Why Surfing the Big Moves is So Difficult

by Rick Ackerman

The E-Mini S&Ps ended the week a millimeter shy of a well-advertised rally target at 3402.75, poised to achieve it when index futures start trading again Sunday evening. If we were so confident the target would be reached, why, you might ask, didn’t we simply buy a dozen contracts weeks ago and avert our eyes as the futures made their way toward an all-but-inevitable rendezvous with 3402.75? The chart shows why such a strategy — why nearly ALL buy-and-hold strategies — are so diabolically difficult to employ. For although there may have been little doubt about whether 3402.75 would be reached, simply holding a few contracts for an “easy” ride would have subjected a trader to enormous strain, waves of excruciating doubt and many sleepless nights.

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