At the SteadyTrade podcast, we typically try to keep things positive. There’s enough negativity in the world, right? But there can be a dark side of trading.

And today we want to take a more serious tone as we tackle this important topic. We often say how hard trading is. So it’s crucial to discuss the reality of depression and the difficulty of finding your way as a trader. 

Everyone confronts the dark side of trading. It’s important to acknowledge that. As we do that, we can work on developing resources and coping mechanisms. These are tools that can help you stay emotionally well. 

This is a serious topic, but there’s plenty of connection and camaraderie between co-hosts Tim Bohen, Kim Ann Curtin, and Stephen Johnson. Tune in as they share stories, suggestions, and resources for staying healthy. 

The Dark Side of Trading 

Recently, a young Robinhood trader tragically took his own life following a glitch in the system that registered a balance of –$730,000 on his account.

This isn’t common. But it can be a moment for us to bring awareness of the depression that can come with losses. 

Stephen knows the dark side of trading personally. Tim does, too. Kim’s new enough to trading that she hasn’t suffered any massive losses. But she’s been alive in the world, so she’s naturally had her fair share of human difficulty as well. Here’s an overview of some of the topics covered in their frank conversation…

Trading Can Go Really Wrong Sometimes

No matter who you are, how long you’ve been trading, or what your account balance is, trades can go wrong.

As Tim puts it, “You’ll go through stretches in this game where nothing seems to work.” 

Stephen echoes the sentiment. He says that without a good mentor and guidance, you “could do something ridiculous.” Honestly, sometimes even with a great teacher and a great community you can still do something ridiculous!

The idea here isn’t to make you feel like trading is hopeless. Rather, it’s to help you recognize that you’re not alone. 

The Problem With Starting With a Big Account

You know how lottery winners seem to have a knack for losing all their proceeds? Or how a lot of child stars tend toward train-wreck behaviors?

Self-sabotage happens in trading, too. Even if you can start with a huge account, you probably shouldn’t. Or as Tim puts it, “I don’t care how much money you’ve got” — it’s better to start small.

The crew talks about the hidden benefits of trading with a small account, like how it makes you focus on making smart decisions and finding the best setups for your strategy. 

After all, if you can’t prove that you can handle a small account and small losses, what will you do when you’re trading with a big account and have big losses?  

Having a Tribe

According to Kim, you’ve got to have at least one person who has your back. You need someone who can just be there with you if you experience a big loss or the dark side of trading. If you try to seek comfort from someone who doesn’t understand or doesn’t support your trading, you might end up in an even darker place. 

Shame, pain, and a lack of coping mechanisms can be dangerous. When you don’t have someone in your court, it can be even harder. Whether it’s friends, a trading community like the SteadyTrade Team, or your family, having allies matters.

Easy To Get Started, Hard to Succeed

Day trading is alluring indeed — you could set up a brokerage account and be trading in minutes. You’re in a position of power. 

Too few people recognize the responsibility that comes with this power. The hosts talk about how the ease of entry can be seductive but also dangerous. Tune in to hear the hosts discuss the importance of getting an education before you trade. 

The Dark Side of Trading: Losing Streaks

Every trader has losing streaks. Stephen does. Tim does. The hotshot traders you follow on Twitter do, too — even if they don’t talk about it. 

Learn some invaluable tips in this episode:

  • How to deal with losing streaks
  • Why Tim thinks it’s important to treat trading like a side hustle 
  • And how to get into a healthier state of mind

Getting Away From Pain

The crew talks about the importance of getting distance from pain and offers some amazing resources for traders who may need help in developing an array of coping skills. 

Volunteering, TED talks, and diet and exercise — you’ll get tips for staying even keel, even through encounters with the dark side of trading.



“Can’t Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds” by David Goggins

“Power Vs. Force” by David R. Hawkins, M.D. Ph.D

Blog Posts:

Art of Manliness: “The Cabinet of Invisible Counselors”

TED Talks: 

“Depression, the secret we share”

“Why we need to talk about suicide”

If You Need Help: 

Got Something to Say?

The dark side of trading is a heavy topic … We welcome and encourage you to share your thoughts.

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