Everyone has an opinion when it comes to investing. The area of investing attracts wishful thinking, over exuberance and self delusion. If you have ha any cognitive training you will agree that reading or watching financial news engenders strong emotions and hysteria.

Things are put into perspective when you remind yourself that most of the writers and speakers have never earned a living trading or investing.

Investing and its racy cousin trading are areas where everyone can be an expert without training.

The regular boom and bust cycles one can observe in many different time frames are a reflection of our fickle minds.

Most of us lack the ability to assess our abilities with a degree of accuracy. Understanding your own true nature and the nature of the markets is a skill that few have. It requires training, total honesty with oneself and the discipline to stay unattached from your ego's story.

These are the basic requirements for good investing and trading.

There is a wide spread belief that all it takes to handle money and make it grow quickly is to go to a seminar put a few grand on the table and, hey presto, the following week you will emerge a master trader and investor.

The vast majority of people, 95%, lose money in the markets.

Today's market conditions are more difficult than they have been for decades. The need for cast iron discipline and sound knowledge of market dynamics and psychology are more essential than ever before.

As with other areas in life, your mindset is key to successfully managing money. You can only be successful in trading and investing if you can handle yourself. This means that you must be willing to work on yourself to acquire a trading mindset.

A trading mind set is calm, quiet, Zen like. It has no concept of the future. The trading mind can wait. It is comfortable with waiting and when the right opportunity presents itself it is ready to pounce. There is no hesitation, but just clarity, certainty and flawless action.

A trading mind is independent. It does not matter what the papers are saying, or what investment advisors think. You are only in conference with yourself. There is no competition, but you are competing against yourself, or should I be saying with yourself?

Your ability to act quickly on limited information is vital. So is your ability to foresee change. Most of us are not comfortable with change, yet in order to be good at trading and investing you should be aware that this is an essential skill you must master.

You must understand risk. Risk is not so much about winning and losing, but about limiting exposure to the market in the event of things going against your expectations.

Are you at peace with yourself? How is your relationship with money? Both should be in harmony. Ultimately managing money isn't about the money. It is about YOU.

This is the most important aspect of your life as successful trader or investor.

Mastery of any subject always begins with the mastery of yourself. Are you willing to work on yourself and become that person who will be good at managing money before you even start looking at charts? Are you ready to learn how universal forces operate in the financial markets? If the answer is yes you have passed the first and most important hurdle on the road to trading and investment success.

Author's Bio: 

Mercedes Oestermann van Essen is a spiritual success coach and author. She has written several books on trading psychology and personal improvement. Please visit www.TheBuddhistTrader.com for more information.