Dr. Van K. Tharp is a professional psychologist and trading coach who has identified fifteen different trader personality types based on their psychological characteristics.
The assessment of what trader personality type a person falls into can be made by taking a simple test accessible online at Dr. Tharp's website.
The Tharp trading psychology test presents several choices that an individual could make when confronted with different life situations. The responses given tend to indicate what type of personality they have developed.
According to Dr. Tharp's research, the best traders tend to exhibit the following three key personality characteristic sets:
They can see and grasp the "big picture", connect events and identify trading opportunities.
They can logically analyze the market and use that as the basis for their trading decisions.
They tend to be orderly, decisive and capable of performing operations sequentially.
The Best Trader Types
Of the fifteen personality types characterized by Dr. Tharp, only two of them contain all of the aforementioned characteristics which are part of the most successful trading mindset.
These two personality types are the Planning Trader and the Strategic Trader. People who fall into either of these two personality types tend to stand the best chance of success when trading in the forex market, according to Dr. Tharp.
In addition to being able to achieve the greatest level of financial success in their trading activities, many of the traders that fall into these two groups can also operate profitably under a variety of market trading conditions due to their mental flexibility.
Personality Types That Achieve Success with Some Work
The largest group of personality types consists of ten of Dr. Tharp's fifteen types that have one or two of the three personality characteristics commonly shared by successful traders.
These ten moderately successful trader types are the: Accurate, Administrative, Adventurous, Detailed, Facilitative, Independent, Innovative, Socially Responsible, Spontaneous and Values Driven trader personality types.
These traders would do well to work on developing the trait or traits which they lack out of the three listed above that are shared by successful traders.
With some self observation - and after performing appropriate work on their behavioral responses as traders - they can also usually become successful traders like the Planning and Strategic Traders.
Personality Types That Find Trading Especially Challenging
Certain personality types have been found by Dr. Tharp to be unsuitable to trading forex for a variety of reasons, but largely because they lack any of the aforementioned characteristics of successful trader.
These people may be better off having their money managed professionally by others who have more suitable personality types, rather than by attempting to trade for their own account.
The three personality types which tend to find trading particularly challenging are the Artistic Trader, the Fun Loving Trader and the Supportive Trader.
People who fall into these trading types generally find trading in the forex market a difficult endeavor. For them, trading successfully can be very challenging and seems like hard work.
Nevertheless, a possibility of success exists for such challenged traders if they are able to adjust their habits toward those of successful traders.
They can attempt to do this based on regular feedback, self observation and adjustment, but they will need to be committed to pursuing their goal of trading successfully with considerable persistence.