Stress and Trading Success
by Ari Kiev, M.D., J.D.
First-time STOCKS & COMMODITIES contributor Ari Kiev, who is president of the Social Psychiatry
Research Institute, discusses the role that stress plays in trading success and failure.
Stress is a natural response to an event with uncertain results. The response to stress increases alertness
to stimuli and enhances performance when associated with an increased flow of adrenaline. The stress
response prepares you physically and psychologically for trading by increasing the blood flow to the
brain and increasing your capacity for memory retrieval and focused attention. At times, however, the
inhibitions, fears and fantasies also associated with the stress response can be the biggest obstacles to
RESPONSES TO STRESS
Stress responses aren't necessarily negative. An optimum stress response can help you get ready to trade,
and it can also increase your ability to handle complex situations in which stocks are moving in
unpredictable patterns. The optimum stress response may also be useful in enhancing your ability to
concentrate when you are distracted by events or by your own thoughts. It can help you focus on the tape,
think about your own internal trading signals, and maintain your own pace and trading strategy in the face
of conflicting signals.