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The four types of trader

The four types of trader


When it comes to making money from the markets, are you a butterfly, cat, dog or tortoise?


Anyone who trades stocks or currency markets will take a particular approach – assuming they have any clue what they’re doing, of course. We identify four main types of trader.


  1. Day Trader: the Butterfly

You flit in and out of trades, never spending long anywhere. You’re constantly in motion. You’re also delicate and vulnerable to being wiped out. Your close cousin, the moth, has a habit of being drawn to the light and getting burned. Either way, your lifespan tends to be short. There’s a reason they’re called day traders – many don’t last much longer than that. (Ok, so it’s really because they don’t hold positions overnight, but still – around 90% of day traders lose money.)


  1. Swing Trader: The Cat

You’re agile, fast, and you show little loyalty to anyone or anything so long as you can get a meal out of it. Your life consists of periods of inactivity followed by sudden movement. You might play dangerously from time to time, but you’ve got nine lives – assuming your risk control is any good.


  1. Position Trader: The Dog

You’re a faithful companion who takes long-term positions. Once you’ve made your decision, you stay with it – maybe for years. You’ll put up with a lot along the way, and you don’t have a lot of time for the cats of the world (in all fairness, they can treat you with disdain too). Basically, you know a good thing when you see one and you’ll stick with it.


  1. Buy and Hold: the Tortoise

You make a life out of doing as little as possible for decades at a time – maybe more. You take a position, then… that’s it. Your whole existence is built on the idea of inertia, letting the world come to you and making absolutely minimal effort. You’ll weather the ups and downs life throws at you, hiding away from it all if you need to for long periods of time. Your life is pretty uneventful, it has to be said, but it can also be remarkably successful – you’re one of the longest-lived animals out there and you can grow big. Incidentally, that’s why Warren Buffett looks like a tortoise.

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