Read the oldest stock market wisdom from the world renowned physicist.
This revelation had me surprised too. I was idly flipping through my old physics textbooks yesterday when it suddenly struck me. I was amazed to realize that Sir Issac Newton’s laws of physics points to so many profound and important rules in the stock markets today.
So, here we are… the physics of the stock markets.
Newton’s First Law of Trading
“A Stock at rest tends to stay at rest and a Trending Stock tends to stay in trend unless acted upon by an equal and opposite reaction or an unbalanced force.”
This law teaches us the same thing the old commodity traders will… that the trend is your friend. If a stock is trending sideways, it tends to stay sideways until a powerful enough market force takes it out of its trend. If a stock is trending up or downwards, it will tend to stay moving up or downwards until drastic changes happen to the company or the market at large creating an “equal and opposite reaction”. We should therefore always trade in the direction of a trend and always be vigilant for signs of an ”equal and opposite reaction” or the “unbalanced force”. Such a force may take the form of a drastic change in the market sentiment at large or drastic change in the performance of the specific company in question.
Newton’s Second Law of Trading
“The acceleration of a stock as produced by a market consensus is directly proportional to the magnitude of that consensus, in the same direction as the consensus, and inversely proportional to the mass of the stock.”
This law teaches us that a stock moves up or down into a trend due to a force created by market consensus. How much a stock moves up or down that trend is determined by the magnitude of the market consensus and how “massive” a stock is. By “massive” we are talking about the price of a stock. The more expensive a stock is, the more well established the company has been and the lesser in percentage you will make out of the same move in absolute dollar versus a smaller, less massive stock.
The force of the market consensus is directly proportionate to the event that spurred it. If a company produces a breakthrough product on a worldwide patent, it creates an extremely strong market consensus that is likely to take a stock very far. If a company merely scores a marginally higher earning this quarter, it is unlikely to produce a market consensus that will go very far.
Newton teaches us to not only look at what the news is but also how well established the company is in order to determine how much momentum it will produce in a given trend. The same breakthrough that drives a small company’s shares up by hundreds of percentage points may perhaps move a big company’s shares only by a fraction of that percentage.
Newton’s Third Law of Trading
«For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.»
No need to explain this one in much detail, do I?
For every buying or selling, there must be an equal amount of buyers or sellers on the other side. The stock market is a zero sum game. For every buyer, there must be a seller and for every seller, there must be a buyer. The real question is, who is profiting from each of their buying and selling. There is really no such thing as more buyers today than sellers or vice versa. Every trader needs to understand that you can be on the wrong side of the table at anytime and only a sensible portfolio management system can help you go in the long run.
I have traded actively in the stock markets for over a decade and survived with ancient wisdom such as what you have read here. There is indeed wisdom to be found in every corner of our life and if we care to look carefully, we will never be in a lack of guidance.