When I say a lot of news is already known to a select group of people, I'm including official news. Just as there are typically signs when a stock is going to make a big move—indications in the form of daily volume, directional bias, and relative action (i.e., the stock versus the stock of rivals or indexes that cover the industry)—there are also signs when a big media piece could be brewing.
Contemplating the potential of a company doesn't have to be as difficult as solving a black belt Sudoku puzzle. The key is to look under the hood of a company and not just at the glitzy interior. Looking under the hood is known as fundamental analysis on Wall Street.
I spent my teenage years riding the subway system of New York to get around, so by the time I learned to drive a car and finally purchased one, I was too intimidated to look under the hood. I've been driving for over two decades now. I know how to check the oil and add windshield wiper fluid, but I'm still in the dark about engines, drive trains, and exhaust systems.
Agoraphobia, fear of failure and defeat, is a greater hindrance to success in the stock market than is greed. But in the stock market there also seems to be a fear of success. I can't put my finger on the precise reason it exists, but it does.
All too often investors are snatching defeat out of the jaws of victory. I see it all the time and I'm sure it's happened to you, too. You sell a stock for no real good reason and then it goes on to be a gigantic winner. Or you are so intimidated by the market and losing money that you simply sell with the crowd over and over again and console yourself for the short period of time when that same stock is a little lower, but feign ignorance or even take it off your screen once it's roared back.
Risk is what we take the moment our eyes open in the morning. There is a chance the water in the shower could be too cold or too hot; the former makes for a jarring wake-up call, the latter makes for a possible visit to the hospital.
But of course we have knobs that clearly indicate hot and cold, and we also have to ability to feel the water, testing for the moment it reaches perfection.
As the day moves forward the risk increases exponentially. We, however, moderate our lives to adjust for risk. If that nut in the car in front of you looks like he has had too much to drink, you simply switch lanes and move around him, maybe giving him a dirty look as you pass by. You continuously check and assess risk when you drive your car, looking at the rearview mirror every few seconds.