Is Trading Just Guessing?

Discussion in 'Risk Management' started by macattack, Oct 7, 2011.

  1. Isn’t the decision to enter a trade nothing more than a guess?

    Guess: To predict (a result or an event) without sufficient information.

    No matter if you’re using an automated fancy system, 10 monitors, your gut, the moon, technical analysis, fundamental analysis, breakouts, support/resistance, Fibonacci levels,
    trendlines, Bollinger bands, oscillators, the moon………….everybody is just guessing aren’t they?

    Some genius from MIT can spend 10 years developing some extremely complex system at a cost of a million dollars, & it would still probably do no better than some guy with a high school diploma who Has 20 years of experience & the ability to make calm, logical “guesses”.

    It reminds me of sports betting. Even the sportscasters on tv who should know way more than anyone else can’t even predict half the games right each week. You would think they could, but like the markets, there are so many variables you just don’t know.

    It seems like the keys in trading have more to do with experience, risk control, bet size, having a strong mind, etc. As far as entering a trade everyone, from the little guy to the
    multi-million dollar corporation, seem to have about the same winning %’s when successful……….because for everybody it’s the same……….it’s just a Guess !
  2. double moon shouda been helpful,no?

  3. scalping = amateur guessing
    spread trading = pro no longer guessing
    spreading of spreads = l3g1t trading

    although i'm a discretionary spreader of spreads so i'm sure some out there will call that amateurish because i use my brain and not a list of bullet points to initiate.
  4. aromata


    Spot on. Nobody knows the future so there is always an element of guess involved. But the best edge could be the trend. Trends are based on psycology more than facts and you can make their pure existence work for you.

    The rest is, as you say, practicalities like risk management and position sizing and the like.
  5. ScottSam


    Short answer: yes.

    Long answer: yes, but...
  6. piezoe


    It's guessing, of course, and it's gambling, of course, but not "just guessing" and not just gambling either. You will have to resign yourself to the idea that there is no way to know what the market will do, you can only know what it has done. If you can't resign yourself to that simple fact, then don't trade. The moment you start trading on the basis of what you think the market should do rather than what is in front of you, you are doomed. These remarks apply to intraday trading and may not apply to the same extent to those with a much longer time horizon.
  7. lwlee


    The key words are "without sufficient information".

    Guy with insider information, buying a bunch of options. Is that a guess?

    Trader with proven backtesting results. Is that a guess?

    Everything in life can be assigned a probability. The better the probability, the less, it's a "guess".

    - betting on keno, probability of loss is very high.
    - betting on black or red in roulette, probability of loss is about 50/50.
    - betting on NYC real estate in 1995, probability of loss was prob less 50%.
    - betting on a newborn dying tomorrow, probability of loss less than 1%.

    In each case, if I had sufficient information, my probability of success increases dramatically.

    So is trading a guess? For clueless people, yes. For proven traders, no.

  8. lwlee


    Another thing, at what point does gambling become investing?

    Why is gambling on horses worse than investing in real estate?

    If I had inside information on horses, does that mean I'm now investing in horses? I would say yes.
  9. J Ski

    J Ski

    Buying stock is not gambling like betting on a horse.
    $100 bet on "glue factory" and he loses. $100 lost.
    $100 bet on stock, stock goes down a little you close out
    the trade, you have some of the money left.
  10. pwrtrdr


    Please give an example where yoy think 4 legs is a good trade, thanks
    #10     Oct 8, 2011