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Trading Psychology 2.0: From Best Practices to Best Processes by Brett N. Steenbarger

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Chapter 2Best Process #2: Building on Strengths

Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark, in the hopeless swamps of the approximate, the not-quite, the not-yet, the not-at-all.…The world you desired can be won. It exists, it is real, it is possible, it is yours.

Ayn Rand

The Trader in a Slump

Charles had been a successful trader for years. When he came to his new firm, he couldn't have been more excited. He had access to much greater capital and world-class research and analytics. He was surrounded by bright, talented colleagues and enjoyed support services to assist with every facet of his trading. Everything for Charles at his new setting was perfect, except one thing: He could not make money.

Everyone at first attributed Charles's slow start to the transition to a new platform. After all, risk management policies were different, and there was a learning curve associated with new software, new resources, and new colleagues. So no one worried after a few months of tepid results. But a few months became half a year and then stretched to a full year. No one spoke of Charles's transition problems any more. They quietly spoke about his slump.

For his part, Charles was diligent in not losing too much money. He started at his new firm by taking only modest risk and, as he failed to gain traction, he never significantly bumped up his risk taking. So it wasn't that he was deep in a hole. Rather, he slowly bled capital. His hit rate was lower than it had ever been. ...

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