Sunday, January 31, 2010

End of month review

1. How the heck am I going to be able to hold onto solid winners? At the beginning of the month I sold out of NFLX near 53.75 in 3 of my accounts. I was likely very overweight in them. It traded as low as 48.52 after that. Now it is up 15% from where I sold. How does one endure that kind of action?

2. Overall I am down 1.7% in actively traded accounts. In each of those: -1.47, -1.05, +2.7%, -8%. 18 trades (this month thinking of them as 18 one way trades). Most are small moves either way, best gain was in CPTS, worst loss was XLF not considering holdover from December of NFLX.

Discussion. I thought the month would end up better. NFLX puzzles me. No horrible losses make this very survivable. Current positions are held in all accounts with sizeable losses in each, but those numbers are considered in month end figures. If the market turns up I should do well with these, if the market goes down, I will be out of these with less money than now.

I looked at a UUP trade this month, did not take it when it was 23.23, closed 23.45. Based upon position sizing rules I could have bet my farm on this one and been up a bit from then. If I use turtle like rules for entry and exit, does it mean I have to take every entry that presents itself? This one was not very sexy, I have never traded the dollar, upside seems limited, but 1% is 1%. I will watch and consider. If this was futures trading, what would it be as far as gain?

Thursday, January 28, 2010


I only have a few currency issues on my screen, 4 week b/o seem apparent. I have not traded these, might look to go long the dollar in 2x fund.


This is my commodity screen, looking for 4 week breakouts, each chart is one month. They all seem to be setting up for short sales, or long on an inverse ETF

Interesting high risk play BWEN

This is a high risk high reward kind of idea here. This chart showed up as a high volume move up yesterday, might be a bit of a double bottom pattern with yesterdays candle move bullish (dont know the candle term). My guess it could vacillate a few days then make nice move higher. I have no idea about the fundies of this one.

A good chart lesson

This is from stockcharts public lists of Andrew Lais.[s189816992]&disp=O

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Compare and contrast

I am going to try and post 3 charts. Last two are broad sector based ETFs that I had sold out of. Last one failed a higher high. 2nd one just never tried. First one made a higher high which lends confidence to owning it. Click charts for larger.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Many sells

Well the market action has been really horrible. I closed some ETF postions at gains and losses. The loss was in XLF as it went though a 2N stop, previously it had gotten close to this a few days before. I'd bought an initial position in it at new highs, it never went higher. After I sold it flirted with staying above the stop point but end of day went far below it. I had a spot in SLV (maybe SLX, whichever one is steel), closed it near breakeven as it was giving back what had been an 8% gain, closed below breakeven by several dollars. I've also been in a stock I've shown in this and several other recent graphs. It moved back below new high buy point after failing to make a higher high ( it made a lower high). Having some profit in it with bad overall near term market action and this one giving up some gains, I sold most of the position in it. It is no where near my 2N stop yet but I was over exposed. It remains on my screens for reentry.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Politics, healthcare, economics, my view

I am glad that Brown won in Mass. The state of politics with folks trying to rush through changes to healthcare needed to stop. I appreciate Obama being a CEO and directing where we as a country needs to go, that is the role of a CEO. But it seems arrogant to suggest that politicians know what has to be done to fix this. I suggest that they ought to have more open discussion with providers, insurers, the population, and other socialized states to talk about what they want, what ought to be done, and how to go about it. I fear that deep pocket interests will be taken care of at the expense of the tax rolls making us worse off as a nation. The villification of the the morphine death squads for cancer patients strikes fear without talking facts.

I am reading an interesting book by Henry Hazlitt, Economics in One Lesson. It makes a lot of good points regarding economic interventions and how they fail and makes things worse by not recognizing all the forces involved in a free market.

I do not care about the market sell off of late with my long term positions as long term averages are still looking good. We have one more week to go in the month, looking forward to the review this time.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

It broke out

This chart is a 4 day view of the previous one. Volume was the highest today since I have been following it, nice end of day high volume moves to close near or at the highs. No volume in this chart, but >2x today on a sucky market day. Should I add to it?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Good for long term but where to from here

A question

I ask this feeling a bit giddy over a recent pick. What kind of birth control does the street like?

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Stockbrokers are salespeople

I love to talk about the market and this becomes the topic of conversation with anyone I know that will talk about it. A few days ago at work a family member said he had been a broker, worked for many firms. Our conversation was very interesting, touched on many subjects, and reinforced some beliefs.

1. He had lost his tail being short in 2009 due to his belief that things would go down. Lesson: trade what is happening.
2. While he seemed to be doing okay in life as a retiree, he and his wife opined that perhaps they should have worked in the medical field for better earnings power. They live and associate with retired doctors, say they are well off.
3. Despite a lifetime in the market, he has nine rental homes. Blow me down popeye. Lesson: diversify.

Saturday, January 9, 2010


1. I have stopped my IBD paper and premium products.
2. I regret selling CNO.
3. I am trying to get a new system of tracking things without IBD using just the free services of my discount broker. I have the work funds part figured out and set up so far, need to do more work on the charts I like to scan fairly fast.
4. I am leaning towards renewing my $225/yr investment advisory newsletter.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


I sold out of NFLX yesterday. It was down on big volume on a big up day. It might just be a good flush out prior to going higher but I have no idea, that is mostly just hope. I think that doing an end of year and month evaluation and mentally having a clean slate helped me to just plain old recognize my sunk costs. I moved into this with too much of my portfolio. When I started trying to trend trade ETFs I did well my first month. Late last month I started back doing this when I moved out of NFLX in one account, had one small loss in IYT, now have 2 positions with gains above 5%. Not one to argue with success I am going back to the ETF trend trading with the bulk of my funds. There are several that are buyable. I need to wait for settled funds and in a way would like to see how the next few days shakeout.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Theme song redux

Month and Year end Review

Three trading accounts are holding all positions from previous month and are down 6% each compared to previous month, this is all in one stock. Another account sold out of NFLX at a loss. This same account was in and out of CNO for a profit, in and out of IYT for another loss, is holding XSD and SLX for profits, and has a brand new position in CPTS expecting a breakout this week. End of the year low volume sell off was not kind.

End of year performance for trading accounts is embarassing: -43%, -37%, +9%, =.

2009 401Ks and annuity tell a different tale: +35%, +31.3%, +56%

I overtraded the first half of the year with some poor discipline. I've grown in my respect for risk management. I guess I read about risk management and position sizing when I started reading books on the market but I was only dreaming of millions, salivating all over the place. While I succumb to emotion still, reading more of the turtle trend trading (Donchian) this year has helped me further to slow this down. I've had some success with lower risk ETF investing.

I am trading a lot less. My performance suggests I should not trade at all or else handle my trading accounts in the same manner that I handle work retirement accounts. I am not opposed to doing this but believe with proper trade management I can do better.

Add all the figures together and I am up 30% this year!