All over the Internet, you'll find debates. Small debates, mass debates (sorry, couldn't resist!) and out of control debates that become heated arguments. Discussion and debate is the lifeblood of the worldwide web, it's what makes it tick, taking the vast information at our fingertips and allowing us to see every type of viewpoint surrounding that piece of information, instantly. For the most part, this is fantastic, as we get to learn from other people about things we may have been ignorant or lacking in knowledge about. What it also means, is that we may be subjected to views we find abhorrent or which contradict our own views, even to the point of making our initial view seem ridiculous and downright wrong. This is particularly true when it comes to sports trading and betting, where we know that there will always be a reasonable number of people or even a vast majority, who hold the complete opposite opinion. This is one of the key reasons why there is so much heated debate within our community. That and the fact that money is involved! It's all well and good having our opinion about the latest Kings of Leon album torn to shreds on a music forum but when you've got £200 riding on Roger Federer to win Wimbledon, it's a lot harder to take when 50 people are calling you a mug on the Betunfair forum!
The problem is that we as humans are programmed to follow each other like sheep. We find comfort in the fact that other humans want the same things that we do. It's why famous film and sports stars are used to advertise products; we like to see other people (especially rich, talented, successful people) 'interested' in the same stuff that we like. It's one of the reasons why brand names become so big; we want to be seen wearing something that other people are wearing. It's a stamp of approval; if it's that popular, then it must be good and therefore, I'm going to wear it too and I'll fit in. It's why when we go on Twitter, we may get slightly angry at the fact that it appears that a large number of people disagree with our view. You'll often see the minority view on a Twitter thread, as the one which shouts the loudest and tries the hardest to get its point across. Why? Because they don't like the fact that they are in the minority. They type longer and argue more vehemently because they desperately want to change people's minds so they see 'the truth'. What they really want is affirmation of their own view because they are insecure about the fact that so many people seem to disagree with them. This is exactly what happens every single day on trading forums.
Think about the number of times you've held an opinion on a game and then logged onto a forum with the only specific reason being that you wanted to see who agreed with you. I would guess that when you were a newbie to trading or gambling, almost every time you opened up a thread related to a match you were getting involved in, it's because you were looking for affirmation. Chances are, you have no intention whatsoever of changing your mind. If you see even a small handful of opinions which agree with yours, that will be enough to convince you that you are doing the right thing and you are now 100% certain you are onto a winner. However, if you see that your opinion is in the minority, what tends to happen is that you feel not only worried but angry! You demand to know why everyone isn't agreeing with you, though it probably won't matter what anyone says if you've already placed the bet because you don't want to be seen as being wrong. This can lead to one of two outcomes. Either you stubbornly hold onto your initial opinion, desperate to prove to that the entire forum are mugs so you can laugh at them or you get too scared and change your mind to go with the crowd.
What I've realised over the past few months is that, just as in any form of life, going against the crowd can be a good thing. Not everyone is swayed by the stars on adverts or wears what 'everyone else' is wearing. There are people out there with their own styles and find their own ways of doing things which go against the herd. It's often these people who find the most happiness/success because they are innovators and they think in different ways which discover new inventions and ideas.
These people don't worry about what everyone else is thinking, in fact, they will often try to steer completely away from the majority as that is the best way to find a niche. That is how I believe trading should be. Going with the majority might be comforting and reassuring and seem the safe thing to do but in reality, what are you doing that is different enough to give you an edge? The truth is, you probably don't have an edge if the vast majority are doing the same things as you and as we all know, if you don't have an edge, you don't have a chance. So now, if I ever do see a majority of people disagreeing with what I'm doing on a market, I'm glad and I certainly don't waste my time arguing to the contrary. I need people to oppose me, otherwise, I can't make money! And that's one of the reasons I won't ever get involved in the value debate again; the fewer people who understand the concept, the better as far as I'm concerned!
OFF-COURT BEAUTY: World Number 52 Tamira Paszek of Austria: