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Mastering Trading Stress: Strategies for Maximizing Performance

Mastering Trading Stress: Strategies for Maximizing Performance

Ari Kiev

ISBN: 978-0-470-22265-2

Mar 2008

224 pages



In Mastering Trading Stress, author Ari Kiev—a psychiatrist who specializes in stress management and works extensively with traders—offers examples, transcripts of conversations, and personality profiles of real-life traders to illustrate how stress affects their ability to perform at their best. Drawing on his vast experience, Kiev describes a variety of practical techniques that can be used to handle destructive emotions and out-of-control feelings, including his “Most Basic” stress busters, and tells what to do if a breakdown should occur.



Chapter 1: The Nature of Stress: What Is Stress and Why Is It a Problem?

The Fight-or-Flight Alarm.

Differences in Stress Responses.

Personality Factors.

The Stages of Stress.

Taking It Step-by-Step.

Chapter 2: The Emotions of Stress: What Negative Emotions Are Experienced as a Result of Stress?

Fear and Greed.





Chapter 3: The Dangers of Trading under Stress: How Do Attempts to Handle Stress Create Problems for the Trader?

Trading Despite Stress.

Avoiding the Stress.

Creating a Social Persona.

Competing to Win.

Being Indecisive.

Chapter 4: How Fear Inhibits Mastery: Can You Learn to Lessen the Central Emotion of Fear?

Responding to Fear.

Disciplining for Success.

Relinquishing the Need to Be Perfect.

Maintaining Psychological Energy.

Starting with a Clean Slate.

Chapter 5: The Consequences of Negative Emotions.

Greed and Risk Management Errors.

The Difference between Confidence and Arrogance.

Mistakes of Insecurity.

Why Not to Avoid Negative Feelings.

How Negative Emotions Lead to Impulsive Behavior.

Chapter 6: Personalities and Stress.

List Makers (Analytical Thinkers).

Intuitive Thinkers.


Are You Confident or Insecure?

Make the Most of Your Personality.

A Winning Personality.

Chapter 7: Ego and Obstinacy.

A Stubborn Nature.

Refusal to Accept Commands.

Difficulty with Management.

Chapter 8: Fear and Failure.

Afraid to Win.

Failing to Commit.

Moving Forward.

Chapter 9: Perfectionism and Paralysis.

The Problem 124

Finding a Solution 124

What about You? 128

Chapter 10: Failing to Manage Risk.

Risk Management for a Vision.

The Psychology of Risk.

The Importance of Self-Analysis.

Asking the Right Questions.

Assessing Your Attitude toward Risk.

Looking for the Positive.

Relaxation and Risk.

Taking Responsibility.

Chapter 11: Failure to Dig Deeper.

Discerning the Importance of Data Analysis.

Too Much or Not Enough?

Gathering the Information.

Reducing Stress.

Chapter 12: Failures in Shorting.

Reluctance to Short Stocks.

Stress and the Short Squeeze.

Steps of a Good Short Seller.

Chapter 13: Learning to Live with Stress.

Learning to Observe.

Creating New Life Principles.

Reframing Negative Thoughts.

Choosing an Objective.

Defining New Priorities.

Chapter 14: Exercises and Practical Applications.

The Most Basic Stress Busters.

What to Do When You Have a Breakdown.

Importance of Commitment.


""…a welcome addition to Kiev’s other ground breaking trading books…one that experienced and novice traders will greatly benefit from."" (Futures Magazine, August 2008)

""One of the most fascinating aspects of most of Mr. Kiev's books is how attuned he is to the trading profession. His books -- and this one is no exception -- rely heavily on case studies and interviews with traders. Once could guess that the author is a trader himself based on the technical trading advise he gives his patients. ... Mr. Kiev always returns to the same fundamental theme. A trader cannot eliminate stress, but he can learn to cope with it. In fact, mastering stress is a requirement for success because the biggest mistakes are caused by stress and mismanaged emotions."" (Accredited Investor magazine)