From the pits to the screen
Adam was a trader with over 20 years of experience, with most of those years spent on a Chicago trading floor. However, as the trading volume in the pits continued to decline in recent years, Adam decided to become an electronic upstairs trader. This transition had his head spinning, his anxiety elevated, and his bank account teetering on disaster. When he arrived in our office, he hadn’t made money in upstairs trading for over 18 months. He was failing miserably, his self-confidence was extremely shaken and his marriage was hanging on by a thread.
Initially, Adam spent several sessions offering insight and context around who he was, his trading history, and his perceptions of what was unraveling in his personal and professional world. After this process was complete, we asked him to take one simple action: stop trading.
At that juncture, Adam was not psychologically fit to trade. He needed distance, psyche recovery and more effective strategies. He agreed. We spent time mending his self-esteem, challenging his thinking, and analyzing his ineffective preparation for and approach to his trading transition. We taught him exercises and strategies to sleep better, decrease his alcohol use, reduce his stress, and create more connection and intimacy in his marriage.
We developed a better game plan that taught simulated trading, tested his trading methods, compared the success of his actual and ideal trades, and refined his approach to electronic trading. Then, we unleashed him to trade.
With Adam’s ability to become a different observer and a more effective observer of himself, his trading, the market and the marketplace of electronic trading, he was now much better equipped to start over. His fresh, new “upstairs eyes” became more and more refined and soon his confidence became stronger and stronger.
Within several months, Adam was back to trading consistently and profitably. And although the size of his trades were considerably smaller than those from his floor trading days, he felt confident that the size would eventually return as well.
Two years later, his prediction came true. Adam was again trading the size he was used to on the trading floor and was thoroughly enjoying his new skill set. He engaged in marriage counseling and his once shaky marriage was back on track. He was disciplined in his new methodology and put in the requisite time after trading hours to continue honing his skill. Adam’s future is brighter than ever.
Please note: The names of clients, their employers and certain identifying details have been changed to respect their privacy and maintain confidentiality.