Whatever it is, you must constantly assess the likelihood that you are right or wrong. Are you basing your decision off historical prices, or gut feeling? Word on the street?
It's important to not get suckered into the belief that commodities will forever hold their value. That being said, there is good rational behind historical prices, because even though the Grand Exchange is a play stock market with fake money, there is still human psyche involved. To some, this game currency is much more than game currency.
With the human aspect in mind, you must be eager for patience. Yearn for patience. Know that instant gratification may come from your social status updates or high speed downloads, but it will rarely ever happen in your trading. Trading is a waiting game for winners and a buy-sell-buy-sell-buy-sell game for losers (unless you have extreme luck, in which case, trade as much and as often as you deem fit.)
Everything is Cyclical
Patience pays because everything is cyclical. Cycles are amazing but are also deceiving. A high price of 400gp per raw lobster 6 months ago gives one the impression that raw lobsters are skyrocketing in demand. It's late in the game, but its price just keeps going higher. I can get in for a small profit, right? Wrong. Look at the move at the end of 2014. Crash. Hard crash. A lot of people lost a lot of gold. Why? Why all of a sudden did the price start crashing? Everyone selling, nobody buying? How did such a sudden shift happen, when there had been such a long build to 400gp per raw lobster?
The problem here is the bubble effect. Granted, the effect is not nearly as volatile as a bubble usually is, but you can see the large rise in volume over 2014, the surmounting price, leading to an evaporation of buys in early 2015 and the destruction of the price.
What does a bubble look like?
Here is the typical view. You can see a few points before the March 2015 price where it looks like it tried to break up. These are the "return to normal" points. May 2015 is the despair phase. This is where the smart money is buying back in. The smart money sold their raw lobsters in January and have been eagerly waiting for the dumb money (risk averse individuals who sell when unrealized losses are incurred) to offload their raw lobsters. This doesn't mean 180gp/raw lobster is the lowest we will see, but it is in the range in which the bottom price will be found. My anecdotal guess is 150 +/- 10gp will be the lowest price we see on raw lobsters before the slow trend up again.
Help!! I bought lobsters at 3xx gp per! What should I do?
I'm sorry if you're in this boat. You're down a lot of money and you dont want to keep losing any, but each day looks like things will turn around. Your best strategy is to hold for the long run (barring any type of intervention by Jagex that essentially ruins the supply/demand structure of raw lobsters).
Give it through 2015. You will ache and bemoan the low price, but as I said earlier, everything is cyclical. Raw lobsters should come back. My prediction is that we will see raw lobsters at 250 range in December, and 300 through 2016.
Good luck, all.
Here are my orders. 100k at 185gp (current going rate) and 300k at 140gp. 200k raw already in the bank and 44m leftover.