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Not anybody can be a Forex trader. Trading occasionally, as a side income or professionally requires certain skills and characteristics.

Are you up for it? Here are 5 critical traits that any trader needs.

  1. Seeing the big picture: Are you able to separate the small details from the bigger picture? This is critical in two aspects. First, separating the current movements from the bigger trend. The second aspect relates to money management: being able to separate your current trade from the situation in your account and the bigger plan.
  2. Patience: Too many traders lack the patience to educate themselves before jumping into a trade, or don’t wait for a really good opportunity, as Andriy mentions. Others don’t wait long enough for their trade to run its course. Or, upon meeting success, they have the patience to continue trading in the same position sizes, and quickly double the positions, hoping to win more but actually burning their account fast.
  3. Being able to adapt: Market conditions change all the time, and a good trader needs to be able to adapt. Your trading system cannot work well forever. Changes in patterns occur all the time, and you’ll need to tweak the system, if not completely change it. Being able to adapt also applies to fundamental analysis: strong currencies may hit the wall when the tide turns against their respective economy. A weak currency can help a country’s economy recover over time.
  4. Cautiousness: When uncertainty is high in the markets, a good trader will be extra careful when taking risks. This means focusing on more predictable currencies, lowering position sizes when necessary or even taking a break from the markets. Winning in forex trading isn’t limited to making winning trades, but also minimizing losing ones.
  5. Identifying your weaknesses: If you are able to be fully aware of your weaknesses, you are half the way to solving your problems. All the important traits mentioned above will be closer to reach if you can see when you are too far from them and acknowledge them. Your basic character will not change, but you’ll still adapt better to changing conditions and you’ll be able to stay a bit more patient than usual.

What traits are important in your opinion? Can you identify your strengths and your weaknesses?

Further reading: 5 Most Predictable Currency Pairs – Q2 2012