A Trader’s Self-Evaluation Checklist

Some key questions asked by Brett N. Steenbarger, Ph.D. in his ‘A Trader’s Self-Evaluation Checklist’?

Are trading losses often followed by further trading losses? Do you end up losing money in ‘revenge trading’ just to regain money lost? Do you finish trading prematurely when you’re up money, failing to exploit a good day?

Do you cut winning trades short because, deep inside, you don’t think you’ll be able to make large profits? Do you become stubborn in positions, turning small losers into large ones?

Is trading making you happy, proud, fulfilled, and content, or does it more often leave you feeling unhappy, guilty, frustrated, and dissatisfied? Are you having fun trading even when it’s hard work?

Are you making trades because the market is giving you opportunity, or are you placing trades to fulfill needs — for excitement, self-esteem, recognition, etc. — that are not being met in the rest of your life?


2 thoughts on “A Trader’s Self-Evaluation Checklist

  1. Should not really apply to a mechanical trend following trader (big caveat: if they are disciplined)

    I suppose more than 50% of traders recognise themselves in some of these traits though and might therefore consider mechanical trend following… (I know I do)

  2. Those questions need to answered by all mechanical trend followers — before they ever start! Of course, midstream they can’t be asking and answering those!

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