Type A Personality and Forex Trading

I had a question referred to me regarding patience. A Forex Trader stated that her main struggle with trading was a lack of patience, so her question became “Can anyone suggest a good book to learn patience?” At first glance this looks like a perfectly acceptable question, which it is, however it won’t help her or anyone else. Because we don’t actually learn how to be more patient, there is no book or secret sauce that can teach you patience. This is a typical problem in life in general, we always look externally to learn how to do the positive.

When in fact we should be looking Internally and deciding to stop doing the things that we are doing that are giving us the results that we don’t want. Come again?

Lets look at the above example and I am in no way mocking this question or any like it. We all do it, I have done it. However it is a habit we need to stop, if we are to change the behaviour we no longer want. So again we are looking at the above example “Can anyone suggest a good book to learn patience?” The question is external we are looking for an answer from outside ourselves, we are asking someone else to teach us a positive habit. This whole statement is a marketers dream, its what advertisers play to. The whole marketing industry is based upon the principle of “Sell them what they want. Give them what they need.”


Common Mistake…

To sell to this trader all I would need to do is write a book entitled “10 Steps to Patience” Sounds great and maybe you would like to buy that book. Maybe I’m cutting myself out of a deal here. The reason I am telling you all of this, is that when you ask the right questions you don’t need to buy any book. The answer becomes a lot easier to find within yourself. It’s what coaches do, we don’t give you answers we ask intelligent questions. No offence but the question being asked is not the right one. The forex trader does not need to learn how to be patient. She needs to unlearn impatience.

The book will consist of either quotes or phrases telling you to sit still, do one thing at a time, breathe deeply before saying something. Which is basically the opposite of what you are doing now. So that this great book of 10 magical steps is actually a list of 10 things not to do. It is telling you to stop doing whatever it is you are doing that is making you think you are impatient. Does she really need someone outside of herself to tell her to stop doing whatever it is she is doing that is making her think she is impatient.

I would suggest No. What she really needs is to understand why she does those things and then she can address them. Which is exactly what I had to do.


What is Impatience?

There is no one answer that fits all, I seem to say that a lot, but its true. People are different, their views and beliefs are different. However there is a very distinctive link between Impatience and stress. The more perceived stress. the more perceived impatience. Which brings us to the title of this Blog. Those of you coming from the test that we have on Stress and Trading, will have been given a result of Type “A” Personality or a tendency towards Type “A” personality. Those wishing to complete the test, which I would strongly advise. Can do so here …

So what is a Type “A” personality? This type of personality concerns how people respond to stress. However, although its name implies a personality typology, it is more appropriately conceptualized as a trait continuum, with extremes Type-A and Type-B individuals on each end.

In 1961 Drs. Meyer Friedman and Ray Rosenman interviewed three thousand healthy middle-aged men, looking for certain behavior patterns. By 1970 those men who were judged to have Type A behavior patterns had twice the incidence of coronary heart disease than those with Type B patterns. Although some researchers have not been able to confirm the correlation between Type A behaviour and Heart Disease, why take the chance?



Type A individuals tend to be very competitive and self-critical. They strive toward goals without feeling a sense of joy in their efforts or accomplishments. Interrelated with this is the presence of a significant life imbalance.  This is characterized by a high work involvement.  Type A individuals are easily ‘wound up’ and tend to overreact. They also tend to have high blood pressure (hypertension).


Time Pressure

Type A personalities experience a constant sense of urgency: Type A people seem to be in a constant struggle against the clock. Often, they quickly become impatient with delays and unproductive time, schedule commitments too tightly, and try to do more than one thing at a time, such as reading while eating or watching television.


Hostility and Anger

Type A individuals tend to be easily aroused to anger or hostility, which they may or may not express overtly. Such individuals tend to see the worse in others, displaying anger, envy and a lack of compassion. When this behaviour is expressed overtly (i.e. physical behaviour) it generally involves aggression and possible bullying (Forshaw, 2012). Hostility appears to be the main factor linked to heart disease and is a better predictor than the Type A Personality Behaviour as a whole.


In a Nut Shell

Type A people are aggressively involved in a struggle to get more and more accomplished in less and less time. A Type A person will tend to move, walk, eat, and talk rapidly. They are impatient and they interrupt other people who are talking. Also they find waiting for others difficult, especially when they can do things faster.

People who show Type A behaviour patterns are more interested in getting things done than in the enjoyment of doing them. The Type A lifestyle is not a happy one. Type A people are not as highly successful as many people believe. Type A executives, for example, are seldom selected for top-level management positions. If you maintain a Type A lifestyle, you are taking a big chance with your life and possibly sacrificing your happiness at the same time. Why do it?

On the other end of the scale we have people with Type B personalities tend to be more tolerant of others, are more relaxed than Type A individuals, more reflective, experience lower levels of anxiety and display higher levels of imagination and creativity.

The purpose of giving you this information is not so that you can sit back and say “I’m type “A” that’s why I’m impatient” or “I have Type “A” tendencies of course I’m impatient.” That doesn’t help any body. This information is not to be used as an excuse but as an opportunity. You now have an awareness of the things you do that are part of the behaviour pattern that is Type “A”. Which of course you can change as our brains are like super computers and can be reprogrammed.


If this is you, start by:

  1. Slow down. Set priorities and only do the things at the top of your list.
  2. Set aside time to examine your goals and wants. Remember that when you die, all that is left of your life here is the way you have lived it. You cannot take it with you. The physical things you build will not last. Life is not somewhere to go. It is an active process of being. Enjoy the road you travel.
  3. Develop confidence in yourself. The reasons for your aggressive and competitive behaviour do not really exist – except in your mind. When you develop a strong sense of self-confidence, you will not need to constantly get things done and run over other people in the process.
  4. I would suggest that you read a book called Peak Performance: Body and Mind by Scott W. Donkin and Gerard Meyer.


The Forex Trader

This is invaluable information to the forex trader. She can now assess what she is doing in life and how that is relating to her trading.  Lets imagine that she has taken my previous advice and has taken the

Self-Assessment Stress Test for Forex Traders


Not only will she gain lots of wonderful information about herself, a sub part of the test tells her that she has Type “A” tendencies. She has trouble sitting still, she always needs to be on the move. That will cause her a problem for trading surely, don’t we have to sit in front of the charts and wait for our entry or exit signals.

Her Type “A” tendencies are causing her anxiety, her body has gone into fight or flight mode based on the possible threat… when all she is really doing is sitting down waiting for her exit signal. Her perceived impatience is actually her wanting to get out of the fire, the stress, the feeling of anxiety, that uncomfortable feeling we get that makes us and her close the trade early….ahhhh… that feels better.

That’s the impatience she really wants to change. She may want to learn patience. But what she needs is to lose the feeling she gets while she is waiting.



It starts by taking the test. This then helps with your awareness. Next come action, follow the tips you get with your results. Then teach yourself to stop doing whatever it is you are doing that makes you say that you are impatient or get a coach to help you. Other ways to help you take longer but do work and are the 2 key strategies to every successful trader. Your Trading Plan followed precisely and with passion and your Trading Journal, which allows you to review the fact that you are following your rules precisely and with passion.

If you are struggling to learn to trade consistently by yourself, then I would suggest taking a look at our Trading Room. Here you will gain access to two coaches, Andres – Director of Trading and myself Director of Trading Psychology. Where else can you learn and be coached by a Trading coach and a Trading Psychology Coach, while making pips?


To Your Consistently Profitable Trading



P.S. What did you think of this Lesson? Please share it with us in the comments below!








Forshaw, M., & Sheffield, D. (Eds.). (2012). Health psychology in action. John Wiley & Sons.

Friedman, M. and Rosenman, R. Type A Behaviour and Your Heart. New York: Knopf, 1975.

McLeod, S. A. (2017). Type A personality. Retrieved from www.simplypsychology.org/personality-a.html




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Callum McLean

Co-Founder and Trading Psychologist at Special FX Academy
Trading Psychology Coach and Certified NLP Coach. It is my belief that trading is 99% Psychological. And it is by understanding and improving your psychology, that you can be a successful trader. Success is a formula that everyone can and should learn.
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