Denise Shull

Denise Shull, MA

Founder & CEO
Performance + Risk Strategy Advisor
Author + Speaker

Denise Shull, ReThink’s Founder and CEO, leverages her background in neuroscience and modern psychoanalysis to solve the mental mysteries of successful investing, trading, competing, and leading teams. 

She is known for her uncanny effectiveness in resolving mental blocks and decision conundrums.

Meet Denise

Secret Weapon in the Mind Game of Markets

Denise is the internationally recognized leader in market, investing and trading psychology. An expert in neuroeconomics, she leverages her training in the psychological sciences to solve the challenges of mental mistakes, confidence crises and slumps that Wall Street traders and Olympic athletes face. 

Denise is known for her uncanny effectiveness in coaching, training and assessing for the X-factor of human performance. 

An in-demand speaker and podcast guest, Denise is regularly featured across major media outlets. She also keynoted for UBS, Credit Suisse, MIT’s Sloan Fellows, Harvard Business School, and the US Ski and Snowboard Association.

Her seminal book, Market Mind Games, has been described as the
“best of its genre” and a “Rosetta Stone of trading psychology.”

In Her Own Words

We perceive what we believe. In other words, we see what we want to see– especially in our data.

As you contemplate decisions, realize that you have your data/expertise, but you also have the parallel process of beliefs and confidence in your strategy. Recognize and unpack that dimension as a data point, too. Learn your physical manifestations of confidence (or lack thereof).

All decisions require emotion; therefore, emotion needs to be reimagined as data in order for any decision maker to be fully leveraging their brain power. The trader or portfolio manager who only ever tries to control emotion loses the opportunity to have a more nuanced window into their evaluations.

In other words, it’s not about controlling your emotions– it’s about controlling your behavior. Our expectations dictate our actions in the present. Understand the influence of your expectations (and how your brain really works) to change your present behavior.

You need to put as much (if not more) work into analyzing yourself as you do your data.

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Her Wall Street career began in 1994 when she joined one of the first electronic trading firms in Chicago. She then traded at Schonfeld Securities before she was recruited to run her own desk at Sharpe Capital in NYC.

In 2003, an academic journal published her pioneering University of Chicago master’s thesis, “The Neurobiology of Freud’s Repetition Compulsion.” This led Denise to discover the then-emerging research indicating that, contrary to popular belief, emotion is required for decision making. She founded The ReThink Group to apply this radical finding to assisting pension funds, hedge funds, asset managers, and trading firms all over the globe in making better market decisions. The head of an international trading desk said, “the work I have done with her has enabled me to make more progress in my trading than my 15 years of experience did on their own.”

Her first article,
Freud’s Path to Profits, was published in December 2004 in Stocks, Futures and Options Magazine and her 2012 book, Market Mind Games: A Radical Psychology of Investing, Trading and Risk has been reviewed as the “best of its genre” and a “veritable Rosetta Stone of trading psychology.” An engaging speaker, Denise has keynoted for UBS, Credit Suisse, MIT’s Sloan Fellows, Harvard Business School, and the US Ski and Snowboard Association.

In 2015, Denise consulted on the development of Showtime’s BILLIONS. In ’16, Denise began mental coaching with the 2022 Gold medal winner Lindsey Jacobellis. Bloomberg Tradebook also released ReThink’s the Trader Brain Exercise, based on her work. In ’17, ReThink delivered HEADSx, a unique talent assessment tool that measures the elusive intangibles in X-factor performance. In ’18, Denise headlined a LEADERS in SPORT conference and ReThink landed their second major professional sports client, Hendrick Motorsports.

In 2019, Real Vision, NASDAQ’s Trade Talks, and Yahoo Finance featured Denise. In the past, she has appeared on CNBC, FOX Business and Bloomberg TV.  
Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Bloomberg Markets, and New York Times’ Dealbook have run profiles on her unique work.

Denise holds a Master of Arts (1995) from the University of Chicago. Her thesis was cited in 2013 as one of the first papers written about neuropsychoanalysis. She is also a 2009 alumna of Harvard’s Kennedy School Executive Education program, Investment Decisions and Behavioral Finance.

Ready to ReThink Performance?

Let’s talk about how we can help raise the level of your game.