Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Ten Core Ideas of Trading Psychology

1) We are most likely to behave in inhibited or impulsive ways, violating trading rules and plans, when we perceive events to be threatening;

2) What we perceive to be threatening is a joint function of events themselves and how we think about those events;

3) A key to gaining control over trading and maintaining consistency is to be able to reduce the threat associated with market events and process adverse outcomes in normal, routine ways;

4) We can reduce the threat associated with adverse market events through proper money management (position sizing) and through proper risk management (limits on losses per position);

5) We can reduce the threat associated with adverse market events by training ourselves to respond calmly to adverse outcomes (exposure methods) and by restructuring how we think about those outcomes (cognitive methods);

6) Optimal skill development in trading will occur in non-threatening environments in which learners can sustain concentration, optimism, and motivation;

7) A proper mindset is therefore necessary to the development of trading skills, but does not substitute for such development;

8) The cultivation of trading expertise is a function of the amount of time and effort devoted to learning and the proper structuring of that time and effort;

9) Proper structuring of learning involves the setting of specific, doable, cumulative goals and the provision of rapid feedback and correction regarding the achievement of those goals;

10) Practice does not make perfect in trading or anything else; perfect practice makes perfect. Training must gradually build competencies and correct deficiencies in a manner that sustains a positive mindset and optimal concentration and motivation.


Series of Posts on Becoming Your Own Trading Coach

Programming Our Own Experience