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Conquering Fear in Trading

In this exclusive to Traders Magazine, therapist Storm Copestand examines how traders can manage expectations and conquer their fear during the entire execution process.

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Daughter of a Trader Eschews Trading

Well, on second thought, check that

Sometimes a person takes a circuitous route to a career in trading.

Take Federated Investors' Jennifer Setzenfand, who came from a trading bloodline but initially was not interested in the her uncle's and father's profession. She is the daughter of retired trader Dennis Green, who had a 38-year trading career that included a stint with Prescott Ball & Turben. Green retired in May 2002, having held the position of senior vice president, manager of Nasdaq equity trading, for Legg Mason.

Jennifer Setzenfand

"When she was growing up, I had no idea she was going to get into trading," said Green, now retired in Fort Myers, Fla.

Yet today, Setzenfand is following in her father's footsteps in more ways than one. She is about to become the head of the Security Traders Association. He occupied that post in 1990. And now Setzenfand says she is very happy with her career choice of trading.

"I love the excitement of trading. There are so many different challenges," she said. Yet Setzenfand's success is the result of some remarkable accidents. Maybe it was talent mixed with kismet that has made her career.

These accidents-what some call la fuerza del destino-included the benefit of having several trading mentors besides her father, along with the unexpected pregnancy of a deskmate. The deskmate's desire to have children helped advance Setzenfand's career.

Her career path has given her myriad opportunities. Setzenfand has not only had the chance to trade, but also to trade many different things. That's something that delights her. "Coming to work is always interesting," she said.

Indeed, in her 17-year career she has traded almost every kind of asset from her desks, both in Chicago and, now, Pittsburgh. For example, besides equities, she now specializes in structured notes, convertibles, options and futures trading.

And yet as a young person, she had no thoughts about the family trading business.

"My father didn't discuss trading with me. It was difficult for a father to discuss something like trading with his child," she said. And besides, the daughter seemed interested in other things.

So Setzenfand went to college in the early 1990s with no thought of trading. She initially majored in photography, but that would change.

"After the first semester, I found that I was intrigued by economics and found I was getting better grades in economics than almost anyone else," she said. She was now interested in business.

So in the middle of her higher education, she asked her father if he could help her get jobs in the financial sector during her summer vacations. She worked as a bank teller.

By the time she graduated from Ohio University in 1995 with a major in finance, she was no longer on the photography career track. Her father suggested investment banking might be the place to start.