Episode 45: Stephen’s Emotional Blow-up

This week, we’re mixing things up. Instead of your regularly scheduled Steady Trade Podcast, we’re bringing you a special episode to explore a big event in the world of trading this week: Stephen’s Emotional Blow-up.

This week, host Stephen Johnson had a public trading meltdown, resulting in controversy and much speculation about his future as a trader. This may be one of the most important, episodes yet, wherein Stephen, along with co-host Tim Bohen, discuss the emotional side of trading. This episode gets pretty raw and approaches trading psychology very honesty. It’s something that every new trader must hear!

Stephen’s emotional blow-up

This episode was recorded on the fly, only about 24 hours after Stephen’s emotional blow-up. Everything is still quite raw, but that’s why it’s important to address right now. In a nutshell, here’s what happened:

Stephen suffered a series of losses. These losses have been documented in several recent episodes, which can be found here and here.

Then, last week, things seemed to be back on track. It had started out as a green week, and Stephen was finding consistency in what he thought was a new reliable setup.

He was up $600-700, but then, after a few good trades, he did the unthinkable: he broke the rules, broke the pattern, and didn’t cut on time.

Basically, Stephen broke his mentor Tim Sykes’ cardinal rule: he didn’t cut losses quickly.

Tim Sykes took notice and called Stephen out on his behavior. Let’s just say that Tim Sykes doesn’t like it when students don’t follow the rules, particularly the most important rule!

It snowballed, and Stephen began to think the unthinkable: “maybe I should quit trading.”

What resulted can only be called a Twitter war. Stephen received an overwhelming amount of feedback from all sorts of traders, ranging from viewers of his YouTube channel to trading celebs like Roland Wolf to even his mentor Tim Sykes.

Lessons to be learned

Through his experience, and through the controversy raised through Stephen potentially quitting trading, there are many lessons to be learned in the episode, including:

  • If you don’t think you’re in for pain with trading, you’ve got another thing coming. Tim and Stephen talk about the very real emotional and financial pain that comes along with the adventure that is trading.
  • It can be very rocky. As Stephen says in the episode, “Sometimes you hate yourself, sometimes you lash out on other people, sometimes you have arguments with your mentor…sometimes you’ll threaten to quit.” These crazy things happen when emotions get involved in trading.
  • Trading can be cruel before it is kind. As Stephen observes in the episode, “Trading is the best thing in the world to achieve, but one of the hardest things to manage to do.”
  • Learning from your mistakes is extremely hard. If Stephen keeps on making the same mistakes, does that mean he’s not learning from them? Not necessarily. In the episode, you’ll learn some proactive steps that traders can take to break free from the terrible (yet common) cycle of making the same mistakes over and over.
  • Trading is hard. There’s no doubt about it: trading is an emotional roller coaster. Tim and Stephen talk about this in a very real and raw way that will prove helpful to traders at all levels.
  • Respect your mentors. Twitter war aside, this experience has reminded Stephen of the good things that Tim Sykes has taught him, and reminded him of some of the basics he must keep in mind to move forward.

Is it a happy ending?

Well, is Stephen quitting or what? Throughout the episode, you’ll see Stephen explore the pros and cons of sticking with trading. You’ll listen as he and Tim evaluate his passion for the process and what he has built so far in his trading career. So what will he decide? Listen to find out Stephen’s next steps.

Let’s keep it Steady!

Do you have a question for Tim and Stephen about the episode, or another trading topic? Visit the “submit your audio” portion of the website to ask what’s on your mind. You may be featured in an upcoming episode!

Thanks for tuning in to the Steady Trade Podcast! Stay tuned for weekly episodes focusing on topics relevant for aspiring traders!

Did you love this episode? Be sure to leave an iTunes review!