What Do the Remaining 1% of Successful Traders Do Differently?

In trading, only a few people—often called the top 1%—succeed a lot. These people have special skills, plans, and ways of thinking that make them different from most traders. They can understand and make money from the complicated world of financial markets.

Knowing what makes these top traders special can help others who want to be better at trading. 

This article looks at the main things that make the top 1% of traders successful, showing how they think and what they do to be so good at trading.

Characteristics of Successful Traders

So, in our 25+ years of trading journey, we have observed the characteristics of successful traders, the principles and mental models they follow, and the frameworks they use. Let’s explore them below:

Discipline and Patience: Successful traders are disciplined in sticking to their trading plans and patient in waiting for the right opportunities. For example, they may wait for a specific price level or indicator signal before entering a trade, even if it means missing out on other opportunities.

Continuous Learning and Adaptation: Successful traders are always learning and adapting to new market conditions. They stay updated with market news, economic indicators, and new trading strategies. For instance, they may attend trading seminars, read books, or follow market experts on social media to expand their knowledge.

Risk Management: Successful traders understand the importance of managing risk. They use techniques like stop-loss orders to limit potential losses and position sizing to control how much they risk on each trade. For instance, they may only risk 1-2% of their trading capital on any single trade to protect against large losses.

Psychological Strength and Emotional Control: Successful traders have strong psychological traits and can control their emotions while trading. They remain calm and composed, even during periods of high market volatility. For example, they may not panic sell during a market downturn but instead stick to their trading plan.

Strategies and Techniques 1% of Successful Traders Follow

We have observed that successful traders have trading systems and processes they follow instead of just trading based on impulse. Below are the components of those systems:

Focus on High-Probability Trades: Successful traders focus on trades that have a high probability of success based on their analysis. They look for opportunities where the potential reward outweighs the risk. For example, they may look for trades where the price is near a support level, increasing the likelihood of a bounce. 

Risk Management: Successful traders prioritise risk management to protect their capital. They use techniques like stop-loss orders to limit potential losses and position sizing to control how much they risk on each trade. For example, they may only risk 1-2% of their trading capital on any single trade to protect against large losses.

Use of Trading Plans and Strategies: Successful traders have well-defined trading plans and strategies. They outline their entry and exit criteria, risk management rules, and position sizing strategies. For instance, they may use a trend-following strategy that specifies buying when the price crosses above a moving average.

Use of Technology: Successful traders leverage technology and automation to improve their trading efficiency. They use trading platforms that offer advanced charting tools, real-time market data, and automated trading capabilities. For instance, they may use algorithms to execute trades based on predefined criteria, removing emotion from the trading process.

Mindset and Approach of 1% successful traders 

Trading is 90% psychological and only 10% charts and technical analysis. Even if you have a system with 80% accuracy, but your approach and mindset are wrong, then you will lose. Here are the mindset and approaches the 1% successful traders follow:

Long-Term Vision and Goals: Successful traders have a long-term perspective and set clear goals for their trading. They focus on sustainable growth rather than short-term gains. For example, they may aim to achieve a certain annual return rather than trying to make quick profits.

Confidence and Conviction in Decisions: Successful traders have confidence in their analysis and trading decisions. They trust their judgment and are not easily swayed by market sentiment. For instance, they may hold onto a trade even if there is temporary volatility, believing in the long-term potential of the investment.

Ability to Accept and Learn from Mistakes: Successful traders acknowledge that losses are part of trading and use them as learning opportunities. They review their trades regularly to identify mistakes and improve their strategies. For example, they may realize that they overleveraged on a trade and adjust their risk management approach accordingly.

Focus on Process over Outcome: Successful traders focus on following a disciplined trading process rather than being solely outcome-oriented. They understand that they cannot control the market but can control their actions. For instance, they may focus on executing their trading plan flawlessly rather than getting fixated on making a certain amount of money on a trade.

Also Read : 10 Common Mistakes Traders Make and How to Avoid Them
Also Read : Multiple Confirmations in Trading – Improve your trading accuracy


To succeed in trading, remember it’s not just about charts and numbers. It’s about having the right mindset. Successful traders think long-term, stay confident in their decisions, learn from their mistakes, and focus on their trading process. They also manage risks well and adapt to changing market conditions.

If you want to join the ranks of successful traders, start by adopting their mindset. Set clear goals, trust your decisions, learn from your failures, and stick to your trading plan. By following these principles, you can improve your chances of success in trading.

If you want to learn and master trading, check out the Ettfos Trading Courses. With over 25+ years of experience, we teach unique, exclusive strategies that work and deliver results.


What role does risk management play in the success of traders?

Risk management is essential for traders as it helps them protect their capital from significant losses. By using strategies such as stop-loss orders and position sizing, traders can limit their risk exposure and ensure that no single trade can wipe out their account. This approach allows traders to stay in the game over the long term, even if they experience a series of losing trades.

How can traders develop the discipline needed for success?

Developing discipline in trading requires a structured approach. Traders can start by creating a detailed trading plan that outlines their strategy, entry and exit rules, and risk management guidelines. By sticking to this plan and avoiding impulsive decisions, traders can build the discipline needed to follow their strategy consistently. Additionally, traders can benefit from practicing mindfulness and emotional regulation techniques to help them stay focused and disciplined during challenging market conditions.

Is it necessary to have a background in finance to become a successful trader?

While a background in finance or economics can provide a solid foundation for trading, it is not a strict requirement for success. Many successful traders come from diverse backgrounds, including engineering, mathematics, and even non-financial fields. What’s more important is a strong understanding of market dynamics, technical analysis, and risk management, which can be learned through education, practice, and experience in the markets.

How do successful traders deal with losses and setbacks?

Successful traders approach losses and setbacks with a mindset of learning and improvement. Instead of viewing losses as failures, they see them as opportunities to refine their strategies and improve their skills. Successful traders also maintain a positive attitude and avoid letting emotions dictate their trading decisions. By staying disciplined and focused on their long-term goals, they can navigate through losses and setbacks with resilience and determination.

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