The start of a new year can mean a new beginning for some. Hope, resolutions, more hope. But a few are willing to do the right thing, this mostly means ditching hope and replacing it with work, solutions and processes.
The market doesn’t care what we hope for, a retirement plan, a new house, or a hot stock tip. The market is a redistribution machine. It transfers the money from many to a few. Trading and investing is not that much about stock picking than it is about risk management. 2018 was nothing like 2017. In 2017 most forgot about risk management, many didn’t use it, and they were handsomely rewarded for their complacency. But then 2018 came. It was the total opposite year. It was a tough year, especially for those who forgot what the term stop loss means.
I’m not mocking anyone. The same day I think I know more than others the market smacks me straight in the face. And I get humbled down. What I’m trying to achieve is to make you a bit more aware of the current situation. Have we seen the bottom yet? If not, are you ready for another leg lower? Can you take it? Will you handle it? Most complacent people who answered yes to the questions above will most likely sell the bottom.
Psychology in bear markets is reverse to psychology in bull markets. People are contrarian in nature and this is what hurts us the most playing the market. Most don’t follow the trend, most don’t become defensive in bear markets, they even double down. Most try to outsmart the market with selling THE top and picking THE bottom. This is not a winning strategy. Everything would be great if we’d know how low the stocks will go. But the market often surprises, mostly against our expectations.
Don’t be afraid to be on the sidelines and buy at a slightly higher price than the next door neighbor if the bottom is already in. He shouldn’t be your benchmark nor should be hope or anything other than your well defined process. Stick to it!