Five traits of a highly successful investor (in no particular order):
1. Discipline - Every investor has to be disciplined in the market. If you can't follow your own rules and stick to a strategy, you may find yourself laying dead in the battlefield faster than you know. Discipline is the most important trait of a successful investor because the market is full of temptation to make dumb mistakes day in day out.
2. Patience - Act too quickly and you may just get burned. Some traders will step back and wait months before making a trade, why? Because they are patient hunters looking for the right moment to strike. You can't rush art, and especially when day trading, every penny truly makes a difference.
3. Dedication - If you aren't dedicated to the market, you may as well go work at a quickie mart. Some of the best managers are up at 4:30 AM if not earlier to start their day and map out potential plays. I don't care how late you stayed up last night, if Microsoft announces they are buying Yahoo (which rumors spread last week), you have perhaps a several minute window (if you are lucky) to buy in before value has completely been realized.
4. Guts - When you bet nine months in advance that Apple is going to take off and you place $100 million on the table, you have guts. Some of the best traders in the world have taken bets that no one else saw or agreed with, but had the last laugh in the end. And you think your mom is ruthless, if hedge funds find out your firm is on the edge of crumbling and you are holding a few big positions, watch out!
5. Perseverance - Probably the X factor of successful trading, perseverance is critical to success because let's face it, not everything is going to go your way. No one cares that you have thirty years experience behind you, without a solid track record you are a nobody. But, the more you continue to educate yourself and learn the little tricks of the trade, the more you are going to make in the long run. The best part of the stock market is that history has shown the game repeats itself, you may loose your rear today, but in three months when the same trade comes around, you will know what to do.