Mark Minervini's Official Blog

Stock Market Wizard, U.S. Investing Champion Mark Minervini Shares Ideas and Wisdom Here FREE!

Can A Thousand PhDs Be Wrong?

June 16, 2017

“It seemed to me that most of what I was learning at Wharton could only help you fail in the investment business.” -Peter Lynch


They say if you torture numbers long enough, they will tell you anything you want to hear. I submit, if you studied the patterns of ants scurrying around long enough, you could surely find some correlation to timing the market! Of course, only a fool would risk his money on such a conclusion.

Mathematics and theories is seldom a match for experience and expertise. Nothing against professors and mathematicians, but in the stock market, the real world works quite differently than in the textbooks.

Keep in mind that it was highly intelligent people who, for a long time, argued whether or not a baseball could really curve or if it is just an optical illusion. The argument was finally settled with the advent of fast photography. Using cameras, it was determined that, indeed, a curveball does curve. This of course came as no surprise to the pro ball players who stood in the batter’s box over home plate and had to face a major league pitcher day after day.

Don’t be too impressed with what looks good on paper until you can verify it with your own trading in the real world. Those who think they have it all figured out on paper can blow themselves to smithereens in the market. Strategies that are back-tested utilize curve fitting to find the best formula that beats the market, but only in hindsight. The futility of trying to forecast markets with static statistical models has not prevented armies of the greatest minds from trying to invent the next mathematical money-making machine.

But why do so many fail?

The reason is the human element. People learn and people change, and it is people who make buy and sell decisions. Do you think a computer could be programmed to drive a race car and beat NASCAR’s Jimmy Johnson, given all the nuances of a race that require split-second decision making? Sure, his racing team utilizes technology to figure out the best aerodynamic design and how to optimize engine and tire performance, but Jimmy is still at the wheel.

Or what about a 747 with all its advanced computer power in the cockpit? Even so, autopilot is only used mid-air, never on takeoffs and landings, which are the most challenging parts of flying. When it comes to the market, science and technology can be deployed to analyze data and point you in the right direction. Trading, however, is not purely science; it’s also an art.

In the late 1990s, Long Term Capital Management found out the hard way that educational pedigree and mathematical genius (even with a Nobel Prize) is no match for the market—demonstrating that theories and the real world can decouple in a very ugly way. Throw in some mammoth-sized egos, and you have the makings of a financial tsunami.

Long Term Capital’s brainpower claimed that the fund was perfectly hedged. In other words, they thought they had figured out a way to beat the market and truly believed nothing could go wrong. Unfortunately; they did not expect the unexpected, which at some point always happens in the market. When dealing with probabilities, the devil is in the details—or should I say in the tails, meaning the outliers.

In the case of Long Term Capital, the unexpected was Russia’s default on its domestic debt. This had never happened before and, therefore, was thought to be impossible. What was touted as perfectly hedged began to unravel to the tune of $1 trillion in exposure, and leverage that was rumored to be as much as 100-to-1. The Federal Reserve had to step in to save the day.

Long Term Capital Management (LTCM) was managed by a team of some of the brightest financial minds in the industry. In the end, you would have gotten better results investing in T-Bills or even throwing darts.

No one likes to be wrong, but in trading and in life, everyone is wrong at least some of the time. Some people are unwilling to face that fundamental fact of life. In the stock market, those who can't admit mistakes end up going broke.

Marilyn vos Savant, a national columnist and author, earned a listing in the Guinness Book of Records for five years for having the highest IQ for both childhood and adult scores. Marilyn is perhaps best remembered for a brain teaser she published in her column in Parade magazine. The puzzle was based on the game show “Let’s Make a Deal,” hosted by Monty Hall, and therefore became known as Monty Hall Theory.

In short, the scenario presented three closed doors. Behind two are goats, and behind one is a new car. Monty Hall knows what’s behind each of the doors but you—the contestant—do not. Let’s say, you pick Door Number 3. Monty Hall opens Door Number 2, revealing a goat. Now there are two doors left: 1 and 3. One has a goat and one has a new car. When Monty Hall asks if you want to change your door selection, do the odds favor you making a new selection?

Most people would say, no. They think, at the outset, the odds were 1-in-3. Now, the odds are 1-in-2, or 50%. Wrong! As Marilyn wrote, the odds are actually 2-in-3, or 66% if you change doors. Her explanation was based on six games that exhaust all the possibilities. Switching resulted in winning two-thirds of the time, and losing one-third of the time.

What was most interesting about Marilyn’s exercise was the outrage that it provoked. She received more than 10,000 responses from people telling her she was completely wrong (she wasn’t, and proved it)¬—including 1,000 responses from PhDs. How could so many smart people be wrong about a math equation? I mean, math is math.

This plays out countless times in the market. Many people (even highly intelligent individuals) overlook the obvious. As Sam L. Savage points out in The Flaw of Averages “A degree in physics might help you understand how a wing generates lift, but it won’t necessarily make you a good pilot.”

Many of the books out there on stock trading and investing are written by intelligent authors; however, many of them either don’t trade for a living or have never experienced really big success in their own trading account.

The stock market does not care how educated you are or whether you have a PhD. In the stock market, we all start at kindergarten and have to learn and earn our way to the top. 

Position Sizing for Optimal Results - Excerpt from Think and Trade Like a Champion by Mark Minervini

From the best-selling book Think and Trade Like a Champion

May 31, 2017

Invest in Yourself

May 17, 2017

The Most Eagerly Awaited Investment Book of the Year - HAS ARRIVED!

April 17, 2017

Top Ten Signs You’re Trading Too Large

November 27, 2016

Dr. Iqbal K M—interview with Mark Minervini

April 21, 2016

Learn more by clicking on the Live Events tab - don’t miss this year’s event!

April 20, 2016

FREE WEBINAR with Mark Minervini and David Ryan

March 22, 2016


March 21, 2016

Words of One of the Most Successful Men - On his Death Bed (some say)

March 17, 2016

Meet Mark Minervini in person—get your questions answered—March 10th New York City

February 18, 2016

Top Ten Signs You’re Trading Too Large

February 01, 2016

How to Trade Like a Stock Market Wizard

Excerpts from the best-selling book Trade Like A Stock Market Wizard: How to Achieve Superperformance in Stocks in Any Market

January 24, 2016

Time is Money—Factoring Time Value

January 15, 2016

The Great Advantage of Stock Trading - the Free Ride

September 30, 2015

Could the market crash like 1987?—Put spike argues low is near

August 21, 2015


August 18, 2015

Now Available on

August 11, 2015

Tips on How to Trade Like a Champion

June 15, 2015

Coming Soon! - Minervini, Ryan, Zanger and Ritchie II

April 16, 2015

Not All Ratios Are Created Equal

April 14, 2015

WATCH A REPLAY - Super Trader Tactics for Triple-Digit Returns w/ Mark Minervini & David Ryan

April 02, 2015

Win a FREE copy of Trade Like A Stock Market Wizard


April 01, 2015

FREE WEBINAR with Mark Minervini and David Ryan - March 25, 2015

March 17, 2015

How to Time Your Trade with Pinpoint Accuracy - The Volatility Contraction (VCP) Pattern

February 23, 2015

1450 Words on How to Succeed in the Stock Market

January 21, 2015

How to Trade a Turnaround Situation

January 12, 2015

When a Mistake Becomes a Mistake

January 07, 2015

How to Invest in “Cookie Cutter” Stocks

November 11, 2014

How to Get Aboard an Emerging Rally

November 05, 2014

Mark Minervini’s Morning Note to MPA members October 22, 2014

October 22, 2014

Learn to Go Outside Your Comfort Zone

October 06, 2014

The Unavoidable Cost of Success in the Stock Market

September 29, 2014

My Walking Barefoot in Four Feet of Snow Story

September 16, 2014

Losses Are A Function of Expected Gain

September 08, 2014

How to Determine Earnings Quality (Part 3)

August 25, 2014

How to Determine Earnings Quality (Part 2)

August 18, 2014

How to Determine Earnings Quality (Part 1)

August 11, 2014

Market Leaders: A Double-Edged Sword

July 29, 2014

A few reasons why I’m cautious here as the market makes a new high

July 24, 2014

Top Ten Signs You’re Trading Too Large

July 22, 2014

The Best First Investment You Should Make

July 21, 2014

If You’re Not Feeling Stupid, You’re Not Managing Risk

July 14, 2014

How to Avoid Giving Back Your Profits on Market Pullbacks

July 08, 2014

Practice Does Not Make Perfect

July 07, 2014

How to Assess Earnings Quality

June 29, 2014

There’s a Reason a Ferrari Cost More Than a Hyundai

June 23, 2014

Fundamentally Sound Versus Price Ready

June 17, 2014

Why Buy a Stock Trading at a New High?

June 17, 2014

The Concept of “Building in Failure”

June 09, 2014

How to Trade an Emerging Rally

June 06, 2014


May 01, 2014

FREE WEBINAR w/ Mark Minervini – Top Trading Rules for Superperformance May 8, 2014 -  REGISTER NOW!

April 24, 2014

Michael Covel interviews Mark Minervini April 2014

April 21, 2014

“Momentum Monday” April 7 2014 with Howard Lindzon, Mark Minervini and Joe Donohue

April 08, 2014

Howard Lindzon of StockTwits interviews Mark Minervini March 27, 2013

March 28, 2014

Interview with Mark Minervini with Andrew Selby conducted March 12, 2014

March 17, 2014

Mark Minervini with Shepard Smith talking Russia/Ukraine crisis March 4, 2014

March 05, 2014

Andrew Selby’s book review of Trade Like A Stock Market Wizard

February 20, 2014

Mark Minervini’s 10 Steps to Reduce Portfolio Risk

January 28, 2014

3 Dos and Don’ts Most Traders Learn the Hard Way

January 21, 2014

The following article is an excerpt from Trade Like a Stock Market Wizard: How to Achieve Super Performance in Stocks in Any Market by Mark Minervini with permission from McGraw Hill Publishing.

Handling Stop-Loss “Slippage”

January 14, 2014

Heed the Market not the “Experts”

November 19, 2013

Winning the Loser’s Game

November 11, 2013

Market Leaders; a Double Edge Sword

November 08, 2013

Master Trader Program Superperformance Workshop with Mark Minervini

November 07, 2013

2013 Master Trader Program Highlight Photos

October 18, 2013

#6 Top Tweeter - Make sure to follw Mark on Twiiter

September 27, 2013

Mark Minervini Recent TV Clips

August 06, 2013

Earnings - Exceeded or Missed Analyst Estimates

August 02, 2013

WHY IS MY STOCK GOING DOWN?  The Supreme Fundamental

July 18, 2013

What is a Market Leader and the Greatest Advantage of Wall Street

July 12, 2013

Traditional Valuation Could Lead to Missed Opportunity

July 01, 2013

The C=L U=M Principle

June 27, 2013

Minervini On The Market 6-23-2013

June 23, 2013


June 12, 2013

Q&A with Mark Minervini

June 06, 2013

Winning the Loser’s Game

May 31, 2013

Market Wizards Minervini & Ryan Join Forces for October Investment Workshop

May 30, 2013

3 Dos and Don’ts Most Traders Learn the Hard Way

by Mark Minervini

May 12, 2013

Excerpt from Trade Like A Stock Market Wizard on

Beware the Official “Growth Stock”

May 07, 2013

Market Wizards Minervini and Ryan Join Forces for October 2013 Investment Seminar in Myrtle Beach

May 01, 2013

Market Wizards Minervini and Ryan Join Forces for October 2013 Investment Seminar in Myrtle Beach

Mark Minervini on CNBC’s Closing Bell with Maria Bartiromo and Bill Griffeth April 23, 2013

April 23, 2013

Mark Minervini on CNBC's Closing Bell with Maria Bartiromo and Bill Griffeth April 23, 2013

Mark Minervini with Melissa Francis on Fox Business New April 17, 2013

April 17, 2013

Mark Minervini with Melissa Francis on Fox Business New April 17, 2013

Mark Minervini on “BREAKOUT” with Jeff Macke.  Mark discusses bank earnings and the overall health o

April 15, 2013

Mark Minervini on "BREAKOUT" with Jeff Macke. Mark discusses bank earnings and the overall health of the general market.

Value Time Because Time is Money

By Mark Minervini

April 14, 2013

I’m trying to spot where momentum is going to be strong enough to move the price of the stock as soon as possible at a high velocity. My major goals are to be at a profit soon after my purchase, keep losses relatively small, and avoid sitting with dead merchandise (stocks that go nowhere) for extended periods of time. I’m always trying to maximize the power of compounding.

Mark Minervini on CNBC’s Closing Bell with Maria Bartiromo

April 11, 2013

Mark Minervini on CNBC's Closing Bell with Maria Bartiromo

Mark Minervini with Melissa Francis on Fox News April 8, 2013

April 10, 2013

Mark Minervini with Melissa Francis on Fox April 8, 2013

Mark Minervini on Bloomberg TV April 9 2013

April 10, 2013

Mark Minervini on Bloomberg TV April 9 2013

Heed the Market Not the “Experts”

April 07, 2013

In 2007, Countrywide Financial was being touted by some of the most successful money managers as a well-run company offering solid value and a good prospect for investment. Some of these managers were buying the stock because it was “cheap” with good management. Down more than 60% from the price it was trading at just seven-months earlier, to some, CFC appeared to be a bargain.

The C=L U=M Principle

by Mark Minervini

April 04, 2013

Most people like to stay within a range of relative comfort; a range that is self imposed. This is known as your comfort zone. For most of us, the grand majority of our experiences and daily life’s routines are within the limits of what we already know; the boundaries that we set, the fence that we build around us to feel safe.

We tend to ignore the outer limits of this circle of comfort almost all of the time. The unknown is a scary proposition for most. The CLUM principle simply states that COMFORTABLE = LESS OPPORTUNITY AND UNCOMFORTABLE = MORE OPPORTUNITY; C=L U=M

Is High Portfolio Turnover Bad?

by Mark Minervini

April 01, 2013

A common misconception about money management concerns portfolio turnover, the rate at which securities are bought and then sold. Many investors associate heavy trading in an account with high risk and runaway costs in the form of commissions and capital gains taxes.

I’m happy to announce TRADE LIKE A STOCK MARKET WIZARD just hit #1 BEST SELLER on Amazon

March 29, 2013


Mark Minervini on Fox News with Shepard Smith 3/27/2013

Mark discusses Cyprus and points out the U.S. will benefit from flight to quality - Mark's market close alarm goes off during show; FUNNY!

March 28, 2013

Mark Minervini on Fox News with Shepard Smith 3/27/2013. Mark discusses Cyprus and points out the U.S. will benefit from flight to quality - Mark's market close alarm goes off during show; FUNNY!

Small Success Leads to Big Success

March 25, 2013

Only if my smaller pilot positions confirm my assumptions and show profits do I step up my trading size and rhythm. With this type of approach (pyramiding up), I need only one or two good quarters to rack up a really great year. Until the right opportunity emerges, I pay special attention to preservation of capital above capital appreciation. When a promising opportunity eventually presents itself, I’m ready to act swiftly and aggressively with the bulk of my capital intact.

Commitment Makes the Difference

March 22, 2013

Most traders hope to achieve big success in the stock market, but few do. Over time most investors realize only mediocre results at best. There are a few major reasons for this lack of meaningful success.

How to Protect and Keep Your Confidence Trading

March 21, 2013

The stock market places traders under the constant pressure of fast decision-making. To be successful, you must maintain your nerve at all times. The market demands no less than lightning action. Losing your nerve will lead to second-guessing, indecision and ultimately losses and lost opportunities.

Data and information is provided for informational purposes only. The information provided has been obtained from sources deemed reliable but is not guaranteed as to accuracy or completeness. Neither Mark Minervini, or Minervini Private Access , LLC nor any of its data or content providers shall be liable for any errors or omissions or for any actions taken in reliance thereon. By accessing this website, and its pages, links and trading services which users may access through this site, a user agrees not to redistribute the information found therein. All material in this website and its related websites and pages are protected under copyright laws of the United States. Unauthorized forwarding, copying or reproduction will be treated as a breach of copyright. Mark Minervini is not an investment advisor, financial planner, nor a securities broker. Minervini Private Access, LLC is not a registered broker-dealer. The Information provided in this website is not to be relied upon for your investment decision. Your decision to buy any securities is as a result your own free will and your own research. Individual performance depends upon each user or student's unique skills, time commitment, and effort. User's and students sharing their stories have not been compensated. Student stories have not been independently verified by Minervini Private Access, LLC. These results may not be typical and individual results will vary. Past results are not indicative of future returns. There is a very high degree of risk involved in any type of trading. Stocks, Options, ETF's & Futures are not suitable for all investors. Minervini Private Access, LLC., its subsidiaries and all "affiliated" individuals assume no responsibilities for your trading and investment results. No representation is being made that any account will or is likely to achieve profits. All investors should consult a qualified professional before trading any stock. Under no circumstances should anything contained in this website be construed or considered as an offer to sell, or a solicitation of any offer to buy. While all reasonable care has been taken to ensure that the information contained herein is not untrue or misleading at the time of publication, we make no representation as to its accuracy or completeness and it should not be relied upon as such. From time to time Minervini Private Access, LLC and any of its officers or employees may have a position or otherwise be interested in any transactions, in any investments (including derivatives) directly or indirectly the subject of this report. Entities including but not limited to Minervini Private Access, LLC, its members, officers, directors, employees, customers, agents, and affiliates may have a position, long or short, in the securities referred to herein, and/or other related securities, and may increase or decrease such position or take a contra position. Opinions expressed herein are statements of our judgment as of the publication date and are subject to change without notice. Specific Entry Point Analysis®, SEPA®, Leadership Profile® and Minervini Select® are Registered Trademarks of Minervini Private Access, LLC. All other trademarks are property of their respective owners. All rights reserved.