“One way our brain helps keep us safe is to protect us from an awareness of our weaknesses. The brain believes that it is better to be falsely confident than recognize the real risks. This protective mechanism tends to work against us in trading.”

Kenneth Reid, Ph.D


In this section of this coaching website you will find a great deal of information on Seven Factors that contribute to Out-of-Sync Syndrome. The causes are: Aversive Conditioning, Random Rewards, Mind Traps, Scared Money, Procedural Errors, The Trading Trance and Syndrome X

This page describes the two most common Mind Traps, Hindsight Bias and Competency Bias. This is about how we fool ourselves into thinking trading is easy. 


The mind can play tricks on us. Intuitive Trading is an attempt to mind read the market, which makes us susceptible to whipsaws. Hindsight Bias causes traders to underestimate the difficulty of trading, while Competency Bias causes us to over-estimate our abilities. These are mental banana peels that set us up for a fall.


Intuitive trading is a natural response to excessive randomness and non-linearity in the market. But making informed guesses is not the same as formulating a rule-based pattern-recognition system that gives a trader a true edge. Without a rule-based plan, intuitive traders expend a great deal of energy mindreading the market, which will not improve your odds of success. In fact, professional traders make a good living exploiting the emotionally-driven behavior of intuitive amateurs.


Trading for a living does not happen on ‘cold charts,’ but rather at what Alan Farley calls the “hard right edge.” Trading successfully requires us to get comfortable with uncertainty; being willing to take action when one still does not know quite enough.Trading appears easy because when we look at a chart, the attractive low-risk entries and ideal exits are obvious, in retrospect. This gives the false impression that entries and exits would also be clear in real time. “Hindsight Bias” is the illusion that the past was predictable.


Many people who come to trading have been successful in other careers and think their business skills will help them succeed. Unfortunately, this is rarely the case. Neither prior success, IQ, market savvy, maturity, creativity, management skills nor any other business leadership qualities will prepare you to succeed as a trader. Instead, they are more likely to set you up for failure. Why?

That orderliness and predictability is just not present in the market environment. Quite the reverse. One is much more likely to encounter paradoxical and unpredictable reactions to news and other obvious catalysts. Markets can reverse on a dime for no apparent reason. Trying to make sense of the market can drain all your mental reserves.The world of modern business rests on principles of social order and behavioral predictability that simply do not exist in the trading environment. For example, if you drive a car, you have been conditioned to expect a certain minimal amount of orderly behavior from your fellow motorists. Along with you, they will stop on red and go on green; they will stay inside the white lines; they will mostly drive near the speed limit.

Compared to the business world, the signal to noise ratio is much poorer in the markets and cannot be filtered to achieve a comfortable predictability. Perhaps the best preparation for trading is martial arts or combat experience because both teach us to expect the unexpected.


To trade successfully, you need to eliminate Mind Traps. My FREE Trading Risk Profile is one way to evaluate your susceptibility to Mind Traps. My trader coaching program is focused on installing a mindset that is effective for trading. Email me to schedule a FREE 15-Min. CONSULTATION or click here to sign up now.
If you take no other action today my friend, be sure you order my Positive (+) Neuroprogramming MP3 TRAINING A WINNING MINDSET. Nothing is more important than becoming proactive about your mental-emotional state while trading. It could save you thousands!

Kenneth Reid, Ph.D