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Fifteen Personality Types of Traders: Understanding the Psychology Behind Trading Decisions

Dr. Van K. Tharp, an experienced psychologist and trader coach, has conducted an intriguing study on trader psychology by surveying over 5000 traders, including forex traders. The survey results revealed that an individual's personality has a significant impact on their trading psychology and, consequently, on the decisions they make.

In his survey results, Dr. Van Tharp categorizes traders into fifteen groups based on their personality types. Here are some of them:

  1. Accurate Trader: Pays more attention to precision in entry and exit numbers.
  2. Administrative Trader: Focuses on administration in trading.
  3. Artistic Trader: Pays more attention to the artistic aspect of trading.
  4. Adventurous Trader: Enjoys the adventure in trading.
  5. Detailed Trader: Focuses on detailed technical and/or fundamental analysis.
  6. Facilitative Trader: Prioritizes the facilities provided by brokers.
  7. Fun Loving Trader: Considers trading as an enjoyable game.
  8. Independent Trader: Tends to be independent and not rely on other traders.
  9. Innovative Trader: Prioritizes innovation in trading.
  10. Planning Trader: Always creates a trading plan before entry or exit.
  11. Socially Responsible Trader: Considers social responsibility in trading.
  12. Spontaneous Trader: Tends to be spontaneous in entry and exit.
  13. Strategic Trader: Always follows a specific strategy in trading.
  14. Supportive Trader: Enjoys supporting fellow traders.
  15. Values Driven Trader: Tends to enter and exit trades based solely on estimation or speculation.

Dr. Van Tharp also identifies three main characteristics of successful traders:
  • Able to depict market conditions in the long term and their relationship with global economic events.
  • Makes trading decisions based on logical analysis.
  • Disciplined, without hesitation, and follows a priority sequence.

Although there are fifteen different types of trader personalities, only two of them, namely planning trader and strategic trader, are considered by Dr. Tharp to have significant potential to become successful traders. Meanwhile, the other ten personality types require extra effort and hard work to achieve success. On the other hand, the remaining three personality types, namely artistic trader, fun loving trader, and supportive trader, are considered unsuitable for trading and may tend to experience losses unless they take a serious approach and receive appropriate psychological guidance.


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