The Day Trading Trance

“Women tend to be better traders than men.Men’s brains are wired for hunting and trading engages these circuits, which means men are susceptible to a primal trading trance.” — Kenneth Reid, Ph.D

In this section of the website you will find a great deal of information on Seven Factors that contribute to Self-Sabotage Syndrome, which is a complex syndrome with multiple causes. The causes are: Aversive Conditioning, Random Rewards, Mind Traps, Scared Money, Procedural Errors, The Trading Trance and Syndrome X

This page describes The Trading Trance, which is a natural state for male traders due to evolutionary tendencies, but is made worse by Aversive Conditioning & Random Rewards. Follow the links to read about the other causes.


traders stalking trades - The Trading Trance

Women tend to be better traders than men. Why? Trading brings out the stalker/hunter instinct in men. Over several million years as nomadic hunters, males evolved a neurological system that produced a trance-like state of pleasurable anticipation. This stalking state of mind relies on the feel-good neurotransmitter dopamine to motivate hunters and helped them endure the arduous process.

Research shows that more dopamine is secreted by the brain in anticipation of reward than when the reward actually arrives. Since ancient hunters prized the Big Kill, because it would feed the tribe for a month or more, male traders also tend to fantasize about big wins, which also increases dopamine levels.


Dopamine is a powerful mind-altering compound, responsible for the high induced by cocaine. Consequently, it is also implicated in the addictive and entrancing aspects of trading (“dope-a-me”). A dopamine high provides powerful psychic energy, but also causes various negative attentional and behavioral consequences for traders.

trading trance

When a trader is immersed in the trading trance, he becomes focused on the future, not on the present. He has a vivid picture in his mind of the immensely satisfying goal just ahead. This is a dangerous mindset because it makes it less likely that traders will recognize when the market is moving against their dream.

Entranced traders become less sensitive to the pain of loss in the here and now, which means they will tend to ignore risk and minimize the real-time negative consequences of their behavior.

Dopamine energizes the mind, so it can also drive traders to overtrade, track too many targets, put in too much screen time, sleep less, stress out more.


rollercoaster trading psychology - The Trading Trance

A dopamine surge is naturally followed by dopamine depletion, so some traders alternate between periods of over-confidence and depression. If so, trading becomes highly dramatized. One may feel on the verge of greatness and shortly thereafter hopeless and ready to give up.

Male susceptibility to the Trading Trance is one of the least appreciated aspects of trading psychology. One needs to trade in the more ordinary reality known as the Here & Now in order to make rational decisions and take money out of the market.


trader success - Avoid the Trading Trance

For a sustainable career as a professional trader, it is vitally necessary to become disenchanted with the market and “de-tranced.” You know you are there when you can be satisfied with hitting modest but consistent daily or weekly goals. My FREE Trading Risk Profile is one way to evaluate your susceptibility to the trance.

Contact me to schedule a FREE 15-Min. CONSULTATION or click here to find out more about my trader coaching program.

If you take no other action today my friend, be sure you order my Positive (+) Neuroprogramming MP3 ACCESSING 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

Mastermind Pro

The Cycle of Self-Sabotage can run for years. To finally break this cycle, you need to permanently root out bad behaviors and replace them with good behaviors. There's a new technology that can help you do that... for less than the price of your daily coffee. Read more.

Free AWARE Trader Personality Profile

Finally, an easy to understand Personality Profile that shows you exactly which personality traits help (and hurt) your trading! Read More


Free Report: Secrets of the Top 4%

The largest academic study ever conducted on day traders revealed that most lost money .... even during a raging bull market! About 15% did very well each year, but fewer than 4% of daytraders were able to make significant profits two years in a row. Read More


Increasing Discipline: The Easy Way! (On sale for just $149)

Many aspiring traders lack sufficient self-discipline to stay the course as a trader and protect capital during the learning curve. Willpower is not enough because trading challenges us in profound ways.

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According to Mark Douglas, the #1 characteristic of top traders is a lack of fear. These folks maintain a positive attitude regardless of the outcome of any particular trade. This technology will help you trade like they do. Read More


Risk Profile

DayTrading attracts individuals with different natural trading abilities. Some people are natural-born daytraders. These Market Wizards (4% of daytraders) are natually fearless, competitive and report little emotion in trading. Read More


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Trading can be a lonely profession. Chat about your trading for 15-min with a coach who trades. I may be able to offer a few quick tips that will get you back on track. Read More


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