Is Trading a Stressful Job? (2024)

It is no secret that trading can be a very stressful job. According to Business Insider, it is the second-most stressful job on Wall Street, just behind investment banking.

Forex traders need to make a lot of decisions, and they must act quickly to make the best decisions. The pressure is so high that over 75% of traders quit within the first two years.

In this article, we will explore trading stress, effective stress management strategies, and more.

What is trading stress?

Anxiety, panic, lack of control, or exhaustion are all considered forms of trading stress. The trading process can easily become overwhelming as it involves reading financial news and economic reports, setting up charts, analyzing price movements to identify trading opportunities, placing trades, managing open positions, and conducting additional research to enhance trading strategies.

Despite investing a lot of time in studying charts and analyzing economic data before investing, there is no guarantee of a profitable outcome. Therefore, the uncertainty of the investment outcome can trigger a great deal of anxiety.

Your ability to generate profits depends on how well you navigate the markets, and the markets are often unpredictable. The feeling of uncertainty is stressful for traders; if stress is not managed, it can build up and lead to both physical and psychological issues. Negative emotions associated with stress can lower morale and contribute to investing mistakes.

Is Trading a Stressful Job? (1)

How to identify emotional stress

It’s not always easy to recognize emotional stress. Most people experiencing emotional distress are often unaware of this. Still, you can look at some psychological signs to determine whether you are stressed. Some of the physical signs to consider are insomnia, headaches, and fatigue. In most cases, when you are going through a difficult phase, you will find it a bit difficult to sleep.

The other sign that you are going through stress is the action you take in the market. For example, you will find yourself closing trades very quickly, known as panic selling. At times, you will find it difficult to execute investments.

In addition, you may experience burnout, which happens when there is physical and emotional exhaustion. Without any treatment, this situation can escalate into depression.

Tips for managing trading stress

Trade in money you can afford to lose

Begin your trading journey with funds that you can afford to lose. It is better to start investing with a small amount of money and gradually increase the amount you wish to put into your trades as you become more confident. It’s important to understand that when you start trading, you will lose money on some trades and make money on others.

Consider this process as a learning curve, where you will learn from every step you take and every mistake you make. Simply be patient and take your time. Developing your confidence is important, so it is important to trade with money you can afford to lose.

Create a trading plan

Creating a trading plan is an important element of successful trading. A trading plan can help you take the right direction as it provides a framework to measure your investing performance, which you will be able to monitor continually.

Your investment plan should include how to enter and exit trades. It should outline the markets that will be traded, position size, where you will place your stop loss and take profit, and a lot more.

Once you have everything written down, your role is to implement the plan. This way, you not only simplify decision-making during trading but also reduce the thinking you need to do and avoid becoming exhausted.

Avoid multitasking

Avoid multitasking, as productivity is maximized when you focus on one thing at a time. Eliminate all distractions while trading, such as refraining from checking social media during investing sessions. Focus only on the chart you have in front of you.

Additionally, focus on the single market at a time. Avoid opening charts of various assets at the same time, with the expectation of focusing deeply on each one of them. You will suffer from information overload and become exhausted.

Identify the source of the stress

Identify the main cause of your trading stress. Is it a result of the market’s unpredictability, a losing streak, or a significant loss? Is it possible that you lack confidence in your investing strategy or that you are risking too much money on each trade, making you too attached to the outcome of each investment?

Whatever the source of the stress, identify it and address it. If you are concerned about the money at risk, reduce the size of your trades to an amount you are comfortable with.

Focus on the factors you can manage

In trading, there are many factors you cannot control. For example, you have no control over unpredictable price movements, which means you cannot control the outcome of your trades. However, you can focus on the factors you can control, including the amount of risk you take, your investing strategy, and the ability to execute your plan.

One thing you should be aware of is that trading is a probability game, and you can never predict how a trade will turn out. Once you have a profitable strategy, concentrate on executing your trades and ignore the outcome. In the long run, your advantage will eventually pay off and generate profits for you.

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Lower your expectations

Set realistic goals instead of impossible ones. Don’t expect every trade to be profitable, and don’t let past failures influence your future decisions.

Instead, focus on executing your investments consistently and accepting whatever the market provides in each trade. Trading is a long-term journey with lots of challenges. Lowering your expectations can help you feel less stressed.

Accept that there will be losses

Losses are inevitable in trading because losing is part of the game. You must learn how to accept setbacks without feeling stressed about them. The first step to accepting your losses is to make sure your strategy has a positive expectancy by testing it on a demo account.

Another thing is to have a good money management strategy. To minimize your losses, you should not risk more than 1% of your trading capital in a single trade.

Use relaxation techniques

Use emotion management techniques such as mindfulness exercises, positive self-talk, meditation, or yoga to reduce stress levels and calm your mind.

Take a break

It helps to take a break from trading. This is especially important if you are having a streak of wins or losses, as these situations can increase the chance of investing errors. If you are winning, there’s a risk of using too much leverage or overtrading. If you are losing, you may want to get revenge on the market.

Take a walk, meet up with friends, participate in a trading forum, or do anything else you feel like. The important thing is to step away from your screen for a while and allow yourself a mental break.

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In summary

Even though trading has many challenges, managing stress is essential for long-term success in this fast-paced industry. By taking a disciplined approach to trading, understanding the sources of stress, and putting effective stress management strategies into practice, traders can navigate the demanding landscape with greater resilience and confidence.

This information is not considered investment advice or an investment recommendation, but instead a marketing communication. IronFX is not responsible for any data or information provided by third parties referenced or hyperlinked in this communication.

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Is Trading a Stressful Job? (2024)


How stressful is a trading job? ›

It is no secret that trading can be a very stressful job. According to Business Insider, it is the second-most stressful job on Wall Street, just behind investment banking.

Do 90% of traders fail? ›

According to various studies and reports, between 70% to 90% of retail traders lose money every quarter. This article will discuss the main reasons retail traders lose money and how they can enhance their performance and profitability.

How stressful is stock trading? ›

Day trading can be a stressful way of making money whether you are working independently or as part of an institution. There are many causes of this stress and depression, including underperformance and a strategy that is not working. This explains why your psychological wellbeing is so important.

How stressful is day trading? ›

High stress.

Markets move quickly, and seeing your balance swing up and down can be very stressful, especially if your trades aren't working out. Day trading is a form of gambling and can become addictive, putting strain on your health and relationships.

What is the life expectancy of a trader? ›

"To survive you have to be a mixture of physicist and drug dealer, otherwise you become a sitting duck." In this high-pressure world, traders turn over quickly. "If you're not producing," says Handa, "you're gone." The average professional life-span of a trader, says Handa, is from 2 to 5 years.

Is trading a lonely job? ›

Choosing a career in trading often means embracing a solitary path in life. The loneliness that comes with a trading career is not just about being physically alone; it's a unique form of solitude. In the minds of traders, there exists a vast inner world that outsiders usually struggle to comprehend.

Why do people quit trading? ›

The inability to control emotions and make rational decisions under pressure often leads to poor trading outcomes and, eventually, quitting. Trading emotions are much easier to navigate once you have guidance.

What percentage of traders get rich? ›

It is a high-risk and high-rewards venture. Around 1% – 20% of traders earn a profitable margin at the end of the day. The low success rate often discourages the newbies who learn new ways from an online course or television. Studies have shown that around 97% of day traders have lost their money in two years.

What percentage of traders are rich? ›

Roughly 10% to 15% could make some money, but not enough to make it worth their while to continue trying to do it for a career. Of the 4% who make a living, that doesn't necessarily mean a good living. If you want to rich you'll need to be in the top tier of that 4%.

Can trading cause anxiety? ›

Trading anxiety is a feeling where traders feel disturbed and worried when trading money or financial assets. Every trader will face anxiety at some point in their careers.

Is being a stock trader risky? ›

If a stock's price or the market moves in the wrong direction, it can result in very quick and substantial financial losses. Leveraged investing can even result in losing more money, and in some cases substantially more, than initially invested.

Is it hard to do trading? ›

Trading stocks may sound glamorous, but behind the scenes it's actually a lot of hard work and can involve extensive research. While it's not always easy, new investors can take a number of steps to begin investing successfully, including finding a style that works to grow their portfolio over time.

Is trading really worth it? ›

While there is no guarantee that you will make money or be able to predict your average rate of return over any period, there are strategies that you can master to help you lock in gains while minimizing losses. It takes discipline, capital, patience, training, and risk management to be a successful day trader.

Is it realistic to be a day trader? ›

Day trading can be profitable, but it's far from guaranteed. Many day traders end up losing money before calling it quits. Success in day trading requires a deep understanding of market dynamics, the ability to analyze and act on market data quickly, and strict discipline in risk management.

Do traders really make money? ›

Trading is often viewed as a high barrier-to-entry profession, but as long as you have both ambition and patience, you can trade for a living (even with little to no money). Trading can become a full-time career opportunity, a part-time opportunity, or just a way to generate supplemental income.

Do trade jobs hurt your body? ›

Trade jobs are hands-on and often physically demanding. Whether scaling scaffolding on a construction site, crawling through tight spaces as an electrician, or lifting heavy materials, your body is your most valuable tool.

Is trader a hard job? ›

This means that even people who have full-time jobs or children at home can trade—it is just a matter of finding the right market and opportunity for you. This is not to say that trading is an easy business; it can be very difficult.

Which trades are hardest on the body? ›

It has been edited for consistency and updated information on our services.
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Is trading a good career for introverts? ›

In the world of trading, introverts reign supreme. Trading isn't just a career; it's a sanctuary for those who thrive in introspection, analysis, and independent decision-making. It's a realm where the power of quiet contemplation drives success.

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