Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Best of TraderFeed - 2006


I'm in the process of assembling the best trading psychology posts from TraderFeed over the past three years. My hope is that these posts can help you prepare for the coming trading year. Here are the links for 2006's "best of" installment:

Best TraderFeed posts of 2006 - Volume Three

Best TraderFeed posts of 2006 - Volume Two

Best TraderFeed posts of 2006 - Volume One
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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Cognitive Perspectives on Trading Performance

In these posts I elaborate a perspective on trader performance that informs my coaching work with professional traders and portfolio managers.

Toward a Cognitive Theory of Trader Performance

The Role of Creativity in Trading

Conflict and Creativity in Trader Performance
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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Trading Discipline Linkfest

A big part of coaching yourself as a trader is staying in control when you are risking your capital. Here are some posts relevant to maintaining trading discipline:

Training Yourself for Discipline

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Sunday, November 9, 2008

Sunday, September 14, 2008

The Daily Trading Coach Book is Finished


I submitted the edited manuscript for The Daily Trading Coach this past week; it's scheduled for sale during the first quarter of 2009. Wiley is estimating 415 pages; the book will also be available in e-book format. Each chapter contains ten "lessons" that cover skills important to self-coaching: both psychological and performance strategies. Here's an advance look at what will be in each chapter:

CHAPTER ONE - The change process: how people change and how to make change happen

CHAPTER TWO - Stress and distress: how to cope with the pressures of trading

CHAPTER THREE - Psychological well-being: how to maximize positive experience in trading performance

CHAPTER FOUR - The coaching process: general strategies for effective self-coaching

CHAPTER FIVE - Psychodynamic strategies for self-coaching

CHAPTER SIX - Cognitive strategies for self-coaching

CHAPTER SEVEN - Behavioral strategies for self-coaching

CHAPTER EIGHT - Strategies for coaching your trading business

CHAPTER NINE- Best practices for self-coaching from 18 contributors

CHAPTER TEN - Using Excel to find a trading edge

My goal was to create a "coach in a book", with an emphasis on practical strategies that can help traders manage themselves and their trading performance. Thanks to the contributors to Chapter Nine and to the many readers who have expressed interest in the project.
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Saturday, September 6, 2008

An Introduction to Trading

This is the master page and table of contents for the e-book "An Introduction to Trading". The book is being written one blog post at a time, and all the posts will be linked below. The goal of the book is to help developing traders gain a better understanding of the principles and practices of trading. Readers are encouraged to share their ideas, links, and experiences in comments to the posts to add perspective and insight. This e-book is being made available at no cost to readers; I ask only that the posts not be reproduced on other sites or used for any commercial purposes. Thanks for your support and understanding--

Brett



An Introduction to Trading


Part One: The Principles

Learning How to Trade

Developing a Conceptual Framework

Stock Market Cycles

Cycles and Their Implications

Tracking Cyclical Movements in Markets

Stock Market Cycles Across Timeframes

The Market's Auction Process

Market Auctions and Multiple Time Frames

Part Two: The Practice

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Learning How to Trade: Resources and Links

In addition to showing traders how to become their own coaches, I'm using this site to help traders mentor themselves in trading skills. The links below will help developing traders get started:

* My inaugural post for the online book "Introduction to Trading"

* My "How to Trade" blog linkfest - Volume One, Volume Two

* My post "How Can I Learn Trading?"

* More resources for learning how to trade

Monday, August 18, 2008

Selected Publications From Brett Steenbarger

Steenbarger, B. N. (in press). The Daily Trading Coach: 101 Lessons for Becoming Your Own Trading Psychologist. New York: Wiley.

Dewan, M. J., Steenbarger, B. N., & Greenberg, R. P. (2008). Brief psychotherapies. In A. Tasman, J. Kay, J. A. Lieberman, M. B. First, & M. Maj (Eds.), Psychiatry, Third Edition (Vol. 2; pp. 1889-1903). Chichester: Wiley.

Dewan, M. J., Steenbarger, B. N., & Greenberg, R. P. (2008). Brief psychotherapies. In R. E. Hales, S. C. Yudofsky, & G. O. Gabbard (Eds.), The American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook of Psychiatry, Fifth Edition (pp. 1155-1170). Washington, D.C.: American Psychiatric Publishing, Inc.

Steenbarger, B. N. (2008). Brief therapy. In M. Hersen & A. M. Gross (Eds.), Handbook of Clinical Psychology – Volume 1, Adults (pp. 752-778). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

Steenbarger, B. N. (2007). Enhancing trader performance. New York: Wiley.

Steenbarger, B. N., & Foster, D. (2007). What’s in your head? Becoming a trader. In L. Sether (Ed.), Psychology of Trading (pp. 6-15). Cedar Falls, IA: W&A Publishing.

Steenbarger, B. N. (2007). Diagnosing the trader: Enhancing performance through self-assessment. In L. Sether (Ed.), Psychology of Trading (pp. 48-56). Cedar Falls, IA: W&A Publishing.

Steenbarger, B. N. (2007). Finding the zone: New perspectives on the mental game of trading. In L. Sether (Ed.), Psychology of Trading (pp. 164-174). Cedar Falls, IA: W&A Publishing.

Steenbarger, B. N. (2006). The importance of novelty in psychotherapy. In W. O’Donohue, N.A. Cummings, & J.L. Cummings (Eds.), Clinical Strategies for Becoming a Master Psychotherapist (pp. 278-293). Oxford: Academic Press.

Lo, A. W., Repin D. V., & Steenbarger, B. N. (2005). Fear and greed in financial markets: A clinical study of day-traders. American Economic Review, 95, 352-359.

Dewan, M., Steenbarger, B. N., & Greenberg, R. P. (Eds.)(2004). The Art and Science of the Brief Psychotherapies. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Publishing Inc.

Steenbarger, B. N. (2004). Solution-focused brief therapy: Doing more of what works. In M. Dewan, B.N. Steenbarger, & R. P. Greenberg,(Eds.)(2004). The Art and Science of the Brief Psychotherapies (pp. 85-118). Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Publishing, Inc.

Steenbarger, B. N., Greenberg, R. P., & Dewan, M. (2004). An introduction to the art and science of the brief therapies. In M. Dewan, B.N. Steenbarger, & R. P. Greenberg,(Eds.)(2004). The Art and Science of the Brief Psychotherapies (pp. 1-14). Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Press.

Steenbarger, B. N., Greenberg, R. P., & Dewan, M. (2004). Doing therapy, briefly: Overview and synthesis. In M. Dewan, B.N. Steenbarger, & R. P. Greenberg,(Eds.)(2004). The Art and Science of the Brief Psychotherapies (pp. 279-292). Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Press.

Steenbarger, B. N. (2003). The Psychology of Trading: Tools and Techniques for Minding the Markets. (NY: Wiley).

Steenbarger, B. N. (2002). Brief therapy. In M. Hersen & W. Sledge (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Psychotherapy (pp. 349-358). New York: Academic Press.

Steenbarger, B. N. (2002). Single-session therapies. In M. Hersen & W. Sledge (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Psychotherapy (pp. 669-672). New York: Academic Press.

Steenbarger, B. N., Dewan, M., Kaplan, E., Manring, J., Budman, S. H. (2002). Training in administrative psychiatry. In M. Shore (Ed.) Handbook of Administrative Psychiatry (2nd ed). Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Press.

Steenbarger, B. N., & Budman, S. H. (2000). Brief therapy. In A.E. Kazdin (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Psychology. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Steenbarger, B. N., & Budman, S. H. (1998). Principles of brief and time-effective therapies. In Koocher, G. P., Norcross, J. C., & Hill, S. S. (Eds.), The psychologist’s desk reference (pp. 283-286). NY: Oxford University Press.

Budman, S. H., & Steenbarger, B. N. (1997). The essential guide to group practice in mental health: Clinical, legal, and financial fundamentals. NY: Guilford Press.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Contributors to The Daily Trading Coach

My greatest thanks goes out to the 18 trading professionals who will be contributing their perspectives on self-coaching in Chapter Nine of the new book. They offer dynamite advice to developing and experienced traders; they also offer quality insights through their websites, which I've linked below:

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The Daily Trading Coach - Chapter Ten Links

This will be the master blog page for all links pertaining to Chapter Ten of The Daily Trading Coach. Chapter Ten deals with the topic of using Excel to identify historical patterns in markets and possible trading edges.

The Daily Trading Coach - Chapter Nine Links

This will be the master blog page for all links pertaining to Chapter Nine of The Daily Trading Coach. Chapter Nine deals with the topic of best practices in coaching, as outlined by 16 respected and experienced traders who share their work with others.

The Daily Trading Coach - Chapter Eight Links

This will be the master blog page for all links pertaining to Chapter Eight of The Daily Trading Coach. Chapter Eight deals with the topic of coaching trading as a business.

The Daily Trading Coach - Chapter Seven Links

This will be the master blog page for all links pertaining to Chapter Seven of The Daily Trading Coach. Chapter Seven deals with the topic of behavioral approaches to change and how those can be used in self-coaching.

The Daily Trading Coach - Chapter Six Links

This will be the master blog page for all links pertaining to Chapter Six of The Daily Trading Coach. Chapter Six deals with the topic of cognitive approaches to change and how those can be used in self-coaching.

The Daily Trading Coach - Chapter Five Links

This will be the master blog page for all links pertaining to Chapter Five of The Daily Trading Coach. Chapter Five deals with the topic of psychodynamic approaches to change and how those can be used in self-coaching.

The Daily Trading Coach - Chapter Four Links

This will be the master blog page for all links pertaining to Chapter Four of The Daily Trading Coach. Chapter Four deals with the topic of the coaching process and how we can guide change processes in trading.

The Daily Trading Coach - Chapter Three Links

This will be the master blog page for all links pertaining to Chapter Three of The Daily Trading Coach. Chapter Three deals with the topic of psychological well-being and how we can maximize our happiness and fulfillment.

The Daily Trading Coach - Chapter Two Links

This will be the master blog page for all links pertaining to Chapter Two of The Daily Trading Coach. Chapter Two deals with the topic of stress and distress: what they are and how to deal with them.

The Daily Trading Coach - Chapter One Links

This will be the master blog page for all links pertaining to Chapter One of The Daily Trading Coach. Chapter One deals with the topic of change and how people change their patterns of thinking, feeling, and behaving.

The Daily Trading Coach - Introduction Links

This will be the master blog page for all links pertaining to the Introduction section of The Daily Trading Coach.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

An Open Letter to Edenbridge



Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent. ~Victor Hugo


I work as a psychologist for traders and portfolio managers in financial markets around the world. I'm currently writing my fifth book. All through the book's gestation, your music has been my companion and inspiration. In your work perhaps even more than mine, you don't always see the impact you have on others: the moments when someone finds in your efforts that which is noble and uplifting. My book would not be the same without you, and for that I'm grateful.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Brief Therapy and a Philosophy of Trader Coaching

My work in coaching professional traders has been shaped by my experience in the field of brief therapy, a collection of short-term techniques for accelerating change processes. Having taught brief therapy for many years to psychology interns and psychiatry residents--and having co-written a standard textbook in the field--I've been steeped in brief therapy as a philosophy, not just as a mode of helping. Here's how that philosophy impacts the actual process of working with traders:

* Seek Targeted Change - Change efforts are most likely to be effective if they are targeted to very specific changes in thought, feeling, and/or behavior;

* Stay Active - Change occurs from *doing* things differently, not just by talking to someone or by writing in a journal;

* More is Not Better - Brief therapists emphasize intermittent helping, leaving people on their own to practice and apply newly learned insights and skills, not encouraging dependence on a helper;

* Build on Strengths - People have many positive, adaptive qualities. Building on those reinforces health, confidence, and self-efficacy;

* Efficiency as Well as Efficacy - Brief therapy emphasizes time-effective methods for change, keeping the helping process affordable and not too burdensome;

* Strike While the Iron is Hot - Work on problems while they're occurring; changes are most likely to stick if they're rehearsed in realistic settings and situations;

In practice, this philosophy has me working very intensively with people for relatively short periods of time, using very hands-on techniques for altering problem patterns and applying those techniques to many situations. Weekly or monthly interactions are simply too infrequent to sustain the momentum of change; once progress has been made, then it can make sense to space meetings out over time to encourage the long-term internalization of the changes and guard against relapse.

To encourage this intensive interaction, I do not charge people for time spent on the phone or interacting by email (a far cry from the practice of coaches who run the meter at every possible opportunity); I want no barrier to regular contact. But once that contact leads to change, the goal is for the trader to sustain the process himself/herself, not meet for unlimited interactions with only a vague focus and agenda.

There is much in the brief therapy philosophy that traders can apply when they're acting as their own coaches. That will be the focus of my next post.
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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Daily Trading Coach


Well, here's the proposed cover for the new book. It will be divided into 101 short "lessons", each covering a specific aspect of or approach to the coaching/developmental process and offering specific exercises to incorporate into a daily routine.

Every major approach to the change process will be covered; quite literally I'll be showing readers how to be their own "brief therapists" and then apply the methods to their trading.

My goal is to write the most complete, most practical self-help book possible. More to come!
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Saturday, June 14, 2008

New Features for a New Book

As I write the upcoming book on becoming your own trading coach, many new elements are falling into place. I've already mentioned that the book will include fresh trading psychology material, including a primer on identifying historical patterns in markets using Excel and new self-help methods drawn from recent research in psychology. Other new features will include:

1) A Hybrid Structure - The new trading book will be both a print text and an electronic resource (e-book). The book will include links to a variety of Web-based resources, many of which will be on this site, so that readers can go into depth on topics of their choice. These links will be updated regularly, so that the book will always be up to date. Many of the links will be to audio, video, and graphic features, so that the book will facilitate multimedia learning without being burdened with the expense of color graphics, an included DVD, etc.

2) Interactive Features - Readers of the book will be able to share questions, comments, and ideas through this website, so that we can readily learn from one another. In addition, I will be setting up an email account specifically reserved for use by book readers, so that they can ask me questions about the book and ways to apply the ideas to their own trading. The links will be built into the text, so that online readers can simply click and interact with each other and with me.

3) Trader-Friendly Reading Format - Many traders don't have time to read lengthy books; this is one reason blogs have become so popular. The new book is written as 101 short lessons, each with a specific focus and concrete techniques and resources to use for particular trading challenges. These lessons are several pages each, with a very practical focus. They can be read in order or used as a reference work, so that when problems arise, you can turn to the appropriate lesson and begin work on the issue immediately.

I am very confident that the book will contain more information--and more concrete-usable skills and ideas--than any of the high-priced seminars and services currently offered by the self-anointed gurus. It will link with ever-expanding multimedia content, and it will facilitate communication with the author and with other readers. And the price will be reasonable, very reasonable--well within the budgets of beginning traders.

I'm betting that traders can go much further than most people realize toward learning how to become their own psychologists. With the integration of online, multimedia resources into traditional books, publishing is entering a new era--an exciting period in which ideas and skills can now be illustrated and demonstrated, not just described. The book will no longer be a one-way communication from author to reader, but a starting point for ongoing conversations and education. With enhanced content, books can actually teach, not just inform.

There are so many problems and concerns in the world these days: economic, political, ecological--you name it. Amidst those problems, there are exciting things happening all around us that make this a fantastic time to be alive. New technologies promise to extend the mind's grasp and accelerate learning. My hope is to take a small step toward this vision. I look forward to taking that step together.
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Monday, June 9, 2008

Finding Your Edge as a Trader: A Linkfest

Becoming your own trading coach can be a daunting challenge, but there's no reason to go it alone. Here are some online resources that might be of help to you in extending your edge as a trader:

Vertical Solutions: creative market ideas and resources for testing trading ideas.

Daily Speculations: a range of insights about trading, markets, and life from Victor Niederhoffer and Laurel Kenner.

Quantifiable Edges: offers tested trading ideas in blog and newsletter, including a tracking of (very solid) performance.

Market Tells: loads of market data and indicators, tested trading patterns, and an excellent trend-catcher system.

SentimenTrader: tested market patterns, sentiment analyses, and insightful commentary.

Trading Success: Ray Barros is a coach and experienced trader who offers plenty of resources for traders to mentor themsleves.

Twitter Trader: My Twitter service that posts to the TraderFeed blog (or to you directly if you subscribe; it's free), highlighting trading themes, news, and updated market indicators.

If you know of free or commercial services that are unusually helpful in aiding traders' growth and development, feel free to post in the comments section. I have found the above resources to be especially fertile sources of inspirations and insights.
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Friday, May 30, 2008

Welcome to the New Blog!

This blog will support my new book, which will be available in 2009. Entitled Becoming Your Own Trading Coach, it consists of very practical, user-friendly lessons that will show traders how they can use time-tested psychological techniques to advance their learning curve, improve their performance, and effectively deal with the stresses that are common to trading.

Wiley will be the book's publisher, and the book will contain several new elements not found in either of my two other trading books or in the Trader Feed blog. I'll be blogging about the book as I'm writing it to keep readers posted about its features and its development. In the interim, if you have topics you'd like to see covered in the text, by all means leave your suggestions as comments to this and future posts.

One of the topics I'm most excited about covering is one that I've been wanting to share for quite a while, but haven't figured out the right venue until now: how to use Excel to identify historical patterns in markets. Part of self-coaching is training yourself to find potential edges in the markets; the new book will be the first resource I'm aware of to tackle that training.

Thanks for the interest!

Brett
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