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Top five skills that traders need to possess

To be successful, a trader must be able to manage their emotions and adhere to a trading plan and strategy

There are various methods of becoming a professional trader, and numerous skills that a candidate must possess to succeed in a high-pressure and highly competitive field. When financial companies recruit for trading positions, they usually prefer candidates with degrees in mathematics, engineering, and hard sciences, rather than those who only have finance backgrounds.

Moreover, there are different types of trading jobs, some of which require communication skills as much as trading expertise. However, we will discuss some of the essential skills that all traders need to have.

Analytical Skill

As a trader, it is important to possess the skill of analysing data quickly. Although trading involves a lot of math, the data can be represented through charts with indicators and patterns from technical analysis. Therefore, traders should develop their analytical skills to recognise trends and patterns in the charts.


As a trader, it is important to have a strong interest in gathering information and seeking out all relevant data that may impact the securities you trade. To stay informed, many traders create calendars of economic releases and set announcements that can have a measurable effect on the financial markets. By staying up-to-date with these information sources, traders can react quickly to new information as the market is still processing it.


Focusing is a skill that traders can improve with practice. As there is a lot of financial information available, it is crucial for traders to identify the relevant and actionable data that can impact their trades. Additionally, some traders prefer to concentrate on specific types of securities to gain a deeper understanding of a particular sector, industry, or currency. This can become a competitive advantage against traders who are less specialised in that area.


One of the key skills a trader must possess is focus, which is closely related to control and, more specifically, self-control. To be successful, a trader must be able to manage their emotions and adhere to a trading plan and strategy. This is particularly important when it comes to managing risk, such as by using stop losses or taking profits at predetermined points.

Many trading strategies are designed to minimise losses in bad trades and maximise gains in good ones. However, when a trader becomes emotionally attached to their trades, whether they are good or bad, they tend to deviate from their strategy. As a result, their chances of success decrease significantly.

Record Keeping

Recording the results of your trades is crucial for success in trading. If you keep accurate records, it becomes easy to improve your strategies by testing and tweaking them. Without accurate record-keeping, it can be difficult to measure and demonstrate progress. Therefore, it is essential to maintain a detailed record of your trades.

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