Every investor has several characteristics that combine to make them successful. The degree of success depends on how well you can implement these and how well your strategy works.

The method investors have for selecting shares that they want in their portfolio is arguably one of the most important areas of being a successful investor. For me personally I have stuck to selecting shares that are leading ie blue chip companies, whose price histories are in a long term uptrend and that are themselves doing better than the market average.

The next vital component is the trading plan. This doesnít need to be overly complex.  You just need to know what you will do if the share price goes up, down or sideways. If you can cover these three things then you have a contingency for anything the share price can throw at you. And more importantly you will prevent yourself from reacting to sudden market fluctuations that happen all of the time.

The trading plan should also incorporate an overall strategy for the share that you have selected and explain the reasoning behind why youíre doing what youíre doing ie why you decided to place your order level at this particular point.

You will need a robust risk management strategy and to be successful in the long term you will need to implement the strategy. The number of times Iíve seen people unwilling to action there risk management plan when the share price reaches their pre-determined value price is a little bit scary.

The above three things are great to have in place but donít forget that you must be disciplined in implementing them otherwise youíre setting yourself up for failure.  And you should remember that to get good at anything you need to practice and you need to gain experience.  Champions are made in training.  Not on the track.

After identifying these strategic factors you should consider how much you are willing to outlay on each share. It is important to try and spend the same amount on each share ie $5000 across a portfolio of 10 shares in different industries in order to maintain a balanced portfolio.

Finally before deciding to go ahead with any investment you should asses whether its risk to return is worth it. There is no point risking $1 to try to make 50 cents.  Over my investing lifespan I have stuck with a ratio of 1:3.  For every dollar that I am risking I stand to make at least three or if I stand to make $3000 from a trade then I am willing to risk $1000 in order to make it. The reasoning behind this ratio is that no matter how good you are you will always loose in some of your investments. Having a ratio like this ensures that when the of the investments pay off they more than compensate for any that lose.

To recap any successful investor must exhibit these characteristics over the long term.

<b>Take responsibility for themselves</b> and make their own decisions. They take the credit for making profit and accept the responsibility for any losses. They learn from these decisions and improve over time;

<b>Make investment or trading plans and stick to them</b> They make trading plans based on reliable information in the clear calm light of day and not emotional reactions that may emanate from the panic or euphoria of the share market. And, they stick to their plan;

<b>Assess the Risk/Return Ratio of each trade</b> They only enter into investments that offer reasonable potential for profit;

<b>Manage</b> the risk of every investment . And never lose too much;

<b>Allow for contingencies</b> in the plan so they know what they are going to do if the share being traded goes up, down or sideways in price. The share price can do nothing else.  But you can do what you planned.  The plan then dictates the actions and prevents unprofitable emotional reactions;

<b>Only put their money</b> into financially secure companies ;

<b>Buy shares when they are cheap</b> and sell those that are expensive relative to their price trends;

<b>Only</b> trade in companies whose prices are in trending up; 

<b>Trade unemotionally</b> and have the discipline to trade the plan. They plan the trade and trade the plan;

<b>Keep taking money out</b> of the market. You only make money when you sell shares;  and

<b>Have sufficient confidence</b> that has been gained from experience.

More Forex Market News