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How "So You Think You Can Dance" Will Make You a Better Trader

sysykd My wife is a huge fan of this dance competition show.

Which means I, too, am a fan as it's what is on my TV on a regular basis.

My wife and mother-in-law have decades of dance experience, including ballet, tap, and jazz. Both have been coaches for dance teams and they even ran a dance studio for a while.

So when it comes to having a good ability to judge dancing talent, I will defer to them.

But every year, like clockwork, the season finale comes around and they get pissed because the winner is always some no-talent hip hop dancer that can't point their feet right and those lines... don't get them started about those lines.

The Favorite

This is where they miss the point, as do many when it comes to "talent shows" like American Idol or SYTYKD.

It's not America's Best Singer, it's about America's Favorite singer.

It's all about who has the most votes.

A Dead White Guy Told Me This

Just like these reality shows, the stock market is all about "what has the most votes," instead of the best company fundamentals or prettiest stock patterns.

Keynes was a big fan of this idea, with the idea that the stock market is like a beauty contest.

And to make money in the market, it's not about what you think will happen to the stock, it's all about what everyone else will do.

This has profound implications on any investment or trading framework. It makes reading the tape much easier because you're focused on looking for the motivations of market participants instead of trying to figure out if the stock will go up or down.

It will keep you out of momentum traps, thinking that a stock is too stretched and that it must come back to the average.

It makes technical analysis really interesting because you're now not concerned about whether the pattern is a double top or an ascending triangle, you now care about what other participants are thinking and where their stops would be.

In the past, I've made the mistake of focusing too much on macro events or how a certain chart pattern "has to work" instead of taking a sidestep and thinking about what those with Deep Pockets-- those that actually make the trend, are thinking right now. Using this idea of trading market motivations has helped me to tune out the noise and get better trades.

It's an interesting (and difficult) mindset to fall into but I encourage you to give it a try when analyzing stocks and markets.

by Steven Place

Steven Place is the founder and head trader at