Hope May Spring Eternal,
But It Won't Make You Money
As described in "Reminiscences of a Stock Operator" by Edwin Lefevre, "The
speculator's deadly enemies are: Ignorance, Greed, Fear and Hope."
Each of us has a desire for success. It is why we here at Fibtimer.com use market
timing to guide us to profitability. Market timing not only increases our gains
in bull markets, but also protects our capital against loss in bear markets.
But if you are not careful, that same desire for success can stand in the way
of your ability to recognize reality, even if it is right before your eyes.
Hoping For Success
All of us have a survival instinct that typically causes us to focus on good
news. Bad news is avoided, or at least put on the back burner.
When we take a position in the market, whether bullish or bearish, we "hope" it
will be successful. Hope can be such a powerful emotion, that when the same trading
plan that told us to enter a position originally, reverses and tells us to exit
immediately, our emotions may very well focus on the possibility that if we just
hold on a bit longer, any loss might be erased.
Just give it another day. Just wait till it is back to break even.
The only way to avoid this is to recognize that hope can destroy our ability
to profitably trade the markets.
Successful Market Timers Win Because...
Market timing, in fact all trading, cannot be successful without a "plan." Trading
by emotion, by news events, or out of fear, is not very different than gambling.
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We all know that no person (trader or market timer) will be right
all the time. Knowing this, we must accept that we will have losses.
that hope can destroy our ability to profitably trade the
What separates the winning traders, from the losing traders, is their
ability to recognize that when a trade turns bad, there is no emotion
that can fix it. The only correct decision, is not really a decision
at all. If you are following a good trading strategy, just follow the "plan." If
the plan says reverse, then follow it. If the plan says to go to cash,
then go to cash.
Simple? Not if you cannot accept a loss. Then hope springs eternal. You can
find a hundred reasons not to execute a trade. Anything to delay so that "hope" can
Winning market timers have their share of losses. But they keep the
amount of those losses small. They follow their plan and "never" hold
onto a losing position "hoping" it will break even or turn into a winner.
In Vegas The House Always Wins
When we go to Las Vegas, we know that the odds are stacked in favor of the
house. But we gamble anyway in "hope" that we will leave a winner.
But market timing is not gambling. When you trade with a "plan" you have an
edge that you know will win over time, as long as you use discipline and follow
it. Just as "the house" knows it will win over time in Las Vegas, the trading
plan provides the "edge" that makes us winners.
But once we lose that edge, and start hoping instead of following our plan,
we become like the gambler in Vegas.
And in Vegas, the house always wins.
Hope and Your Ego
Hope is also closely tied to ego. We do not want to admit that we have made
a mistake. Our ego wants success, and wants it immediately.
Losses do not feel very successful. Our ego can cost us a great deal of money.
In order to make money, we need to keep losses small, while letting our winning
positions run. Neither hope nor ego has any place in market timing or in any
form of trading.
When you trade with a "plan," it is in black and white. You know when to execute
a buy or sell signal because the "plan" tells you when. A plan does not rely
on hope. A plan has no ego. A plan gives us, as market timers, an "edge" over
the market and other traders.
Each day we should examine ourselves. If we feel that hope is part of our trading
plan, remember that hope is almost a guarantee of losses.
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Disclaimer: The financial markets are risky. Investing is
risky. Past performance does not guarantee future performance.
The foregoing has been prepared solely for informational
purposes and is not a solicitation, or an offer to buy or
sell any security. Opinions are based on historical research
and data believed reliable, but there is no guarantee that
future results will be profitable.