Review: Matchbook Trading Psychology Evening

Last updated January 27th, 2017

Earlier in the month one of the followers offered me their ticket to a Matchbook Traders evening with Steve Ward…

They’d booked it but couldn’t go at the last-minute. Neither could I, so they kindly agreed to give it to any of the Facebook followers that could!

Amongst the posting another that had bought a ticket to the event offered to give a little feedback on proceedings. Here it is:

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Guest Post by: Laurence Stanley

Last Monday Steve Ward, Author of titles such as Sports Betting To Win, TraderMind and High Performance Trading spoke at the Matchbook traders Conference [The Psychology of Trading]. As well as being an established author, he was the consultant trading performance coach to BBC TV’s ‘Million Dollar Traders’ series and has worked with hedge funds and independent traders alike to improve their trading performance.

If you bought these tickets to listen to hear quick and easy, profitable trading strategies, you would have been thoroughly disappointed. If however, you actually read the memo and want to take your trading to the next level by further understanding your brain (the key decision maker in every trade you make), then you were in exactly the right place. Keep reading to hear my bitesize summary of the event.

Steve is a great speaker and did a great job of presenting the topic in a comical and quite frankly, fascinating way. I’ve taken the 5 big points of the talk and summarised them below.

Everyone likes lists…right?!?

Key “take home” points:

  • When observed responsibly, emotions are extremely helpful in making more effective trading decisions. The emotional part of our brain receives input before the thinking part of our brain. This means we feel an emotion before we get a chance to think about it. Example: You’re trading a horse in play, you see the horse is leading but you feel emotionally uneasy about placing a back bet. Calmly acknowledge the feeling of un-ease as it’s just saved you a few quid! You have seen this horse front-run before but never win. The feeling of unease is your nervous systems way of reminding you about this as quickly as it can, allowing you to react quickly. In summary, don’t try and bury your emotions.
  • “Vito Power” or the ability to control urges is a crucial skill. Accept that even Ghandi gets urges but his pre-frontal cortex (the decision part of the brain) is strong enough to decide against acting on those urges, if it’s the most beneficial decision.
  • Keep a journal. Just 3 minutes of journalling a day is proven to reduce stress and increase happiness over a 2 week period.
  • It is equally as important to train your mind than to train your body. Mindfulness techniques and strategies (I will go into this in more detail in other posts) can only require a few minutes a day but will make a huge difference to your ability to stay calm and focused resulting in, you guessed it… More profits! If you don’t have much time, 10 minutes of meditation a day is generally the “minimum effective dose”, meaning that you will still see results without having to spend 10 days sitting at a retreat in Vietnam.

All in all, 9/10. I really can’t fault it other than it being the night before the Cheltenham Festival!

Sports Trading Events…

Matchbook seem keen to promote trading which is breath of fresh air. It seems many others in the industry are hell-bent on hiding exchanges and the possibilities that lie within them.

I couldn’t attend this one although I’ll have my eye out for future releases. It’s a good opportunity to meet like-minded people, even if we are all battling against each-other at times.

The first event was quite pricey for a ticket, this however was only around the 80 quid mark…

If you went, what did you think? Comment below!

Related Post: Matchbook Traders Conference

2 thoughts on “Review: Matchbook Trading Psychology Evening

  1. Thanks for sharing my review Caan. I should also mention that the venue/hospitality was great. There was some great food and drink offered in the price of the ticket and the hotel was worth the trip alone!

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