Addictive Trading.doc - Addictive Trading Brett N...

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Addictive Trading Brett N. Steenbarger, Ph.D. Note: A version of this article was published on the Trading Markets site, 11/3/06. What I love most about trading is that it exercises the brain and the will. It involves ongoing analysis and problem solving, and it requires the steady development of performance-based skills. I'm sure serious players of chess and poker enjoy similar benefits. Talk to any successful athlete and you'll find someone who has cultivated themselves, not just their bodies. There are times, however, when trading becomes a vehicle for destroying mind and soul. You won't hear brokerage firms, trading publications, or seminar producers talking much about this problem, because their common aim is to keep the public trading and buying trading-related products. But, as someone who has worked with many independent traders and traders at firms, I've seen this problem far too often: trading becomes an addictive activity . Oh yes, trading coaches and psychologists will talk about losing "discipline", but rarely will they use the "A" word. Discipline you work on, addictions you get rid of. If you get rid of a trading addiction, there goes the trading coach. Many times, however, losses of discipline in the markets are related to addictive patterns of behavior. An addiction occurs when an activity provides a strong source of stimulation that, over time, leads to psychological and sometimes physical dependence. We generally label a behavior as an addiction when people seek out the activity even in the face of demonstrable negative consequences.
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  • Summer '14
  • JohnWeekes
  • Problem gambling, Brett N. Steenbarger, Psychology of Trading

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