Does Everyone Lose in a Crash?
It’s quite common to hear someone grumbling about how much money they lost on a stock, but did you ever stop to think where that money went?
In contrary to popular opinion, that money is far from lost. In fact, that money was won by a professional trader who profited from the stock’s decline! Sophisticated traders such as these are called the “smart money” because they profit regardless if the market is crashing or booming. The smart money wins most of the money lost by the “dumb money”, or the “average joe” amateur investor. By learning how to trade like the smart money, you can profit tremendously in any type of market. Let’s learn the differences between the two types of traders:
According to the National American Securities Administrators Association, more than 70% of traders will lose nearly all their money! This is solid proof that the majority of traders and investors are dumb money.
What is the Dumb Money Doing Wrong?
First and foremost, the dumb money act as a herd or mob. This group exhibits very little individual decision making. This is exemplified by how the herd follows the financial news so religiously. The financial news is a severe lagging indicator. This is because reporters only report after the fact. It is so silly that people actually think they will gain knowledge that will allow them to have “the edge” in the markets. This isn’t possible because millions of other competing investors are watching the same news! The news is notoriously bullish right before a bear market and bearish right before the market starts soaring.
Another dumb money tactic is to take investment advice from their broker or advisor. Brokers make money from commissions, not from investment performance. They just want their clients to trade frequently to generate more commissions. Additionally, these brokers tell all of their clients the same information, which means you have absolutely no edge over the competition.
The dumb money make investment decisions based on their emotions, rather than solid information. This group will buy stocks based on glamour. For example, in the dot com boom, investors would buy any stock that was a “dot com”, regardless if it had earning or a business plan. The crowd tends to gain a gambling mentality when “playing the market”. They act upon “hunches” and tips, which never work.
This same group consistently buys stocks late into a bull market. The smart money accumulated tech stocks in the early 1990’s, when many investors didn’t even own a computer! By the late 1990’s every investor was buying tech stocks, and this is when the market crashed. Sadly, the markets are set up so that the second the dumb money gets the gist of the game, the rules are changed. This is because the markets are zero-sum, where for every winner there must be a loser.
What is the Smart Money Doing Right?
If the majority of traders and investors lose, then doing the opposite is a winning strategy. This is precisely is how the smart money trade. The smart money wait for a time when the dumb money is most vulnerable to losing. In most cases, this would at the top of a bull market when the dumb money is foolishly raving about how “stocks will never drop” and how “we are in a new economy”. Whenever the majority of investors are euphoric about the market, it is guaranteed to drop! At this point, the smart money liquidates their stock positions and shorts the market, anticipating the coming bear market.
Shorting the market is a process which allows a trader to profit as the market crashes. It is exactly the opposite of buying a stock. As most investors are entering the poorhouse, the people that short in a market crash become extravagantly wealthy. Jesse Livermore shorted stocks and made $100 million in the stock market crash of 1929!
The smart money rarely pay attention to the financial news media because they know that they can’t gain valuable information from something that everyone is watching. Hypothetically speaking, if profitable news media was available, investors would quickly trade upon it, immediately eradicating any competitive advantage. The smart money have their own top secret forecasting systems, however. These systems have rare information that allows the smart money to have an edge over the masses.
The smart money never act upon their emotions for trading decisions. The smart money buy and sell based on what the market and their trading systems are dictating. For example, when the markets have been crashing for a while, stocks become undervalued. This is the best time to buy, as the market will start to rally in the near future. The dumb money is always most fearful at this perfect buying point. This is exactly when the smart money accumulate stocks. If they relied on their emotions, however, it certainly wouldn’t seem like the best time to be buying stocks.
By learning to do the opposite of the crowd, you can become highly prosperous in the financial markets. So next time you hear of someone who lost their shirt in the market, think of the person that profited handsomely!