Trader Psychology: Every Elite Trader Has These Six Qualities With Dr. Brett Steenbarger

Trader Psychology has long been recognized as a huge component of any traders long term success as a trader. In this video, we interview world renowned trading psychologist Brett Steenbarger in connection with research that he performed about the major traits that distinguish elite traders from the rest of the pack.

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Some Toughts (45)

  1. Avatar
    added on 20 Feb, 2020

    1.5x speed
    for the win.

  2. Avatar
    added on 21 Feb, 2020

    Thanks to SMB Capital for all this great stuff. @Mike: Soon the day will come when I can shake your hands in NY and say thank you for all your help. I am working on it.

  3. Avatar
    added on 24 Feb, 2020

    Thank you for this informative video

  4. Avatar
    added on 24 Feb, 2020

    Thank you so much for sharing this video.

  5. Avatar
    added on 27 Feb, 2020

    Excellent information. Thanks very much and thanks to Dr. S!

  6. Avatar
    added on 28 Feb, 2020

    As the son of an Ivy League educated mechanical engineer with advanced degrees, and as a former college professor myself, I can tell you that several of these qualities are good for most anyone in the workaday world, and they're qualities I learned from my dad, on through college and on the job. To be a trader, you certainly need a self-starter, entrepreneurial mindset. There's no time for the lazy and unmotivated, so sustained focus is essential. And like anything, you have to start somewhere, so start with someone you trust and connect to. Not everyone can be YOUR mentor. I always preached attention to detail to my students, because no employer wants to hire the mentally lazy to screw up for a good salary, and as a trader you're dealing with your own money, so that should be enough motivation. One last thing I can tell you is that ALL highly successful people are CONSTANTLY learning, and NOT just in one field or from the obvious places. A diverse background of knowledge will always come to your aid, no matter what you do. I suggest you read books on critical thinking as well. Your mind is your money muscle. God bless.

  7. Avatar
    added on 3 Mar, 2020

    I don't know how anyone can give this a thumbs down. If you are a mature person and can be self reflective, consider external feedback, etc. You will see that these are all things that would make you a better trader. And, actually, that other mentorship companies say the same thing, in a different way. Of course, most of them are book readers and have coached with this Dr.'s book in the past also 😉

  8. Avatar
    added on 6 Mar, 2020

    These are my pieces of advice on the trench warfare of trading; psychology tips and tricks:

    A. The way to overcome "woulda coulda shoulda" is to TAKE the pain in the moment {the same way that body builders ABSORB and even LOVE the pain of lifting a weight, it becomes an ally, it makes you more alert and stronger}

    {alternative}: if you don’t want to take the pain, encourage yourself with positive thoughts that your account WILL grow large in time, despite this missed opportunity. Don’t take your eye off the larger goal. Don’t let this weaken your momentum.

    B. ACCEPT that you WILL miss FUTURE opportunities on a CONSISTENT basis for the rest of your trading career! YOU WILL!! If that is already psychologically factored in, YOU WON’T CRY ABOUT IT WHEN IT INEVITABLY HAPPENS AGAIN. Fail to do this, and you will be in agony regularly for the rest of your trading career and that is not healthy. Also the universe creates an opposite reaction to what you project, so if you project, “I will miss opportunities naturally and regularly, I accept,” then the universe will be like, “Wait a sec bro! Deep inside you are harboring the desire to CAPTURE as many available opportunities as possible, so we will honor that!” If you think, “Damn! F***! Shit! motherf#"$ing miss! I HAVE TO GET THE NEXT OOOONE!!” then it is only a matter of time before you disappoint yourself twice, which feels worse than having disappointed yourself once.

    C. Will good opportunities, which you missed, never arise ever again? Of course they will, you foolish f***!! CHILL and BE HAPPY, PREPARE FOR THE NEXT UPCOMING WINNER. IT’S GONNA BE A GOOD ONE. TRUST THAT THEY WILL CERTAINLY COME.

    FOMO is irrelevant if the set up does not properly arise anyways. JUST DON’T OVERTRADE. FOMO is for amateurs.

    Losing trade pain:

    “LOSING TRADES ARE PRODUCT INVENTORY PURCHASING ONLY!!!!” {Like a business, you have costs, don’t you?}

    Pat yourself on the back when you reduced your losers, rather than cry over the loss {it could have been worse but you excercised good risk control}

    If losers are inevitable, then THAT loser that just happened is simply one of those! Chill!

    Anyways that’s my wisdom so far from 6 years in the trenches. Good luck to those who deserve to win

  9. Avatar
    added on 7 Mar, 2020

    I think the statement at 22:30 resonates with me the most. I’ve had some terrific ideas over the past few weeks, some of them turning into huge 10% – 50%+ moves, but I didn’t have the experience or preparation to act upon the idea in a way that made me feel comfortable enough to actually execute the trade. All in time.

  10. Avatar
    added on 8 Mar, 2020

    If one makes a claim to have coached the "larges hedgefund in the world" and conducted research "at a number of diffrent firms" i would bloody well like to know which hedge fund / firms they are talking about. Can't find a wikipedia page about that guy. The only information out there about him is in trading forums…

  11. Avatar
    added on 14 Mar, 2020


    Thanks for the offer to review & comment on our self-assessment of our abilities relative to the 6 qualities discussed with Dr. S. I believe I lack sustained focus in an aspect other than the fast-slow dichotomy. I am an engineer running my own consulting business and working on transitioning to trading and investing as my primary business.

    An example of my issue: In order to frame my message, I went back through your video to review Dr. S’s concepts. While listening, I caught Dr. S’s mention of Kahneman’s book. So, I went to Amazon to get the book. I had the choice of also adding an audible version of the book and I thought I have a 5 or 6-hr trip to a project coming up and an audible version would be good. But I wanted to make sure Audible would work with my setup or if I should look for the audio CD’s. So, I went to the Audible website. Then there was an issue of Audible before Amazon vs Audible that is now part of Amazon… A half-hour later, I am finally back to my post to your video comments and it took over 2 hours from the start of this message to posting it.

    In my trading, I believe this manifests in sorting through news and chat room info as I enter and execute trades as well as manage FOMO & other emotions. I start trading early and try to be done by 9 AM (Noon Eastern Time), so I can then focus on engineering for the rest of the day. But engineering business calls, & concerns weigh on my trading and trading concerns weigh on my engineering work.

    Learned from Mentors & Great Traders: I am the part of the retail trader plankton swimming around in front of the pod of blue whale self-proclaimed “mentors and great traders” (mag-ts). One of my first lucid moments with an early mag-t was the revelation that he was tired that day because he was working a 2nd job to be able to afford a vacation to Europe.
    Sadly, just like the next chart indicator looks like the "Holy Grail", the next mag-t seems to be the "Real McCoy". The grass is always greener…

    I notice that most of the people I have worked with (and there have been many people and $$ spent over the past year) are really good at telling me what has already happened but when it comes to explaining what is happening in real-time, they cuss, kibitz, hit & miss, etc… and generally do not provide coherent, actionable guidance.

    The other side of the coin is that by going out and fighting the battles in the markets, certain insights like those shared in this video are sinking deeper into my soul and I can better sort out BS and absorb good, usable info.

    Emotional Resilience: I just ventured back into minis from the micros after a successful week in micros yet with the frustration of seeing my brokers make most of the monetary profit. But I am not trading the minis as well as the micros. And I think my emotions are the turd in the pie in this transition.

    Thanks in advance if you made it this far.

  12. Avatar
    added on 19 Mar, 2020

    Strength: capacity for sustain focus Weakness: ability to have a mentor

  13. Avatar
    added on 5 Apr, 2020

    Prize for the questions asked.
    Answers are as effective as perinial way!!

  14. Avatar
    added on 17 Apr, 2020

    my best quality/setup is to have a big picture idea and find the intraday flow to trade within the bigger picture idea..

  15. Avatar
    added on 24 Apr, 2020

    Frustration tollerance can be a huge down fall for certain, cognitive behavioral therapy can improve this for the individual. Proper think for example appropriate to the situation at hand.

  16. Avatar
    added on 26 Apr, 2020


  17. Avatar
    added on 4 May, 2020

    Great video! Very good questions from interviewer

  18. Avatar
    added on 10 May, 2020

    Very interesting. I have to work at doing well with "detail"- I am learning and getting better
    . It is assuring to know I might score higher with the other five qualities.

  19. Avatar
    added on 10 May, 2020

    Valuable for sure.

  20. Avatar
    added on 20 May, 2020

    Thank you for sharing you wisdom and expertise. I am humbled and inspired by your knowledge and gifts.

  21. Avatar
    added on 30 May, 2020

    Excellent stuff, myself also a doctor from india, following you and Bella, each and every word said is GEM , people will only understand once they spend some time in the market.

  22. Avatar
    added on 1 Jun, 2020


  23. Avatar
    added on 3 Jun, 2020

    looking at different informations than the others… or looking at the same informations differently… WOW!

  24. Avatar
    added on 6 Jun, 2020

    No. 3 learning from mentors is hocus pocus. We all need to make things our own. Learn then unlearn. Adopting habits of others may also preclude bad habits/outdated methods. Trading is an evolutionary/rather reiterative process. Things get obsolete very fast in the ai world; ai can learn much faster than humans.

  25. Avatar
    added on 6 Jun, 2020

    18:20— Selling options give the trader a statistical edge most of the time but there are times that this will not work. If market rallies rapidly, buyers of stock gets called away, leaving the buyer behind with opportunity cost… if market plummets like during coronavirus, put sellers are obligated to buy high and suffer from unrealized losses.

  26. Avatar
    added on 10 Jun, 2020

    GREAT Video!!!

  27. Avatar
    added on 13 Jun, 2020

    ahah invaluable content for free 😛 thank you.

  28. Avatar
    added on 13 Jun, 2020

    haha the interviewee tries to talk like he knows things, seems clueless to me. His examples were no what the guest would talk about.

  29. Avatar
    added on 15 Jun, 2020

    like it

  30. Avatar
    added on 17 Jun, 2020

    Six extremely relevant qualities for being an elite trader.

  31. Avatar
    added on 19 Jun, 2020

    Withstanding a Nagging wife with happy face, and simultaneously do well in trading sums up everything. Jokes apart, extremely valuable interview. Thanks for sharing.

  32. Avatar
    added on 21 Jun, 2020

    Excellent knowledge and insight explained very well and clearly.

  33. Avatar
    added on 2 Jul, 2020

    VERY enlightening. Thanks

  34. Avatar
    added on 6 Jul, 2020

    This guy kinda sounds like Steve Carell on The Office!

  35. Avatar
    added on 9 Jul, 2020

    It was great to watch this video today.
    I have all the qualities barring one…
    I have a favourite setup and stick to it. Though I include other parameters to back it up. Trading 7 months in everyday and right now I have reached a stage where I am winning more and losing less.
    Oh and I forgot to add, I am currently at lesson 54 of "The Daily Trading Coach"

  36. Avatar
    added on 19 Jul, 2020

    Creativity Hit me

  37. Avatar
    added on 30 Jul, 2020

    28:40 is a fantastic question and answer. Start there and then restart the video. Great stuff.

  38. Avatar
    added on 3 Aug, 2020

    Lol a friend of mine was a grandmaster StarCraft 2 player. Ironically he's very good at longer term plays.

  39. Avatar
    added on 5 Aug, 2020

    Thank you 🙏 wonderful conversation

  40. Avatar
    added on 8 Aug, 2020

    my KD on COD is over 2, pls hire me!!! as always Awesome video Dr S

  41. Avatar
    added on 12 Aug, 2020

    studies show that the INTJ personality type is overwhelmingly represented in successful traders.

  42. Avatar
    added on 13 Aug, 2020

    What are the best strategies for slow deep thinkers?

  43. Avatar
    added on 16 Aug, 2020

    I am extremely strong in all aside from the emotional control. It has lead to multiple blow ups. Ex: I stray from my plan from an over analysis combined with “hope.” Take a large loss and then the rest of the day stray from any plans playing catch-up. My sizing is too large, but is a necessity at this time. Any tips would be a life saver? Thank you for all of your content!!! It has been very beneficial.

  44. Avatar
    added on 26 Aug, 2020

    Great video…. i love day trading and know its meant for me. Understood this fully. And came to this conclusion on my own. I don't have a mentor personally but youtube is my mentor and I'm fine with that. My secret sauce is my personality cater to this field. Iam unattached emotionally enough to handle the tough times which usually occurs from me. But I see it as my learning curve and it reassure me to always trust my intuition. I certainly lost more than I gain in the field but I'm making great progress and my loses is gone i like to feel as I'm not building to get my money back but to just get better and gain and build with a zen patience. Im growing and up 20k for the last 2 weeks steadily climbing.

  45. Avatar
    added on 11 Sep, 2020

    I have always wished I had a legitimate mentor to look up to and grow with as a trader. Being a retail trader means I have to gather my information from random places with no one to guide me. I can’t go to anyone when I need help. No one to give me suggestions or feedback. I have to teach myself. I’m basically just making my entire system from scratch through trial and error. If I had a mentor they could potentially show me a more correct or efficient way of operating. It would certainly help me feel more confident in my approach. Having that structure and example to follow is something that I have always benefited from in the past.

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