Do You Have What It Takes to Improve?

11/03/2014 6:00 am EST


According to Andrew Menaker, PhD, of, the one thing that stops most traders from improving is willingness to change. Here, he breaks down why it takes more than knowledge of a problem to improve trading. It takes work.

After you identify and can articulate your edge in the market, there is something that stops most traders from improving. When you know deep down inside that you have an issue with taking losses, or holding winners, or hesitating, or taking impulse trades…what do you do?

Many traders will look at a trading psychology book or listen to a webinar. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Those activities can be very helpful, they can illuminate the issues to work on. But for most traders, the problems continue.

As some may already know from reading or listening to webinars on trading psychology, what helped you succeed in other endeavors is not necessarily going to help you succeed in trading.

For example. an aggressive athlete may take on too much risk as a trader—trading too large, chasing, revenge trades, etc. A highly analytical individual may constantly look for reasons to not enter or exit a winning trade early—the market always contains some degree of ambiguity.

Okay, so you’ve identified some issues to work on. Now what? What do you do about it? Well, if you’re like most traders, you may read a book, watch a webinar, make some promises to yourself, write new post-it notes, etc.

What you must do about it is you need to work at it. It takes more than knowledge of the problem. And the type of work needed—working on yourself—is often avoided for various reasons.

The traders who have what it takes to improve will do the work.

It may surprise you to know that a significant percentage of the traders I coach are already successful, or have had significant trading success in the past before they come to me for coaching. They are the traders who have what it takes to improve.

Change nothing and nothing will change.

By Andrew Menaker, PhD,

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