Should Trader Development Start With A Psychological Analysis?


Photo: frogarythmviaFlickr

On the couch, wife out of town, a full container of perfectly ripe cantaloupe, what is a young man to do? I found a killer documentary, not via NFLX, The Back Nine that has left me with a day full of thoughts on trader performance. First should we teach traders to work through their psychological hurdles before we talk set ups?I am not Roger Ebert so please forgive me for skipping to the parts of this documentary that are important to us and not necessarily those which best describe the movie. A 40 year old, father of a little girl, husband, 14 handicap, and small business owner attempts to become a scratch/tournament player. Can he do it?

Well he is strapped for time, isn’t really that good, not financially secure, and recognises a great team must be put together to succeed. First comes the yoga instructor to improve his flexibility. Then comes the swing coach to develop his best swing plane. Then comes the beefy physical trainer who lays out the lifting routine. As he gets to about an 8 handicap the most interesting thought is offered. Should he have started this whole process first working on his mind?

In comes the golf shrink and down goes his handicap to a four. Apparently the guy needs to make peace with his dad and step dad before he can truly take the next big leap of progress forward. But for us as traders don’t we face this same question? Should we first start with ourselves? Should our trader development start with a psychological analysis and maintenance repair program for ourselves? More specifically are we in the proper mindset to find joy in the learning process as a trader?

Trading is not the place to come and work out your personal demons. Well it could be but there will be a sizable cash deposit Mother Market will deposit for your therapy. It would be considerably cheaper to just go to therapy. And then spend two weeks at the St. Regis in Kauai. For all of us there is something that could hold us back as traders. I lost my mother this Christmas Eve and cannot honestly tell you I have come close to getting over this trauma since. Should we make sure we get that right first, the proper mental mindset, before we work on our trading development?

Mike Bellafiore
Author, One Good Trade

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