Crowds Eventually Start Behaving in a Deluded Manner

We’re human beings.

The majority of us likes forming a crowd.

Our crowd-behaviour eventually goes warped. History has shown this time and again.

In the market-place, I make it a point to identify crowds. The biggest money is to be made by capitalizing upon the folly of a crowd. That’s why.

So first let’s gauge very broadly, what the main aspects of market-study are, and then let’s see where crowd-behaviour fits in.

Market-study encompasses three broad areas. These are:

1). Fundamentals,
2). Technicals and
3). Sentiment.

You guessed it, crowd behaviour falls under “Sentiment”. Well, sentiment can knock the living daylights out of the best of “Fundamentals”. And, sentiment makes “Technicals”. Thus, for me, the most important factor while understanding market moves is sentiment.

A stock can exhibit the choiciest of fundamentals. Yet, if a crowd goes delusional, it can drive down the price of even such a stock for longer than we can remain solvent. Let’s write this across our foreheads: Delusional Crowds can Maraude Fundamentals.

Since we are now writing on our foreheads, let’s write another thing: Delusional Crowds can cause Over-Bought or Over-Sold conditions to Exist for longer than we can remain Solvent. There go the technicals.

A crowd thinks in a collective. All that’s required is a virus to infect the collective. A virus doesn’t have to be something physical. It can even be an idea. The space that we exist in is laden with disease-causing energies. Once a crowd latches on to a virus-like idea, its behaviour goes delusional.

Here are some examples of such behaviour. At the peak of the dot-com boom, in March 2000, a crowd of rich farmers from the surrounding villages walks into a friend’s office. They are carrying bags of cash. They tell my friend that they want to buy something called “shares”. They ask where these can be purchased, and if they are heavy (!). Since they are carrying their life-savings with them in cash, and plan to spend everything on this purchase of “shares”, they want to also effetively organize the transport of the “shares” to their homes in the villages. Thus they want to know if “shares” are heavy to transport!

In the aftermath of the dot-com bust, Pentasoft is down more than 90% from its peak. I think this legend is from 2001. A crowd of rich businessmen collects the equivalent of 20 million USD and buys the down-trodden shares with all of the money. The scrip goes down to zilch and today, one’s not even able to find a quote for it.

In the 17th century, people actually spend more than the price of a house for the purchase of one TULIP, for God’s sake.

You get the drift.

The current crowd is building around Gold. It’s behaviour as of now is still rational. In due course, it has high chances of going irrational.

Whenever that happens, we’ll definitely be able to see the signs, because both our eyes are OPEN.

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