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Denial as motivation


Discussion in Psychology and Money Management

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Denial as motivation

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  #1 (permalink)
Victoria, Australia
 
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Interesting article from B Steenbarger on Traderfeed

TraderFeed: Denial as a Trading Motivation

He sees that many traders chase their tails pinning their trading problems on 'psychology' when a lot of the time it is as simple as their methodology doesnt have a positive expectancy because it is based on market randomness. This is obviously very good for all the vendors of psychology related products and we hear how important it is ( and it is) all the time.

Better be real sure our method has positive expectancy before we get too excited about uncovering the layers of our psyche hey?

Cart before the horse? Or vice versa?

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  #3 (permalink)
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I think Brett is awesome.

The way I would describe this would be to say that psychology can be a scapegoat just like anything else. It isn't immune. But here is what I typically see:

Trader #1
- A good sound methodology
- Terrible execution
- Goes in circles, changing the methodology over and over, never takes accountability for his execution (which is a psychological issue in my book)

Trader #2
- A bad methodology, usually from being either overly complex or inadequately forward tested
- Impossible execution
- Goes in circles mainly because he cannot possibly achieve "success", the goal posts are impossible --- the methodology is overly complex and with that complexity there is always a scapegoat of "oh, if only I had..."

Dr. Brett says that we can only focus on a handful of things at once, like 3-5 at absolute most. I think a lot of the trading process can be instinctual after time, so you can "get in the zone" from a combination of gut feeling and experience, and then your actual trades will be setup and executed based on minimal effort (no more than 3-5 things to consider per execution).

As for your thread title "Denial as motivation", I have a hard time understanding that as a concept. But I do completely agree that a large number of traders are in denial. They are always quick to place blame externally --- whether it be their platform, their wife or kids, being interrupted or insufficient time to trade, some indicator they didn't see, etc. Those who never take responsibility will never achieve success.

Mike

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  #4 (permalink)
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Similiarly with the belief that money management will create positive expectancy.

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  #5 (permalink)
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Big Mike View Post

As for your thread title "Denial as motivation", I have a hard time understanding that as a concept. But I do completely agree that a large number of traders are in denial. They are always quick to place blame externally --- whether it be their platform, their wife or kids, being interrupted or insufficient time to trade, some indicator they didn't see, etc. Those who never take responsibility will never achieve success.

Mike

Hi Mike

I think he is meaning that it is not uncommon that traders are in denial that their method has no edge and that this denial is the motivation to look into psychological remedies for the lack of trading success.

Lindsay

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  #6 (permalink)
NYC
 
 
Posts: 187 since Dec 2010


Counterplay View Post
Right.

It's like the morbidly obese person reading about the latest diet, when he already knows he has to put down that bag of chips.

The answer is within.


Hmm....isn't that the exact opposite point?
More like the obese person is on a diet of potato chips and beer that they got from a diet book written by an overweight con man, then can't understand why they are not losing weight even though they are sticking to the diet exactly as described in the book.

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  #7 (permalink)
SF, Glendale
 
 
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Big Mike View Post

They are always quick to place blame externally --- whether it be their platform, their wife or kids, being interrupted or insufficient time to trade, some indicator they didn't see, etc. Those who never take responsibility will never achieve success.

Mike

Actually, they mostly seem to blame vendors.

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January 28, 2011


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