Traders Psychology Group Summary / Homework

Week 5 (03/30/21) Bruce started us off with his KISS system with small discussion and then Dr. Fran started with her thoughts with an earlier conversation regarding acceptance. More discussion and then she mentioned a sign/phrase of Practice Humility with the idea of believe that we can beat, out think, or over blown ideas that can get in our way. “Slow Down, Focus, Not Yet, Pause, What are you here to do?” were just some of other key words discussed as a suggestion, but you need to find something that resonates with you.

Greg shared a physical prop that he has on his desk that he looks at before placing a trade that represents that you can’t control the outcome of a trade, every outcome is random, each outcome is independent, and that is a pair of dice. That led to ideas such as a mouse trap representing to pause or slow down; and a fisherman’s weight representing things that are small do carry a lot of weight.

Greg shared his personal motivational affirmation that he called is Trading Declaration. Dr. Fran asked: Why are you trading? What is your aspiration for trading? Jennifer jumped in saying that secondary of motherhood, this is her first profession that she enjoys, and gives her a sense of self-expression along with the freedom.

Dr. Fran talked about the importance of the 4 Requirements to be a Successful Trader, with emphasis on Support: 1) Risk Aversion, 2) Passion, 3) Displayed Ability, 4) Support

Next week Dr. Fran suggested we talk about regrets and further talk about our brain anatomy and its connection as a pattern maker.

Homework: Given what we’ve talked about in this group, what is your Action Plan for your future?

Week 4 (03/23/21) We started recapping our homework and John said it was an “eye-opening” experience. He continued to share his results indicating he was able to recognize those decisions that need addressing in the future. Bruce mentioned that he’s moving stops less often after reevaluating and monitoring his rules vs. looking at a PnL. Lloyd shared his results, and then Barb interjected (and everybody agreed) that 3’s are the worst as you’re tempted to do those again because of prior positive experiences from bad decisions.

Blair gave us our weekly phrase from one of his mentors…. The definition of success is a few disciplines practiced daily, but the definition of failure is a few errors in judgment repeated daily. Why repeat those errors daily? Because failure doesn't show until the next day.

Dr. Fran interjected her concern that keeping track of our bad decisions may reinforce our feeling of fear of loss. She confirmed what Bruce mentioned regarding keeping track of his met rules versus its final performance. If your rules are met, that will reinforce your confidence and encourage you to maintain your rule mandate regardless of its outcome.

Then Bruce brought us back to Mark Douglas and his probabilities of a trade. The questions he’s asking himself now is... does this trade follow my rules; rather than, will this trade make its target?

Discussion with the fascination of risk (or the addictiveness of risk) associated with the fear of money loss. Dr. Fran asked again, why doesn’t the stop increase your confidence?

Joel confessed he switched to SIM after scoring his trades and realizing he needs to reevaluate. Dr. Fran asked Joel while in that experience, did he feel like he didn’t have control as that is an important insight. Making money but not knowing why, will confirm the fear of loss.

Long discussion on rules and the thrill associated with trading, emotions, bots versus discretionary trading, focusing on rules, slowing down, acceptance and more.

Homework: Continue with your decision scoring, additionally, Dr. Fran suggested to think about our own personal sign showing a key word, motivators, phases, or even short rules to focus on.

Example: Dr. Fran’s “Choose your path”, Cath’s “Slow Down”, Barb mentioned Mark Douglas’ phases (I googled below).

Mark Douglas’s Five fundamental truths: 1. Anything can happen. 2. You don’t need to know what is going to happen next in order to make money. 3. There is a random distribution between wins and losses for any given set of variables that define an edge. 4. An edge is nothing more than an indication of a higher probability of one thing happening over another. 5. Every moment in the market is unique.

Week 3 (03/16/21) Dr. Fran started off recapping our prior week regarding what should we leave behind as in trading sometimes our past experiences work against us. Example: slow your thoughts down in order to process and focus on the task at hand.

Focusing on a single market while learning in order to process the data within yourself. John talked about Multi-tasking while watching a market when it's slow takes your focus off your mission. And that's in addition to what Blair mention of multiple markets and the homework associated with them requires more time.

How do you not bring your life's experiences into trading if it's working against you? Dr. Fran stated since you can't "not" bring it, it's best to replace the habit. However, it must first be identified. Blair shared his thoughts regarding Emotional Capital regarding goals and stops. Followed by a conversation regarding tackling boredom, being a risk-taker, and accepting the risk. Lloyd talked about Trading in the Zone and referring to taking the risk and losing trade does not make you a loser but rather that particular trade did not work. Accepting the risk allows you to trade in the zone.

Dr. Fran asked, what does Emotional Capital mean to you? Successful. Stopping once achieving your goal. Starting with small goals and control greed. Joe confessed losing quickly one day is just an acceptance he must take, but he's trying to reverse that. Dr. Fran summarized with "having success and the wisdom to allow your success to build confidence without exaggerating it into something else".

Jennifer mentioned the similarities to fishing. Like a Blue Heron bird waiting for the best opportunity. This continued in conversation regarding predator vs. prey and how predators (lion) save their resources (energy) waiting for the best opportunity (trade). Cath admitted that due to boredom she has taken trades that shouldn't have been taken. Dr. Fran interjected that a predator can be in a state of readiness for a long time and not even spring as it's an innate ability. That came from Bruce's comment about always having his hand on the mouse waiting to spring. That then led to learning how to master the boredom.

Blair shared the four outcomes of a trade: 1) good decision/good outcome, 2) good decision/bad outcome, 3) bad decision/good outcome, 4) bad decision/bad outcome. The conversation continued to we're hopeful when we should be fearful, and we're fearful when we should be hopeful. Our job is to focus on numbers one and two.

Blair then shared more insight that when a trade is going against us, we're hopeful that it turns in our favor but should be fearful. When a trade is going in our favor, we should be hopeful that it continues, but we're fearful because it might turn. We need to turn those around and be hopeful when in a good trade and fearful while in a bad. Dr. Fran answered Lloyd's question about fear and lack of capital and how we must have a predetermined aspect of the risk?

Homework: Log and score your trades using the 4-trade outcomes listed above. Exp: Total of 11 trades: 5 #1's, 3 #2's, 2 #3's, and 1 #4's.

Week 2 (03/09/21) Good group today! We started with a long conversation about our fear of loss, emotions and anxieties while trading. That continued into stop placement that led into a great question from Dr. Fran.... If you have a pre-planned stop in the case of an emergency why doesn't that increase your confidence while in a trade? If anything, that should give you the assurance of protection. Something to think about!

Lloyd and I both agreed that once getting past a certain profit point of your trade the anxiety diminishes. Dr. Fran interjected the four F's: Fight Response (revenge), Freezing (overwhelmed), Fleeing (moving away), and the Fawn Response (in-doubt). Discussion further on those topics. That led into the "Zone of Tolerance" grounding yourself in a physical space (feet on floor, sit back, focus in the moment).

Lloyd asked about motivational morning mindset but Dr. Fran suggested keeping morning focused with simple e.g., five key words to get you focused. Joe talked about his experiences with martial arts discipline and bringing that into trading, but said that did/does not work. Bruce added that training in martial arts you can see your opponent and that they're human, while in trading they have endless resources to study us. He quoted Bruce Lee saying he's more afraid of an opponent that has trained one move ten-thousand-times vs an opponent that has trained ten thousand moves only once.

Dr. Fran stating that according to Mark Douglas, our opponent is like a river that is always moving. Unfortunately, we'll have to continue that next week due to time.

Homework: Maybe we can't bring our lives past experiences and confidences into trading. What is it that you can leave behind that you can't bring or doesn't belong in your trading business?

Calendar of Events

Week 1 (03/02/21) This is just a short summary of what we covered in our first day of group. We started with introductions and why the group was formed. After a short poll of our concerns of Fear of Loss, Impulse Trading, Over-Trading, and a combination of all, we started our conversation with Revenge Trading. Of course, this was just the beginning of a long road of self-awareness but hopefully by the end of the group we'll have a better awareness of our bad habits.

We started our discussion of how to identify the triggers before we start Revenge Trading or Over Trading. Of course everybody has different feelings so in order to identify this our homework is below. However we just breached the topic and of course there's never enough time available to deal with all this in one session. So, if you missed this session you should be able to jump right in.

Homework: Self Reflection -- The question asked was... What is inside of you that you don't want to admit?

All-and-all, this is the start of our journey down the road to a new mindset. Feel free to join our Zoom Social Hour with other traders that just help each other out, "Traders Helping Traders".

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Dr. Fran for her professional expertise and insight. I truly appreciate everybody’s participation and look forward to talking again next week.

Calendar of Events

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Traders Psychology Group Summary 2020

Week 6 (12/17/20) Our topic this week was Over-Trading. We started by recapping the prior week with our homework assignment of the breathing exercise Gus assigned to us last week. With the main emphasis of bringing our awareness to the moment that requires ongoing practice.

Mimi stated she started the breathing technique and thoroughly enjoyed it and will continue this as she felt very relaxed and ready to start the task at hand.

Greg emphasized regardless if we're struggling with over-trading, FOMO, hesitants, etc., the bottom line is it's due to some underlying fear we possess. Joel gave Greg the gold star for the day with that statement. He continued talking about his relationship with money and considering the markets as an unlimited source of wealth giving us the “abundance” of opportunity. He went on to talk about the word “money” and the word association with the “abundance of money”. Great conversation but too much for here.

All-and-all this has been a very helpful group to the point we all agreed to continue with a weekly “Traders Social Hour” to continue talking with our new trading friends.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Joel for his professional expertise and insight. I truly appreciate everybody’s participation and look forward to talking again in the virtual Traders Social session (see Calendar of Events).

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Week 5 (12/10/20) We continued with our second topic of Impulse Trading and Gus reiterated to break the cycle we must step back to recognize as an observer before it turns into revenge trading as they go hand-in-hand. Stepping back to recognize this as an observer will help break the cycle. Identifying anxiety, frustrations, and emotions in order to prevent us from jumping in and trying to "win" back our comfortable state of emotions.

Gus stated you should rate yourself on how well you traded (followed rules, stops, procedure, entries) vs. looking at your PnL results. If you trade "well" the money will follow. Dan mentioned this was his big takeaway for today's session is to focus on your process vs. the results.

Before ending the session, Gus talked about the breathing process and briefly about Heart-rate variability (HRV) something Danial mentioned last week. We ended with an exercise that he suggested we use daily in order to get our minds "in-sync" called Emotional Regulation Breathing.

Homework: Before starting your trading day and at any other given times available use the Emotional Regulation Breathing technique throughout the week and report back for our final session.

Here is the alert link that many asked for. Discount Code: NINZA30 (Jan 01, 21)

P.S. You will not need to register for each session but if you're new please go to Calendar of Events and use the Registration Form in order to get updates and the password.

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Week 4 (12/03/20) Today's session we talked about final touches on our “Fear of Loss” topic. We recapped what has been covered over the last few weeks and will continue to put suggestions in place. As agreed, a lot of these topics will mesh into other areas such as our new topic of “Impulse Trading”.

Greg brought in a good point and that is adding yourself to the checklist. Meaning if your indicators line up with your rules and you're ready to enter the trade, what about a check-mark for you? Are you ready to trade? Are you “Hesitant” or “Impulsive”?

An impulsive trader might want to add to his/her self-checklist a "wait 30-seconds/1-minute" before placing the order. A hesitant trader may want to add "if all trade rules are met = get in now!" rule. A hesitant and impulse trader are emotions at the time of the trade. If we are hesitant to put on the trade it could be because of fear of loss. On the flip-side, if we are impulsive it could be FOMO. Discussion about how to track this and we’ll continue this topic more next week.

Daniel says that he uses a heart monitor. When he's calm, no problem but when his monitor beeps, he takes a step back. Gus also had a lot of good thoughts and comments but too many to list – I guess you should have been there.

After we ended the group a few of us stayed back for a brief discussion regarding algorithm trading (BOTs). But this was small-talk after group in the virtual bar. If you would like to have a Zoom meeting on this topic feel free to reach out and I’ll make a reservation at the virtual bar. Also you may be interested in checking out the StatSquad.

P.S. You will not need to register for each session but if you're new please go to Calendar of Events and use the Registration Form in order to get updates and the password.

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Week 3 (11/24/20) With the Thanksgiving Day Holiday, this week was altered a bit and as expected we had a smaller group. However, it was just as informative and educational as the others have been. We continued our talk about journaling and it was even more informative. That's brought up about verbal journaling, and Gary mentioned a video log that I personally thought great.

As Joel mentioned however, everybody learns in different ways so listening to an audio for one person might be just as beneficial as Post-It notes to somebody else. We all need to find our own personal methods between typing, handwriting, audio recording, or video logs.

Two key take-aways: Focus on a process not the emotion or results. Anxiety = Take a break and don’t trade.

Homework: Pick the journaling method that you think will work best for you and track your results not only before the trade but more importantly after the trade especially if it's a loser. The question you need to ask yourself is “did you follow your rules”?

P.S. You will not need to register for each session but if you're new please go to Calendar of Events and use the Registration Form in order to get updates and the password.

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Week 2 (11/19/20: We continued our discussion regarding our Fear of Loss trying to identify the triggers. Participant participation provided great feedback and advice for things to try this week. Greg mentioned journaling and Gus added not only our trades but our emotions and feelings as well.

Greg added a great “TEA” acronym to use within your journal that I thought was worth posting. TEA Log: Thoughts, Emotions, Actions. As this can be helpful to track emotions during our trading day. Gus added when we write down our feelings they lose their power, as deliberate practice is the key for improvement.

Additionally, Joel distributed the 5-4-3-2-1 Coping Techniques if we find ourselves in a troubling situation.

Homework: Journal using the TEA Log and report back if you were able to identify triggers before getting too deep and how you felt after using this technique. The process continues.

This is Thanksgiving week and as such please note the revised date for this week. We will be meeting on Tuesday, November 24, not Thursday/Thanksgiving. We will then resume our Thursdays on December 3.

Have a great Thanksgiving even under these unique times. Steve

P.S. You will not need to register for each session but if you're new please go to Calendar of Events and use the Registration Form in order to get updates and the password.

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Week 1: (11/12/20) Just a short summary of what we covered in case you missed. We started with introductions and why the group was formed. We took a poll of our concern priorities and "Fear of Loss" was 73% so we started there. Second place was "Impulse Trading (jumping in)" at 18% and third place "Over-Trading at 9%. However we just breached Fear of Loss and of course not enough time was available to deal with this one in only one session. So if you missed session one you should be able to jump right in.

Discussion of how to identify the triggers in order to control our fear of loss. Of course everybody has different feelings so in order to identify this our homework is to write down our feelings when things start to go wrong (but now I have to buy a new keyboard as I threw it after losing a few--kidding). However, identifying the triggers is the way to recognize that you're on the wrong path with the hopes of prevention in the future.

P.S. You will not need to register for each session but if you're new please go to Calendar of Events and use the Registration Form in order to get updates and the password.