The Importance of the Psychology of Trading

An initial article giving a brief opening look at the psychology around trading.

After many long hours, you have completed a system that you have incorporated into your trader?s business plan.  Your money management strategy is within the bounds of your comfort range and you start to trade following your system?s rules.  Despite the fact that you have completed all of this work, you find that you are still losing money while your system is showing that you should be making money.  This is when you discover the importance of the Psychology of Trading. Or do you?

At this point, most traders maintain the status quo and refuse to admit that a psychological issue might be holding them back from following their rules.  Those traders who are able to do the self-analysis and arrive at this difficult conclusion and take action before their capital runs out have a chance to become professional traders. 

For twelve years, I have been a psychological coach to traders, brokers, and investors.  In the following articles, I will present to you many of the psychological problems that I have observed and have helped traders to overcome.  There are many issues that can inhibit a trader?s development.  In this first installment, we will quickly overview major self-imposed obstacles that can prevent traders from reaching their potential.

  1. Very few traders actually have a workable business plan.  If there is a business plan in place, it will give traders the confidence and the direction necessary to follow their trading rules.
  2. Very few traders have adequately tested their trading methodologies.  Failure to sufficiently test a trading system will create a lack of confidence when things become somewhat difficult because there is no benchmark for expectation available to a trader when testing is incomplete.
  3. Trading with ?scared money? is also an issue that causes traders to fall short of the mark.  ?Scared money? is money that has not been specifically allocated for trading and risk taking.  When traders are using ?scared money,? they have a tendency to focus on the consequences of losing it, especially if it has been borrowed.
  4. An environment that is not conducive to sustaining a healthy focus on trading is another obstacle to trader success.
  5. Unresolved issues from a trader?s past can cause a trader to feel unequipped to make money in this profession.  A part of the trader believes that by following the rules money can be made in trading while other parts refuse to accept this reasoning.
  6. Psychological issues from a trader?s past that result in fear of failure and/or success can limit a trader.  The more losses traders experience in their life, the more they will do to avoid losses at all costs.  However, a trader must be willing to lose to become an overall winner in the markets.


In trading, performance is a key issue.  Since performance is largely dependent on the right psychology, a trader?s psychological well being is more critical to top performance in trading than it is in most other professions.  When traders realize that performance is part of the overall picture and take the necessary steps to overcome the issues that weaken their discipline, they will begin to follow their trading rules.  At this point, they have dramatically increased their chances of success in one of the most difficult professions.  In a nutshell, completing a good trading plan plus believing and following that plan are keys to overcoming many of the psychological obstacles to successful trading.

Adrienne Laris Toghraie is an internationally recognized authority in the field of human development and a master practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) for the financial and business communities. She is the founder of Trading on Target and Enriching Life Seminars, two companies dedicated to helping traders, sales people, and other high achievers to dramatically increase profits and success in all areas of life. Using her 20 years of study in the science of Modeling Excellence/(NLP) and numerous other forms of psychological development, Ms. Toghraie has helped her clients to push through their self-imposed limitations to extraordinary and documented new levels of success.Adrienne's business career began as an accountant. This early training led her to become an international trader and manager of a highly successful sales team. Her experience while in sales revealed a talent for not only selling, but training others to greater success. It was this experience that initially moved her to explore the field of developing human potential. Many of the participants at Adrienne's seminars have come from major institutions such as Chase Manhattan, Security Pacific Bank, Union Bank of Switzerland, EffectInvest Bank, and Giro Credit. As a result, she has been contracted to train the selling teams of banks and institutions.Over the past nine years, Adrienne Toghraie has interviewed and coached the most successful people around the world: What makes these great people unique? What makes them so successful? The answers to these and other questions are explored in her seminars, books, and tapes, which form the core of Ms. Toghraie's Modeling Excellence work with professionals who want to reach higher levels of success. Ms. Toghraie's public seminars and private counseling have achieved a wide level of recognition and popularity, as well as her television appearances on CNBC and keynote addresses at most of the major industry conferences.Adrienne's articles and interviews have been featured in most of the major trade magazines and newspapers throughout Asia, Europe, and the United States. Some of these publications include Stocks and Commodities, Futures Magazine, Knight-Ridder Financial, TC&RG and Selling Power, to name a few. Her book, The Winning Edge 1, co-authored by Jake Bernstein has been hailed by financial magazines as a classic in the industry.

Adrienne Laris Toghraie is an internationally recognized authority in the field of human development and a master practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic Pro...


Active member
I agree. In my view the psychology of trading is THE most important aspect, and also the most difficult to get right. Tips and advice, such as in this type of article, which help each of us obey our own trading rules without question, are always welcome.
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Legendary member
Adrienne has a genuine pedigree and I personally welcome further articles from her.

I've rated this article a 4 only in that it really didn't say anything other than what was coming next and didn't attempt to develop any specific points of interest to ponder in anticipation. Bit bland.

I agree psychology is a big part of trading only in that it's a big part of everything you are and do. I don't believe it's possible to separate out being a good or successful trader from being a good or successful 'anything else ' in your life.

With trading, the biggest psychological trap is assuming you've made a rational decision on why to go into/keep out of and come out of/stay in a trade - when what most have done is had an emotional response to a situation, made their decision on an emotional basis, and then, subsequently, invent the rationale for their decision. And mostly this occurs at the Unconscious level.

Even simply recognising this occurs is sufficient to get you on track to resolving it. That, to me, seems the hardest part for most traders. It's not the only hurdle, but it is the highest one.


Established member
Swivel on it, I Say.

" Despite the fact that you have completed all of this work, you find that you are still losing money while your system is showing that you should be making money. This is when you discover the importance of the Psychology of Trading. Or do you?"

Good question. But hmmm, so much is written regarding the psychology of the individual attempting to make dollars from the market. Swivel that black leather chair round and look into the lions jaw maybe. whats his psychology. ?

"Look into my eyes, not around my eyes but into my eyes", you sirs when you wake up , will be able to observe the behaviour of the lion , enabling you to see the Importance Of The Psychology Of Trading.

1,2,3, Wake.

This is when you discover the importance of the Psychology Of Trading. Period.