Herd Mentality is the Psychology That Leads to Big Trading Losses 
Herd Mentality is the Psychology That Leads to Big Trading Losses by InformedTrades
Video Lecture 37 of 77
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Date Added: May 7, 2017

Lecture Description

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A lesson on crowd psychology and how it relates to trading the stock, futures, and forex markets.

The best summary that I have seen on this subject, as well as a great book on trading in general is Dr. Alexander Elder's book Trading for a living. As the Trader and Psychologist points out in his book, people think differently when acting as part of a crowd than they do when acting alone. Dr Elder points out that "People change when they join crowds. They become more credulous, impulsive, anxiously search for a leader, and react to emotions instead of using their intellect."

In his book Dr. Elder gives several examples of academic studies which have been done which show that people have trouble doing simple tasks such as choosing which line is longer than the other when put in a situation with other people who were instructed to give the wrong answer.

Perhaps no where is the strange effect is the psychology of crowds seen than in the financial markets. One of the more recent examples as I have spoken about in my other lessons of the effect that the psychology of crowds can have on the markets is the run-up of the NASDAQ into 2000. As you will find by pulling out the history books however, this is not an isolated incident as financial history is littered with similar price bubbles created and then destroyed in the same way as the NASDAQ bubble was.

So why does history continue to repeat itself? As Dr. Elder points out in his book, from a primitive standpoint chances of survival are often much higher as part of a group than they are alone. Similarly war's are often one by militaries with the strongest leaders. It is thus only natural to think that human's desire to survive would breed a desire to be part of a group with a strong leader into the human psyche.

So how does this relate to trading? Well as we learned in our lessons on Dow Theory, the price is representative of the crowd and the trend is representative of the leader of that crowd. With this in mind think about how difficult it would have been to short the NASDAQ at the high's in 2000, just at the height of the frenzy when everyone else was buying. In hindsight you would have ended up with a very profitable trade but, had the trade not worked out, people would have asked how could you have been so dumb to sell when everyone else knew the market was going up?

Now think about all the people who held on to their positions and lost tons of money after the bubble burst in 2000. As they had lots of company there were probably not a whole lot of people who were laughing at them. Yes they were wrong but how could they have known when so many others were wrong too?

By looking at this same example, you can also see how panic selling often ensues after sharp trends in the market as this is representative to a crowd whose leader has abandoned them.

In order to trade successfully people need a trading plan which is designed before entering a trade and becoming part of the crowd so they can fall back on their plan when the emotions which are associated with being part of a crowd inevitably arise. Successful traders must also realize that there is a time to run with the crowd and a time to leave the crowd, a decision which must be made by a well thought out trading plan designed before entering a trade.

That completes our lesson for today and our lessons on the psychology of money management. In tomorrow's lesson we are going to begin looking at different strategies which can be used to manage a trade once you have entered, which many traders also use to help remove some of the negative emotional effects of trading as part of a crowd.

As always if you have any questions or comments please leave them in the comments section below so we can all learn to trade together, and good luck with your trading!

Course Index

  1. Intro to Technical Analysis
  2. Introduction to Dow Theory
  3. Second 3 Tenets of Dow Theory
  4. How to Read Stock Charts
  5. How to Trade Support and Resistance
  6. Multi Time Frame Analysis
  7. Introduction to the Double Top and Double Bottom Charting Pattern
  8. How to Trade Double Tops Like a Pro
  9. How to Trade the Head and Shoulders Pattern Part 1
  10. How to Trade the Head and Shoulders Pattern Part 2
  11. How to Trade the Wedge Chart Pattern Like a Pro Part 1
  12. How to Trade the Wedge Chart Pattern Like a Pro Part 2
  13. How to Trade the Flag/Pennant Patterns Like a Pro Part 1
  14. How to Trade the Flag/Pennant Patterns Like a Pro Part 2
  15. How to Trade Triangle Chart Patterns Like a Pro Part 1
  16. How to Trade Triangle Chart Patterns Like a Pro Part 2
  17. Learn to Trade with Technical Indicators
  18. How to Trade Moving Averages Like a Pro (Part 1)
  19. How toTrade Moving Averages Like a Pro (Part 2)
  20. How to Trade the MACD Indicator Like a Pro (Part 1)
  21. MACD Indicator: Trade it Like a Pro (Part 2)
  22. How to Trade the Relative Strength Index (RSI) Like a Pro
  23. How to Trade Stochastics Like the Pro's Do
  24. The Difference Between the Fast, Slow and Full Stochastic
  25. How to Trade Bollinger Bands - Stocks, Futures, Forex
  26. How to Trade the Average Directional Index (ADX)
  27. How to Trade the Parabolic SAR
  28. How to Trade Candlestick Chart Formations Part 1
  29. How to Trade Spinning Tops and Doji Candlestick Patterns
  30. How to Trade the Bullish/Bearish Engulfing Candlesticks
  31. How to Trade the Hammer Hanging Man Candlesticks
  32. How to Trade the Morning/Evening Star Candlestick Pattern
  33. How to Trade the Inverted Hammer/Shooting Star Patterns
  34. Why Most Traders Lose Money and The Solution
  35. Why Traders Hold On to Losing Positions
  36. Two Trading Mistakes Which Will Destroy Your Account
  37. Herd Mentality is the Psychology That Leads to Big Trading Losses
  38. Profit Expectations: What Millionaire Traders Know
  39. How to Join the Minority of Traders Who Are Successful
  40. How To Determine Where to Put Your Initial Stop Loss Order
  41. How to Use the Average True Range (ATR) To Set Stops
  42. How to Up Your Chances for Profit When Setting Stops
  43. How to Reduce the Chances of Being Stopped Out on a Trade
  44. How Successful Traders Use Indicators to Place Stops
  45. Stop Your Mind From Causing You to Take Profits Too Soon
  46. How To Use Trailing Stops
  47. Why Position Sizing is So Important in Trading
  48. Why Fixed Position Sizing Is Not the Best Way to Trade
  49. Trading The Martingale and Anti Martingale Strategies
  50. How to Set Trade Position Size for Maximum Profits
  51. Maximize Trading Profits with Correct Position Sizing 2
  52. Fundamental Analysis and The US Economy
  53. A Simple Explanation of the US Economy for Traders
  54. Simple Explanation of The US Economy For Traders Part 2
  55. The Business Cycle and Fiscal Policy - What Traders Know
  56. How Interest Rates Move Markets
  57. What Traders Know About Interest Rates Part 2
  58. What Traders Need to Know About The Structure of The Fed
  59. How the Fed Changes Interest Rates
  60. How to Determine When the Fed is Going to Change Rates
  61. Why Markets Move Ahead of Interest Rate Announcements
  62. How to Trade the GDP Number (Part 1)
  63. The Components of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP)
  64. Intro to Trading Non Farm Payrolls (NFP's)
  65. Trading the News - Economic Numbers - Retail Sales
  66. Trading the News - Economic Numbers - ISM Manufacturing
  67. The Producer Price Index (PPI)
  68. The Consumer Price Index (CPI)
  69. Trade the News - Existing Home Sales Index
  70. How To Interpret the Consumer Confidence Index (CCI)
  71. How to Interpret the Index of Leading Economic Indicators
  72. The Advantages and Disadvantages of Day Trading
  73. The Advantages and Disadvantages of Swing Trading
  74. The Advantages and Disadvantages of Position Trading
  75. How to Keep a Trading Journal
  76. The Most Important Attributes of a Good Trading Journal
  77. The 20 Components of a Successful Trading Plan

Course Description

This is a series of 77 short video lessons meant to give traders an introduction to the basics of trading as well as the components necessary to develop a profitable trading plan.


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