Online stock traders are a different animal to stock investors so it’s important that we draw a distinction so that we know who we are and what our goals and objectives are.

Online stock investors are in the markets for the long term and are invariably more cautious than traders.

Investors carefully balance their portfolios between growth and income stocks along with Bonds and some foreign stocks. It may be a generalization but typically an investor is looking for returns of between 5 – 10% per annum. A lot of investors were caught in the recent crashes of 2000 and 2007 holding on to poorly performing stocks in the hope that they would bounce back.

On the other a hand a stock trader may hold stock for as little as a few minutes or up to a year in certain circumstances. A trader will seek to maximize the best postion for their money even if that means sitting on the sidelines in uncertain times.

Traders seek a much more proactive role to increase their potential profits outside of the general up and down trends of the overall markets.

Traders go out of their way to avoid becoming emotionally attached to a particular stock or trading decision. Traders except that they will get some decisions wrong. It’s a case of riding the winners and letting the losers go that marks out a successful online stock trader.

Emotion has no part in successful online stock trading.