Larry Hite (appears in Broke) gave a speech a few years back. In his speech, a defense of trend following, he relayed a comical conversation about the never ending need of some to know the fundamentals:
Many years ago, I jumped up at three in the morning one night and started scribbling and calculating and said, “Holy shit, it’s not the number of the eggs, but the size of the chickens.” My girlfriend at the time looked at me and said, “You wake me up at 3AM to tell me size matters?” “You’ve got to understand,” I explained, “you can’t get large eggs from small chickens.” “What are you talking about?” I said, “Well I have been thinking about eggs.” She said, “Eggs? It’s three in the morning, what do you mean you•ve been thinking about eggs?” She said, “I thought you were a music guy or a drug dealer, why are you thinking about eggs?” I said, “Well here’s the thing about these eggs. There are going to be a lot of chickens next year. But if you regress the age of the flock there’s going to be a lot of small chickens and medium chickens but there are not going to be a bunch of old, large chickens. And without large chickens you can’t have large eggs. And without large eggs you can’t make the deliverable on the Chicago Merc which calls for large, white eggs. So there will be a shortage of deliverables in Chicago.” She said, “You know, I could have told my friends a lot of stuff about you. I could have even had lied to my parents. But I really can’t sleep with a guy who counts chickens.” That was what commodity trading was all about. It was about the fundamentals of a commodity.
Pick the market. Stock, commodity, future, whatever. If you find yourself trying to actually know all of the fundamental data for some market, doesn’t Hite’s story hit you in the gut? Bottom line, knowing the fundamentals doesn’t translate into making good buy/sell decisions and or making good money management decisions (“how much to buy or sell?”).