Which type of trader are you? Find out here with the Tharp Trader Test

I am a Strategic Trader

And a fairly consistent one at that. I took the test for the first time in April 2013, then again 4½ years later and the result stays the same. As a Strategic Trader, I have high aspirations and standards and are more than capable of doing things well on my own. It also seems that I am in good company:

I’m always thinking about losing money as opposed to making money. Don’t focus on making money, focus on protecting what you have. — Paul Tudor Jones

The best example of a strategic trader is Paul Tudor Jones, one of the world’s best hedge fund managers. When his AUM surpassed a billion dollars, he hired a well-known motivational speaker to coach him on what we now call “top-down discipline.” Today he lives by an unbelievable routine and schedule because he simply must be the best. He’s never had a down year – the worst being 2000 with 11.6% for the Tudor BVI Global Portfolio fund. 123rd Richest person in the world according to Forbes.

My Strengths

My #1 Strength is Originality & Drive

I want to be at my best. I have a willingness to follow my ideas through to completion. I can work on my own and I have the kind of psychological profile that lends itself to success in the markets. More on peak performance.

My #2 Strength is to Rapidly Identify Patterns

I can instantly spot patterns and possibilities; and have the ability to rapidly hypothesize and generate low risk trading ideas. I also excel at understanding & generating trading systems. More on trading systems.

My #3 Strength is the Ability to Plan

Professional traders use a business plan as a guide for their business and trading systems as guides to their trading. I view my trading as a business and plan accordingly. More on the 17 steps (to becoming a great trader).

My Challenges

My #1 Challenge is Recognizing Mistakes

Logic over Emotion: I might sometimes be so logical that I don’t recognize when my emotions are causing me to self-destruct. I must overcome the tendency to have my Logic hinder my ability to recognize mistakes, as repeated mistakes equal self-sabotage. More on mistakes.

My #2 Challenge is Perfectionism

I have a strong desire to be right. This might cause me to sit on the sidelines while continually trying to develop better systems. Even though I find that perfectionism has served me well, I should avoid it in trading as it prevents me from executing.

My #3 Challenge is The Need to be Right

This might become so overwhelming that I do not act on stop losses. But what is more important in the world of trading: being right or making money? I simply preload my stops when entering positions to avoid having to deal with the dreaded loss trap. More on losses.

Different strokes, for different folks

Van Tharp lists 15 different trader types, each with varying chances of success in the markets. Don’t worry, if you are not a Strategic Trader or Planning Trader, it doesn’t mean that you cannot or will not achieve success in the financial markets, it simple means that are are not naturally inclined to certain behaviors or observations and might need to work a little harder. It can certainly be done, remember the Turtles?

High potential for success in the markets
  1. The Strategic Trader
  2. The Planning Trader
Good potential for trading, with some work
  1. The Detailed Trader
  2. The Facilitative Trader
  3. The Innovative Trader
  4. The Spontaneous Trader
  5. The Independent Trader
  6. The Administrative Trader
  7. The Values Driven Trader
  8. The Socially Responsible Trader
  9. The Accurate Trader
  10. The Adventurous Trade
Potential for success, with lots of work, or by letting others manage their funds
  1. The Supportive Trader
  2. The Artistic Trader
  3. The Fun Loving Trader

Which Trader Type are you? Find out here.



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