AlphaMind Podcast Episode 50: John Locke - SMB Capital Options Trader on Developing a Mindset for Trading Success

This week's podcast interview was with John Locke, an options trader with SMB Capital who also helps other traders achieve success through his business ‘Locke in Your Success’.

John came to trading via an unorthodox route. He was originally a Success Coach. John took the principles he applied to his clients in his coaching and applied them to himself. John worked on his own personal and human development more so than focusing on developing his trading strategy and the other external parts of the trading process. John was effectively developing his ‘Metagame’ as a trader. This appears to have been a significant factor in John becoming profitable from his trading far quicker than most other new traders.

This episode is full of value. – The first 25 minutes of the interview explore aspects of options trading, and this will be useful for all traders whether they are options traders or not.

John talks about his journey into trading and how he achieved success relatively quickly after some early challenges and learning experiences. John quickly moved to a style of trading which suited his personality rather than being stuck in a style which did not suit his natural abilities.

John shares some insights about being an option trader, discusses some of the upside of trading options and also some of the dangers and risks options entails. He talks about some of the strategies he prefers and the crucial importance of managing your risk when engaged in options trading. He also talks about some of the mistakes many traders make when trying their hand at options trading.

The second part of the podcast, from about half an hour into the podcast, focuses on the mindset needed for success and how our emotions can derail us from optimal behaviour and following good process.

As mentioned, John was formerly a success coach, he encouraged people to focus on personal development and on the development of techniques on how to think better. John applied these same principles to himself and to his trading.

John talks about mindset and its importance in developing a mindset for successful trading. He shares his stories from his trading experience about mindset, and how he sees this as being a differentiator between great performance and sub-par performance.

John talks about the role of emotions in trading, the mind-maps this creates which affect how people play their strategies and playbook. He also shares in-depth his views about the importance of beliefs, beneficial beliefs, sub-optimal beliefs, and how these shapes what happens in people’s minds. This formed the basis for a deep exploration in the interview which will be hugely informative for the audience, keen to understand themselves and how their mindset affects their own trading.

We also spoke to John about his Risk Personality. John had taken the Risk Type Compass test which was offered free as part of our previous podcast with Geoff Trickey of Psychological consultancy. Listeners can still take the test and receive a complementary shorted version of the test report. They can upgrade to receive a longer 10-12 page report of their test for a GBP 35 fee.

The test takes about 10 minutes to complete, after a short registration process. – It is best to take the test in your first language, as this helps with the nuance on some of the questions.

The link for the test is here You can learn more about how the meaning of the test results apply to traders on the episode notes here

You can learn more about John Locke on his website: Lockeinyoursuccess.

Podcast Episode Links:
🎧Main Link

The AlphaMind Podcast
The AlphaMind podcast is co-hosted by Steven Goldstein and Mark Randall, market veterans with over seven decades between them in the financial markets. The podcast delves into the lives and stories of extraordinary guests whose experiences provide a fresh and powerful lens through which to understand the mental, emotional, psychological and behavioural challenges people face when encountering risk and uncertainty in financial markets. To find out more visit the AlphaMind podcast website. The AlphaMind Podcast is produced in partnership with 'The Society of Technical Analysts'.

The AlphaMind Trader Performance Coaching Programme
Our powerful Trader Performance Coaching Programme focuses on helping people develop and improve the key risk skills, abilities and mindsets which contribute to trading performance mastery. 

This programme makes use of our unique and powerful ‘Human Alpha Performance Model’ which helps illuminate the human aspects of the risk process as people navigate their way through the Financial Markets. The model helps people make sense of their behaviours when taking and managing risk in the financial markets, whilst the coaching helps people to make key changes and adjustments which drives growth in risk capability and personal performance.

This programme has been delivered over the past 10 years to people at many of the world’s leading trading and investment firms.

Click here to find our more about the programme, or email

AlphaMind partner with AlphaRCubed to deliver the Coaching Programme. - AlphaRCubed provide a suite of Training, Development and Coaching programmes aimed at Trading and Investment businesses. View their flip brochure here to find out more about their work.  

The AlphaMind Project and Newsletter

The AlphaMind project is a collaboration between AlphaRCubed Ltd and the Mark Randall Consultancy. Its aim is to explore, understand, educate and inform about the key factors which lead to successful trading and investment performance at the human level.

We will shortly be publishing a regular Newsletter. If you would like to add your name to the Newsletter subscription list, then just sign up at this Newsletter link.