Human error in trading

January 24, 2023

Human Error in Trading

Quantitative trading is a method of using mathematical models
and algorithms to analyze financial markets and make trades. It
has become increasingly popular in recent years due to its ability
to process large amounts of data quickly and make trades with a
high degree of accuracy.

However, while the use of quantitative techniques can help to
minimize the impact of human error, it does not completely
eliminate it. Human error can still greatly impact the success of
quantitative trading, especially in the realm of technical analysis
and crypto trading.

In this article, we will explore the role of psychology in trading
and how it can lead to poor decision making. We will also delve
into common errors made by human traders when using technical
analysis and how it can negatively impact their trades.

The Role of Psychology in Trading

The role of psychology in trading cannot be overstated. Emotions
such as fear, greed, and excitement can greatly influence a
trader’s decisions, often leading to poor outcomes. In order to be
successful in quantitative trading, it is essential for traders to
understand and manage their own emotional responses to market

One of the most common cognitive biases in trading is
overconfidence. This occurs when a trader overestimates their
own ability to predict market movements and makes trades that
are not well-supported by the available data. Additionally, recency
bias, the tendency to give too much weight to recent events in
making decisions, can also lead to poor trades.

Another common bias that can impact trading is confirmation
bias, which occurs when a trader looks for and interprets information
in a way that confirms their existing beliefs or hypotheses.
This can lead to a lack of objectivity when evaluating potential trades,
ultimately resulting in poor decision making.

It is important for traders to be aware of these biases and work to
overcome them. Developing a trading plan and sticking to it,
rather than making impulsive trades based on emotions, can help
to mitigate the impact of cognitive biases. Regularly seeking out
objective data and analysis can also provide a more balanced
view of the market and help to prevent confirmation bias.

Human Error in Technical Analysis

Technical analysis is a method of evaluating securities by
analyzing various statistics that have been generated by market
activity, such as past prices and trade volumes. Technical
analysts use charts and other tools to identify patterns and trends
that can indicate future market movements. However, human
error can lead to mistakes in chart interpretation and pattern

One common mistake made by traders using technical analysis is
misinterpreting chart patterns. For example, a trader may
incorrectly identify a head and shoulders pattern, which is a
bearish reversal pattern, and make a trade based on that
incorrect interpretation. This can result in significant losses if the
market does not behave as expected.

Another error that traders may make is confusing cause and
effect, such as assuming that a rise in trading volume causes the
price of a security to increase, when in reality the price increase
caused the trading volume to rise.

Moreover, many traders rely too heavily on a single technical indicator, such as the Relative Strength Index (RSI) or Moving Average, to make their trading decisions, instead of using a
combination of indicators to validate the signal.

To avoid these mistakes, traders should develop a thorough
understanding of the technical indicators and chart patterns they use and be able to identify them correctly. Traders should also
use multiple indicators to confirm the signals and not rely on one
single indicator.

Human Error in Crypto Trading

Crypto trading presents unique challenges to traders. The market
is highly volatile, and the lack of regulation and oversight can
make it difficult to obtain reliable information. Additionally,
because of the hype and media attention surrounding various
cryptocurrencies, traders may be influenced by the “fear of
missing out” (FOMO) on potential gains, leading to poor decisions.

One of the most common mistakes that traders make in the
crypto market is a lack of diversification. Instead of spreading
their investments across multiple cryptocurrencies, they tend to
put all of their money into one or two coins, which can be
extremely risky. A single coin can experience sudden drop in
value and cause significant losses.

Another error that traders may make is acting on insider
information or misinformation and engage in insider trading or
market manipulation. The lack of regulation in the crypto markets
makes it more vulnerable to market manipulation, and traders
must be extremely careful about the sources of information they
rely on.

Also, in crypto trading, many traders are caught in the hype of the
market sentiment and tend to follow the crowd, without
conducting their own research and analysis. This can lead to poor
decision making and significant losses.

To avoid these mistakes, traders should practice diversification,
and make sure to conduct their own research and analysis before
making any trades. It is also important to stay informed about the
regulatory environment and be aware of any potential market
manipulation. Finally, Traders should always be mindful of the
hype and media attention surrounding a particular coin, and not
get too caught up in it.

Human Errors with Risk Management

Risk management is a critical aspect of quantitative trading and it
is important to have a strategy in place to minimize potential
losses. However, human error can still play a role in risk
management, leading to poor decisions that can negatively
impact the performance of a trading strategy.

One common error that traders make in risk management is
overleveraging. This occurs when a trader uses too much
leverage, or borrowed capital, to trade. This can lead to large
losses if the trade does not go as planned. Traders should ensure
they are using appropriate levels of leverage and that they fully
understand the risks associated with leveraged trading.

Another error that traders make is ignoring stop-loss orders. A
stop-loss order is a risk management tool that automatically
closes a trade when it reaches a certain level of loss. This helps to
limit potential losses. However, some traders may ignore these
orders, either due to overconfidence in their own abilities or
because they hope that the market will recover. This can lead to
significant losses and a negative impact on the overall
performance of the strategy.

Diversification is another important aspect of risk management,
but some traders may neglect it and put all their money on a
single trade or a single security. This is extremely risky and can
lead to significant losses if the trade or security does not perform
as expected.

To avoid these mistakes, traders should develop a thorough risk
management plan and stick to it. This includes setting appropriate
levels of leverage, using stop-loss orders, and diversifying their
portfolio. Additionally, it is essential for traders to have a clear
understanding of their own risk tolerance and to be aware of the
risks associated with their trading strategy.

It’s also important to review and adjust the risk management
strategy regularly. The market condition and the trading strategy will change over time, so the risk management strategy should be
updated accordingly.

Human Errors Due to Media Coverage

The news and media coverage of the crypto markets can often
lead to human errors in trading. This is because news and media
outlets often focus on sensationalist stories and fear-mongering,
which can lead to a lack of clarity in the market.

This lack of clarity can lead to investors making decisions based
on incomplete information, which can lead to errors in trading. For
example, investors may be influenced by news that paints a
certain coin in a positive light, but neglect to research the coin
further, leading to mistakes in their trading.

Furthermore, news and media coverage can create a false sense
of security, leading investors to make decisions that are not
necessarily in their best interest. Investors may be misled into
believing that a certain coin is a safe investment, when in reality
it may be highly volatile and prone to crashing. This can lead to
disastrous losses for the investor.

To avoid human errors in trading, it is important to identify
reliable sources of news. Investors should look for sources with
accurate, unbiased information and should thoroughly research
any coin they are considering before making trades.


In this article, we have explored the various ways in which human
error can impact the success of quantitative trading, specifically
in the realm of technical analysis and crypto trading. We have
discussed the role of psychology in trading, common cognitive
biases that can lead to poor decision making, and common
mistakes made by traders when using technical analysis and in
the crypto market.

It is clear that human error can have a significant impact on trading outcomes. Traders must be aware of their own cognitive biases and work to overcome them. Developing a trading plan, seeking out objective data and analysis, diversifying investments,and staying informed about the regulatory environment can help to mitigate the effects of human error.

While quantitative trading can help to minimize the impact of
human error, it is still an ever-present risk. Traders should be
mindful of the ways in which their own psychology and cognitive
biases can impact their decisions and work to counteract these
influences. By doing so, they can greatly improve their chances of
success in the markets.

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