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Does "Gut Feel" Belong in Trading?

Updated: Oct 10, 2023

There’s a conundrum in trading that I’ve struggled to make sense of for years. In today’s day and age, we are taught that the best trading is emotionless. It’s cold, calculated, and quantitative. The best traders are systematic, executing using well-tested models. Good traders should be mechanical, with all of their emotional faculties in check, ignoring their gut and relying on mathematics & probabilities…right? Then why are so many of the most legendary traders incredibly emotional individuals? Jesse Livermore, George Soros, Paul Tudor Jones, Bill Lipschutz, etc.…all of these market masters notoriously relied on their gut AND their data to make (and sometimes lose) historic amounts of money in the markets. If you ask me, I think we’ve unnecessarily demonized “gut feelings” in trading when, in fact, they are an integral part of successful trading. To me, there's a big difference between controlling your emotions while trading and listening to your gut. In this article, I’m going to explore the science and reason behind trusting your gut while navigating financial markets.

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