Do You Have To Be Somewhat of a Sociopath To Trade?

Discussion in 'Psychology' started by First Point LLC, Dec 23, 2012.

  1. Since I've been trading, this is a thought I've been pondering over. From my own experience, I can say that emotions have gotten in the way of things in the past by causing me to either make an irrational decision or causing me to overreact to an unfavorable move in the markets.

    On the flip side, I've experienced success when I've taken that "I don't give a fuck" approach to my trading. What I mean is that ruthless, no remorse, no conscience mentality. Only then is when I can properly function in the markets. I've heard other traders say a similar thing.

    The only draw down would be that sociopaths usually don't take any responsibility for anything in their lives, which is a no-no in trading. But other than you think sociopathy helps when trading?
  2. yes, but a lot of it has to do with position size and capital available. When I was starting out it was a very stressful day when I realized I had lost the whole months rent money in just 4 minutes.

    back then they didn't have computers and paper accounts

    keeping a paper account going has helped me become a lot more sociopathic.

    I hear them start threads about anger and fear, and I don't really know what they are talking about anymore.

    yes, I'm a complete sociopath, no emotions, no sympathy.

    et is a great outlet, where you can pretend you care, and are worried.

    it's all just business, nothing personal
  3. lescor


    Good traders can be totally regular people. They're just able to act rationally and separate their emotions from monetary decisions. You don't have to be a sociopath to do that.
  4. it's a funny thing about money. You can lose thousands of dollars and it's not that big of a deal.

    But you go to the grocery store, and something that was .89 the last time and is now 1.29 gives you pause for concern.

    and all the old old sociopathic tendencies break down.

    Now I am really outraged. It is no longer a matter of business, I'm taking this personally.

    I've been buying this can of soup for .89 since the time I first left home, And now it is $1.29? ok, if you want war, that is what you are going to get. To you it may be just a few pennies, but to me it is the principle of the thing.

    When it comes to trading, I am a sociopath, but when it comes to the grocery store, don't count on it.

    I'll eventually pay you what you need to make a living, but not without first giving you a hard time. Just to let you know I'm not sitting here on unlimited capital.


    Greetings FP,

    Having the experience of this "state of mind" in my own trading for some time now, I would not personally characterize the mindset that I enter into while I trade as any type of sociopathic behavior. For me, it is very much quite the contrary.

    I believe that after trading for a good number of years, one comes to the conscious understanding that if you have a viable edge in the market, and you just allow the arithmetic probabilities of your trading series to run their course, without any emotional attachment to any individual trade outcomes, things have a way of working out just fine.

    So therefore, for myself, and for the sake of my continued longevity in this wonderful blessing of a profession, no "emotionalizing" or "wasted mental energy" of any sort is necessary, required, or desired. I have come to learn that, just plain and simple action and reaction fills the bill quite nicely.

    I believe a better term to characterize this way of thinking and behaving, is to more appropriately call it what it really is; "Thinking in terms of the trade Series Probabilities". I believe this is the normal modus operandi, and the "way" of the professional. I have also learned that it is a highly prized state of mind, which one must earn through much time, trial, and tribulation. But even more importantly...contemplation, understanding, truth, and wisdom are the keys.

    Enjoy it.....celebrate it.......cherish've earned it.

  6. whatever, I suppose, How did the mortgage brokers feel about themselves? Once I was short beans, and my aunt in Iowa use to write me once a month. and whenever she said " pray for rain" I sold more. That's a bad way to make money.
  7. Handle123


    Although I may have many thoughts throughout the trading day of taking everyone's last nickel, taking candy away from babes and screaming Yahoo when the newbies are getting screwed royally for placing their stops or revenge areas, I doubt I am a sociopath. I remember the years of losing nearly each day to learn to day trade Index futures, so futures trading is truely dog eat dog world. But it is playing a game where you don't see your opponent, I know it be tougher for me if a friend was on other side of trade....but I'd still take his money. ROFL

    I love playing real life games, pay less by using coupons, it is amazing so many can get ten baskets of groceries for $1.38. I am thrilled to get 45 cents of veggies, and I don't know why, LOL.
  8. Redneck



    Learn to compartmentalize

    Pretty simple really

  9. the1


    You don't need to label yourself as a sociopath but you do need that killer instinct. One trade I pay very close attention to is a move below/above a recent low/high that reverses. The move takes out stops and I enter the reversal with a winner. That's a killer instinct trade. Watch a few UFC matches. If you can trade the way those guys fight you're on your way.

    Another thing I did a while back was practice competitive martial arts. It's win at all costs, even though that's not always the case. I've gotten my butt beat by a better opponent. Same goes for the markets.

  10. the1


    OT, you meant long beans right? No rain = low supply = higher price. I had a similar trade this past summer on Corn but just about every food commodity was heading higher so there was no brilliance there :)

    #10     Dec 23, 2012