Friday, September 17, 2010

Can The Small Investor Surive In This Market?

Let's face some basic facts when it comes to investing or trading. The markets are an avenue to transfer wealth. Small weak money gets bullied by smart advanced money. In essence, institutions using technology and expert traders take money from weak, individual traders and investors. This has been how things have been throughout history but in the markets of today, it seems to be much more rampant. We must analyze why and discover the true ways to avoid these pitfalls if you are a retail investor or trader without the resources of a monster hedge fund or institution.

Years ago, the markets were a great place to put money for the long term. Investing for retirement was the name of the game and this is how many baby boomers built their nest eggs. However, over the last ten to fifteen years, the markets have gone sharply higher, fell hard, gone sharply higher and fallen again. If you had invested money in 2000 or 2001, ten years later you would be lucky if you had made a dime. Look at the chart below showing the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (NYSE:SPY) monthly. Notice where the markets were ten years ago. In addition, note the M-A pattern which is scary and will be discussed at a future point in time.

In recent months, the markets have started to become even more volatile and choppy. Six to ten percent swings in the market are occurring every few weeks. Swing traders and day traders are getting whipped in a market and the average investor believes the markets are fully rigged. Are they mistaken? Not necessarily! In all fairness, the way they are run are not that much different from how they were in the early 1900's. Institutions and big money still control the markets like they did back then. However, there is one major difference. The speed at which the markets moved was slower due to lack of technology.

In the market of today, the swings are violent and wild as computer programs have taken over. Black box trading programs run by institutions are ruling the markets as well as mega money hedge funds. The media is often utilized to also transfer wealth by blasting the overly bullish or bearish sentiment to the average trader and investor.

If you have not figured it out yet, the markets are being whipped to maximize profits to the big players through psychology. Get the common investor and trader to be overly bearish and smack the market higher, taking their money. Just as things seem perfect once again, the economy ready to recover and the average investor has invested on the long side once again, slam the markets down, taking their money. Technology has created a perfect environment for this to occur almost weekly. Black box trading programs, mega money flow from institutions and the media pushing the rhetoric causes the small investor to get lost in a sea of whipsaw. The average investor and trader has no shot. If you have no help, it is wise to not even risk your hard earned money and step aside.

Will the small investor vanish forever? Much like those from the Great Depression who would keep money under their mattress, many retail investors will be very gun shy for years and decades to come. However, greed will prevail, they will be back and trying again at the first sign of stability. Unfortunately, the stability will not last long as this game will be repeated again and again. In addition, with the emergence of new markets like China and India, there will be new money flowing all the time to keep the hungry institutions fat.

Do I swing trade and trade? Yes, of course. I spent years studying the markets, learning methods and creating proprietary methods that I teach to my members. Through these methods we can avoid many of the pitfalls most retail investors and traders fall into. Learn and profit.

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