1. You have to have Discipline.
Discipline is at the top of the list for a reason. Discipline makes it all work. Discipline keeps you on track and focused. There will be temptations along the way that will entice you to trade in a manner not in accordance with your system.
You have to stick to the plan, and that takes will power. As you go, this becomes easier and easier, but you can never take it for granted. Discipline will keep you trading after a loss, keep you trading when you feel lazy, generally keep you making money.
2. You have to be Confident.
As a fully functional full time trader, you have to have the utmost confidence in your trading system and in yourself as a trader. If your confidence is shaken, your ability to make the trades will falter. You won’t be able to pull the trigger anymore, all those emotions you fought so hard to squash will return. Confidence is so crucial after you have had a loss, especially after you had a string of losses.
Knowing that at the end of the month you will prevail will keep you doing that trading thing.
3. You have to have Control
Although you cannot control the market, you do have control over certain aspects of your trade. You can control your entries, you can control how you manage your trade and you can control when you get out of the market. Now this kind of control is part of your system rules. What you really need control over is YOU.
You must be in control of your emotions. When you are in a losing trade and all you can see is the fact you might not be able to take your pay at the end of the month, you will be tempted to trade irrationally. There is so much you have to be responsible for, family and non-market financial responsibilities, if things go bad, it’s hard to stay objective.
4. You have to have Experience
You cannot expect to trade full time if you don’t have the market experience to pull it off! Ideally, after you nailed your trading system down, you will want to trade a demo account until you have doubled it. Next, you will have traded a very small live account. Finally, you will be trading a decent live account, growing it month after month. You want to have been trading a live account for a year, more is even better. You will have all the emotions in check and you will have experienced your systems strong and weak points and come through it all with the confidence to do great things.
Trading full time takes on a whole new dynamic.
The above points are something I know isn’t new to you, but when you are trading full time (and it’s how you pay the bills), things get intense. It becomes so much easier to lose control and trade like a freaked out rookie than it is to stay disciplined and focused.
When your mortgage money is on the line, good decisions become few and far between.