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Is Trading Psychology a Hoax?
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Is Trading Psychology a Hoax?

  #101 (permalink)
Market Wizard
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Excerpts from Dr. Gary

For psychology fans. here are some excerpts from Dr. Gary.

  • [while they go in tandem] "having a really good system is number 1, is not really psychology"
  • "an amateur athlete not training, practice, or don't do anything and not knowing, like an amateur tennis player playing against Nadal or Federer,...in the.....Open, it is crazy"
  • ".... so we wind up seeing a psychologist"
  • "If you don't have a good solid edge, all the good psychology in the world is not going to help you."
  • "become master of what works for you"

From Dr. Gary's May 10, 2011 Webinar on futures.io (formerly BMT), (time 57:30 to 59:00)


[To sum up: know your stuff, have an edge, master your edge, hone your skills, and most likely you don't need a psychologist]

Which brings me back to the big "IF".

Thanks you Dr. Gary!! Great webinar!!

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  #102 (permalink)
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aligator View Post
"Greedy feeds on others' fear ......" Old wisdom

Irrelevant. Fear and greed have still done well for the human species for the last two hundred thousand years relative to other species.



aligator View Post
"One can teach only what one practices ....." Zen teachings

Inconsequential. Someone may be better at coaching than trading if they practice trading and/or coaching.

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  #103 (permalink)
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siggyboss View Post
Someone may be better at coaching than trading if they practice trading and/or coaching.

Translation: So if that someone is better at coaching than trading, then that someone should be couching "How to Coach" not "How to Trade."

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  #104 (permalink)
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I'm amazed how many people out there say they wouldn't mind a trading coach who can't trade. Let's assume that person can coach, how much can they genuinely impart? If you turn into the trader you hope to be, do you then also attribute your powers to them and not yourself. And if you don't become the trader you desire it's because you didn't have enough self respect to believe you deserve someone better to guide you.

ETA: In response to this same question another time on futures.io (formerly BMT), someone responded to the tune of: "Would you have open heart surgery with a doctor who was a better teacher than a surgeon?? That comment made an impression and ended the debate. Why lesser standards for imparting the art of trading?

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  #105 (permalink)
Market Wizard
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There are plenty of coaches in professional sports who were far from stellar athletes. The Super Bowl was a recent case in point:

Jim Harbaugh, coach of the 49ers, was a great athlete in his day. He is also a really good coach.

His brother John, coach of the Ravens, was NOT a great athlete, but so far is an even better coach. He just won the Super Bowl.



So, I see 4 groups of people (with shades in between):

1. Great trader, great coach
2. Great trader, mediocre coach
3. Mediocre trader, great coach
4. Mediocre trader, mediocre coach


I would bet that the abundance of these folks is in reverse order: 4, 3, 2, 1. People want #1, but many times are fooled in picking for #4.

Those looking for a coach need to do a lot of due diligence, and spend time with the coach before committing big bucks. Even then, they should realize the odds of success are still stacked against them. Trading is a really hard profession.

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  #106 (permalink)
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The difference is that a professional player is paid to be coached unlike a trader who is not.

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  #107 (permalink)
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plethora View Post
The difference is that a professional player is paid to be coached unlike a trader who is not.

Can you please explain the distinction?

Here is what I see: An athlete and a trader are both professional (if they take it seriously), both are paid to perform(if they do their job correctly). The people in charge have decided that an athlete absolutely needs a coach to get the most out of the athlete. Not so with traders, although some hedge funds have coaches on staff, and traders have to meet with them. Not true with retail traders, though.

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  #108 (permalink)
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No, they're not both professional. The aspiring trader desires to become a professional. He's not one yet and does not have a shot by being trained by another trader-wannabe. But it's romantic to think so.

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  #109 (permalink)
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plethora View Post
No, they're not both professional. The aspiring trader desires to become a professional. He's not one yet and does not have a shot by being trained by another trader-wannabe. But it's romantic to think so.

Gotcha.

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  #110 (permalink)
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To trade, you need to learn how to trade. That is the baseline.

If you believe that trading is a skill based competitive endeavour, then it follows that psychology may have a part.

Like any sporting endeavour, psychology can't make up for you being crap in the first place. So, no point getting a sports psychologist to attend your first golf lesson.

On the other hand, let's say you have a 15 yard put on the 18th. Hole this shot and you win the tournament and a cool $1,000,000. Fluff the shot and share 2nd place with 5 others. As you line up for that shot, your visits to a sports psychologist could make or break you. So could beta-blockers.

Think about it - this is an easy shot you took a million times. But now there is so much riding on it, can you just saunter up to the ball and pop it in the hole? Or will you be deliberate, think things through too much, not rely on just letting your body do it's thing in taking the shot. In short - will you f*** it up?

With any skill, your performance can degrade under pressure. You need skill before this will show up in my opinion but anyone that has played a sport competitively will know that feeling of pressure that mounts as the outcome becomes more important.

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