It is easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer volume of articles and posts on the seemingly pressing issues of the financial world. That is why it is refreshing to read interesting posts that explore what it takes to become a successful trader (or investor).

Brett Steenbarger at TraderFeed has two excellent posts up that highlight the differences between successful and unsuccessful traders and how professional traders differ from amateur traders. The two are clearly related and worth reading.

The bottom line is that successful traders have developed methodologies that process meaningful data in a sophisticated manner. We especially like the way Steenbarger phrases the essential ability of market professionals.

If I had to use one phrase to capture the essence of the highly successful traders, it would be analytical creativity. These traders are creative in their thinking about markets and rigorous in their pursuit of this creativity.

The notion of analytical creativity is relevant not only for trader and their relatively shorter term time horizons, but can also be useful for those investors with longer term time horizons as well.