10 Traits of a Successful Options Trader
By Manish Sahajwani Updated Jun 25, Options are one of the most versatile instruments in the financial markets. These products also allow the user to manage risk by using them for hedging or to make a profit from the upside, downside, and sideways movement in the market.
Despite professional options trader many benefits, options trading carries substantial risk of loss, and it is very speculative in nature. Not everyone can become a successful options trader.
Be Able to Manage Risk Options are high-risk instruments, and it is important for traders to recognize how much risk they have at any point in time.
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What is the maximum downside of the trade? What is the implicit or explicit position with respect to volatility?
How much of my capital professional options trader allocated to the trade? These are some of the questions traders always have to keep in their minds.
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Traders also need to take appropriate measures to control risk. In particular, if you are a short-term options trader, you will regularly come across loss-making trades. For example, if you hold a position overnight, your bet may go bad because of adverse news. You need to be able to minimize the risk of your positions at any time. Some traders do so by limiting their trade size and diversifying into many different trades so all their eggs aren't in the same basket.
An options trader also has to be an excellent money manager. They need to use their professional options trader wisely.
Whatever strategy you adopt, risk management and money management cannot be ignored. Be Good With Numbers While trading in options, you are always dealing with numbers.
What's the implied volatility? What's the break-even of the trade? Options traders are always answering these questions. For example, a trader would want to know if his trade is short gamma. Have Discipline To become successful, options traders must practice discipline. Doing extensive research, identifying opportunities, setting up the right trade, forming and sticking to a strategy, setting up goals, and forming an exit strategy are all part of the discipline.
Never trust an opinion without doing your own research. You can't skip your homework and blame the herd for your losses.
While formal education in the form of higher degrees can be associated with elite traders, it is not necessarily the case for all. Successful traders take time to learn the basics and study the market—various scenarios, different trends—anything and everything about how the market works.
Be Patient Patience is one quality all options traders have. Patient investors are willing to wait for the market to provide the right opportunity, rather than trying to make a big win on every market movement. The same is not the case with amateur traders.
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They are impatient, unable to control their emotions, and they will be quick to enter and exit trades. Some traders may be good at day tradingwhere they buy and sell options several times during the day to make small profits.
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And others may be more comfortable with swing tradingwhere traders make bets on price movement over periods lasting five to 30 days. You will find many traders eager to put their capital in an option with promising news, and the next day they will move on to the next big news.
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This distracts them from identifying bigger trends in the some of the best binary options signals. Most successful traders will be honest with themselves and make sound personal decisions, rather than just going by the top stories in the news.
Elite traders practice…and practice some more until they learn the lessons behind the trade, understand the economics behind the market and see the market behavior as it is happening. The financial markets are constantly changing and evolving; you need to have a clear understanding of what's happening and how it all works. Acceptance rather than fighting the market is paramount to understanding, clarity and finally winning. If you don't have a plan, you will place random trades, and consequently, you'll be directionless.
On the other hand, if you have a plan, you are more likely to stick to it. You will be clear about what your goals are and how you plan to achieve them.
You will also know how to cover your losses or when to book profits. You can see how the plan has worked or not worked for you.
All these steps are essential to developing a strong trading strategy.
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Maintain Records Most successful options traders keep diligent records of their trades. The Bottom Line Top options traders get a thrill from scouting and watching their trades. Sure, it's great to see a pick come out on top, but much like sports fans, options traders enjoy watching the whole game unfold, not just finding out the final score. These characteristics will not guarantee your success in the options trading world, but they will definitely increase your chances at it.
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