If you were to study a hundred successful options traders, some traits would undeniably stand out. While some traders may excel in one area or another, most successful traders have a series of traits that set them apart. Whether you have these traits already or are trying to acquire the proper mindset and aptitudes for the trade, here are some of the most essential traits every successful options trader should possess.

A High Level of Discipline

While discipline will help you in pretty much every aspect of life, there is probably no area where this is more important than in options trading. As a matter of fact, you’d be hard pressed to find an options trader who was able to get a long successful run without iron clad discipline. Discipline is an all or nothing kind of trait; you cannot be somewhat disciplined and expect to get consistent results. The good news is that discipline is a trait that can be easily acquired by anyone with enough dedication.

With that being said, you don’t need to be focused 24/7 on trading alone. However, you will need to work tirelessly and systematically towards your goal of improving your performance.

An Ability to Learn from Mistakes

Some of us have difficulty dealing with mistakes. Some people just crumble as soon as they commit a blunder. Some people just can’t acknowledge this and keep banging their head against the same wall over and over again. When it comes to trading, mistakes have a different dimension to them though. Mistakes eventually mean dollar losses, which can be difficult to stomach. As a trader, you should be able to handle a few losses without going into panic mode. Losing money in the trade is inevitable and every trader goes through it. The ones who make it are the ones who eventually reflect on their mistakes and keep pushing. Every loss should be used as an opportunity to learn, sometimes it’s just a matter of slightly tweaking your strategy. Some resources like the Stern Options blog will show you live trade examples so new traders can see how to deal with losing trades.

A Willingness to Learn

Unfortunately, if you’re a poor learner or simply don’t have the patience to go the extra mile and learn as much as you can about options trading, your career in the field will be short lived. Almost all successful traders have an almost insatiable thirst for knowledge and are always looking to either improve on their strategies or look for new ones. Markets are ever changing, and there are always new tricks and trends you can take advantage of. What was working yesterday might not work as well tomorrow and if you’re too stubborn and stuck in your ways you may run the risk of being outdated.

Also, just because you’re into options at the moment, doesn’t need you should only learn about options. The world of trading is incredibly vast nowadays and limiting yourself to just one area could be detrimental. Learn as much as you can about Forex, futures, stocks and bonds, ETFs and any new and hot financial instruments there is out there. The more you know, the better decisions you’ll be able to make with your portfolio.

Ability to Make their Own Decisions

While it’s good to follow the advice of other successful traders in the field, you don’t have to follow them blindly on every trade. Tailor their strategies to your objectives and don’t be afraid to look at other sources information if you don’t like a certain system or strategy. For example, if you’re more of the instinctive type and truly believe you have a knack for reading the news and making predictions, go for it, even if many advisors will advise against it. Some may just not be as skilled as you in that area, so you shouldn’t simply stick to one size fits all formulas because everybody is doing it.

Cerebral Over Emotional

One crucial trait that is essential for every trader is being able to stay calm under the storm and never trade on emotion. Good traders know how dangerous trading with their gut can be and make sure they don’t overreact. Whatever happens, they stick to their trading plan and stay proactive instead of being reactive.

Someone who goes into trades willy nilly will always lose when compared with a trader that goes in with a solid plan. Without a solid plan, you’ll go in without a direction and start making random trades. On the other hand, if you go in with a plan, you are more likely to stick to it and not go overboard. You’ll be able to keep a close eye on your objectives and cut your losses or bank profits at the right time without getting carried away.

Patience

Patience is another crucial aspect of options trading. While the world of options can be very fast paced, keeping a cool head and not jumping too soon or exiting too fast from positions can be disastrous. Many beginners make the mistake of cashing in too soon because they’re simply not used to making gains. Successful long term investors, on the other hand, will be more quick to take losses than bank in before stocks reach full maturity.

An Ability to Distance Themselves

While being dedicated to trading may be a good thing, successful traders know the importance of distancing themselves when things are getting too heated. In bad periods, it can be easy to get absorbed and obsessed by the market, but keeping your eyes glued on every ticker 24/7 will do more harm than good.

Conclusion

If you manage to either develop or identify these traits and use them to your advantage, you’ll be one step closer to being a successful options trader. However, these traits alone won’t make you an all star trader overnight. Always remember to keep learning from your and other’s mistakes and make sure you integrate at least of or two of these traits if you feel you’re lacking in certain areas.

Credit cards can prove to be a bit of a short-term lifesaver if you’re short of cash, but they inevitably end up costing you more money in the long-term. This is because the interest rates are often quite high.

It would be nice to think that you would never need to use a credit card again, but unless you’re Tim Sykes, Richard Branson or Bill Gates, you may just have to.

So how can you reduce the amount of interest that you pay on a credit card? Here are 4 tips that could mean you pay out less cash, while still having access to it when you need it the most:

Learn To Use Your Credit Card Less

Learn to lean on your credit card a little less. You may only use your card once or twice a month, but even so the interest soon adds up.

A great way to reduce the amount of interest you pay is to simply use the card a lot less, but if you cannot use it any less, try to reduce the amount of money you borrow every time.

Call The Credit Card Issuer, And Ask For a Reduction

Compare your credit cards’ interest rate to those issued by other companies. If you’re paying more than they offer, call your current issuer and mention  you’re soon going to pay off your balance soon, and you’re thinking of  going elsewhere.

Mention the other company has lower interest rates, and ask your current issuer to offer you a lower rate to keep you as a customer, and see what they say.

It doesn’t hurt to ask, and  your issuer might be happy to lower your rates for the next few months, you never know, it’s worth a try.

Pay Off Your Bill As Quickly As You Can

When I was a child my mother used her credit card every week. She would buy $30 worth of groceries, and then pay the $30 back as soon as she had the money. This helped to keep her interest rates low, and often non-existent.

If you simply cannot pay off all of your credit card, try to pay some of it, even if it is just $10. The quicker you pay it off, the less interest there will be.

Make The Most of the ‘6 Months’ Interest-Free’ Offers

Take out a new credit card that offers 6 months’ interest-free, and transfer the money you currently owe to the new card. Just before the 6 months’ period is up, transfer the money to another credit card that is also offering the deal.

This is a perfectly legal way for you to reduce the amount of interest you pay, while giving you access to money when you need it the most.

Credit card companies make a lot of money from the interest that they charge their customers. If you’ve been hit with a lot of interest, use the above tips to help you pay less.

You probably read plenty of articles that tell you how to make money when you’re retired, or getting close to it. However, many of these options and routes mean having to work. Sometimes having a part-time job or consultancy role can be incredibly fun and rewarding. You get to keep on working with interesting people, and use your skills and experience to help them out. Yet this isn’t always as satisfying as it once was. You probably have grand plans for your retirement, and spending the entire time working was unlikely to be on the agenda. So, if you still need to supplement your retirement funds, but you don’t want to work – then what? Well, you should start by looking at your assets, and seeing how they can help you out.

Your property

Once you’re retired, you won’t be held down by the constraints of full time employment and a commute. This is your chance to live the life you’ve always wanted. Pick that dream location, and see if it can save you money. If you live in a desirable area, you could sell your home and move somewhere else. It’s worth speaking to a real estate agent to find out how much your home is worth. Try agents like Joe Manausa Real Estate, or similar operators in your area. However, if you want to stay in the area, why not downsize? Then you have the luxury of buying somewhere cheaper and having the proceeds left over, as well as the lower costs of running a smaller house.

If you own multiple properties, be ruthless about whether you need them. You might be able to rent one out as a vacation rental, in which case, you’ll be able to retire comfortably on the money you earn from it. However, if you don’t visit or use them regularly, it might be worth exploring putting one up for sale. If you don’t want to formally cut the ties with any property, then asking within your family would be a good place to start: if you’ve got family with young children, they might be grateful to take on a property that could be used for easy family holidays.

Your belongings

Now, we’re not going to suggest that you head off to the nearest garage sale and sell everything you own. However, you can use what you own to make yourself money. Innovative start-ups have taken the country by storm by using these everyday things. If you’ve got a large collection of smart clothes, you could hire them out. People don’t want to spend thousands of dollars on a dress or tuxedo that they’ll wear just once – so if you hire yours out, you’ll probably get a lot of interest. Likewise, look at your bigger investments. If your car is expensive to run, why not trade it in for a cheaper version? Be honest about your big buys. If you invested in a boat or a campervan, and you’re not using them, think about either renting them out, or selling,

Working from home is a great way to make extra money without having to commit too much of your time or day. You can choose your own hours and pick where you work, meaning if you have limited mobility or no means of travel, you can still earn a fair amount of money. However, there are a number of things that cause people who work from home a lot of grief. These three barriers stop you being productive or successful, and could mean the end of your remote working career. However, there are simple and easy ways around them, as explored below.

No communication

Regardless of whether you’re working from home as a self-employed freelancer or employed for a company, you need to be able to communicate well. You still need to be part of team, even if it’s just you and your client. Even the most diligent, motivated people go wrong when there isn’t enough communication involved. So, make an effort to use a variety of apps to stay in touch. Programs like Skype mean you can make video calls and voice calls over the internet, giving you much better signal. Plus, you’ll be able to IM regularly, if you need to ask an urgent question. To enable good communication levels, you’ll need a reliable, strong internet connection. If you’re serious about succeeding in a working from home role, you might want to invest in the best Wi-Fi you can afford.

No IT support

Working in an office has many perks, including immediate IT support. If anything goes wrong, you can have someone over in an instant to sort it out. However, when you’re working from home and something goes wrong, you’ll probably have to sort it yourself. That’s why it’s a good idea to find a company that specializes in providing IT support for individuals. Then, whether you suffer anything from a hard drive failure to a poorly-performing device, you’ll be able to call upon them for help and support. Depending on how you pay tax, you should be able to claim this back as a business expense.

No working environment

While it’s great being able to work where and when you want, you do need some sort of order to your environment. Yes, working with your laptop on the sofa is fine occasionally, it will end up giving you a bad back, an aching neck, and strained vision. So, you need to create your own home office. Your laptop must be placed on a hard surface, unless you want to fry the battery and its innards, so you should source a desk or table first. Then, you need to find a chair that offers you the right kind of support. You’ll know where you suffer when sitting for long periods, so look around for an option that gives you the most protection. You’ll also need a laptop stand, as your laptop screen should be at eye level to prevent doing any damage to yourself. Everyone works differently, and some people thrive in a buzzy environment, but you should be careful that there aren’t too many distractions around.

A SIPP is a self invested personal pension, and differs in many ways from other pension schemes available. Offered by companies like Bestinvest, SIPPs have many benefits which make them attractive to those looking for a potentially more lucrative scheme, and are particularly effective for those on higher incomes. Here is some information to help you further understand the benefits of SIPPs.

More Investment Choice

One of the most important points to make about SIPPs is that they offer the ability to invest your money in a variety of different assets such as trusts, shares and property, amongst many others. You can therefore decide how much risk you wish to take and which assets will provide the best returns for your money.

If you decide to take charge of your own investments then you will have a low cost SIPP as you do not have the pay fees for investment advice, which you would if you have a full SIPP. A low cost SIPP, however, does require good research and willingness to manage investments.

Greater Potential Returns

Since you have a wider choice over where you put your money, you can see better returns over the long term if your asset portfolio appreciates. The rate this rises (or falls) by is dependent on how risky your investment is. Some markets are more volatile than others, and some are better suited to short term investments rather than long term.

It is wise to diversify your portfolio so that your investments are not dependent on the value of a single asset rising. This reduces overall risk and makes a healthy profit far more likely come retirement.

Tax Benefits

One of the reasons SIPPs are particularly effective for those on higher incomes is that, like all pensions, they offer greater tax relief the higher up the income tax ladder you are. Even those on the basic tax rate receive 20% back from the tax man when they invest.

This means that you take home far more money from investments than you would without such high tax relief. The ability to start withdrawing your money becomes available when you become 55, and you can choose exactly how to take an income from your pension.

SIPPs are a good option for those who want a bit more control over their investments. Whilst greater choice also means greater potential risk, the possibility of much larger returns and superior tax benefits make SIPPs stand out as an effective pension scheme.