Psychology of Trading: Believing in “Lucky Streaks”

Many people attempt to identify patterns in randomness. The winning streak phenomenon is a trader's belief that they cannot lose dramatically after a series of winning trades. The trader doesn't recognize their trades as independent, preferring to believe that the "winning streak" will continue, however, it's important to understand that markets depend on many external factors, and not only on individual human abilities.

In 1985, famous behavioral scientists Thomas Gilovich, Robert Vallone, and Amos Tversky published their study "The hot hand in basketball". The study was intended to prove that the people are wrong, assuming that players have more chances of another successful hit in the basket after a series of successful hits. Scientists have claimed that people misinterpret randomness and therefore draw incorrect conclusions. As with the coin toss, people believe that the chances of tails increase after a toss lands as heads.

When trading, those who are under the influence of the hot streak fallacy expect to be rewarded for trading decisions solely on the basis that their previous trades were successful. They believe that their chances of making a profit are higher. This can cause several other trading biases, including confirmation bias (where the investor only believes information that confirms their point of view) and the illusion of control (where the person believes that they are in control of the situation and can even manage it). The more trades a trader has in their winning streak, the less likely they are to lose. But this isn't the case, the streak must end somewhere, and if a trader doesn't take this into account, they risk losing their deposit in the trade. 

In financial markets, the psychological “streak of luck” phenomenon also occurs when traders try to delegate their investment decisions to professional fund managers who have had successful track records in the belief that they can continue to perform well.

Not every trade you make will be a winning one, no matter how well you have traded in the past. Analyze every trade, don't make hasty decisions, and don't make logical conclusions based solely on successful past experiences. 





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