Recently most traders probably have spent a great deal of time managing risk and emotions. I know I have. When it comes to correctly gauging and dealing with emotions it is paramount to analyze your reactions in a detached way. The best way to get objective insight is to imagine taking a step back and then ‘watching yourself.’ It’s as if you were your own mentor or trading coach. This is not an easy task. Good results require emotional detachment, a lot of experience and the ability to honestly assess the degree of trading proficiency you have attained. Ultimately it will tell you what those gut feelings you are occasionally experiencing really are worth. That’s exactly what G.C. Selden addresses at the end of his classic trading book : ‘Psychology of the Stock Market’ which was first published in 1912. Here’s an excerpt dealing with ‘hunches and gut feelings.’ Lots of additional and valuable insight for traders is provided. Enjoy!
An exaggerated example of “getting a notion” is seen in the so-called “hunch.” This term appears to mean, when it means anything, a sort of sudden welling up of instinct so strong as to induce the trader to follow it regardless of reason. In many cases, the “hunch” is nothing more than a strong impulse.
Almost any business man will say at times, “I have a feeling that we ought not to do this,” or “Somehow I don’t like that proposition,” without being able to explain clearly the grounds for his opposition. Likewise the “hunch” of a man who has watched the stock market for half a lifetime may not be without value. In such a case it doubtless represents an accumulation of small indications, each so trifling or so evasive that the trader cannot clearly marshal and review them even in his own mind. (more…)