Dec 31, 2007

Trading futures

I'd like to learn more about futures... in particular, the risk/reward aspect of it. For example, what are the costs of contracts and how much money can be made per point or whatever. Basically, I need info. Any of you know of some good online articles/blogs to read?

Oh... and Happy New Year to all.

Dec 22, 2007

Top ten lessons from 2007

Dare I go out on a ledge and say that 2007 was indeed a breakthrough year for me? Well, it was and without me really knowing it till about halfway through. I've been daytrading for about 2.5 years now and full-time for almost two. I keep hearing it takes at least three years to become proficient at daytrading (if you make it that long). So, as I approach the infamous third year, I hope I can continue to sharpen my skills, pick good candidates and refine my trading style to help maximize profit. Here's my top ten list of things I learned this year:

10 - Papertrading a new strategy is essential for me.
9 - Switching to IB and Quotetracker made me a better trader.
8 - Solid understanding of price and volume.
7 - Creating a good watchlist.
6 - Understanding 'typical' market fluctuations during the year.
5 - Losing money is part of the game.
4 - Being wrong is part of the game.
3 - Waiting for the perfect setup will increase discipline... not profits.
2 - The best entry is easier to spot than the best exit.
1 - Being a profitable trader is entirely possible.

Dec 18, 2007

No trades till next year?

I don't know... the action the last couple of days tells me I should just wait till the beginning of the year to trade again. I really don't like wasting time following a bunch of duds that go nowhere. Plus, it's not like volume's gonna pick up during the holidays.

Dec 17, 2007

Out sick

This flu has kicked my ass.

Dec 14, 2007

BMRN - Long

Been battling the flu the last couple of days so staring at charts has been quite the experience. Today, I went long BRMN on a break of the 9th bar high. My entry was a reversal bar after a red hammer. I typically don't like buying after a 4 bar rundown, but the pullback was pretty shallow. I squeezed out 2R and called it a day. Price looked like it was really going to surge after my exit and I was going to be pissed... but it ended up coming back down. Have a good weekend.

Dec 13, 2007

Mixed bag

Shorted ELN and KEM and got out fairly early after no initial movement (small loss with KEM and small gain with ELN). Went long AMIS off the 2pm bar high for some profit. Overall a pretty forgettable day. No interesting charts to show.

Dec 12, 2007

TWTC, ALO - Short

Two trades today... both short. I entered ALO after a two bar retrace into a reversal bar (12:15). I partialed after price didn't immediately move and hung around the ORL. I fully exited for a small loss on a break of the 1pm bar high. The next trade was TWTC and I entered after a failed reversal bar. Partialed after 2R and sold the rest just above the fib. ext. I explain the entry a little more on the chart:

Dec 11, 2007

MEDX - Short

What's up with the huge fall after the cut? I don't get it... wasn't the cut (and the amount) expected? Anyway... I was hoping to catch some moves in the PM but it doesn't look like that's gonna happen. Made one trade today in MEDX short on a break of the 9th bar low. The 8th bar was a spinning top and looked like price might reverse from there. But the 9th was an inside bar and finished very weak. I implemented the 2R rule and covered at around 10:50. Let's hope tomorrow provides some serious volume and nice moves.

Dec 10, 2007

PLAB - Long

Going into today I told myself I was going to try my hardest to 'take the money and run'. Basically if I can make 2R (based on the spread of my entry candle)... I'd take it. And that's what I did with PLAB (twice). From the :15 chart my first entry was the 5th bar high and the second was off the 1pm bar high. The second entry wasn't off a retrace, but it was too good of a candle at the ORH to pass up. Because of slippage I ended up with just over 3R. However, looking at the charts right now, I picked the best times to exit. In the end, I would've made more had I held on to my initial position but on a low volume day and a fairly low volume stock I feel good about the choice and result.

Dec 7, 2007

MVSN - Short

Fairly interesting day, albeit a bit sluggish. Short MVSN off a break of the 5th bar low after a three bar retrace and a hanging man-like entry bar at the ORH. Exited all my shares on a break of the 2:15 bar high after it spiked above the 5ema. Also got slapped around in SGR and ICOC.

In case you haven't heard the news... Tom C. has started his own blog. Tom was/is a protege of Trader-X and is a certifiable bad ass trader. Be sure to bookmark and check out his site daily.

Dec 6, 2007

Fun day

Don't know about you, but I found a lot of candidates out there. All in all, I traded 4 stocks today (and partialed out quite a few times).

PTIE Long: 5/15

ZUMZ Short: 12/15

TGT Short: 15/15

SVVS Short: 7/15

The least favorite was TGT and the one I liked the most, although I didn't capitalize on the last push was SVVS. Entered after two inside bars and a small consolidation right at S3. Took a partial off the 11:30 bar high (almost after I entered) then exited all at the ORL. While the PnL wasn't huge today it felt good to crack the knuckles after not having an active trading day for a while.

Here's the chart:

Dec 5, 2007

Better safe than sorry

Only PBG made me think of acting today (12th bar, :15) but I saw potential support at 40.94 off the daily and didn't like the R:R. I don't normally look at the daily for entries, but since the market was up big and I was thinking of shorting, I figured I would be extra careful and look at everything. I would've made some decent cash with the trade but, in the end, I just wasn't that confident in the trade.
On a side note... I've noticed Prophet's scan hasn't worked for me the last two days. Anyone else notice the same?

Dec 4, 2007

HOLX - Short

If at first you don't succeed... try another timeframe. Isn't that the saying? I first shorted HOLX off a break of the 11:15 bar low on the :15 chart. Took a partial off a break of the 11:45 bar high then fully closed my position off a break of the 12pm bar high. Ended up with latte cash. Then, I looked at the :30 view and saw another setup and shorted off a break of the 1pm bar low. Exited the entire position at the ORL. I also liked RIG at 11:15 (:15 view) but I didn't like the relative volume at the time. Here's the HOLX :30 chart:

Dec 3, 2007


I can confidently say that at this moment - 1:45pm - there is nothing and will not be anything for me to trade today. Here's my watchlist:


Back from Nuremberg

I went to Nuremberg not really knowing what to expect as I hadn't had the time to read up on it in Wikipedia. However, upon arrival, I was quickly made aware of how 'advanced' this city was. The airport alone is beautifully designed and I would expect that kind of 'modernization' in a more popular city... such as Munich or Berlin. The taxi we rode in was a Mercedes - of course - and all the taxis over there are painted cream or beige. A great Mercedes feature is built-in booster seats in the back for the kids so that was one less thing to worry about.

Our hotel was about a 10-min ride from the airport and it too was beautifully designed and within walking distance of the 'Christkindlemarkt'. Walking through downtown Nuremberg really did feel like I was in that scene from Shrek with the cobblestone roads and Middle Age buildings. Bratwurst was everywhere so I was in heaven although we ended up eating at Pizza Hut two nights in a row (partly to satisfy the kids and partly for me to reminisce on my days in the US when this kind of food was readily available). Despite its 'Middle Age' feel, Nuremberg is actually a very modern city with the latest designers shops and department stores. This really was feeling like the perfect city. Part old world, part new world. I don't really like giving up the conveniences of home but I also crave the culture that Paris and other European cities offer. I think that's why I liked Florence so much... it also had a nice mix of old and new.
The Christmas market in Nuremberg made me feel like I was walking inside a snow globe. In the center of the city are all these shops selling every possible kind of Xmas decoration you can think of. They also sell handcrafted toys... you know, like the wooden toys you see in those old claymation Xmas movies. We had heard a few stories of how the German people were cold and rude but frankly, I found that to be further from the truth. Most people we encountered spoke English, were friendly and absolutely didn't mind kids at all. Coming from Paris, it was quite refreshing to see folks who smiled a lot and were outwardly friendly.
About the only thing that really bummed me out about Nuremberg is when I returned home and finally did look it up in Wikipedia. Turns out, Nuremberg was pretty much the center of the Nazi propaganda machine with huge rallies and a very prominent anti-semitic mentality. Not good. Not good at all.