The Most Important Market in the World

Welcome back to Mind Over Money. I'm Kevin Cook, your field guide and story teller for the fascinating arena of Behavioral Economics.

Today my guest is a trading coach who once worked in the field of "threat assessment" where he dealt with bank robbers, hostage negotiations and bomb threats.

Now psychologist Andrew Menaker focuses on a pragmatic model to help traders create self-awareness, positive behavior change, and ultimately success in their chosen vocation.

And I'm really excited to talk to him because he gives powerful depth and breadth to areas of trading psychology that I have long known were extremely important but never thought could be formulated into repeatable cognitive strategies that could help so many different types of traders.

Before we meet Dr. Menaker, I want to share a short blog he posted on LinkedIn back in October. This excerpt will set up our conversation well...

Trading Psychology That Works!

You know those lists of personality traits or characteristics of 'good traders' - what happens after you read them? Do you get excited? Do you become hopeful? Do you become worried that maybe you don't have the right stuff? Moreover, will reading about it make you a better trader?

That's the big question, right? Does reading that stuff help you become a better trader? For the vast majority, my bet is that it doesn't help at all! In fact, for most traders it triggers a very personal and particular sense of worry….I don't have the right stuff….Will I ever have the right stuff? How do I get the right stuff?

Then along comes an ad, a tweet, a webinar, or blog piece that promises to show you the path. Hypnotic suggestions, meditation, affirmations, positive thinking, NLP, Tapping, 'brain balancing'...etc. I threw in 'brain balancing' because I recently spoke to a trader who was very angry, telling me, "I wasted money on brain balancing."

The list of things promising to make you a better trader seems almost endless.

Most of the people selling you that stuff are not that different from the people selling you the 'trading edge that works'. I like to refer to them as dream merchants. They are selling you a dream, not reality.

(you can read the full blog here or listen to the podcast and hear me read the whole thing to you!)

The Most Important Market in the World

Be sure to listen to my 20-minute conversation with Dr. Menaker where he tells how he went from the "threat assessment" business to helping traders uncover their own threats to their capital -- and their mental and physical health.

His analysis of the trading psychology game is original, practical, and based on his own experience as an S&P Emini futures day trader. He teaches traders to not just become aware of their emotions but how to use them as a rich source of information about their trading and decision-making.

But he warns that it takes "psychological courage" to do the work of analyzing and understanding the most important market you trade -- your "inner market" of thoughts, beliefs, perceptions, and neurological habits.

Dr. Menaker and I strongly agree that trading is actually a great way to discover yourself if you are willing to do that work.

If you're not into that, at least he provides a framework and a pathway to becoming the trader you always wanted to. Check out today's podcast to learn more about his ideas and work.

And thanks for following Mind Over Money. If you have questions, comments, or suggestions for future topics, please email us at

Plus, don't hesitate to be generous with compliments! Let my boss know you want Mind Over Money to keep exposing the psychology of investing!

Kevin Cook is a Senior Stock Strategist at Zacks Investment Research where he runs the TAZR Trader (Technical Analysis + Zacks Rank) service.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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