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General Discussion · POLITICS GOES HERE
msg #88000
2/9/2010 12:37:37 PM

Please meet Dr. Starner Jones from Jackson, Mississippi.

His short 2-paragraph letter to the White House accurately puts the blame on a "Culture Crisis" instead of a "Health Care Crisis". Its worth a quick read:

Starner Jones, MD
I am a seventh generation Mississippian and wanted to come back here after going somewhere else for college and medical school. My extracurricular interests are golf, hunting, fishing and college football.

Dear Sirs:

During my last night's shift in the ER, I had the pleasure of evaluating a patient with an expensive shiny gold tooth, multiple elaborate expensive tattoos, a very expensive brand of tennis shoes and a new cellular telephone equipped with her favorite R&B tune for a ringtone. Glancing over the chart, one could not help noticing her payer status: 'Medicaid'. She smokes more than one costly pack of cigarettes every day and somehow, still has money to buy beer.

And our Congress expects me to pay for this woman's health care? Our nation's health care crisis is not a shortage of quality hospitals, doctors or nurses. It is a 'crisis of culture', a culture in which it is perfectly acceptable to spend money on vices while refusing to take care of one's self or, heaven forbid, purchase health insurance.. A culture that thinks "I can do whatever I want to because someone else will always take care of me". Life is really not that hard. Most of us reap what we sow. Don't you agree?

Jackson, MS

"In my many years I have come to a conclusion that one
useless man is a shame, two is a law firm, and three or more
is a Congress." -- John Adams

A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have. -Thomas Jefferson

General Discussion · Aging.
msg #86194
1/13/2010 8:43:16 PM

Young bull says to old bull - "hey, let's run up the hill and make love to one of them cows!"

Old bull to young bull - "son, let's walk up that hill and make love to all of 'em"

General Discussion · Improve results by 10-25% - common sense entry
msg #85469
1/3/2010 4:56:23 PM

I'm continually looking to improve trade results. It occurred to me that, when running a scan, all purchases are made at the default price - that is the opening price the following day. I wanted to see what would happen if purchases were not made on days when the market opened lower but I don't have the programming skills for that - if it's even possible.

Next best thing, I set up the following entry trigger: (When setting up a backtest use the "Entry Price" box under the "Advanced Options" menu.

"target price equal to or greater than previous day closing price"
do not purchase if out of range of the target price(check the box)

Hopefully, this should eliminate buying scan-selected stocks if they open down the following day.

The win/lose ratio immediately improved by 10%+, Reward/Risk ratios improved by about 50% and ROI improved by 25%+ on selected scans.

I thought this was significant enough to pass around. If anyone can improve it further, please share


General Discussion · JOKES
msg #84459
12/15/2009 2:02:01 PM

deleted (was posted previously)

General Discussion · Theoretical underlying philosophy to trading/investing
msg #83108
11/15/2009 7:52:12 PM

Well OK, if you want,

There's really nothing about special about how I trade and, since I can't buy them all, there's no need for secrecy. Fortunately, I'm blessed with a business that's still going in this economy and keeps me pretty active, especially this time of year. Not having to depend on trading profits to put bread on the table keeps the stress level down.

I'm sure you have all heard at least some of this before so I'll try not to get too "preachy".

I gave specific backtest results for one of my scans in my original post. I especially like the low drawdown, high Reward/Risk ratio and the ROI. Here's the scan

RSI(11) crossed above 30
and average volume(30) is greater than 1,000,000
and price is between 8 and 40
and show stocks where market is not ETF
add column RSI(11)

Nothing extraordinary there. I like higher volume, more liquid stocks. The price range is also nothing special. I'm just comfortable in that area. The "show stocks where market is not ETF" line is there to keep out the inverse ETF's that skew backtest results.

In backtesting, I used a 6% stop-loss, no stop-profit and a max holding period of 10 days. My exit trigger was a close below the previous days LOW. Trade period was between 6/30/09 and 10/30/09. You can fiddle around with these if you like. If any changes improve results, please report back.

Keep in mind this is a scan for long positions and (surprise!) will perform better in an up market.

Here's the results:

Approach Information
Approach Name: RSI(11) Crossover 30 (no ETF)
Test started on 06/30/2009 ended on 10/30/2009, covering 86 days
Filter used:
RSI(11) Crossover 30 (no ETF) (saved filter)

Trade Statistics
There were 247 total stocks entered. Of those, 217 or 87.85% were complete and 30 or 12.15% were open.
Of the 217 completed trades, 128 trades or 58.99%resulted in a net gain.
Your average net change for completed trades was: 6.50%.
The average draw down of your approach was: -3.38%.
The average max profit of your approach was: 11.22%
The Reward/Risk ratio for this approach is: 5.30
Annualized Return on Investment (ROI): 245.22%, the ROI of ^SPX was: 33.78%.

Exit Statistics
Stop Loss was triggered 20 times or 9.22% of the time.
Stop Profit was triggered 0 times or 0.00% of the time.
Trailing Stop Loss was triggered 0 times or 0.00% of the time.
You held for the maximum period of time (10 days) 90 times or 41.47% of the time.
An exit trigger was executed 107 times or 49.31% of the time.

I use a variety of scans from RSI(7) crossing above 20 to RSI(13) crossing above 40. Some stocks, big pharma for example are hardly ever below the 40 threshold. If you run these scans and look at the historical charts on your 'hits', it's pretty dramatic how those little green arrows get just about every significant bottom. It's also OK to check what hit in the previous day or two. Sometimes those stocks can still be a good buy.

Scans are the easy part. Deciding what to do with the results requires judgement. Much of what I say now is just personal preference based on experiences, both good and bad. In no particular order:

1) Many of the stocks that show up are bouncing from a gap down. Right or wrong, I tend to leave those alone.

2) On some days, quite a few stocks in the same industry group show up (gold miners for example). Consider substituting an ETF.

3) I really try to avoid opening a position in the first 30 minutes or so, however it can be a great time to sell.

4) It seems that each day has its own time zones or rhythm. On an up day, it's likely you'll see some retracement over lunch hour (we used to call it the 'noon swoon'). Upward movement is likely to resume somewhere around 90 minutes (give or take) before the close. Thats a pretty good time to get a long position on. Same thing, but in reverse (noon balloon) for shorts on the down days..

5) I like to run my scans in the afternoon and have any positions established before the close (see #4). That way, if the stocks open strong the next day, I'm already there. I'm not a conspiracy theorist but it's happened to me many times that a stock showing up on my scans one afternoon is added to some brokerages "buy" list the next morning before the open (Could someone (or some brokerage firm) be frontrunning?, Really?).

6) I've had some successes selling a position in the pre-market for good prices - occasionally within pennies of the days high.

7) Don't trade in a vacuum Part 1. Look at the overall market first. If the market has been up for 6 or 7 days in a row, do you really want to get long?

8) Don't trade in a vacuum Part 2. I think it was Issac Newton that said for every action there's an equal but opposite reaction. If oil is going through the roof do you really want airline stocks? Or if rates are headed higher, do you really need to own a bank stock?

9) Don't trade in a vacuum Part 3. If you have a position that's profitable but not quite what you were looking to get and it's Friday afternoon, it's OK to sell. You can always get back in next week. Ditto for major upcoming announcements (unemployment report, Federal Reverve announcements, etc)

10) If you're staring at every tick, you're over-invested. Lighten up.

11) There's 3 positions; long, short and standing aside. They're all appropriate at certain times.

12) After a profitable week or month, pull out some cash and put it away somewhere not easily retrieved. My wife's purse is the preferred depository at our house.

13) Very Important! I'm suprised I forgot this until now. My best trades have been profitable almost from the moment I got in. If, within a day or so, a trade isn't working like I expected, I'll pull the plug rather than wait for a stop-out.

14) Don't measure yourself trade-by-trade. The goal is continued account equity growth week-over-week or month-over-month.

15) The exit trigger in the scan above is the best I've found so far. However, and its OK to call me a failure on this point, I don't have the stomach to wait it out and I will usually sell a profitable position for somewhere between a 4-5% profit.

16) My biggest failures were holding on to losing positions. I could probably buy a small house (certainly a big boat) with money lost unnecessarily. Fortunately, I'm beyond that now. If there's only one thing you could master, it should be the ability to get out of a bad position as soon as you can.

Probably more than you wanted to hear but it's Sunday and my team played (and lost) Thursday night, so no game today.

Good Luck,

General Discussion · Theoretical underlying philosophy to trading/investing
msg #83081
11/14/2009 8:39:29 PM


Wow, someone's got a case of the reda$$. Didn't mean to push your buttons. Just suggesting that charts be treated carefully and that trade management is much more important . For example the chart for STEC was looking pretty good until it gapped down 40% a few days ago. In early January you could make a bullish case for the market (series of higher highs and higher lows) before the bottom fell out. On the other hand, I think charts have more value in trading commodities (and maybe commodity-type stocks) where prices are moved more by built-in supply and demand instead of the latest press release.

However, admitting that I'm not much of a technician doesn't mean that I ignore technicals completely. When I scan for stocks, I like to trade those that look to be bouncing off a support level, not that it seems to make a lot of difference, it's just a personal preference. I trade shorter term because it suits me better. I haven't enjoyed the experience of "buy and hold" very much.

I didn't say chartists ONLY use certain patterns, I just gave those as examples of some of the commonly used ones. Although I have heard of people looking for and trading these patterns even off a 5 or 10 minute chart - hell, sometimes even off a tick chart.

You think differently than me. That's why it's a market. Another joke we used to pass around: EVERYONE KNOWS the CONSENSUS is ALWAYS WRONG.

And, after I've been reading the threads on humor, politics and music, I'd like to suggest you lose the attitude.

Stay profitable!

General Discussion · Theoretical underlying philosophy to trading/investing
msg #83072
11/14/2009 5:35:27 PM


A short rambling from an infrequent poster but long-time (32 years) stock trader (with 8 years experience as a retail stock broker and another two and a half years as a market maker on the CBOE in the early 1980's). In real estate investing, there is a saying that you make your money when you buy and collect it when you sell. I apply this to stock trading by looking for trend changes where I can get in early and ride the escalator up.

In scouting out trend changes, over the years I've found RSI to be the most useful indicator for me, not as short as RSI(2)<2 or as long as RSI(14)>40 but several thresholds and frequencies in between. I feel it's the most immediately sensitive to price changes, sometimes leading other indicators like stochastics, Williams%R and MACD by several days. Otherwise, I'm not much of a technician. I've found that most chart patterns (head and shoulders, cup and handle, double tops/bottoms, etc). will work...until they don't, leaving most chartists looking for PlanB (an old joke in the industry was that a chartist is like a weatherman. They're both 100% predicting the past).

I try to keep stock selection as simple as possible. My filters usually don't have more than 4 or 5 lines. I use scans that give me the best ROI and Reward/Risk ratios that I can find. One that I'm using now has a Reward/Risk ratio of 5.30 and an ROI of 245.22 (vs. 33.78 for the SPX 6/30/09-10/30/09). Interestingly, the inverse of these scans do not work well at all in locating good entry points for going short. I'm still experimenting in that area.

Longevity in this business is directly correlated to risk management. In my trading account I'm seldom more than 2/3's invested. Typically any one position is no more than 25% of the account (as of right now, I'm about 40% invested with two long stock positions and one call spread). I'll risk up to 6% so if any one position goes against me it's not going to nick me by more than 1 1/2% overall. My trades usually last 1-5 days although I will day-trade when there's a good opportunity. A typical month will generate 15%-25% trading profits although this can vary between being flat to slightly down (July 09) to up 100%+ (May 09).

Good luck with your trading.

Filter Exchange · help with finding stocks that lead the market
msg #82843
11/11/2009 10:47:47 AM

I think you will have a problem with sector rotation. Sometimes its the financials that lead, other times it may be the techs or the commodity stocks. There have been markets where its the small-caps or even foreign stocks that go first. Never is the same group - certainly not the same stock consistently. Good luck.

General Discussion · EARNINGS PLAYS
msg #82441
11/4/2009 6:01:55 PM


I've found that a close over the previous day's HIGH is a more reliable turnaround indicator, same goes for a close below the previous day's LOW as a good indication a stock is rolling over - also works as a good exit point for swing trades.
For example. one that popped up on my scans this evening as a long - and also closing above the previous day's high is NRG. Looks to be bouncing off support with resistance about 10% higher. No guarantees, but I'll watch the open tomorrow. I do this for real and have a rule to try to avoid opening a position in the first 30 minutes or so. Ditto for MIR.

General Discussion · Options are a rip-off
msg #82439
11/4/2009 5:22:11 PM


So what calls did you buy? The Nov 80's or 85's? Usually buying front month out-of-the-money calls is a suckers game (not sayin' - I'm just sayin'). You need everything to go right and quickly. There's a couple of other ways to do it , namely:

a) buy in-the-money calls with little premium (as a substitute for going long the underlying stock). I did this with Morgan Stanley over the last 2 days. Bought the Nov 30's yesterday @ $2.37 (with the stock at $31.60) and sold right after the open this morning at $3.15. More lucky than smart, I actually bought at the low of the day yesterday and sold at the high of the day today. Never happened before in 32 years.

b) one I also like as a substitute long - shorting in-the-money puts where time (and premium decay) works for you rather than against you. Puts usually carry less premium than calls anyway and you can always protect yourself from disaster by putting on a spread - short the 85's 11 points in-the-money and buy the 70's. You probably would have made close to $5.00 on the short and given up maybe $1.50 - 2.00 on the long. Just watch out for dividend dates.

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