As I watch the markets’ daily oscillations, I think about you. I truly do. But I know you are ‘safe in the harbour’ and I am sure you are able to resist the ‘bargains’. I am sure you are able to resist the overtures of brokers and media analysts. I am sure you can resist the temptation to second guess the market, as some are doing by pushing the market higher one day as if all problems are gone, only to sell it down days later.
As I have mentioned many times over the last four years, this is a traders’ paradise and if you have good disciplines in place you can make tidy profits.
But it is important to identify what sort of market we are in and to differentiate between a trending market and a range trading market. Of course we are all waiting for a trending market but that is a long way off. I am sure there are times when you think that maybe a new trend is developing and you have missed the boat. That can be a sinking feeling. But do not fear - there will be a good warning when we are back to a bull market.
When we learn to differentiate between a range trading market and a trending market, this helps us feel more confident about the strategies we adopt. We use a different set of indicators for each.
Understanding the reality of a market goes a long way toward acceptance and some degree of inner peace, as with anything in life. Accepting what the market truly is will give you some comfort. I accept it is tough to make money in this market but it is not tough to pick that it is range trading.
Even the big players are finding it tough, so don't feel too bad about it. Forcing yourself to take trades you are not fully convinced about and committed to is a sure way to increase your frustrate and erode your confidence - apart from the risk of losing money. There could be some short-term trades that will make you money but they will be few and this is why your discipline needs to be tight.
There is an argument for ‘keeping your hand in’ and taking trades now and again to keep yourself ‘match fit’. My discipline is that I analyse the markets every day, regardless of where I am.
It is also important to constantly review your ‘buy and hold’ positions as we are seeing a few surprises, with Macquarie Group (MQG) the latest. Although we technicians would say: "no surprise". If you refer to my previous articles on MQG, you will see it is a long, long time since I have been a fan. Once you start to doubt a stock, it is time to ask whether you should be out of it.
Maintain your discipline and your routine. That will make your return to the markets much smoother - almost like you have never been away!
Don’t be too downhearted - the good times will rock again!
Enjoy the ride