Chasing The Market’s Tail
Judging by the measly comment count it seems most of you guys are ready to call it a week. Plus the market seems to be in shake out mode and my E-Mini campaign met its maker, fortunately at the break/even point. Heck, it was worth a shot but the odds were low to be begin with. Just one out of 10,000 campaigns – moving on. So I won’t bore you with more short term setups this morning – instead let’s talk about a cognitive bias of sorts that many of us have fallen prey to but which I don’t see being addressed very often.
Today’s events are actually a prime example of what I call ‘chasing the market’s tail’. In a nutshell this rather common behavior is triggered by a series of events that cleverly draw you into taking repeated entries despite diminishing probabilities of success. You may start out with getting out clean – meaning at break even or with a little win. But after being stopped out you look at your chart and you think to yourself – hey, I got swiped just by [one handle, one tick, just below that SMA, etc.]. And you just know that after shaking out those weak hands it’ll reverse and continue higher [or lower] again.
What’s happening here is that your ego has been bruised. You got stopped out – be this for a loss or perhaps at break even or a little gain. But you really really liked this campaign, especially as you got a great entry, grabbed it right off the lows, who knows what. And you want it back – plus remember your ego is a bit bruised – and there’s that little voice in your head that keeps telling you that you’re smarter than the market and that your supreme charting skills or your unique ability to predict the future will surely overcome this temporary setback.
Yes, of course you’re never going to say all this out loud – sounds quite ridiculous after all. But we all have been there – we all have felt that temptation to go right back in, haven’t we? I mean look at that E-Mini chart above – such a juicy bounce off that lower 100-hour BB and who’s to say we’re not going to run up from here after having shaken out all those weak hands?
Of course none of us really know – especially on a Friday with only a few hours left to go. All that stuff going through your head is mental masturbation and needs to get cut at the root. That is exactly how you wind up getting drawn into bad entries – and never forget, that in fact is the main function of the market – to suck you in when the odds are aligned against you. Or maybe there are no odds – it may look that way to you now but is this entry really in line with your system rules? That’s right – I didn’t think so.
Of course Dr. Mole has the right remedy – just watch the above. Whenever I find myself after a ‘regrettable’ stop out I habitually ask myself if a new entry is justified. I also monitor my own emotions and if there are any vestiges of regret or disappointment – if so, then I simply repeat the following mantra:
Homey Don’t Play That!
That’s clear enough and it usually fixes the problem. Look guys – we’ve had a great ride recently despite equities running around in circles. Let’s not test our luck, shall we? I’m fine with letting this one go – perhaps it’ll jump higher from here and perhaps it’ll drop like a rock and we test the lower border of this sideways range again. I really don’t know and my crystal ball is still in the shop. But what I do know is that this is not a good spot for taking entries and so I’ll graciously decline and wait for a better opportunity. Which will come – believe me – if nothing else we have proven that over the past seven years 😉
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