It’s Not Semantics

Risk management is term thrown around by the trading community often. What they are usually referring to is your stop out, however. Risk management is your life insurance policy, or long term disability when hit by a bus. Your stop is the arbitrary point where a "trade" goes bye-bye.

Options are the financial product invented to exploit the semantic concept of risk. You get the "right" but not the "obligation" so people like to say your "downside is limited." That the vast majority expire worthless monthly and quarterly rarely is brought up. The loss may be defined but the odds are you'll see it.

We spend most of our time trying to "define risk", or more specifically, define the risk of being involved in a futures trade. That's a monetary undertaking not an industry buzzword. "Market analysis" is the other bon mot we hear a lot. As David Schawel pointed out today, most of what is marketed as "analysis" is actually a recap of what just occurred. Defining risk and market analysis is about what might happen NEXT, not the already known.

Take a holistic approach to your situation. Don't confuse your stop with getting hit by a bus. Keep your research and analysis on the "What ifs" of the future and tune out pseudo-intellectual after the fact aping as risk management.


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