There are many signaling services, newsletters and sales rooms that offer predictions for the coming days, weeks and months about what the market will do. It’s a very tempting suggestion to give subscribers peace of mind about what’s going to happen to the market. Some believe it is possible to see what the market will do, and subscribers follow those services. Unfortunately, predictions do not exist even if these advisors are visionaries. Even in 50% of cases, no one can consistently give accurate forecasts, the market is either rising or falling.
When traders predict what the market will do, is it the same as predicting? The prediction announces that something will happen exactly in the future with only one outcome, while the prediction is to think in advance about all possible outcomes. Anticipation requires solving problems before they arrive; anticipation expects something to happen without dealing. Prediction tends to take a bias or attitude, while prediction requires careful thinking about what might happen: good or bad.
An example of expectation is when a trader observes prices rising and approaching the old level of resistance. He predicts that prices may continue or reverse. It must be prepared to deal with both scenarios. One is to prepare for the breakthrough and keep going up, he has to determine at what price it will go for a long time and where the loss will stop. If prices reverse, he must determine where the short entry will be, as well as the stop loss. These scenarios prepare him for the next price movements, predicting what other traders will do when prices reach the level of resistance. If he predicts what prices will do, say, he grows and continues to grow. He is not planning a possible turnaround. It focuses only on an upward trend, not on a possible reversal or consolidation. These scenarios need to be constantly considered and planned as markets evolve continuously. This mentality makes a huge difference between a successful trader and a losing trader.
Prediction is a game of losers, satisfying the need to be right instead of the need to make money. The ego is often the culprit to show other traders how good it is at predicting the market direction. In trade, ego and profitability cannot coexist. If it’s not the ego, most traders will look for one direction and then use evidence that supports that bias while ignoring evidence that can support the opposite direction. This bias predicts the future. He is inclined to think until the trade is concluded. It may be a profitable trade, but in the end the trader is so convinced of this bias that when the trade fails, he will have no other alternative in preparing for the loss.
One of the desired characteristics of a successful trader is his ability to prepare all possible outcomes, imagining scenarios that the market can make, up or down, before the trade is concluded. He knows he can’t predict, but he can calculate the probabilities that the market will go one way or another. In anticipation of the outcome, he has a plan for one outcome or another. What will happen if the market moves against its position, where will it come out? What happens if the market favors his position, where does he need to go out to make money?
Prediction is preparation for both outcomes, good or bad. Calculating how much to lose is just as important as expecting to win. This means that the trader will identify on the chart where he will see the entry and two exit points (stop loss and profit target). Having this method, he can identify his risk-reward ratio as well as the probability of trade success.
So how do you overcome this dilemma? Probabilities can be determined by rigorously testing historical data based on the strategies by which the trader plans to trade it. Finding statistics that support his idea that the strategy works will give him confidence in accessing the market and give him a way of thinking to predict rather than predict outcomes. One way is to see the market that shows us either by price action or by indicator.
Recognize that prices or indicators can change direction at any time. Using statistics for educated guesswork, a trader can find out which direction the market is likely to go. But probability cannot guarantee the desired outcome. This means that there must be a contingency plan, or a stop loss, in case the desired outcome does not occur. This is why successful traders have stopped losses. Stop loss is the deciding factor that determines whether an outcome is successful or not. The trader must accept that the market will always be right, and trying to be right will prevent the trader from being one with the market and going on.