Destructive trading

As some of the regular visitors probably know, I am a great fan of Dr. Brett N. Steenbarger. I remember reading one of his articles where he discussed the problem of being addicted to trading. To illustrate this, he showed a list of questions that was normally used to determine whether someone was addicted to alcohol.

To translate this questionnaire for the trading situation, Steenbarger said to replace 'drinking' with 'trading' and 'drink' with 'trade'. The list has 10 questions:

  1. Have you found that your trading is bringing unwanted, negative consequences?
  2. Have you felt guilty over the way you have been trading?
  3. Do you find you need to trade more just to get a good feeling?
  4. Do you find that your personality changes when you trade excessively?
  5. Do you find it difficult to take a break from trading, even when part of you knows that this would be best for you?
  6. Do you find yourself trading to feel good about yourself?
  7. Do you sometimes feel that you cannot control how much you trade?
  8. Do you find yourself getting angry when someone close to you questions your trading?
  9. Do you find yourself vowing to limit trading, only to slip back into overtrading?
  10. Do you find it difficult not to trade given the opportunity, even when the occasion is not really appropriate?

Successful traders really want to trade as they have a passion for trading. Addictive traders need to trade, they need the action, the excitement. Addictive traders don't manage risk well, they need risk. Successful traders stop trading when they lose, addictive traders continue because they want the action, not necessarily the profit.

As the reader can tell, when you're an addictive trader, you most likely are a destructive trader as well.

Also, if you want to test for alcohol addiction, in the questionnaire replace 'trading' by 'drinking' and 'trade' by 'drink'. Maybe you are an addictive trader addicted to alcohol ;-)