Ego in Trading -Anirudh Sethi

There is something about yourself that you may really not know. Something that you will deny even exists in you until it’s too late to do anything about it. It’s among the reason you rise up in the morning, the sole reason you suffer the shitty boss, the sweat, the blood and also the tears. This is because you would like people to understand how attractive, good, generous, wild, funny and clever you actually are. “Fear or revere me, but please think I’m special”. We share an addiction. We’re approval junkies. We’re all in it for the pat on the back and the gifts. The “hip, hip, hoo-rah.” check out the clever boy with the badge, polishing his trophy.


Because we are all human, we do not want to accept that we are wrong about anything, including trades. The ego wants to uphold a perfect version of ourselves allows nothing more but successes not failures. Many traders collectively lose many dollars trying to guard the ego’s version of reality. Our goal should be to trade without ego.


“The greatest enemy will hide in the last place you’d ever look.” Caesar 75 BC


You must recognize what’s keeping you from taking your trading to another level. The majority of the time, it’s your ego. How many times have you made a great trade and walked away with your chest puffed out thinking ‘I am the greatest trader in the world?’


“The only way to get smarter is by playing a smarter opponent.” Fundamentals of Chess 1883


The market always reminds you the person in charge. Try to always use same way to approach each trade, ditch each previous trade when entering a current one. Reset your mind and expect to lose money on each trade, and this could assist you recover from the super-trader ego after  a pleasant winning trade! Ego must be left out of your trading. Check your ego at the door, have a stop loss, and stick with your plan.


The ego may be a person’s sense of self-esteem or self-importance. The ego is a mental construct that can be both on a conscious and unconscious level. An ego is that the self-concept that an individual tries to guard and keep safe from pain and destruction. A trader has got to trade the maths and their own trading system and abandoning signals and their trading plan in favor of their own ego may result in stubbornness, self-delusion, and big losses.

  1. Most market predictions are ego based. A trader wants to be ready to say they called a top or a bottom or had an excellent stock pick. Signal and system-based trading may be a path that removes the necessity to predict you simply
  2. Stubbornness is an emotion that flows from the ego as it does not want to be proven wrong. Many times, this results in letting a losing trade still run against a trader. Egos do get trouble taking stop losses because they hate to be


  1. Egos lock into being bearish or bullish and let their opinions lead their trading. Following the particular price trend creates better odds of success than having an opinion on what should happen
  2. You should not let trading consume your entire life. The markets should be just one of several belongings you neutralize life. A diversified life outside the markets with friends, families, hobbies, learning new things, and staying healthy will assist you keep perspective during losing streaks and draw downs in trading
  3. A profit and loss statement can not define your self worth. Your profits are more of a mirrored image of whether the worth action is conducive to your method currently not whether you’re an honest trader or not. Your egos have got to be determined by whether or not you followed your trading system with discipline, consistency, and risk management.


Don’t Mistake Self Belief with Ego

I think we trade the markets but we hinder ourselves much of the time in various different ways including with our egos. The trouble is, self-belief and conviction can easily be confused with what is actually ego. But self-belief and conviction, once you have grasped a greater proportion of the day to day realities of the markets you trade, are of course what can make you a great trader. But also, self-belief and conviction can also be mistakenly misplaced from a different profession or endeavor into trading, where the game can be quite different. You will see a very new trader with potentially fantastic attributes to trade, shrivel up and shy away from the personality that may have made them one day, a highly successful trader.

Therefore my belief is to be successful in trading, either be a confident thinker about all these psychological aspects combined with market dynamics, or don’t even think about ego at all. Just do what works and look after your account. There have many very successful traders in the past who weren’t necessarily the most academically gifted. Historically you’d see this in the pit.

Ultimately for many of these guys it was about fight or flight.



Softening The Ego

No matter how robust your trading strategy or style is, if left unchecked, over time, your ego will wreak havoc in your trading account.

It will sneak up on you when you least expect it, and before you know it, you’ll be acting in

destructive, in ways that you know are not in your best interest.

The easiest way to determine if your ego is at play is to ask yourself one of the following questions:


  • Do I need my analysis to be right?
  • Do I have fear when I initiate my trade?
  • Am I attached to the outcome of this trade?
  • Do I feel disappointed when I take a loss or a series of losses?
  • Am I having trouble letting my trade work without constantly checking each and every fluctuation in my PnL?

If you answered “yes” to one or more of the above questions then it’s likely that your ego is in

the driving seat.

But what can you do to keep it under control?

But first, there are a few serious things that you can do:

  1. Keep your position size
  2. Make sure you understand your trading system and what it’s attempting to
  3. Understand probability theory–the basics.

Those 3 steps are essential, but they only help keep the ego in check to a certain extent. The next step is awareness – you need to start to become more aware of when your ego is

playing up so you can stop it before it’s too late.

In order to cultivate awareness, it helps to do some self-inquiry work. So, self-concern sits at the root of almost all ego-related issues.

We tend to take things personally because our subjective point of view refers everything back to us —hence, we think losses or being wrong (for instance) say something about ‘us’, or

threaten ‘our’ survival.

To change that, we must learn to see reality more objectively, without that constant self- reference.