Conscientiousness and Trading

  • Self-Efficacy. Self-Efficacy describes confidence in one’s ability to accomplish things. High scorers believe they have the intelligence (common sense), drive, and self-control necessary for achieving success in trading. Low scorers do not feel effective, and may have a sense that they are not in control of their trading. However, consideration needs to be given to motivation for success as complacency with the way things are may be the reason for a low score.
  • Orderliness. Traders with high scores on orderliness are well-organized and stick to routines and schedules. They tend to make trading plans and use them. Low scorers tend to be disorganized and scattered. Trading plans are viewed as not being important as rules are too confining.
  • Dutifulness. This scale reflects the strength of a person’s ability to stick to a trading plan. Those who score high on this scale have a strong sense of moral obligation. Low scorers find trading plans overly confining and thus less likely to follow or even create one. Perhaps trading is seen as more of a “hobby” or just for “fun.”
  • Achievement-Striving. Individuals who score high on this scale strive hard to achieve excellence. Their drive to be recognized as successful keeps them on track toward their goals. Low scorers are content to get by with a minimal amount of work, and might be seen by others as lazy.
  • Self-Discipline. One of the largest contributors to success as a trader is self-discipline. High scorers are able to strictly adhere to a trading plan and stay on track despite distractions. Low scorers procrastinate, are easily discouraged and show poor follow-through. The lack of self-discipline will make your trading career rather short lived.
  • Cautiousness. Cautiousness describes the disposition to think through possibilities before acting. High scorers on the Cautiousness scale take their time when making trading decisions and manage risk well. Low scorers often trade without deliberating alternatives and the probable consequences of those alternatives. Scoring too high on this scale can have its downside as trading opportunities may be missed for the discretionary trader. The more mechanical systems trader will account for this through their strategy.
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