Greed and Fear. Two Emotions that play a bigger factor in the success or failure of humans than any other emotion we experience. Both fear and greed refer to an intrinsic emotional state. Tens of Millions of dollars have been made and lost based on these 2 emotions alone. In trading, in business and in relationships. So why do so many educational courses, stock trading books and online courses avoid this topic all together?
Perhaps they are not avoiding the topic of emotions, Perhaps by teaching certain methods and skill sets to their readers they are in fact dealing with the emotional side of trading head on!
It is well known that emotions create a certain amount of pleasure or displeasure. It is also known that emotions are networked with mood, frame of mind, desires and passions. The list goes on… So how do we as individuals develop a skill set to navigate these emotions in business in trading and in life?
Charles Darwin argued that emotions actually served a purpose for humans and rightfully so, If our emotions have been evolving for over 2 million years. Should we not be using these amazing skills to our advantage rather than placing blame on them for poor decision making? It is my belief the poor decision making has nothing to do with emotions and everything to do with laziness and lack of planning.
A Lesson From One of the Greats!
I would be doing my readers a disservice if we did not mention the strategy of Warren Buffett. One of the most successful investors of our time. Warren Buffet stuck to his strategy and profited greatly. Warren Buffett showed us just how important and beneficial it is to stick to a plan. When deciding whether or not to invest in a company himself, Buffett and his partners follow a few simple guidelines, one of which involves trying to determine the company’s longevity.
As the market becomes overwhelmed with greed, the same can happen with fear. When stocks suffer large losses for a sustained period of time, the overall market can become more fearful of sustaining even further losses. But being too fearful can be a grave mistake. It is precisely at this time successful investors and traders alike make their move. This is where the real money is made.
Just as greed dominated the recent Cryptocurrency boom or fear dominates the headlines on potential trade war outcomes, investors quickly move around from one “secure” investment to another. It becomes a constant game of cat and mouse.
This flooding in of money to the stock market shows a complete disregard for many technical indicators that continue to scream a correction is inescapable. Retail Investors seem overjoyed with the flooding in of headlines that read ALL TIME HIGH. Should retail investors be overrun by fear of a major correction?. Granted, losing a large portion of your retirement portfolio’s worth is a tough pill to swallow, but even harder to digest is the possibility of missing out on the massive gains the market is currently offering investors of all experience levels.
Having a clear understanding of my own personal goals, a understanding of my success and creating a list of my OWN wants and needs rather than taking dreams of others and trying to reach them has been a colossal factor in putting out the greed flame in my own trading and daily decision-making.
One method I have found to be helpful is to be careful on how I measure success, wealth, goals and most importantly happiness. It is far to easy these days to allow outside influences affect our happiness and success. Social media blasts us day in and day out with the success of others.