Advice on “Pulling the Trigger”

03/08/2010 10:16 am EST


The buy or sell signal has been issued. All you need to do is call your fund company or broker, or log into your online trading account and click on the "trade" button.

But right at that moment, all the doubt and second guessing comes to a head, and the buy or sell signal is never executed.

Sound familiar? It's probably the most common heartache faced by market timers and traders, and is only compounded when it turns out that it would have been a profitable trade.

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions

Do any of these sentences sound familiar? Have you said these same words?

  1. The timing signal says one thing, but this other indicator I have says another.”
  2. “There is absolutely no reason the market should move in that direction. Everyone knows it. Look at the current market sentiment!”
  3. “What if the signal is wrong? What are the consequences?”

Suddenly you become very good at second guessing. You can easily find a few dozen reasons not to execute the signal after all. You even feel good about "not" taking the least for a while.

Perfection Does Not Exist

Uncertainty is a powerful emotion that can weaken the resolve of even the best of market timers. Some things you need to remember are:

  1. At no point in time will all indicators be in agreement. That's just the nature of technical analysis. You are following a timing strategy that makes money over time. It is not always right, but it is profitable and it outperforms the market. That is what you need to focus on. Perfection does not exist in market timing or trading.
  2. The obvious or logical buy or sell signal is not always the profitable trade. Sometimes the market is easy to read, such as during a long-trending bull market, but sometimes its true nature is completely hidden.
  3. All actions in the market happen for a reason. We may not always understand the cause, but we really do not need to. All we need to do is execute the trades and the profits will follow.
  4. There is no tested and proven timing system that is perfectly accurate. As for the consequences of being wrong, that's why you are using the strategy in the first place. FibTimer timing strategies are designed to never allow losses to accumulate.

Then Again, What if the Signal Is Right?

The next time you feel uncertainty sapping at your will power, read the below sentences. Print them out and tape them to your computer monitor if it will help:

  1. The timing signal says one thing, but this other indicator I have says another. However, the market timing strategy has a proven success rate over time, and not all indicators will be accurate at all times. So, I will execute this buy or sell signal based on the historical success rate of the timing strategy.
  2. There is absolutely no reason the market should move in that direction. However, there was no real reason that the stock market should have made 50% gains in 2009, and yet it happened. I have to trade what the market is doing rather than what I think it should be doing, even if the reason is not clear.
  3. What if the signal is wrong? What are the consequences? Then again, what if the signal is right? What are the results if this trade is successful? Remember that no one knows ahead of time when the next trend will begin. If they did, the trend would already have started.

Pulling the trigger may be the toughest thing to do, but it's also crucial to successful market timing. It's better to take action than it is to sit back and let the market pass you by. The trade you do not take will likely be the trade that makes most of the profits for the entire year.

By Frank Kollar of

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