Monday, May 20, 2019

Trading Psychology Techniques - 5: Relationships

An important theme of my recent Forbes article is that what we do in life becomes internalized.  Our actions shape our identities.  Can we live undisciplined lives and become disciplined traders?  Can we look at the same information as everyone else and generate unique ideas and returns?  Can we remain self-focused and self-absorbed and sustain close relationships with others?  What we do becomes who we are.

Nowhere is this more true than in our personal and professional relationships.  Who we spend time with is also internalized and becomes part of who we are.  I spend time every day taking care of my cats and providing them with a loving home.  That experiences exercises important capacities for empathy and caring, both of which are important in my personal relationships and in my professional work.

This is why our romantic choices are so important.  Our partners are part of our daily experience and become important parts of us.  In a very real sense, everyone finds their soulmate--sometimes for better, sometimes for worse.  An important way that we experience ourselves is through our relationships.  What is mirrored to you in your friendships, your family relationships, your relationship with your spouse/significant other?  Your partner in life becomes your soul.

How are relationships a "trading psychology technique"??  It's easy to lose sight of the fact that every trader experiences a relationship with the markets he or she trades.  For some, it is an adversarial relationship; for some, a challenging and difficult relationship; for others, it is a threatening relationship; for still others it is a stimulating and rewarding relationship.  Can we have static relationships in our personal lives and expect to dynamically keep up with changing markets?  Can we have conflicted relationships and frustrating relationships and hope to stay cool and calm in our relationships with markets?  

We are always practicing our trading, even when markets are closed and we're away from screens.  Who we are and what we do during non-trading hours shapes our trading experience.  The quality of our personal relationships (including our relationship with ourselves) shapes our relationships with markets.  We only focus on markets as well as we focus on others; we only follow market communications as well as we listen to others; we only understand markets as well as we understand the people in our lives.

A great way to work on our trading is to work on ourselves outside of trading.

Further Reading: