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Trading Psychology 2.0: From Best Practices to Best Processes (Wiley Trading) Hardcover – September 28, 2015
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From the Inside Flap
Trading Psychology 2.0 is a comprehensive guide to applying the science of psychology to the art of trading in a dynamic and evolving marketplace. Filled with new, research-based insights and practical approaches, this hands-on resource is written by the acclaimed trading psychologist and bestselling author Brett Steenbarger. He offers a wealth of proven techniques and best practices that can help traders and investors take advantage of the emerging science of positive psychology.
Written in down-to-earth terms, Trading Psychology 2.0 shows how traders can move beyond the usual focus on discipline and emotional control to the broader context of sustaining peak performance. The author shows how to achieve trading success with an ABCD focus: Adapting to market changes; Building social, emotional, cognitive, and personality strengths; Cultivating creativity; and Developing best practices across each facet of trading. Steenbarger also reveals how to ramp up your investing skills by developing best practices across seven essential activities--research, idea generation, trade structuring, position risk management, portfolio risk management, self management, and performance management. Success, he suggests, comes from turning those best practices into robust best processes.
Trading Psychology 2.0 is filled with illustrative examples and case studies that bring the author's ideas and techniques to life. It is the first text to tap into the new field of positive psychology and help traders understand and build upon their strengths.
Many investment and trading firms hire coaches to maximize their edge in the marketplace. They realize the benefits in having an expert mentor. With Trading Psychology 2.0, traders can gain insights and skills that will help them creatively adapt to changing markets and leverage their distinctive strengths.
From the Back Cover
ACTIONABLE INSIGHT INTO HOW HUMAN BEHAVIOR DRIVES MARKET BEHAVIOR
"Successful efforts to master markets lead us down paths of self-mastery. This book is one guide to those paths."
―From the Preface
Let noted trading psychologist and bestselling author Brett Steenbarger help you apply the lessons he has learned by working with highly successful traders and money managers. He has distilled these lessons into an ABCD framework: Adapting to changing markets; Building emotional, cognitive, social, and personality strengths; Cultivating creativity; and Developing best practices across each phase of the trading process.
Filled with expert guidance, relevant research, and practical strategies for success, Trading Psychology 2.0 helps you leverage your current trading strengths and gives you the tools that can lead to trading and investing success in challenging and ever-changing market conditions.
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Trading Psychology 2.0 is based on four major themes: Adapting to changing markets; Building strengths; Cultivating creativity; and Developing best practices and processes. Here are fifteen interesting quotes from the book:
1. Discipline, while necessary for success, is never sufficient. Discipline does not substitute for skill, talent, and insight. Strict, disciplined adherence to mediocre plans can only lock in mediocre results. If it were otherwise, there would be no losing automated trading systems.
2. It is not enough to find an “edge” in financial markets; as any tech entrepreneur can attest, competitive advantages are perishable commodities. Those who sustain success continually renew themselves, uncovering fresh sources of competitive advantage. That requires processes for assessing and challenging our most basic assumptions and practices. It takes a good trader to create success, a great one to recreate it. Nothing is quite as difficult— and rewarding— as letting go of what once worked, returning to the humble status of student, and arising phoenix-like from performance ashes.
3. This productivity is readily apparent on a day-to-day, week-to-week basis: The greats simply get more done than their colleagues. They organize their time and prioritize their activities so that they are both efficient (get a lot done per unit of time) and effective (get the right things done). How much time do we typically waste as traders, staring unthinkingly at screens, chatting with people who offer little insight, and reading low-priority/ information-poor emails and reports? The successful traders invariably are workhorses, not showhorses: They get their hands dirty rooting through data and make active use of well-cultivated information networks.
4. Successful traders I've known work as hard on themselves as on markets. They develop routines for keeping themselves in ideal states for making trading decisions, often by optimizing their lives outside of markets.
5. This, for me as a psychologist, has been one of the greatest surprises working with professional money managers: The majority of traders fail, not because they lack needed psychological resources but because they cannot adapt to what Victor Niederhoffer refers to as “ever-changing cycles.” Their frustration is a result of their rigid trading, not the primary cause. No psychological exercises, in and of themselves, will turn business around for the big-box retailer that fails to adapt to online shopping or the gaming company that ignores virtual reality. The discipline of sticking to one's knitting is destined for failure if it is not accompanied by equally rigorous processes that ensure adaptive change.
6. Routine is necessary for efficiency; breaking routine is necessary for adaptation.
7. We often refer to trading as if it's a single activity. Trading, however, is like medicine: a broad set of activities and specialties. A psychiatrist is a physician; so is a surgeon, and so is a radiologist. The skills required for each are very different. So it is in financial markets. Market making is very different from global macro portfolio management— and both are quite different from the trading of options volatility.
8. In an important sense, people never change: Instead, they find fresh ways to express the core motivations that define their life themes. Solution-focused coaching works to the degree that it catalyzes those fresh expressions of who we already are.
9. We commonly hear portfolio managers worry about “style drift.” But it is precisely style that must drift if we're to adapt to markets. It is substance— the essence of our core motivations— that must remain intact.
10.Discipline is great for doing more of what works. When the status quo no longer works, however, adaptability becomes the new discipline.
11. Skilled traders I have worked with have similarly been different traders in different markets. Will they express their views through currency markets or fixed income? Will they hold for a longer-term move or tactically take profits to benefit from market chop? The good traders find multiple ways to win. How different that is from the newbie whose decision making is limited to a few mechanical chart “setups”!
12. If we were to investigate the daily P& L of an emotionally intelligent trader, we would find occasions of trading actively and occasions of standing back. We would see periods of high-risk taking and periods of caution. All markets are not created equal: Some bring more opportunity, some less. The self-aware trader knows when “it's my market” and goes into opportunity-seeking mode. That same trader knows when “it's not my market” and preserves capital.
13. A small win is a small mirror. It reflects a winning image to us. Accumulate enough small wins and that winning image starts to become familiar. We internalize that which we experience repeatedly. That's one of the reasons positive emotional experience is important....People I've known who are particularly adaptive have made small wins a habit pattern. They undertake many new challenges and regularly define meaningful, doable goals. They set themselves up for success. Positivity becomes a habit, a lifestyle, making the whole issue of discipline moot.
14. Perfectionism drains energy. It does not inspire performance; it turns inspired performance into something “not good enough.” The idea of small wins means that your focus should not be on perfection, but on improvement.
15. Many of our actions in the heat of battle are more biologically than logically driven.
Top international reviews
For example, I love to do research into new concepts and ideas. This is my real passion in trading. But the purpose of research should be to convert the ideas into actual trades. Often I miss out on the real trades. Mr Steenbarger has written about exactly this state of mind in this book, providing ideas on create actionable trades from such research.
This is just an example that benefited me. Readers are likely to find nuggets of wisdom which helps them personally.
Mr Steenbarger has written many books on trading psychology. I am not comparing this book to his other writings. I am simply saying "this book is worth reading many times over".