Intellectual Intelligence (IQ) versus Emotional Intelligence (EQ). The debate flares.

One of the earliest discussions on my LinkedIn group (Trader, Trading & Risk Psychology), and one which is still going strong some 3 ½ years later, is: 'What is more important for success as a trader - A high level of Intellectual Intelligence, or a high level of Emotional Intelligence?'

Recently this discussion/debate has flared to life in academic circles and the public media. Hat tip to Mike Sjostedt who creates and publishes tools and material related to this and similar topics on his More Than Sound website for bringing this to my attention.

The debate really kicked off after Wharton professor Adam Grant penned a blog piece whereby he states his view that ‘Emotional Intelligence is overrated’.  Daniel Goleman, the man who first wrote about and devised the term ‘Emotional Intelligence’ responds to this in an article be penned titled, ‘Let’s Not Underrate Emotional Intelligence.’ Finally a more nuanced perspective is put forward by Joshua Freedman on the 6seconds website under the headline, ‘Does IQ Beat EQ? Wrong Question.’

All 3 articles are well worth the read. As a Performance Coach working with traders and fund managers I have a strong bias towards Goleman’s argument. However I think Freedman hits the nail on the head in his piece, when he states that ‘emotions drive people’.  

In fact this last point will feature heavily in a couple of webinars myself and performance coach Denise Shull, author of the excellent book ‘Market Mind Games’ and an authority on trading and coaching from a neuroscience perspective, will be presenting over the next couple of months. These webinars (see below) are being hosted by Essentia Analytics*,  participation is exclusive to investors and fund managers from professional investment, fund and asset management firms, however we will be making the recordings available at a later date.

*If you are a professional investment, fund and asset management firm and would like to know more about accessing these webinars, please email me at

Details of the webinars:

Webinar 1. Why Emotional Intelligence is the New Efficient Frontier
Wednesday, 19th November 2014
5.45pm CET / 4.45pm GMT / 11.45am EST / 8.45am PST
Research shows that when you're physically tired or have already made a number of tough decisions, you're more likely to misperceive risk. In this webinar, Denise Shull reviews new lessons from decision and neuroscience and explains why a more focused awareness of our mental state can generate better investment performance. Denise also reveals what the science says about the thinking styles of so-called “natural born traders”.
Duration: 45 minutes (
25 min presentation, 20 min Q&A) 
Denise Shull - Founder & President at The Rethink Group.
Author of Market Mind Games. Based in New York and a former equities and commodities trader with a fascination with neuropsychology, Denise solves the vexing problem of human foibles and mis-behavior in the face of market risk. Using the latest research on how cognitive and emotional brain inputs work together, she teaches professional investors how to integrate their intellects, experience and emotional clues to arrive at higher-odds decisions.
Webinar 2. How Well Are You Managing Your Psychological Capital?
Wednesday, 10th December 2014
5.45pm CET / 4.45pm GMT / 11.45am EST / 8.45am PST
Most fund managers will look back over the year and recognise a handful of trades where impulses got the better of them. In this webinar, Steven Goldstein discusses the factors that inhibit excellence in risk performance and talks about how we can better understand and leverage our psychological capital, with positive consequences for personal discipline and consistency of investment style.  
Duration: 45 minutes (25 min presentation, 20 min Q&A) 
Steven Goldstein - Trader and Fund Manager Performance Coach at Chrysalis Performance Consulting.
Steven has 25 years of experience in the trenches as a trader with some of the world’s leading investment banks. Based in the UK, he leverages this in working with traders and fund managers to 'sharpen their edges'. Central to his approach to better decision-making is a strong focus on enhancing the internal relationship between the emotional and intellectual aspects of managing money.