top of page

Trading Psychology and Risk Management: Head Scratchers & Stomach Churners w/ Anton Kreil

Anton Kreil, ITPM, Retail Trader
Anton Kreil director of ITPM teaching retail traders how to emulate a professional approach.


In this blog post, we will explore the importance of psychology and risk management in trading. Many traders struggle with their psychology and often make poor decisions due to emotional reactions. Additionally, understanding and implementing effective risk management strategies is crucial to minimize losses and maximize profits. We will delve deeper into these topics and provide insights on how to improve your trading skills.

Head Scratchers and Stomach Churners:

One common challenge traders face is dealing with head scratchers and stomach churners.

  • A head scratcher refers to a situation where a trade does not go as expected, causing confusion and frustration.

  • On the other hand, a stomach churner refers to a catastrophic loss that can lead to panic and fear.

It is important to understand the definitions of these terms and how to handle them effectively.

Outcomes and Results:

Traders need to be aware of the potential outcomes and results of their trades and positions. It is crucial to understand that losses are a part of trading and should be managed effectively. By diversifying your portfolio and implementing negative correlation across ideas, you can minimize the risk of catastrophic losses. Additionally, trade structures, such as options trading, can help limit downside risk while providing opportunities for explosive upside.

Preventative Risk Management:

Preventative risk management is essential to limit the psychological impact of market movements. By diversifying your portfolio, understanding the fundamentals of each trade, and implementing trade structures, you can eliminate the possibility of catastrophic losses. This, in turn, reduces panic and confusion, leading to better decision-making.

Long Short Portfolio ITPM
One way of preventative risk management is through a long short portfolio, similar to what ITPM presents above.

Reactive Risk Management:

Reactive risk management is a skill that sets professional traders apart from retail traders. It involves effectively managing losses and maximizing profits. Professional traders have more experience in containing losses and understanding market movements. They stay in motion, constantly assessing and adjusting their positions based on market conditions. By focusing on fundamentals and avoiding emotional attachment to positions, professional traders can make informed decisions and minimize losses.

The Competency Hierarchy:

ITPM Competency Hierarchy
ITPM Competency Hierarchy

The competency hierarchy in trading is divided into different tiers, with tier one being the highest level of competence. Traders in tier one have high-quality trade ideas, effectively manage risk, and consistently make profits. It takes time and experience to reach this level, and mentorship programs can provide a shortcut to understanding and implementing effective risk management strategies.


Psychology and risk management are crucial aspects of successful trading. By understanding the definitions of head scratchers and stomach churners, traders can better handle challenging situations. Implementing preventative risk management measures and mastering reactive risk management techniques can lead to consistent profits. It is important to continuously learn and adapt to market conditions to improve trading skills and climb the competency hierarchy.

Disclaimer: Not Financial Advice

The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and should not be considered as financial, investment, or trading advice. The content is based on the author's research, experience, and understanding of financial topics, but it is not a substitute for professional advice from a certified financial advisor or other qualified professionals.

All investments and financial decisions involve risk, and the reader should conduct their research and consult with a financial expert before making any financial choices. The author and the website or platform where this article is published shall not be held responsible for any financial losses or decisions made based on the information provided in this article.


bottom of page