“Every morning in Africa, a Gazelle wakes up. it knows it must run faster than the fastest Lion or it will be killed. Every morning a Lion wakes up. It knows it must outrun the slowest Gazelle or it will starve to death. It doesn’t matter whether you are a Lion or a Gazelle…when the sun comes up, you’d better be running!”
In a narrow market,when prices are not getting anywhere to speak of but move within a narrow range, there is no sense in trying to anticipate what the next big movement is going to be up or down. The thing to do is to watch the market, read the tape to determine the limits of the get-nowhere prices, and make up your mind that you will not take an interest until the price breaks through the limit in either direction. A speculator must concern himself with making money out of the market and not with insisting that the tape must agree with him. Never argue with it or ask it for reasons or explanations. Stock-market post-mortems don’t pay dividends.
Do you wish to gamble blindly in the hope of getting a great big profit or do you wish to speculate intelligently and get a smaller but much more probable profit?
Here it is a great 40 min broadcast, where Barry Ritholtz discusses investors’ psychology during tops and bottoms and the current state of the housing market.
During bear markets, prices drop lightning fast because bids disappear. When major buyers decide to show up, sellers become more cautious and start to withdraw. Bottom is formed.
On the top, there are no sellers and prices go crazy.
In a bull market bear factors are ignored. In a bear market bull factors don’t matter.
When a man makes his play in a commodity market he must not permit himself set opinions. He must have an open mind and flexibility. It is not wise to disregard the message of the tape, no matter what your opinion of crop conditions or of the probable demand may be. I recall how I missed a big play just by trying to anticipate the starting signal. I felt so sure of conditions that I thought it was not necessary to wait for the line of least resistance to define itself. I even thought I might help it arrive, because it looked as if it merely needed a little assistance.
It is particularly shocking that people do what is called “stress tests” by taking the worst possible past deviation as an anchor event to project the worst possible future deviation, not thinking that they would have failed to account for such deviation had they used the same method on the day before that past anchor event.