Notes on the Psychology of Trading 3: 20 Common Errors
Overconfidence: Underestimating the level of uncertainty in the horse racing betting market and overestimating one's ability to predict the outcome of races. Failing to take
proper account of contingency and chance, leading one to make impulsive and rash decisions. A fear of empty space contributing to a rush to complete patterns (seeing things in the price action that simply are not there.).
Anchoring: Being influenced by irrelevant information, such as a horse's past performance under different conditions or the opinion of so-called experts, when placing a bet. All traders may overreact to news, rumors or betting market conditions that happen to pertain at a particular moment in time.
Confirmation bias: Seeking out information that confirms one's preexisting beliefs and ignoring information that contradicts them. Believing that you are the wise guy in the room
and discounting the fact that others (not least the person accepting your bet on the betting exchange) may know more than you do.
Representativeness: Assuming that past performance is indicative of future performance, despite explicit changes in the horse or the racing conditions.
Availability bias: Being overly influenced by recent events or easily accessible information when making a decision.
Loss aversion: Being overly risk-averse and unwilling to take risks in order to avoid potential losses.
Sunk cost fallacy: Continuing to invest in a losing bet because of the resources already invested, rather than cutting one's losses.
Psychological biases: such as hindsight bias and optimism bias which may lead to making bad decisions. Hindsight bias is the tendency for people to believe, after an event has occurred, that they would have predicted or expected the outcome. This bias can lead to an overestimation of one's ability to predict future events and can also contribute to a false sense of understanding of past events. On the other hand, optimism bias is the tendency for people to overestimate the likelihood of positive events happening to them and underestimate the likelihood of negative events. This bias can lead to a false sense of security and poor decision making. Together, these biases can lead to a dangerous combination of overconfidence and complacency when it comes to predicting future event outcomes.
Complexity: The horse racing betting market is complex and difficult to predict, making it hard for individuals to make informed decisions and to become guilty of misattributing causation.
Price movements in betting markets are not caused by one factor alone, but rather by the complex interplay of various factors. The betting market price that pertains at any particular monet in time is the result of a wide range of information and sociological and psycholgical factors. This can include fundamental factors such as the recent form of the horses in the race, the conditions of the race, weather conditions, horse, stable and jockey form, and public sentiment. Additionally, market sentiment, and the investment strategies of traders can also have an impact on betting market prices. It is important to note that the influence of each factor can vary and it can be difficult to predict how these factors will interact and impact the prices. This is why it is a common misperception among punters that price movements are caused by one factor alone. This can lead to an over-estimation of the importance of that single factor and an underestimation of the impact of other factors.
Incomplete information: having limited information about the horses, jockeys, race conditions and betting market signals can lead to poor decision making and the placing of bad bets.
Lack of discipline: Not following a consistent strategy or betting plan, leading one to be swayed by emotions and making impulsive trades.
Overvaluation of favorites: Assuming that the favorite horse in a race is more likely to win.
Overbetting: Placing too many bets or betting too much money on a single race.
Not paying attention to the late breaking prices which contain 25% more information than earlier prices.
Not considering the conditions: Not taking into account the track conditions, weather, or other factors that can impact a horse's performance on the day.
Not studying form: Not researching the horses, jockeys, and trainers; or doing so in a lazy fashion (see confirmation bias).
Not diversifying: Not spreading out bets among multiple horses.
Not managing risk: Not setting limits on how much to bet or how much to risk in a single race.
In the end analysis most people are just guilty of a laziness of thought that simply merges with the shifting play of opinions. Better to be wrong with the crowd than to be wrong on ones own and all of that.
All information contained on this website is for informational purposes only. Investors should always consult with a financial adviser before making any investment decision and should not treat any opinion expressed on this website as a specific inducement to make a particular investment. Share prices because they are driven by a multiplicity of factors that it is difficult to disentangle at any one point in time move forward on a nonlinear trajectory. In other words, it impossible to predict the future, especially when it comes to timing. In the end of the day it is always about scaling your risk appropriately.
To cite this article: Niall O'Connor
Notes on the Psychology of Trading 3: 20 Common Errors (Published on Bettingmarket.com 27/02/2023. From the series Notes on the Psychology of Trading. All Rights Reserved.)