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The Eight Beliefs of Successful Traders


How do we know the truth? The markets tell us.

Editor's Note: For those interested in both winners and losers, the 8 beliefs of unsuccessful traders can be found here.

One bright day in the middle of night, 2 dead boys rose to fight. Back to back they faced each other, drew their swords and shot one another. A deaf policeman heard the noise, and saved the lives of the 2 dead boys. If you don't believe this lie is true, ask the blind man, he saw it too.

-Author Unknown

We're hard-wired to believe -- and to hold on to our convictions -- often in the face of contradictory evidence. In life outside the markets, this may actually be a source of strength. However, it doesn't usually serve a trader well. One of the most important questions for the trader to ask every day is: What do I believe that's not true?

So how do we know the truth? The markets tell us. It really is that simple -- and yet, it's so difficult for most to accept and practice on a daily basis.

It's important for traders to be able to assess their beliefs regularly, because -- at any given market moment -- they're a composite of those principles. Fortunately (for some) and frustratingly (for others), beliefs about the markets are fungible and fluid; they can change from minute to minute.

The successful trader is in the flexible flow with this -- and changes accordingly.

Beliefs of Successful Traders

1. The markets provide a constant stream of opportunities.

2. If I miss an opportunity, another will come along.

3. If my position is stopped out, the hypothesis that got me into the trade was incorrect.

4. I take one trade at a time, and stay in the moment with it.

5. I strive for excellence, not perfection.

6. I maximize profits by losing small.

7. I am not my trade.

8. I take complete responsibility for my thoughts, feelings, and actions in the markets.

No positions in stocks mentioned.
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