It’s official — trading coach Kim Ann Curtin is now a SteadyTrade co-host!
Top athletes train with coaches … so why not traders, too? Yep, trading coaches are a thing, and Kim is one of them. Also known as The Wall Street Coach, Kim specializes in training traders (and other top-ranking execs) to help them realize their full potential.
Kim heads up a multinational operation with bases in the U.S., Europe, and Spain. She’s also the author of “Transforming Wall Street: A Conscious Path for a New Future.”
And now, we’re happy to have her join the extended StocksToTrade family as the newest co-host of the SteadyTrade podcast!
Kim has tons of insight about C-suite execs and top traders … so she’s definitely worth getting to know. Read on to learn more about Kim, what she does, and her new role on SteadyTrade.
Table of Contents
About Kim Ann Curtin
Kim’s path to the corporate world wasn’t necessarily direct. She attended the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City and was initially on a very different path.
She got into finance for the same reason many of you probably started trading: to make money. And make money she did — acting as an executive and personal assistant to CEOs in banking and finance.
After nearly a decade of this type of work, she decided to hire an executive coach for personal enrichment. She had a transformational experience, and that’s when she felt the calling to become a coach herself. She started her own coaching firm, and things went well … for the first year.
But then, in the summer of 2008, things began to tank.
She knew she needed to do something radical. Then one day, inspiration came from the most unexpected place: the Free Hugs Campaign. This was a movement where people set up in public spaces and offered free hugs. No, not to be creepy … but to help people take pause and experience a brief moment of connection with another human.
Kim loved the idea of connecting with others that characterized the movement and took part in it herself for years. When a friend suggested she offer free coaching, she figured she had nothing to lose!
So she set up where she felt she could be of the most service … right in front of the New York Stock Exchange on Wall Street. She sat there with a sign that read “The Coach Is In.”
Her timing was impeccable: her first day was on October 7, 2008 — the day of the infamous market crash.
On any other day, people might have walked right by. But the crash jolted a lot of people into a different mindset. Many walking by had actually just lost their jobs and found themselves more receptive to what she had to offer. She made the news and was branded “The Wall Street Coach.” The name stuck and is now officially trademarked.
To be clear, Kim doesn’t just coach traders. She consults with executives in all sorts of industries, including the tech world and the arts. Her clients include individuals from such corporations as Bank of America, Barron’s, BC Partners, Blackstone, Crump, EY, EisnerAmper, GIC, L’Oréal, Morgan Stanley, and P&G.
Born and bred in New York, Kim now resides in Hawaii. This mixture of home environments has shaped Kim’s coaching: she’s just as comfortable in the boardroom as she is in the spiritual tropics. She combines real-world smarts with empathy and soul.
For more information on Kim’s work, visit TheWallStreetCoach.com.
Kim on the SteadyTrade Podcast!
Kim first appeared as a guest on Episode 100 of the SteadyTrade Podcast.
To put it mildly, she blew our minds! Don’t miss this episode. Kim addresses what can hold traders back, guides Stephen through a breakthrough, and introduces five vital practices to help traders (and everyone else, really) live authentically.
(Just in case you need those five vital practices, here they are: self-responsibility, empathy for yourself and others, emotional non-resistance, embracing your inner hero, and mindfulness.)
The episode is wildly popular – one of our top episodes to date. Kim came back by popular demand to do one-on-one coaching sessions with both Stephen and me. (Check ‘em out: Episode 104 and Episode 110 feature Stephen, and Episode 109 features me).
Following the incredible success of these episodes, we all decided it was time to take our relationship to the next level. And so … we’re proud to announce that Kim Ann Curtin is now a co-host of the SteadyTrade Podcast!
Kim’s thoughtful, empathetic approach and new perspective have already had a great impact on the show. And now, she’ll be an ongoing member of the crew.
Hiring a coach is completely worth the investment to improve your trading. However, it may not be in the budget for new traders. So don’t miss the opportunity to learn from her on the SteadyTrade Podcast.
Getting to Know Kim
Curious about what makes Kim tick? Here’s a little Q&A to help you get to know her a little bit better:
STT: Can you tell us the story of how you became involved in finance and executive coaching?
Kim Ann Curtin: In the late 90s, I was an operations manager for a large bookstore where I managed a large business section. That’s where I discovered “Investment Biker” by Jim Rogers and “Liar’s Poker” by Michael Lewis. In reading these, I figured that industry was where the money was … And since I was helping to support my mom at the time, I decided to go there.
I worked for almost ten years in finance before becoming an executive coach. I started out as an executive and personal assistant to the CEO of the NY State Community Bankers Association, then moved over to the hedge fund world. The last firm I worked for is still one of the largest funds in the world!
What made me walk away was a transformational experience I had when I hired a coach of my own. I felt called to become one. In short order, I started my own practice, eventually focusing on finance professionals as I felt I understood their experience and that world firsthand. So it’s been 23 years that I’ve been in and around Wall Street.
STT: What kind of work do you do as a coach … and how can it benefit people like traders?
KAC: As a coach, my work primarily helps people become more self-aware and therefore more effective in how they respond to whatever challenges show up. Understanding yourself and how you can be more self-encouraging or less critical can be game-changing. I believe that to be a successful trader, one needs to understand oneself and how one reacts when experiencing volatility.
STT: You wrote an acclaimed book, “Transforming Wall Street: A Conscious Path for a New Future.” What inspired you to write this book, and what would you like people to take from it?
KAC: I donated my coaching for an entire year outside the NYSE during the 2008 crisis, so I was intimately aware of the costs that so many people paid during that period.
Along with many others, I was aghast over the bailouts. When the Occupy Wall Street movement began, I could empathize with their frustration initially. But then, the more I listened to them, I realized they were collapsing capitalism with the bailouts … And they were using a wide brush to paint everyone in the finance industry as bad — and worse, demonizing capitalism.
Having read Adam Smith’s “The Theory of Moral Sentiments” (Smith is known as the father of capitalism), I knew that true, authentic capitalism would never have bailed out those banks. And I felt that someone needed to say that.
I also felt change was needed on Wall Street … But to create that change, we would need suggestions from the men and women of Wall Street who had succeeded there with integrity to advise us on where to begin. So I wrote the book to encourage a sort of transformation on Wall Street that would be more in alignment with what Smith actually advocated and what true capitalism is.
I walked by The Strand Bookstore in NYC one night while debating whether to write the book. And I saw this Toni Morrison quote in the window: “If there is a book you want to read but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.”
It hit me like a spear in the chest, and I felt I couldn’t refuse the call. I hope people will take from it that capitalism — when practiced consciously and ethically — is the greatest agent for change and for helping people get their needs met. I feel capitalism is sacred when stakeholders (!) along with shareholders are equally regarded.
STT: What excites you most about being part of the SteadyTrade team?
KAC: Working with people that really have integrity. I’m so impressed with how forthright you are about how hard it is to successfully trade. I feel you shoot straight from the hip with your viewers and allow them to manage their expectations by strongly advocating, as you [Tim Bohen] say, “read the charts until their eyes bleed” and study, study, study.
I appreciate Stephen Johnson’s vulnerability in putting his journey from the start and his wins and losses right out there for anyone watching. I find the way you both operate – real and down to earth – so refreshing.
You’re not posing in front of fancy cars, but instead connecting to the needs of the viewers watching and listening. I’m also excited to share the tools I’ve learned over the past 23 years that helped me find emotional equanimity in many storms. And I want these tools to benefit the viewers.
I consider it an honor to be a contribution to those who are here learning. I think it takes guts to try something new and want to improve your place in life. So I’m honored to assist the viewers in achieving their goals.
STT: In your opinion, what holds traders back from realizing their potential?
KAC: Not being truly self-aware, and not understanding fully how much they’re up against a tsunami of biological triggers that can impact their judgment and thus their trading.
STT: Why does trading psychology matter?
KAC: The most successful traders are in touch with what’s going on in their minds (and bodies) … and what’s going on in the minds (and bodies) of other traders. Often, they’re invisible to themselves, so becoming more clear on how you tick will improve your ability to trade.
How else can you navigate the highs, lows, or, God forbid, a panic? Also the more you understand how you tick, you can better intuit how other traders tick. That’s really is what this is all about. Having clarity on how everyone else will react when you know you’ll be able to respond can give you a competitive edge.
STT: Many traders believe that their trading exists in a vacuum, but you believe that it’s related to everything else that’s going on in their lives. Can you speak more about that?
KAC: There’s nothing in your life that’s in a vacuum. Everything is interconnected. How could you think your trading is in a vacuum? The government affects your trading. The person down the street is affecting your trading. Local and global events affect trading.
It’s the most competitive global game in the world … how could you and your strategy be so omnipotent that other factors don’t come into play? If you have tunnel vision, no matter how good you may think you are, I can’t imagine you’d ever be able to go the distance. That’s why it’s so important to have your eyes wide open and be adaptable!
STT: What’s one thing you wish more traders knew?
KAC: The illogical impacts of trading on the body and mind. Your body releases hormones when you’re in situations of great risk … like trading.
There’s a physiological current that you have no control over. By not being aware of the basic experiences that your body goes through is cognitive dissonance. And you’ll pay in the long run if you don’t fully take the time to understand this.
So many traders think “mind over matter.” They don’t realize there are hormones that pull them toward decisions that aren’t in their best interest and are likely invisible to them.
This phenomenon makes a strong case for a trading plan because it’s like having a prenup with your trade. You’re not being swayed by the emotional exuberance or panic that’s physiologically ruling you. You’ve committed to the plan and you take the battle between mind and body out of the equation.
STT: What are some common traits you’ve noticed in the most successful traders/executives?
KAC: Emotional intelligence. Spiritual intelligence. The most successful people are the ones who are self-aware and constantly striving to become more aware.
Awareness doesn’t keep you from making mistakes. But successful people are the ones who don’t make themselves wrong or beat themselves up … Rather they look at their mistakes with neutrality and try to understand what happened and what informed them. “What was going on for me when I did that?”
People who can treat themselves with empathy and bring curiosity to unexpected situations are more likely to be able to reflect back and course-correct later. There’s no benefit to just beating yourself up. Plus, when you beat yourself up, it’s hard to be self-aware. Who wants to look at their mistakes if they know they’ll be shamed for it?
The most successful people are those who leave room for their humanity and don’t have inappropriately high expectations of perfection. It’s fine to be disappointed, but they can still keep going.
Ready to Improve Your Trading Psychology?
Trading psychology is so important to long-term success as a trader. Ready to improve yours? It’s all about self-awareness and constant practice.
Education is the first step. It’s vital to understand the market before you dive in and start making trades. StocksToTrade can help with that … StocksToTrade Pro is an immersive trading community. You can seek out education, training, and mentorship, and you’ll find a great community of motivated, like-minded traders.
From there, it’s plenty of studying, practice, and self-reflection. Maybe you’ll start by paper trading (virtual trading) and learning how to make a watchlist. From there, you can begin to make small trades and scale up over time.
By staying on top of what’s going on in the stock market, monitoring your trades, and refining your techniques, you’ll be able to improve slowly over time. Slow but steady wins the race … There’s no forcing things in the stock market!
The Final Word
Working with a coach like Kim Ann Curtin can absolutely help improve your trading. However, as a new trader with limited means, hiring a coach might not be within your budget. But now, you can learn from Kim Ann Curtin on the SteadyTrade Podcast – don’t miss this opportunity!
Be sure to catch the episodes where Kim appeared in as a guest, and tune in to the podcast regularly for the latest and greatest topics for traders of all levels!
How would you spend your time working with a trading coach? We love hearing from you!