Staring at Price Movement Can Be Hazardous

Posted on 03/09/2017 10:21 AM

Human nature has us doing all kinds of whacky things and technology has made many of those things worse. Constantly staring at your phone to see if you have an email or a text, looking at your IRA account daily even though you have no intention of selling and of course checking the price on your farm products even after the market closes like something will change.

In today's world of fully equipped tractors with air conditioning and computers, we have become accustomed to watching movement minute by minute. This type of behavior can and will be hazardous to not only your health but your bankroll. Unless you are a trader, daily price movement should have little effect on you because you are probably not selling today no matter what the price is.

Watching price too actively will first give you indigestion if it's going the wrong way and false excitement if going the right way. Checking prices too often can only create a problem for you. If the market is tanking you could be forced to sell at the bottom -- also known as puking at the bottom by making an emotional decision. On the other side of the coin, favorable price movement can give you the false sense that it's okay to trade and gamble in the market, which almost always guaranty's heart burn and puking when you realized you chased the market up.

As you know, markets are volatile and can move up or down quickly. You should also know that you will not buy the bottom or sell the top. Farmers and producers are considered investors because you are investing in your farm and your production. You are in it for the long term and gain very little benefit from sharp irrational price movement.

All of this should be handled in your marketing and business plan each year when you put it all together for your bankers. Your pricing decisions should also be made then and your only decision should be how you can benefit from wild price moves, which you can. By using the proper hedge you can move your basis and lock in price as the markets move knowing if you missed it you are still protected. When you are investing either in equities or your farm the key is to always defend your portfolio or farm first. Done properly the rest will take care of itself.

Keep those stops tight!

The views, opinions and positions expressed by the author are theirs alone and do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions or positions of Pro Farmer.

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