What Makes an Experienced Trader?

Throughout my years mentoring private investors how to trade financial markets profitably, one key question kept on cropping up: what key traits separate the winning minority to the loss-making masses. The answer, however, may surprise you!

Let's examine the key traits which separate the rookie from the seasoned professional. After all, if you want to be good at anything, the fastest way to do it is by modelling the strategies of those who are already successful at it.

So, apart from the millions they are trading, what key traits differentiate the rookie from the professional.


The rookie trader thinks trading is 'easy money' and will focus excessively on the financial result over and above the management and exit of the trade in progress.

The experienced trader will seek to be as objective as possible in  their approach with much of their focus being on the trade rather than the money. They will not have an emotional attachment to the outcome and will certainly not fall 'in love' with losing trades.

Trading Plan

The rookie trader will simply not have a trading plan. Their plan will be 'have-a-go' regardless of the absence of their strategy, will chase trades and jump onto spikes in a feckless frenzy of profit seeking euphoria.

The experienced trader will rigidly plan their trade and trade their plan, according to their rules. All possible outcomes of the trade will be taken into account before the trade is placed and they will only place the trade if all their rules for entry are met.

Trading Style

Rookie traders will have more of a scattergun approach with the inability to stick with one strategy. They will typically adopt several different strategies at the same time and will jump from strategy to strategy in time of drawdown only to miss the winning string of trades. They will thus embark on a vicious circle!

The experienced trader will be as happy to trade as they are staying out of the market. If all of their criteria are not met they will simply not trade. They will put their mouse down and walk away from the computer.


The rookie will usually risk far more than 1% of their account per trade and will tend to risk later in their 'game' in order to recoup losses.

Experienced traders, on the other hand will never risk more than a set percentage (typically between 1-2%) and will never chase losses.

Hopefully by now you are beginning to see a difference in mentalities between the personality models of each type of trader. To create is effort, to copy is genius, the old adage goes. It therefore makes sense to copy what experienced traders do time and again.

But here's the question - which category do you fall into?

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