Fear of Missing Out

In 2016, Merriam-Webster added over 1,400 new words to the dictionary. One of those new words was FOMO (fear of missing out). The full term almost makes a definition unnecessary. But FOMO is the fear of missing something you would like to have done or been involved in yourself.

What relevance does FOMO have to sports trading?

When you are enjoying a day away from trading, do you get the feeling in the back of your mind that someone is making a great trade and you are missing out? Turning on the computer when you get home to see the trade you were going to create a nice profit while you have been away can be a horrible feeling.

This feeling can lead to some traders thinking they must make up for what they have missed out on by placing a bet right there and then. Your next actions are where the fear of missing out can have enormous consequences. You have to remember that each trade is an individual event, and one trade or bet is not going to make the next more or less likely.

Rushing into a trade on Betfair, for example, is not the way to deal with the fact you missed out on something earlier in the day. Yes, it can be a devastating feeling to a full-time trader to find out they have missed something special. When you are trading correct scores or something with the low expected probability, it can be tough to swallow. It is natural to want to get straight back into the action and try and right the wrongs.

Unfortunately, this is where needless losses can creep into your trading. If this sounds like something that happened to you, try and think about what you have missed differently.

fear of missing out

Yes, traders may have made a nice profit on the trade but what have you lost? Nothing. You have not lost anything by missing the trade. Changing your trading regime based on one missed trade, whatever the reason may be, is not the answer.

Fear of missing out can be even stronger when you see a potentially significant trade you may have missed about to close — leading to you rushing to get on the trade without having done your research first. Breaking your regime to try and move in on a trade you have spotted at the last minute is not a good idea.

There may be something you have seen which looks fantastic, but there may be something else which you have yet to see which can bring the trade down. Stopping yourself from betting money on something based on the fear of missing out takes a tremendous amount of discipline. But there are always going to be more opportunities in the market. If your goal is to make a full-time living, then what you do after is much more important than the trade you didn’t take.

An excellent way to deal with this scenario is to think to yourself you have seen the opportunity. Praise yourself for spotting the trade and identifying it correctly as that is much more important. If you had missed it completely, you might never have known about it at all; as they say, ignorance is bliss. But in your case, you did see it, and you were correct, so if you can keep your discipline, you will more than likely be right again. You did spot the trade, so be thankful for that and think to yourself next time you will be on it earlier, so you can get involved in the action.

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