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Trading Psychology: Nature vs Nurture Part 1

The nature versus nurture debate has been ongoing for an exceptionally long time, deciding which one has the most influence on someone and how does it impact their development. Nature is what we inherit (genetics) while nurture is more the way our environment forces or encourages us to grow.

 

In this week’s article we are going to focus on nature. Nature is what we are born with, what we inherit from our parents and their parents etc. Many people believe that because we inherit certain qualities (eye colour, skin tone, type of hair) from our parents, that we could also inherit other things from them such as mental illnesses, personality traits and behavioural tendencies. So, what does this has to do with trading and how does it affect your trading?

 

No one is born a good trader, traders are made. That does not mean there aren’t qualities that will make someone a better trader, but it also doesn’t mean that you can’t learn these qualities and improve your trading. There is a story about the Turtle Traders, that shows how the nature versus nurture debate is applied to trading.

 

In 1983, two traders (Richard Dennis and Bill Eckhardt), debated whether being a good trader was a product of genes or if it could be taught. Eckhardt believed that exceptional trading came from within and that it could not be taught. Dennis argued that anybody could be a good trader through proper forex education.

 

Dennis recruited 23 people from all sorts of different backgrounds and started a training program to help see how each would perform after some training. In their training, each recruit was given a set of trading rules to follow, but in the end, it was entirely up to them how they would trade.

 

Dennis called his recruits “The Turtles” and gave each of them $1 million to trade with. Within 4 years, the group made a sum of over $100 million. The Turtles experiment proved that you do not need to have a “trader gene” to become good at trading and that almost anybody can become an excellent trader with the right tools and lots of practice.

 

Ryan Mowatt, The Performance Coach

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