Churning on the trading floor

A Wall Street trader stares despondently at a screen

An article in Forbes magazine describes how traders who made losses on churning financial markets responded with one of three strategies:

  1. “The first group kept trading after losing, often by increasing their risk-taking. They were clearly frustrated with their losses and driven to get the money back. They absolutely refused to quit.”
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  2. The second group “was also frustrated… but… took breaks in their trading, calmed themselves down, and often stopped trading for the remainder of the day. Their goals was to regain emotional equilibrium and not let frustration drive their decision making.”
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  3. The third group of traders “was also quite frustrated with losses, but … stayed at their desks… They doggedly tracked down the sources of their poor trading and did not stop in their analyses until they figured out where they had erred. Only then did they return to trading.”

It was the third group that proved to be the most successful over time.


Inner Leadership provides tools and techniques for learning to calm ourselves in stressful situations and regain our emotional equilibrium. It then shows how to find the opportunities to learn from our mistakes.

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