Impact of Personality Influences on Stock Trading

You may have read the notion that personality plays a role in how a person views the world in the sense of the “glass half-full, glass half-empty” saying. A pessimistic person has a tendency to think the market is heading lower while an optimistic person has a tendency to think the market is heading higher.

Assuming a person knows one’s own personality traits, that person would be well advised to indulge in behavioural modification – in essence suppressing or controlling that which will be harmful to stock trading actions. This is where discipline is needed to keep psychological (emotional) influences in check. Furthermore, conducting research and analysis is not only good preparation but also beneficial to impose objectivity into stock trading activities.

A person may not be able to change one’s personality and outlook, and a person is not able to control the stock market, but a person is able to control one’s reaction to the vagaries of stock market movements. For a long position, if the trader observes an up-trend, continue holding the position; for a down-trend, continue to be out of the stock; for a trend reversal, open or close the position as the case may be. By observe, I mean through the use of a trend following system.

Those that can control the stock market can skip the next sentence but do so at your own risk. For the rest of us, we must recognize our own personality traits, impose a methodology and system of trading, do our homework and preparation, acquire tools and resources, and proceed with objectivity and confidence.

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A pessimist sees the glass as half empty. An optimist sees the glass as half full. A realist just finishes the damn thing and refills it.