Who Cares What the Market Does?

Published on: 12:23PM May 12, 2009

You may have surmised from my two earlier columns here that I am not fixated on analyzing what the markets are going to do on a day-to-day basis. I learned this early on in my career, as I watched other much more experienced, highly paid analysts labor over market analysis and still end up wrong more often than not in their predictions. People in this business can be paralyzed by too much analysis.

It pains me to see producers get trapped in this kind of thinking. But we’ve grown to believe that more information will make us better marketers. So ingrained is this thinking that, for many producers, one part of our brain is at all times engaged in wondering what the markets are doing and how we should react.

I’m afraid I have to use a shocking phrase to get your attention away from all the market chatter: WHO CARES WHAT THE MARKET DOES?

Does this sound ridiculous coming from a senior market advisor? Maybe. Believe me, I do spend time analyzing markets, trends, and factors that push the market higher and lower over periods of time. But I am determined to help producers focus on the real issues, not the chatter.

The real question is, are you prepared for whatever the market dishes out?

Great strategy is pre-planning your actions so that each market action triggers your action. Plan for how you will act if there is a price rally. Equally important, plan what you will do should prices fall. What tools will you use? What are your trigger points for action? Think about these things, and your work day becomes less about seeking out the latest market news and more about strategizing for your future. Doesn’t that sound appealing?

Does that sound more structured? More consistent? More disciplined? More professional? More likely to work?
Less stressful?

More on how to do this in my next posting.
Scott Stewart is president and CEO of Stewart-Peterson, a commodity marketing education and advisory firm based in West Bend, Wis.