Michel Pireu Columnist

There are two things that kill the fortunes of most investors: a lack of discipline and overconfidence. A prerequisite for success in most fields is control. But traders work in an environment over which they have no control, matched by an almost limitless freedom of choice. With sufficient capital, they are free to buy or sell any number of instruments, in any amount, at almost any time. What traders can control, however, are their choices. "The one thing I can think of that most affects both trading and investing has to be self-discipline," says Joe Ross of Trading Educators Inc. "Being disciplined is fully 50% of the job of trading or investing. I don’t care how good your system is, without the discipline needed to follow it through you don’t have much chance of success. Discipline involves self-control." Self-control is more vital as natural compulsions conspire to defeat traders. If success in trading could be achieved by doing what comes naturally, the only prerequisite would ...

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