem difficult to break through the crowd and find success. However, if you have what it takes to master four skills, you too could be a successful trader. Whether you want to trade in ETF or mutual funds, use a reputable online broker from Saxo bank, and start trading on a demo account. They also offer low commissions and excellent customer service.


Guest post: Why I Became an Optometrist

Richard Zimbalist OD, FAAO is an optometrist at Harry S. Truman Memorial Veterans’ Hospital in Columbia, Missouri.  He is the developer of the popular optometric website,, and welcomes blog submissions and case reports from other optometrists for publication.

Doctors are regarded as elite individuals in our society.  When you hear the word, most people conjure the image of a well-dressed professional with a white coat and stethoscope slung around their neck.  If you are interested in a medical career, do some serious soul searching first.  Is your aim to help people?  To earn a lot of money?  To cure cancer?  To have a family life?  I always had a fascination with medicine growing up and for years wanted to become an orthopedic surgeon.  It wasn’t until my last year in college though that I contemplated the necessary training to become an orthopedist. It would include medical school, internship, residency, and fellowship.  The total amount of additional education would come to 10 additional years after college; I wouldn’t start earning a real salary or have any semblance of a “normal” life until the age of 32.  I desired a career in medicine that provided me with a comfortable salary, traditional work schedule, and flexibility in career path options.

Not all doctors are medical doctors (MD).  The historical term has grown to include many other professions including dentists (DDS, DMD), optometrists (OD), podiatrists (DPM), pharmacists (PharmD), physical therapists (DPT), philosophers (PhD) and others.  There are many professions in the health field that enable you to work closely with patients as a doctor without the multitude of schooling.  The best thing you can do if you are interested in a medical field is to shadow a clinician.  When I decided that the MD route wasn’t for me, I took to shadowing many of the above professions.  I remember shadowing a podiatrist and actually made up an excuse to leave early because I was so repulsed by some of the feet that I saw! Shadowing provides you with an invaluable experience that you cannot google or read about anywhere on the web.  You will see what really happens on a day to day basis and most importantly, you will see if you can envision yourself in the field for the next 30 years.

I ultimately decided on optometry because it met many of the criteria that I wanted in a career.  Optometry is a great profession that has grown in strides during the past 20 years.  Optometrists used to solely prescribe glasses and contact lenses, however, we now evaluate disease, help with the legally blind, comanage LASIK, and much more.  Many optometrists have a traditional 9-5 workday although some work Saturdays also to provide extended hours for their patients.  There is a wide variety of practice options available to optometrists including positions in private practice, group practice, corporate, government and academia. I outline the various modes of practice on my website,  Amongst all of this, optometry was recently well ranked in the popular article 15 High-Paying Jobs for People Who Don’t Like Stress by Yahoo.

The old proverb which states, “The eyes are the window to the soul” has more truth to it than people realize.  Optometry is a great career choice for those who want a rewarding career in a medical field.