Friday, October 30, 2009

Candlestick Forex Trading Strategies

Candlestick Forex Trading Strategies
Candlestick Forex Trading Strategies
Steve Nison's New DVD Training Programs

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Candlestick Forex Trading Strategies Mega-Package

In this "Forex Mega-Package" you'll receive everything in the "Profiting in Forex" DVD Training Program highlighted above.

STEP #1: As you watch the DVDs, use the notebook included in your package to jot down your notes on the included charts. Also use the WOW! Sheet to record the most valuable ideas you get from watching.

STEP 2: Use the Bonus Trading Lab Q&A DVD to reinforce what you discovered on the main DVDs. The Trading Lab goes through real-world scenarios to put your knowledge to use!

STEP 3: Enter Nison University (included free with your purchase) to continue your candlestick charting education and enhance your expertise.

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Candlesticks Re-Ignited DVD Trading Workshop

The “Candlesticks Re-Ignited” DVD Workshop is ideal for traders looking to overcome today’s trading obstacles with advanced skills for the candlestick trader. These are the most exciting breakthroughs in candlestick charting in nearly a quarter century since Steve Nison introduced his first best-selling book.

DVD 1: Advanced Doji and Price Confirmation

DVD 2: Advanced Single and Blended Candle Lines

DVD 3: Advanced Bull Double Candle Lines

DVD 4: Advanced Bear Double Candle Lines and Advanced Window

DVD 5: Advanced East and West - Part 1

DVD 6: Advanced East and West – Part 2

DVD 7: Advanced Trade Management

Bonus DVD: Advanced Candles Trading Lab

Click here to review more information and purchase the Candlestick Forex Trading Strategies Mega-Package

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Earnings: Is That Really What's Driving The DJIA Higher?

The idea of earnings driving the broad stock market is a myth.

It's corporate earnings season again, and everywhere you turn, analysts talk about the influence of earnings on the broad stock market:

* US Stocks Surge On Data, 3Q Earnings From JPMorgan, Intel (Wall Street Journal)

* Stocks Open Down on J&J Earnings (Washington Post)

* European Stocks Surge; US Earnings Lift Mood (Wall Street Journal)

With so much emphasis on earnings, this may come as a shock: The idea of earnings driving the broad stock market is a myth.

When making a statement like that, you'd better have proof. Robert Prechter, EWI's founder and CEO, presented some of it in his 1999 Wave Principle of Human Social Behavior (excerpt; italics added):

Are stocks driven by corporate earnings?

In June 1991, The Wall Street Journal reported on a study by Goldman Sachs’s Barrie Wigmore, who found that “only 35% of stock price growth [in the 1980s] can be attributed to earnings and interest rates.” Wigmore concludes that all the rest is due simply to changing social attitudes toward holding stocks. Says the Journal, “[This] may have just blown a hole through this most cherished of Wall Street convictions.”

What about simply the trend of earnings vs. the stock market?

Well, since 1932, corporate profits have been down in 19 years. The Dow rose in 14 of those years. In 1973-74, the Dow fell 46% while earnings rose 47%. 12-month earnings peaked at the bear market low. Earnings do not drive stocks.

And in 2004, EWI's monthly Elliott Wave Financial Forecast added this chart and comment:

S&P500 Earnings Chart
Earnings don’t drive stock prices.

We’ve said it a thousand times and showed the history that proves the point time and again. But that’s not to say earnings don’t matter. When earnings give investors a rising sense of confidence, they can be a powerful backdrop for a downturn in stock prices. This was certainly true in 2000, as the chart shows. Peak earnings coincided with the stock market’s all-time high and stayed strong right through the third quarter before finally succumbing to the bear market in stock prices. Investors who bought stocks based on strong earnings (and the trend of higher earnings) got killed.

So if earnings don't drive the stock market's broad trend, what does?

The Elliott Wave Principle says that what shapes stock market trends is how investors collectively feel about the future. Investors' mood -- or social mood -- changes before "the fundamentals" reflect that change, which is why trying to predict the markets by following the earnings reports and other "fundamentals" will often leave you puzzled. The chart above makes that clear.

Get Your FREE 8-Lesson "Conquer the Crash Collection" Now! You'll get valuable lessons on what to do with your pension plan, what to do if you run a business, how to handle calling in loans and paying off debt and so much more. Learn more and get your free 8 lessons here.

Robert Prechter, Chartered Market Technician, is the world’s foremost expert on and proponent of the deflationary scenario. Prechter is the founder and CEO of Elliott Wave International, author of Wall Street best-sellers Conquer the Crash and Elliott Wave Principle and editor of The Elliott Wave Theorist monthly market letter since 1979.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Candlestick Charting Trading Systems

Steve Nison Candle Charting Trading Course
Steve Nison Candle Charting Trading Systems

Put Yourself On The Cutting Edge Of A New Era In Candlestick Charting Training With Steve Nison, and Get Into The Market Before The Next Big Move With New Successful Trading Strategies.

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Confidently go into any trading situation even in “unpredictable markets”

Make smart trading decisions almost instantly.

Gain the knowledge to achieve your trading goals in record time.

Train with the world-renowned father of candle charting, Steve Nison.

With this missing ingredient you can rapidly gain a massive advantage over your trading competition . . . and the best part . . . I’ll show you step-by-step how to use these totally new insights to dominate your markets . . . even if you’re a total beginner.

New School Candle Charting Education Trading Systems

NEW candle pattern insights, such as the order of power of candle signals so you'll know how much confidence to have in any candle setup!

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STEP #1: As you watch the DVDs, use the notebook included in your package to jot down your notes on the included charts. Also use the WOW! Sheet to record the most valuable ideas you get from watching.

STEP 2: Use the Bonus Trading Lab Q&A DVD to reinforce what you discovered on the main DVDs. The Trading Lab goes through real-world scenarios to put your knowledge to use!

STEP 3: Enter Nison University (included free with your purchase) to continue your candlestick charting education and enhance your expertise.

STEP 4: Use your notes during the Exclusive Private Webinars available through Nison University to ask me questions and have me clarify any teaching points.

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These new DVD Training Program is perhaps the most valuable education you'll ever give yourself.

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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Singapore Stock Trading Seminar Oct 30 -31

Stock Trading Home Study Course
Intensive LIVE Trading Course | World Tour

Click Here for the Singapore Stock Trading Seminar Oct 30 - 31

It's one thing to know how something works but quite another to make it work for you.

The Wave Principle is no exception. Yet learning how to put it to work in your own trading can really separate you from the herd – because "with the herd" is no place to be in this market. Here's your opportunity.

The response to our intensive, small-group trading course has been so overwhelmingly positive and the demand so strong that our instructors have decided to take the course on a world tour. At each stop, our most experienced Elliotticians and career traders will teach you how to use the Wave Principle and supporting technical tools to capitalize on the unique opportunities – and avoid the dangerous pitfalls – you’ll encounter in this bear market.

Click here for more information and to reserve your seat now.

You'll spend two days with EWI's top trading instructors, and you can even ask them questions after you leave – get ready to go back home and kick your trading into high gear.

Drawing on more than 40 years of combined experience analyzing and trading the markets, Senior Tutorial Instructor Wayne Gorman and “Trader’s Classroom” instructor Jeffrey Kennedy team up to share with you the best techniques, tips and tools they have to offer.

In an intimate classroom setting, Wayne and Jeffrey walk you through carefully selected lessons and hands-on exercises that will send you home with the understanding and confidence you need to begin applying these techniques in your own trading.

Plus your education continues even after you leave. Once the course is over, your trading mentors Wayne and Jeffrey are available to clarify a critical lesson or answer that forgotten question that popped up on your way home.

Here's what you'll learn:

* Elliott Trading Fundamentals

* Risk/Reward Assessment

* Discipline Guidelines

* Psychology of Trading and the Markets

* Technical Tools that Complement Elliott

* Developing a Trading Strategy

* Determining Support and Resistance Levels

* Fibonacci Applications

* Entry and Exit Strategies

* Placing and Adjusting Stops

* Trend Reversals and Pattern Recognition

* And More!

We provide everything you need to become a winning Elliott wave trader. You can even take all the course materials home with you so you can reference the lessons after you leave.

Besides your increased confidence and expanded Elliott wave trading knowledge, you'll also take home a valuable course packet, which you'll receive upon arrival.

Use the workbook and other resources during the course to follow along with each lesson, make notes, complete training exercises on your own – and most important – review the materials as often as you like after you leave.

Here's what's inside your course packet:

(Laptops are not required for this course.)

* EWI's one-of-a-kind Bear Market Tutorial workbook, which includes all of the most important lessons and exercises, handpicked by your instructors

* Sleek, durable USB thumb drive, filled with digital copies of all of Wayne's and Jeff's presentation slides and materials covered during the 2-day course

* The Basics of the Wave Principle, a condensed, "Cliff Notes" style reference book originally created exclusively for EWI analysts

* Personalized name badge and EWI-embossed note-taking tools

Click here for more information and to reserve your seat now.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Weekly Stock Pick

Market Summary Last Week & Ahead

The US industry report came in with higher demand and profits giving support to a possible improving economic recovery. China asked for forex reserve shift and the Dollar headed lower. China and Korea came in last week with stronger than normal growth reports. The VIX volatility indicator has been falling of late. Is it a sign of good or bad times to come? Be prepared so at least your portofolio does not experience possible bad times.

Major Market Moving Economic Reports this Week

Tuesday US October Consumer Confidence.

Wednesday German Consumer Price Index, New Zealand Business Confidence and Interest Rate Decision.

Thursday Japan Interest Rate Decision, German Unemployment Change, Canada Raw Materials Price Index, USA Gross Domestic Product Price Index, and Tokyo Consumer Price Index.

Friday French Producer Prices.

My Stock Pick This Week

Is a buy long position on a US budget consumer goods retailer. This discount retail store chain reported a 2.3 percent increase in comparable store sales for the second quarter, but total sales lagged Wall-Street estimates as the company closed one-third of its stores in Texas. The S&P Retail Index headed up a little lately. We would prefer to be buyers at a little lower prices from here. Possibly there is good support in the l11 area with the idea that earnings for the company in the 4th quarter could show some gains as the holiday season starts. If the broad market keeps heading higher, that may provide more support to an increased share price. One point of caution is that it’s got a low 40’s PE ratio. On a positive note the closing of one-third of their stores could be a help. Discount is the theme these days. They have the a potential to outperform near term, but their recent decline since the beginning of August needs to reverse here now to be a winner moving forward.

Buy Long 99¢ Only Stores – Ticker NDN

Buy Entry: 11.47 to 12.70

Stop-Loss: 10.75

Take Profit Areas: 13.68 to 14,66, 15.53 to 16,75 17.37 to 18.73

99¢ Only Stores Company Profile

99¢ Only Stores sells consumer products through its retail stores primarily at price points of 99.99¢ or less in the United States. Its stores offer consumer goods and closeout merchandise. The company also sells merchandise through its Bargain Wholesale division to retailers, distributors, and exporters. In addition, it develops private label consumer products; and imports merchandise in product categories, such as kitchen items, housewares, toys, seasonal products, pet-care, and hardware. As of June 9, 2009, the company operated 271 retail stores with 200 in California, 34 in Texas, 25 in Arizona, and 12 in Nevada. 99¢ Only Stores was founded in 1965 and is based in the City of Commerce, California.

Click here to review and trial the Trading Software we used in determining our buy long position on NDN.

Click the 99 Cent Stores Stock Chart for a larger view.

99 Cent Stores Stock Chart

Friday, October 23, 2009

Trading and Level Playing Fields

Van Tharp Institute
By D.R. Barton, Jr. of Van Tharp Institute

Click Here for Van Tharp Institute Trading Workshops

Level and Not-So-Level Playing Fields

I’m often asked about what I term the “low capital requirement” trading instruments. These areas (e.g., forex, options and futures, and especially the e-mini futures) have high leverage and the potential to turn a relatively small account into a much larger one.

Of course, the hottest of these markets is forex. Thanks to a huge advertising push, the promises of huge leverage and “no commissions” (more on that one later), forex market participation has exploded.

Unfortunately, the retail forex market is not yet a level playing field.

There are some real advantages in forex; however, none of them overcome the uneven playing field.

To be fair, I have traded forex through a retail forex broker so that I could understand the market. I also believe that there are enough positives about forex that we should continue to search actively for a way to participate in this market that provides a fair game for retail traders. For now, I have not found that venue.

If that’s so, then why is it growing so rapidly? Let’s look at forex advantages.

Forex Advantages

Huge Underlying Market. The forex market is underpinned by the interbank currency market, which facilitates international trade. So there are massive amounts of transactions made every day (though most of this is in the major currency pairs).

Extremely Low Capital Requirements. Some forex dealers allow you to open an account with just $200 dollars. I’ve even seen it as low as $100. Combined with the huge leverage, there is the dream of turning a very little pile of cash in to a very big one.

Big Leverage. Many forex houses provide 400-to-1 leverage, allowing account holders to control $400 dollars worth of currency for every $1 in their account (this leverage ratio typically drops as account sizes grows).

24-hour Market. Forex trades 24 hours a day, five+ days a week. And there is real action at the Tokyo and London opens.

Trending Markets. There are legitimate studies that show currencies among the most trending financial markets.

Forex Disadvantages

No Trading Exchange and Little Regulation. The real forex market is an interbank dealer market. Retail accounts are mostly handled by firms that allow customers to open small accounts and then the firm provides liquidity or takes the other side of your trade (rather than market makers and other trading participants). While this does not ensure abusive practices, it does open the door.

Trade Fills as Moving Targets. I have heard numerous reports about and personally experienced the posted bid-ask prices being moved, especially in fast markets. Some firms may be better at this than others, but the problem appears to be pervasive.

Higher Transaction Costs. While there are no commissions, the forex firms do make the bid-ask spread and profit from widened spreads during fast markets. These issues combine to make costs the same or at times significantly higher than other markets.

The bottom line is that the retail forex market is still a bit like the Wild West when compared to other markets. This uneven playing field means that the edge provided by your trading strategy has to be even bigger than normal.

Until we’ve found forex firms that address the “uneven playing field” issues, we think it is more prudent to trade currencies on the futures exchanges such as the CME.

Trade a Market with a Truly Level Playing Field

In futures, e-mini index futures are quite a phenomenon. They have grown unlike any other instrument. E-mini contracts were started by the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) in 1998 with the S&P 500 e-mini.

As of the first quarter of 2007, the S&P e-mini was trading 4.5 times the dollar volume of the large S&P 500 contract. Today, the e-mini trades more than 12 to 15 times the volume of the pit traded contract! There are many reasons for its popularity.

I’ll share just a few here:

The e-mini contract is traded electronically on a platform called Globex.

Trades are executed instantaneously and are relatively error-free compared to pit traded contracts that may require several human interactions before orders are executed.

The smaller size and therefore reduced margin requirements of the e-mini contracts allow a high degree of retail participation.

The immense popularity of the S&P e-mini has led to the creation of a number of other equity indexes trading electronically in the e-mini size. The most popular of these among traders are the Nasdaq Composites, Dow Industrial, the up and coming Midcap 400 and the Russell 2000. E-mini trading has also spread to commodities (e.g., gold, oil), bonds and currencies.

Let’s look at why traders love these instruments so much.

Leverage. One of the biggest advantages for e-mini trading is the high amount of leverage they offer. And for day traders, brokers increase this leverage further. Let’s look at the actual leverage available: the S&P e-mini trade unit is 50 times the S&P 500 Stock Index. Currently, that calculation is looks like this: $50 x 1070 = $53,500. The margin to control $54k worth of underlying stock is around $5.6k, giving you leverage of about 9.5:1 on your money. However, the day trading margins are dropped significantly with $1,000 margins still available and some reputable firms offering $500 margins. At these rates, you can increase your intraday margin to greater than 100:1!

But leverage is a double-edged sword that definitely cuts both ways. While such leverage allows for large returns on very little money, it also means that you could lose large amounts. In next week’s article, we’ll cover tools that allow us to use this leverage in a big way, even while protecting our downside.

Liquidity. Liquidity is usually thought of in terms of volume. It is the characteristic that gives us the ability to get in/out of trades both quickly and at a preferable price. E-mini index trading gives us exceptional liquidity and great fills with little slippage. These attributes allow us to take full advantage of the available leverage.

Scalability. There are certain types of trading that can only be used on a small scale and cannot be translated to larger volumes as larger position sizes are required. But e-mini index trading in general and S&P e-mini trading in particular are highly scalable. Getting virtually no-slippage fills on 200 S&P e-mini contracts is an extreme advantage to large scale traders.

Round-the-clock liquidity. The S&P e-mini has liquidity 23.5 hours a day, which gives another advantage—the effect of overnight gaps is greatly reduced. You can keep a stop in the market if you’re doing a swing trade and have your protection kick in at a time when your IBM stock is still sleeping.

The Best Market Keeps Getting Better

As I mentioned above, higher volatility equates to greater opportunity for day traders. Today’s markets, while not having the volatility of last fall or this past spring, still have good volatility. However, with moderate volatility, it is really important to be patient and wait for the 2 to 5 high quality set-ups that come almost every day.

Click here for more information and some of the best investing trading education in the financial universe.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Option Trading Home Study Course

Option Profits Success System
Free Trial

This course is the culmination of Professional Option Trader A.J. Brown's more than 5 years of options trading experience teachings, all boiled down into a simple step-by-step system.

Doesn't matter if you're still wet behind the ears, or you've got a few years of trading behind you -- this course will give you a complete understanding of option trading.

Most important, it will give you a concrete trading plan you can start using immediately to make money trading options.

Click Here To Trial It For Free

More on that in just a minute. First, here's what you'll learn when you crack open this option trading home study course.

* 8 Modules on DVD (17+ hours of training!)

* 1 Bonus Module on DVD (an extra 90+ minutes of advanced strategies)

* 8 Transcripts (for easy review)

* 1 Bonus Transcript (for easy review)

* 2 Heavy Duty Binders (to store your transcripts)

* Workbook with Trading Exercises (test your knowledge and apply what you've learned)

* Cheat Sheets for Easy Reference (keep them handy while you trade!)

* Bonus! Printed PowerPoint Slides from the Videos (Review key points, chart patterns, and templates quickly and easily.)

* Bonus! "Mental Fitness for Traders" by Norman Hallett (Gives you a fresh look at the mind of a trader and exposes a critical component of trading that is often overlooked.)

* Bonus! FREE 1:1 Coaching Session (Complete a brief questionnaire to schedule your 1:1 coaching session and get help with your personal trading plan. This is a $625 value... included free with your purchase today.)

* Bonus! A special "customers only" coupon good for $1,000 off the Trading Trainer Apprentice Program -- should you decide to join at a later date. (Mailed separately after your purchase.)

* Bonus! FREE Shipping in the USA! When you order today, you'll also get FREE Shipping

If this sounds like a lot of material, it is. That's because it gives you far more than a single trading technique; it gives you a world-class education in option trading.

And if you're committed, you could block out a weekend, go through the entire course, and be trading by Monday.

Remember: This is a step-by-step option trading system that ultimately brings you to the place where you know more about option trading than 95% of all the traders out there -- and gives you a trading plan that practically guarantees your success.

Click here to review more information and to trial it for free.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

E-Mini Futures Tactics

Van Tharp Institute
Click Here for Van Tharp Institute Emini Futures Trading Workshop November 7 - 9

These Markets Are Confusing . . . UNLESS You're an E-Mini Index Trader!

Regardless if the market continues upwards, gently rolls over, or is about to take a dive, you can reap big profits every day - if you have the right tools to capture them!

This market is a perfect match for the multiple trading systems that veteran E-mini traders D.R. Barton, Jr. and Christopher Castroviejo of Van Tharp Institute teach in this course. They will cover the tools, strategies, and the proper mental approach at the upcoming E-Mini Futures Tactics Workshop that will help you exploit the current market conditions.

D.R. and Christopher bring the full weight of their experience to you in this fast- paced course designed to take your trading to the next level. These two instructors have worlds of experience – more than 60 years of trading between them. Also, Christopher actually traded THE FIRST S&P Futures contract back in 1982!

They not only teach "the manual" but they also share their broad, rich — and sometimes expensive experiences with the attendees (some lessons do not come cheap!).

D.R. and Christopher not only teach outstanding strategies and tools, they then trade D.R.'s money live at the workshop on Monday morning to demonstrate those tools in action! After learning the systems and seeing the live trading, you leave the course with the technical detail and hands-on practical knowledge to start trading E-minis with confidence.

A number of the systems that D.R. and Christopher teach depend on intraday or short term volatility. Even though the current market volatility is nowhere near the record levels of last fall and winter, there’s still plenty of it for E-mini traders to earn healthy rewards. In a recent article, D.R. explained: "Today's markets continue to give us very nice levels of volatility which translates into outstanding opportunities for short term traders. Combine short term volatility with the leverage for E-minis and we have prime conditions where traders can find multiple high profit opportunities every single day -- whether the market is hitting new intermediate highs or pulling back and threatening a precipitous drop."

Why Are E-minis Especially Attractive in Today's Markets?

Leverage. One of the biggest advantages for E-mini trading is the high amount of leverage they offer. For day traders, brokers increase this leverage even further. Look at the actual leverage available: the S&P E-mini trade unit is $50 times the S&P 500 Stock Index. Currently, that calculation looks like this: $50 x 1050 = $52.500. The margin to control $53Kworth of stock is around $8K giving you leverage of about 7:1 on your money. However, the day trading margins drop significantly with $1,000 margins still available, and some reputable firms offer $500 margins. At these rates, you can increase your intraday leverage to greater than 80:1! This means you can control $80 worth of stock with each dollar in your account.

Savvy traders know that leverage is a double-edged sword that definitely cuts both ways. While such leverage allows for large returns on very little money, it also means that if used improperly, you can lose big chunks as well. DR and Christopher help you learn specific strategies how to let your profits run while limiting your risk with E-Minis.

Liquidity. When the market is moving, you need to be able to get in or out fast to take advantage of that leverage! Because so many traders have moved to E-mini trading over the last few years, the liquidity on these exchanges is exceptional and orders get filled immediately with little or no slippage at all. This liquidity makes it easier to enter and exit E-Mini positions exactly where you want to – so you can pay attention to the market rather than watching out for tight spreads.

Round-the-clock Market. The S&P E-mini market is “open” 23.5 hours a day, which gives E-mini traders another advantage – it reduces greatly the effect of opening gaps. Your E-mini stop can execute overnight while stops on your stocks are still sleeping – and long before any opening gap kicks out of bed those stops on your stocks!

Favorable Tax Treatment. E-mini traders get to keep more of what they make compared to stock traders. Because E-minis are a futures vehicle, they are treated as section 1256 contracts. 60% of any short term 1256 gains are taxed at long term capital gains rates and the remaining 40% is taxed at the short term rate. This puts the effective max tax rate at 23% for E-mini gains. This max rate is lower than the short term gains tax rate on stocks for any individual with taxable income of more than $32,550 a year. Additionally, E-mini losses can be carried back 3 years against any E-mini profits. With stocks, you are limited to $3,000 loss limit a year that can only be carried forward, not back.

Join D.R. and Christopher from Saturday, November 7 to Monday, November 9, and learn why so many past students loved and profited from this workshop.

We're having this workshop at our new VTI on-site facility where seating is limited. You are assured to be in a small group environment where personalized attention works best.

Click Here to Review and Register for teh Van Tharp Institute Emini Futures Trading Workshop November 7 - 9

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Death of the Dollar Again? Reversal In The Works?

Death of the Dollar, Again: Before You Mourn, See The Chart Below

The following article is based on analysis from Robert Prechter’s Elliott Wave Theorist. For more insights from Robert Prechter, download the 75-page eBook Independent Investor eBook. It’s a compilation of some of the New York Times bestselling author’s writings that challenge conventional financial market assumptions. Click here to visit Elliott Wave International to download the eBook, free.

If you want the latest news on the U.S. Dollar Index, try a search under its new ticker symbol, RIP. -- as in, "rest in peace." Let the record show: In the early morning hours of Tuesday, October 6, the mainstream financial community officially declared "The Demise of the Dollar" (The Independent).

The "coroner's report" cites these details as the causes of death:

An alleged (and later denied) secret meeting among leaders of certain Arab States, China, Russia, and France which aimed for the immediate discontinuation of oil trading in U.S. dollars.

And, an open statement from one senior United Nations official that proposed the dollar be replaced as the world's reserve currency.

In the words of a recent Washington Post story: "The growing international chorus wants the dollar replaced... a move that would end the greenback's six-decades of global dominance."

And with that, the line between negative sentiment -- AND -- "EXTREME" negative sentiment was crossed. It occurs when the beliefs about a market lean so far over in one direction, that the boat investors are sitting in is about to tip over... Just like the last time.

Case in point: Spring 2008. The U.S. dollar stood at an all-time record low against the euro after plunging more than 40% in value. And, according to the usual experts, the greenback was "dead"-set to meet its maker. On this, these news items from early 2008 say plenty:

"The dollar is a terribly flawed currency and its days are numbered." (Wall Street Journal quote)

"It's basically the end of a 60-year period of continuing credit expansion based on the dollar as the world's reserve currency." (George Soros at the World Economic Forum)

"Greenback is losing Global Appeal... the 'Almighty' Dollar is Gone." (Associated Press)

YET -- from its March 2008 bottom, the U.S. dollar came back to life with a vengeance, soaring in a one-year long winning streak to multi-year highs. In the most current Elliott Wave Theorist (published September 15, 2009), Bob Prechter presents the following close-up of the Dollar Index since that trend-turning bottom. (some Elliott wave labels have been removed for this publication)

US Dollar Index
At a measly 6% bulls, the bearish dollar boat tipped over. The situation today is even more remarkable: The percentage of bulls is lower, at 3-4%, while the dollar's value is higher than the March 2008 level.

It's crucial to understand that markets don't necessarily respond to sentiment extremes immediately. But, such extremes do indicate exhaustion of the trend -- which is usually the opposite of what the mainstream expects.

For more information, download Robert Prechter’s Free Independent Investor eBook. The 75-page resource teaches investors to think independently by challenging conventional financial market assumptions.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Weekly Stock Pick

Buy Sell Hold
The Market Week Ahead

First, last Friday’s TIC data report shows the US Budget Deficit has hit a record of $1.4 Trillion dollars. This week half the Dow and about a quarter of the S&P500 companies earning reports are coming in. Click here for early Earnings Whisper Reports to get ahead of the market. Apple is reporting earnings on Tuesday. Is the iPhone going to continue to take market share? The new open source Android mobile phone operating system on the new touch-screen smart phones is becoming very popular now. I know I like mine very well. GE shareholders are getting worried about the company’s real estate holdings. Real estate prices and stocks for that matter have not seen the bottom yet in my opinion. Bear markets in stocks are bad enough. Imagine what it would be like in the real estate market? Protect yourself. With the end of October here now and other economic factors, I suggest extreme caution for a myriad of reasons too many to explain here. This upside run since March has been one big dead cat bounce and short covering event from one world record crash in my opinion. Keep your eye on the already high 10% US unemployment rate. Higher unemployment means more recession, and I would even suggest depression might be on the way. Have to wait and see more on-going economic data reports for the depression forecast.

My Stock Pick This Week is a Short Sell

It’s the smallest of the USA three biggest retailers. The other two are Walmart and Target. Retailers ended last week down after the negative consumer sentiment data report hit. The University of Michigan Survey of Consumers report fell in October to 69.4 from 73.5 last month. Economists were expecting the reading to hold at 73.5. Home-decorating guru Martha Stewart is ending her relationship with this company now after rumors she was talking down the company. She denies the allegation. The bottom line for me is the chart and the fundamental are telling me the price is headed down, and rumors only help move stocks too, so all the better. The potential drop and gain for this trade plan is 30% to 40% I believe. I’m looking to take profits in the 40’s on this. As long as you use stop-loss you should be fine in case the price heads higher.

Sell Short Sears Holdings – Ticker SHLD

Sell Entry: 69.19 to 74.20

Stop-Loss: 75.39 or Higher

Take Profit Areas: 64.72 to 60.25, 60.21 to 58.34, 56.52 to 54.76, 41.40 to 40.12, 24.94 to 24.17

Sears Company Profile

Sears Holdings Corporation operates as a broadline retailer. Its Kmart segment operates stores that sell general merchandise products under Jaclyn Smith, Joe Boxer, and Martha Stewart Everyday labels. Its stores offer home appliances; footwear; groceries; and automotive accessories, repair, and maintenance services, as well as operate in-store pharmacies. The company’s Sears Domestic segment operates stores that offer merchandise categories, including home appliances, consumer electronics, tools, fitness, lawn and garden equipment; automotive services and products, such as tires and batteries; home fashion products; apparel; and footwear and accessories. Its stores also sell health and beauty products, pantry goods, household products, and toys. This segment’s direct to customer business offers clothing, accessories, footwear, and soft luggage; sears commercial business provides appliances and services to construction/remodel, property management, multi family new construction, and government/military sectors; appliances business provides appliance and plumbing fixtures to architects, designers, and new construction or remodeling customers; and home services business offers parts and repair services for home appliances, lawn and garden equipment, consumer electronics, floor care products, and heating and cooling systems, as well as provides home improvement services. The Sears Canada segment conducts retail operations in Canada, and offers apparel and other softlines. As of January 31, 2009, the company operated approximately 1368 Kmart stores, 856 Full-line stores, 73 Sears Essentials/Grand stores, and 1233 specialty stores in the United States, as well as 122 full-line stores, 171 dealer stores, 5 appliances and mattresses stores, 30 corbeil stores, 11 outlet stores, 30 floor covering stores, 1858 catalog pick-up locations, and 106 travel offices in Canada. The company was founded in 1899 and is based in Hoffman Estates, Illinois.

Click here to review and trial the Trading Software we used in determining our sell short position on SHLD.

Click the Sears Holdings Stock Chart for a larger view.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Intuition and Trading

By Van K. Tharp, Ph.D. - Van Tharp Institute

Click Here For Dr Van Tharp's 2009 Trading Workshops Schedule

I was recently asked to write the Foreword to Curtis Faith’s upcoming book, Trading from Your Gut, which is all about trading and intuition. This got me thinking about the different types of intuition that one can possess. Intuition is a concept with which I am quite familiar and which I believe is extremely important for trading success. Here’s a quick look at different types of intuition and how my trader coaching experience has proven to me why intuition is invaluable.

Despite all the advances in computers over the last 50 years, no computer comes close to a human brain. For example, I like to trade efficient stocks (i.e., stocks that trend with very little noise or random movement). A straight line going up at a forty-five degree angle would be a perfect example of an efficient stock; however, I’ve never see one that looks that good. Most trending stocks show a lot of whipsaws, which I define as representing the amount of noise in the movement. The graph below is a fairly good example of an efficient stock. It’s LQD, the long term bond ETF, since last March. It just keeps going up with very little noise.

No matter how hard I’ve tried, it’s been nearly impossible to program software that will give me a list of the most efficient stocks. The best I have been able to do is to compile a list of stocks to screen. I still have to look at the price chart of every stock to find the efficient ones. Anybody’s brain can easily pick out an efficient stock just by looking at it, whereas, a computer cannot. Trading such visual price patterns is often called discretionary trading and that’s the first form of intuition.

The second form of intuition helps us with lots of data. The amount of information our brains are exposed to just about doubles each year, especially since the advent of computers and the Internet. Your conscious mind, however, can only handle about seven chucks of information—plus or minus two chunks. To understand what that means, try this simple exercise. Have someone call out a long list of numbers while you have your hand raised. When you can no longer remember all of the numbers called out, lower your hand. You’ll find, unless you’ve mastered some advanced memory techniques, that you will probably only remember about five to nine numbers—right in the range of normal human capacity. But what happens when you are exposed to thousands or even millions of chunks of information? You develop some judgmental heuristics (i.e., mental shortcuts) to cope. There are many famous heuristics that have been documented by psychologists over the last 20 years.

A third form of intuition develops from thoroughly understanding a task and bringing lots of experience to it. Somehow, people with such experience do a superb job of sensing opportunity or danger quickly when no one else can imagine how they did it. Somehow traders who have developed this kind of intuition just know that the market is about to turn down and can get out quickly. Alternatively, some can sense when a massive opportunity is about to occur. John Templeton, for example used much of his fortune to short dotcoms at the beginning of 2000. Through the late 1990s, many were in agreement with Templeton basic logic: the dotcoms’ business models did not merit their lofty stock prices. Applying that logic and shorting the dotcoms six months earlier, however, meant those traders either had to cover their shorts at a loss or suffer through huge drawdowns. Templeton’s timing was impeccable. How did he know when to short the dotcoms? Intuition. Similar feats have been accomplished by others in 1929, 1987, and at other major market turning points. The timing was absolutely amazing, and the only explanation for these feats is intuition.

In a more personal example, I worked through some deep psychological processes with a retired engineering professor in 1994. As a result, he was able to connect with his internal guidance. Over the next 15 years that guidance directed him in many different directions including trading. In 1994, he already had a substantial trading account but by mid-2008, he had grown it by 5100%. And then his guidance told him to stop trading—right before the 2008 market meltdown.

I spent some time with him in mid-2008 and he showed me exactly how he traded. In fact, it was surprisingly similar to my preference for efficient stocks. It was sound, logical, and very simple. He looked at the top five industry groups for long stocks and the bottom five industry groups for short stocks. The first step involved intuition. He could generally look at a list of stocks and based upon volume, accumulation, and a few other variables, he could tell which charts from that group he needed to look at.

After his initial screen, he looked at stock charts in two different time frames: 1) a year’s worth of daily bars and 2) 30 days worth of hourly bars. His charts included two simple moving averages, momentum, plus DMI+ and DMI-. He couldn’t tell me exactly how he entered positions except to say that the price needed to be above both moving averages in both time frames. I had the impression that he often looked for a short term retracement in price to the short term moving averages and then a bounce back.

When did he exit the position? My impression was that he exited when the price reached the longer term moving average. When I asked him about his exits though, he totally flabbergasted me. He said, “I’ve done this so much that I can look at a chart and pretty much tell how long the stock will keep moving up—whether it’s going to be several months or just a few days.” “How?” I asked. He said, “I don’t know, I just can tell.”

So here was one of my better clients with whom I had worked to clear out enough psychological issues that he could plainly hear and follow his internal guidance. That guidance directed him toward this sort of trading. Then with experience following his guidance, he developed intuition in two additional ways. First, he could just tell when to enter into a position. Second, and more impressive, he could just look at the chart and have a pretty good idea of how long it was going to be moving in his favor. That is superb intuition, which helped him produce a 5100% return in 14 years. After trading for that period of time with those kinds of returns, he unquestioningly listened to his internal guidance in 2008 when it told him to stop trading. That is the power of intuition.

Unfortunately, developing your intuition and understanding the benefits for your trading psychology are the very kind of ideas that most traders want to pass over. They want facts and computerized methods that “work”. My experience of nearly 30 years as a trading coach, however, has clearly demonstrated that you cannot become a superb trader based purely upon mechanical trading methods. You must train your instinct to get the best results. Intuition is an integral component of the success for the best traders in the world.

About Van Tharp: Trading coach, and author, Dr. Van K. Tharp is widely recognized for his best-selling books and his outstanding Peak Performance Home Study program - a highly regarded classic that is suitable for all levels of traders and investors. You can learn more about Van Tharp at the Van Tharp Trading Institute

Thursday, October 15, 2009

How To Prepare for Crash & Preserve Your Wealth

Mark Hulbert's Sept. 11, 2009, column for says, Robert Prechter "came the closest … to forecasting what was about to take place." One thing the noted financial columnist left out was that many of Prechter's forecasts still lie in the future. The long-awaited second edition of Prechter's bestseller, Conquer the Crash, is finally here! Prudent investors should read his prescient insights, what he believes is still ahead and what you can do to protect your wealth today. Click here to learn more about the special pre-order offer for Robert Prechter's bestseller, Conquer the Crash, Second Edition.

Today's financial and economic tribulations were a long time in the making. Many people ask, "Why didn't someone see it coming?"

But a New York Times bestselling book did see it coming. More than 100,000 people read it in time to protect their wealth.

They read this about real estate:

What screams 'bubble' – giant, historic bubble – in real estate today is the system-wide extension of massive amounts of credit to finance property purchases.... Many people have been rushing to borrow the last pennies possible on their homes. They have been taking out home equity loans so they can buy stocks and TVs and cars and whatever else their hearts desire at the moment. This widespread practice is brewing a terrible disaster.

And this about stocks:

...the number one precaution to take at the start of a deflationary crash is to make sure that your investment capital is not invested in stocks, stock mutual funds, stock index futures or any other equity-based investment.

About Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac:

Investors in these companies’ stocks and bonds will be just as surprised when [Fannie and Freddie's] stock prices and bond ratings collapse. Most rating services will not see it coming.

About junk bonds:

Don't think you will be safe buying bonds rated BBB or above. If you have invested in municipal bonds, consumer debt, real estate debt, junk bonds or anything other than top-grade paper, sell it at today’s lofty prices.

All these observations are from Robert Prechter's Conquer the Crash, first published in early 2002, when the Dow was above 10,000 and the financial world was partying around-the-clock. Fast forward to today: The average U.S. homeowner has suffered a decline of 30% to 40% in property value. Stocks and commodities had their biggest fall since 1929-1932. Fannie Mae is a zombie corporation under the government’s protection.

If Prechter thought a whole new book would help, he'd have written one. But Conquer the Crash is a book-length forecast that's still coming true-- only some of the future has caught up with the specific predictions he published back then. There is much more to come. And that means more danger but also great opportunity.

The same authorities who said "the worst can't happen" now claim that "the worst is over." That's one of the many reasons why Prechter is choosing now to put out a second edition of Conquer the Crash.

Conquer the Crash, Second Edition, offers you 188 new pages (480 pages total) expanding Prechter’s unique deflationary argument and escorting the reader through the stock market’s manic climb to the 2007 peak. (If you think you remember this period, wait till you read Prechter’s description.) And it still includes all the original forecasts and recommendations that make the book as compelling and as relevant as the day it published.

In every disaster, only a very few people prepare themselves beforehand. Think about investor enthusiasm in 2005-2008, and you'll realize it's true. Even fewer people will be ready for the soon-approaching, next leg down of the unfolding depression.

Prechter warns that the doors to financial safety are closing all over the world. Prudent people need to act while they still can.

We couldn't agree more. This book is a must-read.

Click here to learn more about the special pre-order offer for Robert Prechter's bestseller, Conquer the Crash, Second Edition.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Forex TradeTrack Software Limited Time Free Copy

To Get Your Free Copy Of TradeTrack, Click Here

Mark Soberman, here. I can't tell you how many times I am asked, "As an experienced trader, what's the secret to your success?". My response?

Discipline, hard work and ROCKSTAR trading tools.

Look, if you're going to compete with the professionals, you're going to need professional trade tools. Data feed, trading platform and tracking software that will keep your head on straight.

And while there are a ton of data feeds and platforms out there, I realized that there weren't alot of really great (we're talking 'rockstar' quality here) tracking applications for traders to pick from. Which is exactly why I decided to develop my own!

Let me introduce you to 'TradeTrack' - your one-stop trade application that's designed to make your life easier (well, at least when it comes to trade management!)

So what does TradeTrack do exactly? Specifically, you'll be able to:

Track trade statistics and performance with roll-up summary

Find out your EXACT position size for 1x, 2x, and 3x

Determine the different pip values per currency (for example pip value when trading the EURUSD is different than when trading the EURJPY)

Even better, this software works regardless of what trading system you use! Whether you use a NetPicks Trading System, your Broker's strategy, or your own method - this software is going to work across the board.

I now require all of my Trading Coaches to download and consistently use TradeTrack in their everyday trading - not that they're complaining :) No more messy and inconvenient spreadsheets or paper & pen records - just a quick and easy application designed to simplify and improve your trading.

And for a short time, starting today, I'm going to be releasing TradeTrack absolutely FREE to a small number of people. If you receive an email notification, you are among the first batch so make sure to get your copy ASAP before the quota is met.

Just pop in your Name and Email and we'll immediately send you the protected download link. And that's it! You don't have to do anything else - there's no charge, no after-the-fact purchase or monthly payment. I'm giving you TradeTrack totally free, no strings attached. If you do download TradeTrack, please take full advantage of all of its powerful capabilities - and please share it with friends and fellow trading peers! If you think it could help at least one more person, I'll be thrilled.

But again, make sure you get your copy first! And let me know what you think - I look forward to hearing your feedback.

Click here to get your free copy of the Forex TradeTrack Software

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

3 Strategies to Profit this Earnings Season

Nothing better than waking up to a positive earnings surprise and big profits.

Nothing worse than waking up to an earnings miss and heavy losses in your portfolio.

Well, third-quarter earnings season is now kicking into full gear, and there are few things that move a stock faster, up or down, than an earnings announcement.

This is especially true now as investor expectations and stock prices are much higher. Companies that disappoint this earnings season will be crushed. This will lead to devastating losses for those unfortunate shareholders. However, the owners of stocks with positive surprises will be richly rewarded. Now is the perfect time to align your portfolio to profit in the month ahead.

As most of you already know, Zacks Investment Research specializes in the coverage of corporate earnings. And more importantly, how to profit from this information. So, today I'm going to share with you 3 proven strategies to profit from earnings announcements.

(Hint: Be sure to read to the end as the 3rd strategy is by far the most profitable.)

Strategy 1: Four Leading Indicators of Positive Earnings Surprises

I figured its best to get the most obvious strategy out of the way first. The 4 leading indicators I refer to are the 4 factors of the Zacks Rank. Before you skip this section, let me share some information that you may not have known.

In the mid-1970s Len Zacks took his mathematical skills to Wall Street where his job was to discover stock-picking strategies that would beat the market. He had a simple theory that was the precursor to what became the Zacks Rank.

Len focused his research on finding stocks that were more likely to have a positive earnings surprise and that would jump on the news. The journey led him to what we know as the 4 factors of the Zacks Rank. Individually, each increases the odds of owning stocks that will enjoy a positive earnings surprise. However, when you combine them together inside the Zacks Rank, it becomes an almost obscene advantage for investors. (Learn more is this video: 4 Factors of the Zacks Rank.)

Strategy 2: Stop the Bleeding

This second strategy is so simple, yet so hard for most investors to do. So, I'm going to beat it into your head...for your own good of course ;-)

Sell All Companies with a Negative Earnings Surprise

Yes, sell it immediately. Even after it falls at the open. Even if it is for a substantial loss. Why? Better to take a 10% to 20% loss in the short run than a 20% to 40% loss in the long run.

Keep in mind how earnings estimates are created. Both company executives and brokerage analysts are doing their best to create conservative estimates that the company should easily beat.

And when they fall short of those watered down estimates, it points to one of two serious problems:

Industry conditions have deteriorated and thus they missed their forecasts. This problem will most likely not correct itself in the near-term, leading to further disappointment.

Company leaders are incompetent. Meaning they are no good at estimating their own earnings. Or that their strategies for growth are ineffective.

Either reason should give you ample cause to abandon the stock now and move on to greener pastures.

Strategy 3: Buy High and Sell Higher - Most Profitable Strategy

I saved the best for last. This strategy has proven to be the most profitable way to harness earnings surprises. This proprietary metric is called the Price Response Indicator, or PRI.

The PRI is amazingly accurate at saying which stocks will rise in the days following an earnings announcement and which won't. Proving the truism: "Buy High and Sell Higher".

The scoring system for the PRI correlates the percent earnings surprise and short-term price reaction preceding the announcement. The model scores stocks from A to E, with A's and B's being the most likely to increase in price in the days following the surprise. These signals are produced by our systems within hours after the company reports earnings.

Stocks that are rated a PRI of A or B certainly had very strong positive earnings surprises. Even more importantly, most of them had declined in price in the days preceding the announcement. This is the key ingredient because it means that the investment community was wrong about the company's prospects.

These stocks will gap up on the news, yet still there are more gains to be made as the good earnings news spreads through the investment community. Our extensive research clearly shows that these stocks will receive extended buying pressure for about 2 weeks after the report. This gives traders ample opportunity to make consistent profits even after the stock has gapped up on the earnings surprise.

How to Profit from PRI

At this time the daily feed of PRI signals is only made available to our institutional clients. However, the Zacks Surprise Trader service filters down all the PRI signals with additional variables to find the 2% that have historically provided the best returns. From there we hand pick the signals, turning down 5 out of every 6 to provide our subscribers with a phenomenal opportunity to beat the market.

How phenomenal? Since inception in May 2006, Surprise Trader has generated a +16% return versus a devastating loss of -24% for the S&P 500. Just imagine how well it will perform in the future as we leave the bear market behind.

Today is the perfect time to learn more about the Surprise Trader. Why? First, because earnings season is coming into full swing. Second, because the service has grown so popular that it's closing to new members. It's being held open until midnight Saturday, October 17, 2009, to give members one more chance to join the service and also save money.

Click Here To Learn more about Surprise Trader Special Offer.

I hope you take advantage of all three of these strategies to not just survive this earnings season…but thrive this earnings season.

Earnings Whispers
Whether you are a daytrader or a long-term investor, whether you are a market timer or a buy-and-holder, Earnings Whispers can show you how the quarterly earnings release is the best way to significantly outperform the market - during bull, bear, and sideways markets.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Weekly Stock Pick

Buy Sell Hold
The Market Week Ahead

1st rule of money in times like this . . . protect your money. Earnings season is coming into full swing. Will the earnings reports support current stock prices? Will it resist higher prices? Click the Earnings Whispers Reports that can give you an advantage. We currently like the energy, precious metals, agricultural commodities, and selected hi-tech companies. Cabot Oil & Gas Ticker COG, Forest Oil Ticker FST, RPC Oil Gas Services Ticker RES, all look up currently.
Debt, Debt, and More Debt

Click here for the USA Debt Clock

Debt caution, the US government bond market looks to possibly be the next financial bubble to blow up because of unsustainable loaning borrowing before and now. The bull market in the US Treasury market may be over now for quite some time. Also, the global currency market looks like it could easily have a crisis coming soon. Again too much debt is the current and still looming problem. Too much money printing started this mess, and too much money printing is being used to try to fix the problem. There are always consequences for everything we do in life, which will have to be paid for later. The question is who will pay for it?

This Weeks Important Data Reports

Monday: Japan Bank Lending

Wednesday: UK Jobless Claims, Advance Retail Sales, Import Price Index, and FOMC Meeting Minutes. New Zealand Consumer Price Index.

Thursday: USA Consumer Price Index and Initial Jobless Claims,
Friday: University of Michigan Confidence Survey.

My Stock Pick This Week

Is a cash rich company involved in secure money transportation, and other extremely high value product transportation. Basically they are the largest armored car service worldwide. Currently all the news and analysis on this company has been negative in the last few months at least. The chart seems to show that with a nice bottoming formation now. I’m ready to go long on this stock with a very tight stop-loss.

Buy Long Brinks – Ticker BCO

Buy Entry: 25.00 to 25.85

Stop-Loss: 24.92

Take Profit Areas: 26.70 to 28.40, 31.43 to 33.07, 34.46 to 36.26, 40.69 to 42.82, 48.89 to 51.45

Brinks Company Profile

The Brink's Company, together with its subsidiaries, provides secure transportation, cash logistics, and other security-related services to banks and financial institutions, retailers, government agencies, mints, jewelers, and other commercial operations worldwide. Its services include cash-in-transit armored car transportation; automated teller machine services, including cash replenishment, monitoring and forecasting capabilities, deposit pick-up, and processing services; arranging secure long-distance transportation of valuables comprising including diamonds, jewelry, precious metals, securities, currency, high-tech devices, electronics, and pharmaceuticals. The company also provides cash logistics services, including money processing and cash management; deploying and servicing intelligent safes and safe control devices, including its patented CompuSafe; integrated check and cash processing; and check imaging. In addition, it offers guarding services to protect airports, offices, warehouses, stores, and public venues with electronic surveillance, access control, fire prevention, and patrolling personnel. The company was founded in 1838 and is based in Richmond, Virginia.

Click here to review and trial the Trading Software we used in determining our buy long position on BCO.

Click the Brinks Stock Chart for a larger view.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Let Your Profits Run

Profits Run
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Easier said than done you might say? Well, yes and no. It depends upon you now, when creating and executing trading strategies. Below Profits Run has Preimum Trading Education designed for beginning to advanced investors and traders for the hottest financial markets around the world. Click the links below to review Profits Run low-risk high-reward trading strategies for stocks, futures, forex, and ETF's.

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Thursday, October 08, 2009

Poker and Trading Mistakes

By Van K. Tharp, Ph.D. - Van Tharp Institute

Click Here For Dr Van Tharp's 2009 Trading Workshops Schedule

I’m currently reading Why You Lose at Poker by Russell Fox and Scott Harker. I’ve pretty much promised myself that I won’t play poker for real money again until I’ve read at least three poker books and come up with some major paradigm shifts. As I read this book, I’ve been struck by the amazing similarities between poker losses and trading losses. They are similar sorts of mistakes. As a result, I thought I’d write a series of articles covering various chapters in Why You Lose at Poker and relate them to trading mistakes that I’ve seen.

Part I: Playing Too Many Hands or Not Waiting for the Opportunities that Are Likely to Make Money

When I first started playing Texas Hold ‘em Poker, I had a friend run a computer simulation to determine the chance of winning for all 169 starting hands if you and every other player stayed in through all five up cards. We did ten million simulations with 2 players, 4 players, 6 players, 8 players, and 10 players. I’d seen someone list the probability of winning with each hand, but I didn’t believe that. It turns out I was right not to believe them after we looked at the results of our simulation.

Here were a few of our conclusions:

The top starting hand was AA. It gave you an 87% chance of winning when there were only two players, but only a 33% chance of winning with ten players. This is why poker experts recommend betting big when you have a high pair to get as many people out as you can.

When you got down to the 20th best starting hand, which is A9 of the same suit, you have a 62.6% chance of winning heads up (i.e., against one other person). But you only have a 15.74% chance of winning against ten players.

At the 50th best hand (44), you only have a 57.4% chance of winning heads up and a 12.74% chance of winning with ten players staying. Notice that with the 50th best hand the odds are 5.7% in your favor with two players and 2.74% in your favor with ten. Those are not outstanding odds, but they are equivalent to some of the best odds that you might get with a good entry signal in trading.

By the time you get to the 94th best hand, you have a 10.07% chance of winning with ten players (i.e., the odds are 0.07% in your favor) and only a 49.25% chance of winning heads up (i.e., the odds are 0.75% against you). However, the 94th best hand is different for ten players (i.e., A4 off-suit) versus two (i.e., T8 off-suit). Heads up A4 off-suit is the 49th best hand, so having an ace plus junk in your hand is useless with ten players and slightly advantageous with two players.

Clearly knowing the winning odds of the cards in your hand can help you play better. The same is true with the signals you from your trading systems. But have you taken the time to learn the odds?

Do you know the probability of winning with the trades you take? Do they differ depending on the market conditions? There are various types of markets, so the probability of winning with certain signals probably changes dramatically in different market types. Have you done the necessary research (as I did with poker hands) to determine the chances of winning with certain signals?

If you haven’t done this sort of research, then you are probably making a mistake. For example, what if you find a Graham’s number stock selling at 0.6 times its liquidation value? Is that a good deal? Or what if you find a stock that meets all of William O’Neil’s CANSLIM criteria? Is that a good deal? What are your chances of making money with those stocks?

In addition, as a poker game progresses, context becomes important. Let’s say you have KK, the second best starting hand. You bet 5 times the big blind and only one person calls. You now have odds you like, only two people playing, and you have the second best hand. The person who called you might have another high pair or perhaps a hand like AQ suited. Now comes the first three cards or the flop and those are AQJ. Now how does your KK look? Not so good. If you opponent has one A, you are in trouble. You are in even worse trouble if they called you with QQ or JJ. You bet half the pot and they re-raise you. Staying in the game under such circumstances is probably not wise and it’s another example of playing too many hands. But again, it is context dependent… perhaps you opponent is someone who calls most hands to see the flop and someone who bluffs a lot. If so, that might make your hand appear stronger.

Trading is also a context dependent activity. You enter into a position and the next day favorable news comes out but the stock reacts poorly. You enter another position that goes up while 90% of the market goes down. What do you do with the positions now? These are context dependent decisions. Have you done enough homework to understand how to respond? If not, then like the unprepared poker player, you are making a big mistake.

Chances are most trades are just like starting poker hands: good ones give you just a slight edge. What’s important is your win/loss ratio. It’s fine to make money 40% of the time if your winners make 2R and your losers only give up 1R. Playing too many hands of poker could be the simple equivalent of making too many trades when the risk/reward ratio is not favorable enough for you to make consistent profits over time. We’ll discuss that much more extensively in Poker and Trading Mistakes

About Dr. Van Tharp: Trading coach, and author, Dr. Van K. Tharp is widely recognized for his best-selling books and his outstanding Peak Performance Home Study program - a highly regarded classic that is suitable for all levels of traders and investors. You can learn more about Dr. Van Tharp the Van Tharp Institute.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Which Elliott Waves Are Best For Forex Trading?

Forex Focus
VIDEO (Forex): Which Elliott Waves Are Best For Trading?

We have many resources at ElliottWave that help you learn Elliott wave analysis -- but nothing helps you learn faster than watching a good teacher.

A few times a year, Elliott Wave International's Senior Currency Strategist Jim Martens holds live webinars for subscribers of his Currency Specialty Service, demonstrating how you can apply his forecasts in forex trading.

Jim Martens was first introduced to the Wave Principle in 1985. Since then, he's built an impressive resume, having worked for such firms as Bank of New York and Nexus Capital Limited, a George Soros-affiliated hedge fund. Since 2005, Jim has been EWI's senior currencies analyst – and one of the best teachers of the method we have.

Here is a free 6-minute classic clip from one of Jim's last year's webinars, where he answers two of the most common questions his subscribers ask him: What's the best way to learn the Elliott Wave Principle? Which Elliott waves are best for trading forex?

Click Here To Watch the clip from "How To Boost Your Forex Trading With Your Currency Service Subscription" now.