Wall Street Cheat Sheet

Wall Street Cheat Sheet

Wall Street Cheat Sheet

The only difference between a profitable trader and a non-profitable trader is how they control their emotions. While the latter always shows the right emotions at the wrong time (often leading to wrong calls in the market), the former understand their emotions and use them at the right time. To succeed in the market, you need to understand the psychology of the market, which is why we bring you this Wall Street cheat sheet.

This Wall Street cheat sheet breaks down the psychology of market cycles and shows the different emotions that play out. As you know, the market moves in cycles, and these cycles repeat themselves over and over again. The cheat sheet shows what goes through the minds of market participants during the different stages of the market cycle.

Wall Street Cheat Sheet
Wall Street Cheat Sheet – The Robust Trader

In the chart above, you can see the different emotions that play out in the market. Let’s explore them one after the other.


This is the usual emotion when a new trend is emerging in the market after a bear market. It probably starts with short-sellers covering their short positions. Some experienced investors might come in at that early stages, but amateurs would remain on the sidelines since they doubt whether the rally will continue (maybe based on some past experience or lack of knowledge thereof). If the rally grows into a full-blown uptrend, those doubters would either start regretting or hop on to the trend at the later stages out of fear of missing out (FOMO).


Following the initial rally, the price reaches a moment of temporary consolidation and retracement but traders and investors believe the security has a lot of potentials. Here, we will see people who missed the first rally coming in bit by bit. This phase as seen on the chart is a period of accumulation for what’s to happen next.


As the market momentum picks up, more and more investors rush into the market to get a piece; they are full of optimism at this point. This stage sets the pace for the boom stage as it gets media coverage.

Belief and thrill

At this stage, the market is getting a lot of media coverage, and everyone is talking about it. This is where most people get into the market as a result of FOMO (Fear of Missing Out). This phase usually comes with a continuous rally as more and more buyers come into the market. Here investors will start recommending the asset to relatives and friends as Fear-of-Missing-Out and what seems to be a lifetime opportunity gives birth to speculations and widespread optimism. An example of this is the Gamestop frenzy and the DogeCoin (cryptocurrency) rally earlier this year (2021).


This phase comes with extreme price levels, oscillator reading reaches extremes, but caution is thrown to the wind. Investors and the public will use metrics and new valuation measures to justify the continuous rally. Here the “greater fool” theory comes into play — that no matter how prices go, there will always be buyers that are willing to buy at any price.

At the height of the internet bubble of 2000, the value of all technology stocks on the Nasdaq exchange was higher than the GDP of most countries.


In this phase, market momentum comes to a halt, and then comes a retracement. However, this retracement is soon followed by a slight rally giving the impression of a trend continuation.

Traders still hold on to their positions while waiting for the trend to continue, thinking that it’s just a temporary retracement. What they fail to understand here is that the market has exhausted its move and is ready for a trend reversal.

Anxiety and Denial

In this stage, smart money starts taking profits and selling positions as they heed the warning sign that the market bubble is about to burst. But retail investors would think that the market will bounce back.

Panic, Capitulation, Anger, and Depression

The last stages of the market cycle come with a lot of market decline. In this phase, the bubble is burst. Prices of securities decline faster than they had rallied. Traders and investors are faced with margin calls and a reduction in the value of their positions. Many will capitulate and liquidate their positions. What follows is anger and depression.

Trading Strategies

A key element in mastering Wall Street lies in deploying effective trading strategies that align with the psychological nuances of market cycles. The Wall Street cheat sheet provided here delves into the intricacies of market psychology, dissecting the emotions that unfold throughout different stages of the market cycle. Beyond emphasizing the paramount role of emotional control for profitable trading, it underscores the significance of comprehending market psychology for success.

By illuminating the emotions experienced during phases like disbelief, hope, optimism, belief and thrill, euphoria, complacency, anxiety and denial, and finally panic, capitulation, anger, and depression, the cheat sheet equips traders with a comprehensive understanding of the market’s emotional landscape. This awareness enables traders to anticipate and navigate market movements effectively, fostering a strategic approach that transcends emotional pitfalls. In essence, the cheat sheet serves as a valuable tool for traders seeking to elevate their financial acumen by incorporating a nuanced understanding of market psychology into their trading strategies.

Final words

The market is made up of people and their emotions. It’s important to know the emotions driving the various stages of the market cycle so you can plan what to do ahead of time. Don’t get cut up in the game.


What is the Wall Street Cheat Sheet, and how does it help traders?

The Wall Street Cheat Sheet is a visual representation of market cycles and the corresponding emotions experienced by traders. It helps traders understand and navigate market movements by providing insights into the psychological aspects of trading.

What are the different emotions depicted in the Wall Street Cheat Sheet?

Understanding market psychology is crucial because markets are driven by the emotions of participants. Successful trading requires anticipating and reacting to these emotions at different stages of the market cycle. The cheat sheet outlines emotions such as Disbelief, Hope, Optimism, Belief and Thrill, Euphoria, Complacency, Anxiety and Denial, and Panic, Capitulation, Anger, and Depression.

Can the Wall Street Cheat Sheet be used as a predictive tool for market movements?

While it doesn’t provide specific predictions, the cheat sheet offers a framework for understanding the emotional landscape of the market. Traders can use this understanding to anticipate potential shifts in market sentiment. Yes, effective trading strategies consider the psychological nuances of market cycles. For instance, during Euphoria, caution is advised, and during Panic, opportunities for value investing may arise.

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