Brett Steenbarger: The right psychology for successful investing

It takes tremendous focus for a blind man to climb Mount Everest, a swimmer to take on the English Channel or a speed demon to race an automobile at 400 miles per hour at the Bonneville Salt Flats outside of Salt Lake City. But Brett Steenbarger, a clinical associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, N.Y., says that when it comes to performance psychology, nothing may require as much focus and perseverance as investing.

I recently sat down with Steenbarger, who specializes in "brief therapy" - short-term approaches to changing emotional patterns and patterns of thinking and behaving. Steenbarger, who has also been a financial markets trader since the late 1970s, has applied brief therapy to trading and in 2003, published his first trading book, The Psychology of Trading. The book led to a relationship with a Chicago trading firm, Kingstree Trading, and in 2004, Steenbarger started full-time work as a trading coach. Since then, he has started the TraderFeed blog, which has grown into the largest trading and market psychology site on the Web, and he has written another book about performance development among traders Enhancing Trader Development. He also published a self-help guide for traders called The Daily Trading Coach. Steenbarger's aim? To help traders to help themselves with short-term, practical techniques based on sound research in psychology and psychiatry.

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