Predicting The Market With Unreliable Sources
by Van K. Tharp, Ph.D.
Joe trades Standard & Poor's 500 contracts, and at the moment he is in a quandary. He looks at a chart
of the market and wonders what he should do. The market looks as though it's in an uptrend. But perhaps
it's gone as high as it's going to go, and it might be topping out. On the other hand, the pattern looks
bullish. What will the market do? If it moves, will it be a strong enough move for Joe to make a major
The difference between luck and skill can be difficult to distinguish when it comes to market predictions,
or, for that matter, any kind of prediction. Prediction is often based on one's theoretical understanding of
the relationship between world events and the role of "luck." (Luck, in my opinion, is simply a word that
explains chance occurrences. I prefer to think of it as an acronym for Laboring Under Constant
Knowledge.) Many economists believe that the market is random. Yet if we had access to the number of
buyers and sellers in the market at one given instant and information about the conviction and capital
behind their trades, we would probably find the market to be very predictable.