So stop trying to beat Wall Street's insiders...
WHEN I was a kid, I could never hit a curveball, writes Greg Guenther in The Daily Reckoning.
The timing on my swing was always off.
And when I grew up and became an investor, I ran into the same issue...my timing was always off.
Either I'd buy too early or sell too late – missing out on more profits than I'd care to even think about.
Once the Great Financial Crisis hit, I knew I had to switch up my strategy.
As soon as the market starts to control you...you've lost. You'll miss the curveball every time.
I had to stop thinking like an investor, and start thinking like a trader. Because trading isn't about timeframes, it's about mindset.
When you think of traders, what might come to mind is someone perpetually shackled to their computer, chugging coffee and stressing over every minuscule move in the market.
But the most successful traders aren't the day traders, it's the traders that only trade what's right in front of their face.
I don't consider myself a bull, or a bear, I simply take advantage of opportunity when it presents itself. And that could be a long bullish bet, or a short, in-and-out bearish put.
I "quit" investing to trade because I enjoy keeping my own schedule, spending time with my family, and (mostly) ignoring the market pundits who are only blathering about stocks to sell ad space for prescription drugs and car insurance.
It's just easier to trade when you tune it all out.
Thinking like a trader will not only dramatically improve your returns, it will also free you from the never-ending spin-cycle of the financial media, bogus Wall Street analysis, and foggy economic prognostications that never seem to come true.
If you're going to invest in a company, you want to know what it does, who its customers are, how much money it makes, various valuation metrics, plans for future growth, etc.
These are all supposed to be important pieces of information. And information is what most investors crave. Many diligent market watchers – especially newer investors – love to dig into news articles, analyst ratings, and earnings statements.
They want to feel informed. After all, the more you know, the better chance you have at picking a winner.
Except this isn't entirely true.
Over the long haul, a company will live or die based on its ability to make money and grow. I'm not disputing these facts.
But you probably won't profit from these long-term success stories based on widely-available fundamental research or economic trends.
In the world of "investing" you have to compete with sophisticated professional investors who can exploit limitless resources to deliver returns to their clients.
You will never be able to discover information about a company that Goldman Sachs doesn't already know.
The connections analysts can exploit and the sheer amount of information they can obtain that a Main Street investor could never sniff is obvious. Plus, the major Wall Street institutions have access to billions of Dollars (of course!), armies of quantitative analysts, mathematicians, and virtually unlimited computing power.
Stop pretending you can beat these monsters after spending a couple hours Googling stocks. You and I don't have an edge over these firms. There's no information we could legally obtain that would tell us something about a specific company someone in a major financial institution's research department doesn't already have on file.
Instead, think like a trader.
And to start thinking – and making money – like a trader, you have to recognize that the market moves in distinct, almost predictable patterns.
Prices ebb and flow based on the fundamental forces of supply and demand. Those fundamentals are driven by a whole range of factors, including investor psychology.
Charts are a powerful way to reveal what investors are thinking – as well as indicate what their next moves will be.
The trick is figuring out how all of those pieces fit together, and know how and when to act.
Which is why I developed a system I want to share with you: my system for pinpointing the perfect buying and selling time...and which stocks to pull the trigger on.
I look for several different kinds of signals, the most important one is what I call the Cash Line.
Without getting too deep into the details, it's a reliable way to tell when a stock's price is set to dramatically change direction.
It's essentially the point where greed and the fear of missing out kicks in – when investors watching from the sidelines decide the stock is worth buying.
They'll suddenly start placing buy orders – sending the stock's price even higher.