Trader Training: Faster Thinking 

Anticipation in those final moments of a football match can produce a wonderful boost of adrenaline. Many people enjoy the burst of excitement and look for moments of suspense and drama such as the crime and thriller programs on television. This is what many novice traders expect to get from trading and indeed as an activity it is exciting and does deliver highs and lows.

However the successful trader is not looking for the excitement but the steady and carefully assessed trades that will deliver profits. Trading to the plan might not be the glamour and excitement that the novice traders are hoping for, but it doesn’t have to be boring.

The adrenaline rush that comes as stress kicks in for a deadline or in anticipation of a result can bring eagerness, clarity of thought and energy. This feeling of when to profit take in a can give a rush and boost that makes stress and anxiety of trading seem worthwhile.

The issue is when faced with the more dreary tasks involved with opportunity seeking and paperwork. How do you get the buzz or even the inspiration to get through it if you thrive on adrenaline? Well going for that fast thinking that adrenaline brings can deliver the buzz and lift your spirits.

Conclusive evidence was gathered in an experiment set up by Dr Pronin and Dr Wegner. The aim was to see whether changing the speed of reading could influence the mood of the reader. The results were curious as, based on measurements of mood before and after the reading, it was irrelevant whether the person read a positive or negative statement, but those who read it faster ended up feeling happier. The implication being therefore that if you need a lift, if you are struggling to get motivated or feel positive, speed up your reading and you can get that focus back. This could also apply to speed of thinking.

So what does it take to think faster? Focus. Focus on what is in front of you. Focus on looking for the nugget of information that helps you find that next opportunity. Focus on going through as many facts as possible as fast as possible. Then focus on the trade plan, the strategy and the trade execution. Block out distractions, avoid second guessing (as opposed to verifying) and take yourself through alternative scenarios as fast as possible. None of this means to be impulsive or ignore the verification steps that help establish success.

It is all too easy to get lost in the data and research when you are a trader, especially a novice one. There are so many options and considerations that the thinking process can start to dominate and become a drain on energy. Keeping your mood as elevated as possible and keeping that adrenaline style thinking will help make it easier to deal with it all and even potentially make you more efficient and effective at it. To do that the solution is simple, “think fast”.

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