The Street

Digitalskeptic: How a Trader Coach Turns Emotions Into Profit

BY Jonathan Blum

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Robin Dayne feels that surviving today's demented digital markets is not about trading algos, market methodologies or even what stock or bond you buy.

"It's about your emotions," Dayne said. She's a professional life coach with a specialty in improving the performance of financial traders. And Dayne has been talking with me for the past few weeks on how to get the most out of those who put their livelihoods on the line trading in financial markets.

"It's your scars that shape your trading. The big losses. The bets that took you out," she warned. "They are what get you stuck."

Dayne has developed her own street-smart sense and sensibility about the dark emotions that turn good trades bad. After a career as a ballet dancer and marketing executive for the since-vaporized Digital Equipment Corp., she's been both a part-time financial trader and a trader's coach since the mid-1980s. And three of the thousand-plus clients she's said she's worked with over the years confirmed to me she acts as a sort of a golf-swing-meets-life-coach for their trading.

"I decided to take the plunge and trade full time on my own," Laila Rhodes, a client of Dayne's told me in a call from Swindon, England. "And I could not have done it without Robin's help."

Fees run between $750 and $1,500 an hour -- which, by the way, I was stunned to learn is cheap for such services. Some trading pros I spoke with, who tellingly did not want it known that they use such trading support, say six-figure annual fees, plus a fat cut of the gross, is not unheard of for a trading coach.

The digital-age meat grinder 
It's sadly not surprising that it does not take much for Dayne to fill me in on the emotional wear and tear traders face in today's grueling digital age.

"Everybody is feeling terrible pressure in the commoditization of trading," she said. "The number of trades. The amount of information traders are expected to manage." Traders today suffer from loneliness and an almost relentless pressure to perform from spouses and bosses.

And they're on an almost inhumanly short lease when it comes to mistakes.



Article published in SFO Magazine 

“Fear & Frustration CAN DOOM TRADING”

By Robin Dayne

Common patterns plague unsuccessful traders, while discipline habits are inherent to successful ones. The No. 1 challenge for any trader is emotional management, as it makes up 95% of one's success.


A personalized assessment is a good starting point in assessing the problems. Remember, great traders do whatever it takes. They let go of their egos and work through each challenge until it is resolved.


Take the obstacles and develop a plan to remove those emotional monsters.The power of thought is the first and best weapon. Words make up thoughts, and thoughts will manifest into actions - good or bad. What the mind is thinking is critical. Remember, any emotion is a no-no, but the top two to avoid most are fear and frustration. These tend to be universal with traders having trouble.


Think of a question when an emotion pops up. Questions are a trader's best friend and will shift the thought process rapidly. If traders get scared of being wrong or become afraid of losing money, they may enter trades too late or exit too soon. By using a question, traders can shift their thinking, stop the emotion and gain control of the trade. It will release the paralyzing effects of fear. Emotions cannot occupy the mind at the same time it's searching to find an answer to the question. By keeping the mind busy, the search for answers will take priority over the emotion.

Some questions are:

  • • What's really happening in the market right now?
  • • What is my trade set-up criteria,... and is it being met?
  • • What can I do to create more certainty right now?


Include in the plan rules and questions that counteract each bad thought that comes up. Write them down as a reminder and use them at every juncture of the trade. One critical habit to incorporate in your routine is to track and measure every trading loss. Be disciplined to avoid a new trade if a lost trade isn't analyzed and a new solution is found. This routine can have a dramatic impact and quantum leap your success. By digging at new solutions, it strengthens the mind and confidence with the added benefit of keeping the mind busy and clear of emotions.

Remember, losing is part of the game and the meaning of loss is different for traders than any other business, like an unwanted strike for a baseball player. Get used to it... and make your loses smaller than your wins.

Get your free evaluation and take the "Emotional trading Test" it's FREE!

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Specializing in removing "fears" - Past 27 years

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