Friday, April 30, 2010

A GOLDen watchlist

I am heading back into hibernation dear readers. Seeing so many visitors to the blog yesterday even though there was no post, I felt I owed everyone a watchlist at least. Gold is on the move and I feel these stocks should move too. All have excellent volume patterns, so watch out for them.

Take care and good luck.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Taking a break

So dear readers, as I mentioned in the last post I am at the cross roads in life and have decided that it would be in my best interests to take a short break from trading. Trading, especially where my style of trading where I continuously watch the tape, takes a lot of time. I cannot justify this time I spend on trading to myself when I should be doing much more important things. And this blog takes a considerable bit of my time too. This is the 187th post in less than 4 months! Also, when you have so many other issues weighing on your mind, trading obviously becomes a chore. I sold some of my more volatile positions today and also took a position in gold via NGD, a junior gold miner. If things go according to plan, I see myself back to trading in around 2 weeks. In between, I might show up with some watchlists as well as my thoughts on the market if something interesting happens.

I normally end all my posts by wishing you readers good luck. This time, how about wishing me good luck for a change dear readers? I sure could use some!

I will be back.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Remembering what's really important

You dont need me, dear readers, to tell you what a bearish day today was and how some important levels were broken. I take it you already know that. So, I won't go into that. But here is a piece I wrote a little while back on another day like today. If you had heavy losses today, I recommend giving it a read.

Personally speaking, I pretty much did not get a chance to watch the markets today until about the last half hour. Well, I was quite shocked :). But any selling then would have just been selling into panic so I decided to wait.

Frankly speaking, I am that point in life where I don't really care. Obviously, I was a little disappointed buy I don't really care. I trade with a small account and only with what I can afford to lose. But that's not the point. Sometimes circumstances arrive in life where trading et al. seem so small and insignificant. Imagine having to give up all that you have worked for and made unimaginable sacrifices for a major part of your life. Imagine just throwing it away. Well, that's the choice I am faced with dear readers. Naturally, I don't know what to do. Anyway, I pretty much wont have time for markets tomorrow too and might just go all into cash early in the day.

Take care and good luck dear readers.

Monday, April 26, 2010

The markets look tired

I will try and keep this post short dear readers as I have places to go and things to do. If the market finds it hard to go up on good news, then the good news (read earnings) is pretty much already priced in, and its probably time for a pullback. Considering the nature of the economic indicators and earnings reports, if a pullback does occur, it will not be severe and should be a good buying opportunity.

The financials, one of the leaders of this rally, look tired and GS keeps on getting hit by bad news. Can we continue to go up without GS.

150 is the next support level for GS and how it behaves at this level tomorrow might be important for the overall direction of the markets tomorrow. So, keep an eye on 150 level for Goldman.

Personally speaking, I entered PAL at 5.03, PNX at 3.63 and GLW at 20.90. All positions even smaller than the ones I entered last week. Seeing the weakness in the markets, I also entered some VXX close to the end of the day.

Take care and good luck tomorrow!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Some charts to watch out for this week

Lot of good looking charts out there, so I decided to go with stocks that I know well and have traded before. Mostly all of these are commodity plays. Why, you say dear readers? Well, read this.

ATPG - Look out for a break of 23 on good volume.

NR - Almost got into this one sub 6.50 on Friday afternoon. Still like it.

SWC - Finally broke 17.15 on Friday. Traded this on Friday and still like it if 17.25 holds.

PAL - Look out for a gap fill if 5 breaks. 

CSE - A buy on a break of 6.25 on good volume.

RDN - Wants to go higher but volume not cooperating the last three days. Volume comes in and this flies.

Take care and good luck!

At important levels - GLD, USO, UUP

The commodities made a big move up on Friday and I figured it would be useful to see where they stand and what one could expect in the near future. I am glad I had a look because it turns out both gold and oil are at important levels. Let's start with gold first.

GLD - Nice bounce on Friday. 114 is the level to keep an eye on. If it breaks that with volume, there is no resistance till the previous highs made in December - 119.54. Would like to see more volume enter though, and soon.

USO - Bounced off the MA(50) on Friday.....again, having done it thrice now in the last three months. The highs from January - 41.19 are the next resistance level followed by 42. A break of 42 and we could be off to the races. Only disappointing thing in this again is the volume, or rather the lack of it. Volume was disappointing on both Thursday and Friday and for this move to gain conviction, volume needs to come in soon.

The importance of this move can be deduced by having a look at the weekly chart of oil. The chart says it all.

UUP - Not surprisingly, with oil and gold being at important levels, the dollar is at important levels too. Hasn't gone anywhere in the last week and unless it breaks the important resistance level marked in the chart, it seems to be forming a top here.

It becomes important to keep an eye on all of the above mentioned levels in the next few days as thee commodities could decide where the markets head from here. Watch out for energy and metal stocks if we do indeed break the important levels. I will be back with a watchlist later tonight.

Take care.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

New additions in Useful Links

Just added the links to the following in the Some Useful Links section in the bottom right hand corner of the blog:

Today's Top Industry
Pre-market Movers
After-hours movers

Hope they are useful!

Well traded Sir!

Well dear readers, as I am sure you already know I am pretty hard on myself when I make trading mistakes and blog about my mistakes at great length here. And when I do trade well, I attribute the victories to the benevolent nature of the Stock Gods. Why I do this is pretty simple. In trading, and actually in life in general, it is very important to learn from the mistakes one makes and at the same time, stay humble during times of success. Just to digress a little, if you can say that you have never made a mistake in life or if you have made very few mistakes in life, I feel sorry for you Sir. The only explanation for no mistakes or very few mistakes is that you forever lived your life in your comfort zone. You never challenged yourself and never really tried to stretch yourself beyond your limits. As a result, you never made many mistakes. And if you didn't make the mistakes, you never realized what you are really capable of. And that my dear readers, is a sad way to live.

Now back to trading. The losses I suffered last Friday made me realize that while the losing trades and mistakes were pretty well documented in the blog, the trades where I did well hardly got a mention. Now as you know dear readers, confidence plays a big role in trading. At times when the confidence is on the decline, it would be nice to go back to trades where you did well and see what you were doing right then and as a natural extension, what you are doing wrong now. Learning from mistakes is still the key but learning from success is also important. With this being the aim, I am hereby starting a new section in the blog - Well traded Sir!

This is going to be a section on trades where I think I did everything right. These trades may or may not be successful in terms of profits, but it is important not to classify a trade as good or bad purely on the basis of the profit/loss associated with it. Trading is not about making or losing money but about doing the right thing. Do that and the money will follow. In that spirit, Well traded Sir!

Apr 19 - Apr 23 completed trades

5 profits, 0 losses- +13.02%
Average Profit - +2.60%
Average Loss - 0%

Total account up 14.43% YTD (after commissions)

Open Positions: NEP

A satisfactory week. Any week in which you have no losses is a good week, irrespective of the size of the profits. Though I am pleased with the average profit size too. At the end of this week, I have recovered 70% of the money that I lost that Friday in AIG and RDN. Percentage vise the gains have already far overcome those losses but as the regular readers of this blog know I had decided to take smaller positions until I had recovered my confidence. Well dear readers, the confidence is back but I am going to continue to trade small until I completely recover those losses. Slow and steady is the plan here.

Also, mostly inspired by those losses, I am going to start a new section in this blog called - Well traded Sir! More on that later this evening.


1) The table shows only completed trades of the week. The positions that are still open will be accounted for in the week that I close them.
2) The YTD calculation includes the open positions. I just take my account value at end of Friday and calculate it. So, it also includes commissions which do matter a lot to a small account like mine.

Which other blog reports results after commissions? :)

Friday, April 23, 2010

Beware of a double top in Palladium

No doubt Palladium has had a great run for over a year now. I have been bullish on Palladium plays - SWC, PAL in the recent past and rightly so. But I wanted to bring attention to a very important level  - the 2008 highs - that Palladium is reaching dear readers and likelihood of a double top forming here. Expect to see at least some consolidation or maybe even a pullback at these levels. 

Below is the weekly chart and the picture tells its own story.

Take care and good luck!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

A bullish day no doubt but......

The markets started lower ....and went lower, down over 100 points at one point. Well, the bears had their chances right there but they couldn't take it. The green finish in all the three indices is bullish indeed. No two ways about that. A day like this would make me very confident being on the long side but.....Yes, dear readers there is a but. 

Amazon and Microsoft both beat expectations after hours but that couldn't stop their stocks from falling. This shows how small the margin for error is in these markets after the run up we have had dear readers. I would still advise caution until we make new highs. The odds are still on the long side till that happens but I would keep a sizable cash position too. 

Personally speaking, I couldn't watch the markets until noon except for the first five minutes. Seeing the markets down considerably and knowing that it was due to the Greece crisis, I placed a buy limit order for PAL at 4.80 which got filled while I was away. I was confident that the Greece crisis will not affect the markets. Greece is not too big to fail but it is too important to fail. Greece going down would be a really bad advertisement for the Euro and the Euro nations are not going to let that happen. That is my thinking at least. I also got in and out of PMI at 6.51 and 6.56 respectively. I am still long SWC and NEP. I haven't got the time to run my scans tonight, so am just going with the stocks I am already familiar with. Its been a decent week so far and I intend to end it that way tomorrow.

Take care and good luck tomorrow!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Be careful out there

Just another day at the markets. The earnings reports have been pretty good so far, but still the markets seem to be having a hard time making new highs. That makes me kind of cautious here, considering the run up we have had recently. I am going to be cautious with starting new positions until the markets make new highs.

The volume seems to be picking up on the S&P. The support and the resistance levels are marked on the chart below. A negative MACD divergence seems to be developing but that hasn't stopped the markets so far. Basically, when the markets don't react to good news the way you expect them to, its time to be cautious. And it looks like that's where we are at right now.

Personally speaking, I got out of my OCLR position, that I had entered yesterday, at 2.78 for around 2% gain. I still own SWC from Monday but patience is beginning to run thin on this one.

Take care and good luck tomorrow!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Tomorrow is a crucial day

Not much to say today dear readers. The markets somewhat recovered from the action on Friday. The bounce was nothing to write home about but at the same time, the bears weren't able to push home the advantage they gained on Friday. The earning reports keeps on coming good but who knows how much of that is already factored in. All this makes tomorrow a crucial day in my point of view. It would be impressive if the bulls could recover all the losses from Friday. Let's wait and watch.

Personally speaking, I did not even bother watching the markets most of the day. I took a small position in SWC close to the end of the day at 16.38. I also like PAL here which behaved impressively even on Friday. In my view, the recent gains in Palladium are not really reflected in the prices of these two stocks yet.

Take care and good luck tomorrow.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Trading NOT like a fool Part 3

Let's keep this short and simple dear readers. If you have read the first two parts of this series, you know I traded like a damn amateur on Friday. Bottomline - Shit happens. That's life for you. I made a bunch of stupid mistakes. The important thing is to learn from them. And go on.

My account took a decent hit and I am back where I was at the beginning of this month. That doesn't sound too bad but I was having a great month until Friday. Anyway. Time to get over it.

Here are the problems:
(1) I am low on confidence.
(2) I would be lying if I say I don't have the feeling right now to get my money back from the markets.

(1) can only be corrected with time. No shortcuts there. And (2) is a horrible way to trade. One is sure to lose money with these kind of emotions.

(1) Trade small
(2) Trade less

And I am going to do the above till I get my confidence back. I had got all those profits by some smart trading. I was the one who lost them by stupid trading. Time to get smart again.

Wish me luck dear readers!

Trading like a Fool Part 2

Well, its time to refill those glasses dear readers as I am back. And I have a story to tell. And its a sad one. So, go ahead and fill your glasses. I can wait. And for those of you who are still with us, why not read Part 1 of the story while we wait for the rest of the readers to return.

Welcome back dear readers! Let's continue with my tale. I had left you in Part 1 with me taking a small loss in SWC. If it had gone up 3 cents, I would have quit trading for the day and the events recounted below would have never unfolded. If only.....

So, while I was still holding SWC waiting for another opportunity to sell, Goldman Sachs news came out. The market tanked. I felt I must take advantage of this. But how? I thought AIG had popped up on good volume on this news. That made sense to me. Without thinking twice, I took a very large position in AIG. Without even seeing the charts. It was supposed to be a day trade, hence the very large position. I knew nothing about the stock except that it was very volatile. Now, the regular readers of this blog know that this kind of plays are not my trading style. But the temptation to make a quick buck was just too much. And I gave in. Fool tread where angels.....

I got in AIG at around 41.35. I had my sell order at 42. It reached 41.95......And then reversed. Now this would be a good time to grab those tissues and take another sip of your drink. This time it was a matter of 5 cents. Since I had gone into this position without thinking, I didn't have a set stop loss. Alas! The folly!

Meanwhile, I also took a position in RDN in 18.30s seeing the other mortgage insurers run on the news. This was lagging behind, so I got in. And then they all reversed. Soon, it was at 17.55. A quick glance at the charts and I set my stop at 17.45. It never touched that level and quickly reversed again and went back to 18. So, what's wrong, you say dear readers? I will tell you what's long. In my stressed state, I had placed a limit order rather than a stop order! I was out in 17.50s and saw it turn without me! Talk about getting kicked in the nuts while you are already down.....

By now, I had had enough. There is so much a man can take. I got out of AIG in 39.40s for a handsome loss. In one day, my account had fallen around 4%. Two weeks of excellent trading, in which I was up over 5%, blown away by a single days worth of stupidity. That's the market for you dear readers. It strikes when you least expect it to.

The story is not over dear readers. I shall be back. The mistakes from today shall not be forgotten. Lessons will be learnt. I admit my confidence has swung to a low at the moment. How do I plan to get back on my feet and return to my winning ways? For that, there is Part 3 dear readers....Keep refilling those glasses.

Trading like a fool Part 1

Well dear readers, it pains my heart to recount the events of last Friday but I must. I take this blog seriously and I owe it to you readers. A man's gotta do what a man's gotta do. But make sure to have a box of tissues nearby. In fact, I demand you read this post with your favorite alcoholic beverage in your hand. I know its early in the morning but exceptional times demand exceptional responses. And it sure was an exceptional day dear readers and this surely is an exceptional tale. Sigh!

The day started like all bad ones do.....deceptively well. I went into the day holding SWC and NEP. Though the market was down a bit, both these stocks were doing well. I had made only two trades during the week, gaining almost 5% in both. My account was up over 5% for this entire month. Looking back at what followed (isn't hindsight a wonderful thing dear readers!), I feel overconfidence silently crept into my trading. Anyway, the plan was to sell SWC at 17.20 and then be done for the day. I had a busy day ahead. The sell order has been placed. SWC never touched that. It made a high of 17.17. Alas! My day would have gone so very differently had it moved up those 3 cents.

I held on. The market turned. Goldman Sachs lay accused. I sold SWC at 16.50 for little more than 1% loss. Now, the regular readers of this blog know I don't mind taking a loss at all but I do mind taking a loss on a stock in which I once had a decent profit. Maybe this is what happened here. I am still grappling for reasons for what happened next. Perhaps there is really no reason. This post is taking a lot out of me dear readers. The memories....I will be back sometime later with the concluding part  of this series dear readers. Until then, goodbye.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Traded like a damn amateur

Had my worst trading day of the year losing ~4% of my account. More than the money, I am pissed at the way I traded today. Traded like a f****** moron. Pardon my language dear readers. But what has to be said, has to be said. I will be back with a detailed post tomorrow as today I am not in the mood to blog. Hope you readers understand. There is a moral to the story though. But more on it tomorrow. The weather is great and there is magic in the air. That means I am heading out for a few drinks. 

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Palladium plays - PAL, SWC

Palladium has been on a roll for the past one years dear readers (see chart below). Two ways you can play Palladium is PAL and SWC, perhaps the only North American Palladium producers. Unlike Gold, Palladium actually has widespread industry use (automobile industry) and is a rare metal. I was all over these stocks in January, when I started this blog. I have started playing them again recently and on strict orders from the benevolent Stock Gods, they have been treating me well so far. PAL was up on great volume today. Wait for a low volume pullback if you are a swing trader and thinking of getting in or a break to new highs if you are a momentum trader. Palladium does look a bit over extended, so waiting for a little pullback might not be such a bad idea.

Take care and good luck!

Just another up day

Bad job numbers to begin the day but the market just chugged higher. There is no point in talking about any technical levels at the moment as the market is going to respond to earning reports. As an interesting side note, the markets are not overbought right now but another couple of green days, and we might reach overbought levels on NASDAQ.

Personally speaking, the day started on a bad note with NEP delaying its annual reports once again. Did not see this coming. Poor show indeed. I have owned this stock for over 2 years now in my long term account (see "introduction" under label) and the management has had a history of underpromising and overdelivering. So, all this accounting mess in the last month or so has been surprising and discouraging indeed. I would have loved to sell the shares I own in my trading account (this blog is all about this trading account) but unfortunately, my broker does not offer pre market trades. The bottomline - I still own it. For the uninitiated, this is the only stock whose fundamentals I am aware of. How did this happen?? Read my introduction!

Apart from the above, I had a pretty decent day. My other overnight position, PAL did well today. Since I didn't have time to watch the markets in the first couple of hours, I had placed an order to sell half of my position at 4.95. This had turned out to be quite a big position as I had added to it yesterday. Later on in the day, I added SWC, another Palladium play, at 16.73. As I was a little too heavy on Palladium now, I sold my remaining PAL position at 5.16, for an overall profit of 4.76%. 

I still like the Palladium plays here and will post on them later tonight.

Take care and good luck tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Watchlist results

Another bullish day. I am sorry, make that very bullish. With this market, the basic philosophy is never look a gift horse in the mouth. Enjoy it while it lasts! The market is going to react to results now, so there is pretty much no use pointing to overall index charts. Just be careful if the market gets overbought. You can find the link to an earning calendars at the bottom of the right hand column of this blog under "Earnings Calendar". Just make sure you know when the stock you are taking a position in is reporting.

I had talked about four stocks in my post last night dear readers - LUK, SWC, PAL, NEP. Here is how they fared today:

LUK: +2.74%
SWC: +8.15%
PAL: +7.47%
NEP: +2.71%

Not too bad, even if I say so myself :). I hope some of you readers benefited from these calls. Personally speaking, I finally got back to trading today, placing my first trade in a week. I took a position in PAL at 4.80 and then added to the position at 4.88. I still own this heading into tomorrow. I also entered PNX at 3.30. This is a stock from the weekly watchlist I posted this Sunday. This stock was up over 21% today!!!! I sold it at 3.46 as I had a quick day trade in mind while entering it. It closed at 3.74 :). I hope you readers made more out of it than I did!

NEP reports tomorrow, so I should be in for an interesting day. I try never to hold a stock into its earnings but if you readers have read my introduction post, you know why this stock is different ;)

I will be back later tonight with some more picks. Take care and good luck!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


Today brought upon us a new trading day, but new in name only. Beneath the guise of a new day lay the same old, low volatility, not heading anywhere old day. I did have the time to watch the markets today afternoon but seeing the action, decided not to do anything. However, there are four stocks I will be watching closely tomorrow dear readers, and here they are.

Three of them you are already very much familiar with, if you are a regular reader of the blog, so let's get them out of the way first.

NEP - Reports Thursday morning. So, maybe some action tomorrow.

SWC, PAL - Palladium plays. Were down today in spite of Palladium being up. Palladium is again looking good after hours, so these could move tomorrow.

LUK - Showed up today for the first time in my scans. The charts say it all. Am attaching both the daily and the weekly charts. A buy on new highs.

Take care and good luck!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Taking no position is also a position

Not much to say today dear readers. What does one say on a low volatility day like today? Not much dear readers, not much :).

If you are confused about where the market is headed, you are not the only one. Normally, such action would indicate that the market is topping and looking ripe for a pullback, but how often has that worked in the recent past? Sometimes taking no position is the best position one can take. Get away from your computer screen and enjoy the beautiful summer days. Spend time with your loved ones. Don't trade just for the heck of it. Don't force things to happen. Let the market come to you. Wait patiently for your prey. When the game is not in sight, you don't just wildly shoot your weapon everywhere hoping to get lucky. Then why trade that way dear readers?

Take care and good luck.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Watchlist for next week

Here is a list of stocks dear readers which I think could potentially breakout next week at break of crucial levels. I have commented on the charts itself. As usual, keep an eye on the volume.

Take care and good luck.

Apr 5 - Apr 9 completed trades

4 profits, 0 losses- +7.87%
Average Profit - +1.97%
Average Loss - 0%

Total account up 15.26% YTD (after commissions)

Open Positions: NEP 

I am pretty pleased with the way I traded this week dear readers. Or rather, the way I did not trade. I could trade only during the first three days of the week due to certain personal issues that arose in the latter half of the week. But during the time I did trade, I stuck to my resolution of not overtrading. I let the plays come to me, rather than forcing stuff to happen. I hope I can continue in the same vein and this can actually turn into a habit. But that is getting rather ahead of myself. One week does not a trading plan make. 

A lot of plays that I had mentioned broke out this week - RDN, PMI, MTG, LVS, WYNN, MGM, SWC, PAL to name a few. But the one I liked the best was NEP which I pointed out the exact day it broke. The confidence I show in this post where I point it out surprises me too :). I hope you readers were able to profit from some of these calls. Looking at the week ahead, I am mostly in cash but for NEP which reports later this week. I will try not to trade till my personal issues get sorted out, hopefully by the middle of the week. Trading when you are not in an emotionally settled place is a form of overtrading too. 

I will be back this evening with a few stocks for your watchlist.

Take care.


1) The table shows only completed trades of the week. The positions that are still open will be accounted for in the week that I close them.
2) The YTD calculation includes the open positions. I just take my account value at end of Friday and calculate it. So, it also includes commissions which do matter a lot to a small account like mine.

Which other blog reports results after commissions? :)

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Sorry for the no show

Dear readers, I am sorry for not posting anything in the last couple of days. I have been facing work related issues which have extended to personal life and because of these, haven't been able to watch the markets at all during the last couple of days. A few of the stocks on my watchlist broke out during this time, especially the casino stocks, and I am pretty confident that had I been able to watch the markets, I would have been able to benefit from these breakouts. But sometimes things happen in your life dear readers, that things such as trading, which btw I love, and money seem totally insignificant. I am hoping things will get better during next week and I will be able to post as usual. Meanwhile, I will be back with my trading results and hopefully also a watchlist during the weekend. 

Take care dear readers. Try to forget about trading this weekend and just cherish the time you get to spend with your loved ones.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


I am sorry dear readers, but I have no time for a proper post tonight. But here are a few thoughts. I see a lot of breakouts failing out there, so exercise some caution while trading. When in doubt, stay in cash. Staying in cash is also taking a position. As far as the picks go, I like NEP here. I blogged about it last night and it was up almost 10% at one time today. Congrats to all those who played it! It looks good to run some more. Also, I like SWC and PAL here. Both broke out today on impressive volume.

Good Luck and take care.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

NEP - Watch out for it

Well, here is a stock I like over here dear readers. I didn't get a chance to watch the market much until the last half an hour today, but I did watch the tape on this one during this half an hour and I think this might run from over here. Starting tomorrow. The giant flag has to break sometime, and I think it does that to the upside. It reports next week.

Negative divergence developing in financials

Another decent day for the bulls. The markets started the day lower but there was no doubt who was in charge for most of the day. Consolidation days like days are bullish indeed. But what happened to the volume??!! If last week the volume was low due to it being a long weekend, what's the reason this week?? Wall Street still on vacation??!! I don't blame those guys. You gotta spend all those bonuses somehow!! :)

The S&P edged higher mainly due to the financials. A day of solid gains for the financials. I hate to be the party pooper here but I do see a strong negative MACD divergence developing in financials here. See for yourself. Now, I am not saying go ahead and short the financials but I would be cautious in opening new long positions in financials here. And there is never any harm in booking some profits.

Personally speaking, I am pretty pleased with the way I traded today. That's because I pretty much didn't trade at all today!! I got out of RDN at 17.15 for a little more than breakeven. I knew I wouldn't have time to watch the markets until noon and I didn't feel comfortable holding something that has gone up so much recently when I couldn't keep an eye on it. Nothing beats mental peace!

After that I didn't trade at all. Seeing the markets head pretty much nowhere, I just sat back and relaxed. As the regular readers of this blog know, one of my goals for this quarter is not to overtrade. To let things come to me instead of trying to make things happen. Its been three days into the quarter and I have stuck to it so far. We will see how long it lasts. :)

I will be back later tonight with a stock I really like for the next few days.

Take care and good luck!

Monday, April 5, 2010


I do apologize for not being able to put up any charts tonight but I don't have time to do so tonight. But this is a list of stocks I will be keeping an eye on tomorrow - LVS, WYNN, MGM, SWC, PAL, WFR, WEL, OCLR.

Good Luck!

The next resistance levels

The markets finally broke through the trading range today, and not surprisingly it was to the upside. The S&P broke through the 1180 level convincingly. Volume was again "missing" but that really has not been an issue throughout this rally. 

Let's have a look at the weekly charts to see at what levels we could expect to see the next resistance.

S&P - The next resistance level is 1200. If we manage to cross that, the weekly MA(200) lies ahead at 1225. BTW, looking at the weekly chart, doesn't it look like we have a rounded top forming? That's what it looks like to me! Let me know what you readers think.

Nasdaq - For Nasdaq, expect resistance at 2500 levels. This is right at the top of right shoulder that formed in August 2008. 

Personally speaking, I had a decent day today. I saw the casino stocks - LVS, WYNN, MGM - breaking out and decided to go with LVS due to the better volume pattern early in the day. Instead of trying to get in before the breakout, I waited for it to cross 22.16 - highs of the day before it started consolidating - and also for the manufacturing numbers to come out at 10 before getting in at 22.20. I am pleased with the patience I showed there, which as the regular readers of this blog know doesn't come very easily to me. Seeing the resistance at 23, I decided to get out at 22.96. The plan was to get back in if 23 broke on good volume. Well, that did happen dear readers but as I was away from my desk at work when that took place, I missed out. Oh well. Still, a decent gain. 

I also took a position in OCLR at 2.83 but that didn't seem to be in a hurry to go anywhere. This could run on a break of 2.86. Close to the end of the day, I also got in RDN at 17.08. You just can't stop the mortgage insurers! I think PMI is up over 40% since I called it last week! I will most probably get out of RDN and OCLR positions early tomorrow as apart from a few minutes at the open, I won't get time to watch the markets till around noon tomorrow. 

I will be back later tonight having a look at the casino stocks. I believe they still have room to run some more from here.

Take care and good luck!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Some stocks to watch out for

I have commented on the charts itself.

What does overtrading really mean?

I am sure you readers are familiar with the term "overtrading". It is one of the most common mistakes traders make, especially in ranging markets. Yours truly has been guilty of the same too during recent times. So, I decided to write a post on what overtrading really means and to remove some popular misconceptions about it.

The easiest way to define overtrading is by describing what it is not. Overtrading is NOT making more trades than you would normally do. Overtrading cannot and should not be defined just by the number of trades made. Why is that? There will be days where your system or the tape will give you many trading opportunities. Then you owe it to yourself to take advantage of these opportunities and enter these setups. Say, you normally enter around two positions a day but on this particular day, ten stocks trigger your buy point and you enter all these positions. This is not overtrading. This is simply doing the right thing.

Overtrading is entering into trades even when your system (can be mechanical or discretionary) does not even issue a buy signal. It is trying too hard to make things happen, rather than waiting for things to come to you. This might be due to boredom, frustration or other similar reasons. So, if on a certain day, your system does not issue any buy signal, and you still buy a stock hoping for the best, that IS overtrading. 
In the first case, using the same trading system, entering ten positions on a given day is not overtrading but in the second case, entering just one position is overtrading.

Hope this post helped define what is overtrading and perhaps more importantly, what is not overtrading. Take care and good luck!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Looking back and looking ahead

Well, dear readers, it's the end of the quarter. Its time to reflect on the quarter gone by, the good times and the bad, the things done right and learn from the things done wrong. To start this post on an upbeat note, let me begin with the things that I was pleased with in this quarter.

If I had to describe my trading in the last one quarter in one word, that one word be satisfactory. Not pleased. Not dissatisfied. Going purely by the numbers, around 11% gain, which would have been at least 21% if not for the commissions. So, can't really complain there. The thing that I am most satisfied is an improvement in my risk management skills. No longer thus my account suffer from the wild swings that it did last year. I am confident now in my ability to preserve my capital. Making it will hopefully just follow from that.

After that gentle pat on the back, now to the important part. The mistakes and how to correct them. The two things I would like to see improve in my trading both result from the loss of that 10% profit mentioned above.

(1) I shall not overtrade. I have to be a lot more patient with my entries, especially in ranging markets. Look for things to come to me, rather than try and make things happen.

(2) I shall take bigger positions and get out of my comfort zone. This follows directly from a post I wrote earlier this week - Taking it to the next level.

So, those are my targets for the next quarter dear readers. Feel free to call me out if you see me overtrading in the future. In fact, I insist you readers do that.

What are your targets for the next quarter dear readers? What did you learn from the last quarter? Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments section. It is nice to put your goals in public sometimes, just to make yourself more accountable. So, let me know what you have to say!

Here is to all of us improving as traders in the next quarter!

Mar 29 - Apr 1 completed trades

4 profits, 3 losses- +4.32%
Average Profit - +2.43%
Average Loss - -1.81%

Total account up 10.95% YTD (after commissions)

Open Positions: NEP (~80% cash)

I won't be discussing these results right now as I plan to do a quarterly review and state my goals for the next quarter in a post later tonight. I will also be posting a new watchlist sometime this weekend.

Enjoy the great weather!


1) The table shows only completed trades of the week. The positions that are still open will be accounted for in the week that I close them.
2) The YTD calculation includes the open positions. I just take my account value at end of Friday and calculate it. So, it also includes commissions which do matter a lot to a small account like mine.

Which other blog reports results after commissions? :)

Friday, April 2, 2010

Some useful links

So dear readers, having some time to kill this evening, I decided to make some improvements to the blog. At the bottom of the sidebar to your right, you will now find a list of some links that I find useful. These are sites that I visit pretty much everyday, and I thought it would be useful to have them all in one place. Hopefully, you readers will find these links useful too!

Best of Trade to Learn

Updates till January 8 below

Dear readers, I realized this morning that the next post was going to be the 100th post of this blog. (January 8 update : now approaching 600 posts!) I must admit that I never expected that I would write 100 posts in less than two months. In fact, my only aim, and it did seem challenging at that time, was to document my daily trades and whatever I had learned  from them. As you regular readers know, the blog has turned out to be much more than that. And you readers are a big reason for that. I never expected the blog to have such a large readership so soon, and there certainly are days when I am too tired or not in the mood to post, but its the thought that there might be people counting on me for a daily review or stock picks that makes me post everyday. So, thanks for your support and I hope together, we will continue to grow to be the best traders we can be!

It certainly has been one wild ride since I started this blog. When I started it in early January, I was coming from over 170% gains in 2009. So, my confidence levels were indeed high up. This continued for the first two weeks but the market has a way of showing you your place as soon as you start getting complacent. That's what happened to me. One small mistake and I was in a downward spiral.

I was in a slow, painful recover phase after that where I was very quick to collect both my profits and losses. I admit, my confidence was shattered. But out of nowhere, all that changed one day. And surprisingly, what got me my confidence back  was not making a few good trades or having one great  trade, but not trading at all!

I feel it imperative to state, please don't make life all about money and don't let your market results affect the rest of your day. Sometimes, we as traders, looking at our screens hours a day and keeping track of the P/L bottomline all the time, can lose sight of this simple fact.

Here are some other posts that I particularly like and hopefully you will like them too.

The blog has certainly helped me improve as a trader so far, and I hope you readers are benefiting a little too. Trading is unique in the sense that it offers new challenges everyday. Each and every tick is different. Each day is a whole new challenge. Each day presents us with endless opportunities. That's why it is imperative that we keep on learning.....always. Trade to learn, and maybe you can even learn to trade.

March Updates

The first link here is the most viewed post of this blog. The second deals with the importance of position sizing in trading. If you don't master the art of position sizing, sooner or later you will end up blowing up your trading account. And lastly, we have a post based on my personal experiences on the problems faced with and how you can succeed with small trading accounts.

Trading with small accounts

May Updates

One of the most important things I have learned in trading. You can't be a successful short term trader without following this.

Trade what you see, not what you think

June Updates

July Updates

A post on how I called the bottom in the market when most traders were predicting gloom and doom. Though the post goes into calling this particular bottom, the general guidelines for picking any bottom remain pretty much the same.

Calling the bottom

August Updates

With the consensus being that Netflix was grossly overvalued, I wrote a post on why I refuse to short a stock like Netflix.

September Updates 
One of the common questions new, and even experienced traders, struggle with is where exactly to place their stop loss. This question becomes even more critical in these times of automated trading where we find that it is common for our stops to be hit, only for the stock to turn and run without us. Here is a post on the art of setting stop loss points.

November Updates 
This was a post on a slow, choppy trading day when I had nothing better to do. The post was written partly in jest and I was quite surprised by the response it got. I guess a lot of traders, new and experienced, could relate to this post. It ended up being one of the top five read posts of the blog.

December Updates 
A post on how to make the best use of StockTwits.

A post on the importance of using multiple time frames in trading. Using multiple time frames for my trades has been one of the biggest improvements I have made in my trading in 2010. This post shows the importance of using multiple time frames for charting even for short term traders.

I ended the year with a post on advice for new traders. I had received many mails from new traders asking for advice, so I decided to do a full post about it.

January Updates 
Being fed up of all the yearly predictions being thrown out out there, I decided to write down a few predictions of my own. The beauty of these predictions is that they are valid for every year!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

A 365% increase in the number of unique visitors!!

Its been close to three months now dear readers, since I started this blog. I must admit when I first started writing this blog, or trading journal rather, I hardly expected that it to grow so popular so soon. We have already had over 15000 page views! In fact, in March we had a 365% increase in the number of unique visitors.

Thanks to all you readers for patronizing this blog! You guys make me post even on days I just don't feel like :). That is perhaps the main reason for over 150 posts in less than 3 months! If there is something you would like me to change about the blog or something you would like to see more of, please do let me know.

Here is to all of us becoming the best traders we can possibly be. Cheers!