Markets inherently involve a huge amount of uncertainty. Good traders and investors thrive on that knowledge and look for opportunities where the probabilities align to stack in their favour.
There is however at least one thing that is almost certain within this world of uncertainty... no matter what your view on the markets, there is always someone else who will disagree. Strongly disagree!
For everyone who thinks the stock market will go up, there is another who thinks it will go down. For everyone bullish the Kiwi Dollar, someone else is overwhelmingly bearish. Some fundamentals will point to a rise, others point to declines, some are just down to how an individual chooses to interpret them and there are extreme biases involved in that.
These opinions exist whether people have their money on the line or not. Many just like to have opinions and share them with the world. Nothing wrong with that; just be careful who you listen to.
One of the first columns I wrote for the New Zealand Herald was titled "Do Investors and Traders Help Society?"
Check out the comments! My mere suggestion that us every day people trading the markets from home, paying our taxes , supporting our families like half-decent human beings (even occasionally throwing a smile in someone else's direction or holding a door open for the elderly) might actually contribute something to society - well it opened the flood gates.
Traders are 'evil' say some commenters and pretty much guilty (without fair trial) of causing global warming, assassinating JFK and harbouring Bin Laden. Now of course I disagree with the negative comments so you might wonder why I bring this up again.
That article and the comments caused me to have a rethink, am I actually the terrible, evil, leach on society that these people say I am? Are all the great people I have met over the last decade actually evil parasites on the scale of the devil himself?
The answer is no, we are normal people doing our thing like everyone else. Save the evil remarks for the robbers, rapists, murderers, drug dealers and child abusers. Saying that a trader is anywhere near 'evil' indicates a lack of knowledge and understanding on behalf of the commenter.
Don't let others put you off
What's my point with all of this? To profit from the markets you need to think independently and shut off outside noise. If you are bullish, someone will always be bearish. Accept it. By the very nature of the markets for you to buy, someone else had to sell to you. No one forced them to sell, just like no one forced you to buy. You both bought and sold because the timing and the price was right for you. No one directly loses from that transaction but you get the price you want, you both win.
For many of us traders, we love this scenario, constantly trying to outwit other market participants and turn a profit in an extremely competitive and demanding environment. It's not easy and that's exactly why we love it!
The worst thing that can happen in my opinion is that potential traders and investors get put off entering the markets simply because of what they hear about it from the uneducated minority.
I myself was slightly put off for a minute or two by the comments mentioned above but you know what? Those same people, who comment on the markets and seemingly know everything about them while hiding behind a pseudonym on the internet, also know everything about sport, politics, business, crime, education and even weather patterns. Have you ever met a know-it-all? Most of us have. Ever liked one?
The second worst thing is that they start trading but are doomed from the outset as they are looking for an investment or trade where everyone agrees, all the big guns are buying it, the press is bullish, etc. Such a scenario does not exist. There is no certainty in the markets.
The best of the best could not care less what anyone else thinks. They know what they think and that is what matters. They have accepted that no matter what path they take, someone is going to disagree. You will never please everyone no matter what you do. The best traders think independently and do what they think is right. You might want to consider this too.