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moving averages

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DIY Investor Market Reading App

introducing our new app!

On Friday, oil was up 1.54% and the biotech sector was down nearly 1%.  Like the ticker symbols streaming across the bottom of the screen on CNBC, these data points are pretty much useless.  I would argue that a single day’s action taken in isolation, provides no value at all.  We make money by investing in assets that are trending, and by doing our best to identify when a trend is possibly beginning or coming to an end.

However, in fairness to CNBC et al., is it even possible to succinctly communicate this much information visually?  This is the question that inspired me to create Market Reading.

Moving averages smooth out the “noise” of daily price movements, revealing trends.  Market Reading provides customizable moving averages, representing short and long term trends.  When both moving averages are rising, the asset’s information box is colored green.  When both are declining, the box is red.  When the short term moving average is going against the long term moving average, these colors get moderated to lime and fuchsia accordingly.

Market Reading is available now at the Google Play store in both a free and pro version.  The pro version provides the added capability to drill into sectors and stay on top of global market trends.

Watch the video below for more information and a demo of the app.  If you have any questions I didn’t cover or suggestions, don’t hesitate to let me know.

I hope that you will find this tool useful!

DIY Investor Market Reading Android App

Market Reading Free version

DIY Investor Market Reading Pro Android App

Market Reading Pro version

 

bigwinner2

breakdown of a big winner

Last week I closed out the last half of my biggest winner of the year.  Let’s take a closer look to see what lessons and tactics we can take from it and use going forward.

As I’ve mentioned before, I had a lot of success trading precious metals miners from 2008 to 2011 which, understandably, caused me to grow fond of them.  Unfortunately, this fondness had me “going back to the well” more often than was warranted, resulting in unnecessary losses.  The lesson here is to not become so enamored with a particular investment that you are ignoring or discounting the pitiful technicals.  In other words, don’t fall in love with something that can’t love you back unless you enjoy losing money!

Having gotten burned several times, I was initially skeptical of the rally when gold shot up at the beginning of the year.  Unfortunately, by the time it was apparent that this move was different and appeared to have legs, I didn’t see a safe way to get involved.  The key was to be patient and wait for a low risk buying opportunity.  The signal I was waiting for arrived on March 29th in the form of an 821x buy signal in GLD which I tweeted out.

821x buy signal

821x buy signal with obvious place for stop around $116

Seeing this, I went through my watchlist of miners looking for a good setup.  The one that looked best to me was Pretium Resources (PVG).

PVG consolidating around the 200dma

PVG consolidating around the 200dma

I entered a limit order for $5.30 a share which was the closing price on the day PVG first flashed an 821x buy signal, and got filled the next day.  After a week of consolidation, it broke out of it’s wedge formation and was up over 50% in little over a month!  Shortly thereafter, it had a sharp pullback to the 21 day ema where it put in a pivot with a low of $7.43.  When I saw that the pivot wasn’t going to hold a few days later, I sold half of my position at $7.33 locking in a nice gain of 38% on that piece.

sold half here with the pivot broken and the moving averages curling down

sold half here with the pivot broken and the moving averages curling down

A few days later, PVG gave an official 821x sell signal.  Having already locked in gains on half of the position, I felt comfortable giving it one more day to see if the closing low of $7.04 would hold.  If PVG had closed even one penny below that low I was prepared to close the rest of the position.  Fortunately, it held and proceeded to give an 821x buy signal a week later!  In hindsight, I can see that it would’ve made sense to go back to full size at this point.

PVG held $7.04 and the 50dma and then gave an 821x buy signal

PVG held $7.04 and the 50dma then gave buy signal number 2

The second move was even more explosive than the first, putting my remaining half position up well over 100% by mid July!  Then last week, it finally gave another 821x sell signal.

second 821x sell signal of this trade

second 821x sell signal of this trade

Again, because I had already locked in profits on half of the trade I felt comfortable giving it one more day to see if the closing low of $10.61 would hold.  Unfortunately, this time it didn’t, so I closed out the balance of my position at $9.71 for a gain of 83%.

all good things come to and end...

all good things must come to an end…

Putting the two halves together, I netted a gain of 61% on this trade making it my best trade of the year so far.  For reference and comparison, my biggest loser of the year was WYNN for a loss of only 6%.  Letting your winners run and cutting your losers short is the key to successfully growing your savings in the stock market.

I hope that reviewing this trade demonstrates one way the 821x trading system can be used in practice.  If you have any questions about this trade or the 821x trading system in general, don’t hesitate to ask!

mansplits2

stay flexible

“Turn that off, it’s time to go to sleep”, my wife said.  But I couldn’t pull my eyes away from my phone.  The market that had closed the regular trading session just shy of all time highs a few hours earlier, was now plummeting faster than I had ever witnessed before.  The “expert” consensus was wrong.  The majority of British voters wanted to leave the European Union.

The “Brexit” whipsaw underscores the importance of staying flexible.  A bearish macro pattern of lower highs and lower lows that had controlled the weekly chart of the S&P 500 for most of the last year was broken a couple of weeks before the Brexit voteBullish!  The post Brexit crash sliced through TWO potential higher lows AND the 200 day moving average.  Bearish!  The snapback rally that followed reclaimed ALL of the moving averages in just 3 days.  Bullish!  I don’t think I ever flipped my stance back and forth from bullish to bearish faster.

above the moving averages bullish, below bearish

Above the moving averages we are bullish.  Below them we are bearish or at least cautious

A few weeks on, with the S&P 500 now at all time highs, it’s easy to say that the Brexit whipsaw was just a bunch of noise that was best ignored.  Keep in mind though that one of these days we may see the beginnings of a REAL crash.  Never forget that complacency can quickly wipe out all of your hard earned gains and then some.

So where does the market have the potential to go now?  The S&P 500 has just carved out an ENORMOUS bullish “W” formation visible on the weekly chart.  As I mentioned before when discussing the two smaller W’s that make up the bottoms of this larger W formation, the potential measured move is calculated by adding the height of the W to it’s top.  I calculated a conservative height that ignores the “tails” of the weekly candlesticks as well as a more aggressive target which includes the full height to draw in the rectangular “measured move zone” in the chart below.

a monster "W" in the S&P 500

a monster “W” in the S&P 500

As you can see, a move to the potential measured move zone is good for better than 220 points or 10% over the next year!  As long as the S&P 500 continues making higher highs and higher lows above it’s moving averages we will maintain a bullish stance… but as always, stay flexible.

KGC

821x buy: KGC (or NTG)

(watch video below for market recap and trade details)

KGC – buy with a limit price of $5.19

(If KGC does not get filled we will track NTG instead:)

NTG – buy with a limit price of $18.56

Other 821x buy ideas:

Domestic equities and ETFs:
FN – buy with a limit price of $36.27
PRMW – buy with a limit price of $11.49
IIIN – buy with a limit price of $38.74
MLM – buy with a limit price of $189.13
CDK – buy with a limit price of $55.85
CRTO – buy with a limit price of $45.63
SMH – buy with a limit price of $56.59 (semiconductor ETF)
XLE – buy with a limit price of $68.24 (energy sector ETF)

International ETF (Columbia):
GXG – buy with a limit price of $9.19

High Yield Bond ETFs:
HYG – buy with a limit price of $84.47
JNK – buy with a limit price of $35.53

I only track one 821x model portfolio trade at a time for educational purposes.  Remember, IT NEVER MAKES SENSE TO PUT YOUR WHOLE ACCOUNT INTO A SINGLE TRADE.  Please refer to the section on position sizing in the 821x Trading Manual.

Please read the terms of service.

 

Facing-a-Fear (2)

no need to fear a big drop

“News” that George Soros is shorting stocks grabbed headlines once again this week.  I don’t see why this is getting people so worked up.  Soros has supposedly been making big bearish bets since the beginning of the year.  He’s been warning of a repeat of the 2008 financial crisis and apparently has a 2.1 million share put option against the S&P 500.

I have no clue if George Soros is right.  However, I do know that “news” like this does nothing to help us make money.  We make money when we position our trades in the direction of the 8 and 21 day moving averages.  Right now these moving averages are rising, so we are bullish and long stocks.  In fact, this week the S&P 500 poked through the highs of last November, essentially negating the macro pattern of lower highs and lower lows that has controlled the big picture over the last year.

The only argument bears can make now is that this was a failed breakout which will lead to a fast drop lower.

failed move leads to a fast move?

failed move leads to a fast move lower?

I will grant that this is a possible scenario.  However, the weight of the evidence we have right now still points to higher prices.

If Mr. Soros and the bears turn out to be right, we will have plenty of time to change our stance and position our portfolios accordingly.  We would lock in profits and raise cash as our holdings give us 821x sell signals one by one.  We could look to move some money into other asset classes such as bonds and/or gold.  Finally, we may take bearish bets against stocks alongside Soros by purchasing inverse ETFs,

We will have sufficient early warning.

We have a plan of action.

There is no reason to fear.

coverears(crop)

turn down the volume

In case you hadn’t noticed, the S&P 500 has had a MONSTER rally since February 11, rising over 14%.  Just since the beginning of March, the index has risen over 137 handles!

Knowing this, look at the headlines below:

Has any of the hand-wringing about the, at times, anemic volume of this rally been helpful?  ABSOLUTELY NOT!

I understand the disbelief.  When I calculated the potential measured move of the bullish “W” formation in the S&P 500 on March 5th, I was skeptical that it would actually be reached.  Yet here we are.

measured move hit! I also put arrows on the days the articles above were published

measured move hit!  I also put arrows on the days the articles above were published

Sure this rally is getting long in the tooth.  Sure the 200 day moving average is still declining.  But we make money when price remains above the 8 and 21 day (exponential) moving averages.  Before this rally comes to an end, we are going to AT LEAST need to see a close below the yellow line in the chart above.  Getting bearish before that happens makes no sense.  These simple principles apply to anything you are trading.

Volume is noise.  Tune it out and focus on what makes you money which is price.  Like Brian Shannon, one of my virtual mentors, is known for saying: Only Price Pays.  Profits made on low volume are just as valid as profits made on high volume.

So turn down the volume and listen closely to what the price action is telling you.

winhappiertimes

going for the “w”

Yes, the market is still in a primary downtrend.  The S&P 500 is still below a DECLINING 200 day moving average.  The lower high and lower low that I mentioned a month ago is still very much intact as long as the S&P 500 stays below 2,116.48.  The spirited rally that the market has enjoyed since February 11th doesn’t change any of this.

However, there is an interesting technical chart pattern worth watching now and keeping a look out for in the future.  In the last six months, the market has made two pronounced and tradable “W” formations also called double bottoms.  These are bullish patterns capable of delivering fast gains.

The measured move of a W formation is calculated by adding the height of the W to it’s top.  I calculated a conservative height that ignored the “tails” of the daily candlesticks as well as a more aggressive target including the full height to draw in the rectangular “measured move zones” in the chart below.

two bullish w’s in a bearish market

As you can see, the first W did just barely reach it’s measured move target zone before running out of steam.  IF the current W follows suit, that’s good for at least another 50 points in the S&P 500!

There are a couple of ways you can you play these bullish patterns when you spot them, even in a bearish market.  First, you can just simply buy a tradable index ETF such as SPY.  Both of these Ws featured picture perfect 821x buy signals as they finished forming.

Another strategy you could take is to seek out and purchase stronger stocks as you see this pattern developing in the S&P 500.  That’s what I did in the model portfolio.  Stocks such as RYAAY and COKE are out-performing the market, holding up above their rising 200 day moving averages.  The idea is that, if the downtrend in the S&P 500 resumes, which is likely, these stronger stocks will hopefully not get hit as hard as the market as a whole.

One thing that would be absolutely foolish to do is to complacently buy without a plan, thinking the market HAS to go another 50 points higher.  The market doesn’t HAVE to do anything.  The measured move calculation is just a POTENTIAL scenario to be aware of.

Regardless, it is worth keeping an eye out for these patterns.  We all know that you can never have too many W’s in your trading account.

goldwatch

time to watch gold

I made a lot of money on gold’s massive run from 2008 to 2011.  Unfortunately, I unnecessarily gave much of it back because I had not yet been introduced to technical analysis.   Technical analysis of price action allows you to identify and trade along with trends.  Without this knowledge, you are essentially trading blind.  You might as well be gambling.

Gold peaked in 2011, went sideways in 2012 and started heading lower in 2013.  It’s been trending down ever since, going from a high of nearly $1,900 an ounce in late 2012 to a low of  $1,045 in December of last year.

There is no compelling reason to buy (or even own) something in a downtrend if you are trying to make money.  Sure, you could happen to buy in at the exact bottom by pure luck, but do you really want the success of your trades to be reliant on luck?  Trying to pick exact bottoms and tops is a fool’s game.

It’s much smarter to put the odds in your favor BEFORE risking your hard-earned money.  If buyers are gaining control of an asset over sellers we WILL see it in the price action.  That’s our cue to start paying closer attention.  Don’t worry, there’s usually plenty of meat in the middle of a move for us to profit on.

We are starting to see signs that the down trend in gold is possibly coming to an end.  Gold is up 16% year to date, breaking the down trend line of lower highs for the last two years.  Price is well above the 50 week and 200 day moving averages, both of which are starting to turn up.

gold is breaking the down trend line in place for the last two years

gold is breaking the down trend line that’s been in place for the last two years

Gold is currently extended to the upside.  With the possible exception of buying physical coins as “insurance”, I would not chase it here.  However, I believe consolidations above the 200 day moving average are buyable for a trade.  Watch $GLD, $GDX and $GDXJ for low risk 821x buy signals.

It may finally be time to take gold out of the penalty box and start keeping a closer eye on it.

no exuses

no excuses

You’ve worked hard to build up your savings account.  There’s no reason why you can’t put that capital to work for you.  The stock market is an incredibly powerful and convenient tool that allows you to do just that.

But how do you actually go about using this tool to grow your savings?

The Standard Advice

  • Hire a professional to do it for you.  Unfortunately, when you account for fees and commissions, most money managers fail to beat the returns of a passive index fund.
  • Buy and hold a low cost index fund or ETF.  The downside here is that you would be vulnerable in the event of a major stock market crash.  Depending on the timing and severity, you may have to wait DECADES to be made whole.  It took over 15 years for the Nasdaq Composite Index to reclaim dot-com era highs and 26 years on, Japan’s Nikkei index still sits at BARELY HALF the level it was at the end of 1989.
  • Dollar cost average into a low cost index fund or ETF.  This is better, but it still relies on the assumption that the market WILL bounce back in the timeframe you need it to.  If you have A LOT of time, that has generally been a good bet.  However, I’m not convinced that it will be ALWAYS be a good bet.

Personally, I’m not willing to settle for mediocre returns from an expensive money manager.  I’m also not interested in patiently waiting for my account to recover from a market crash.  Been there, done that.  No thanks.  There is another way.

My Advice:

  • Buy stocks that are going up
  • Sell stocks that are going down
  • and DO-IT-YOURSELF!

It really is that simple.  So why don’t more people do it?  There are a lot of reasons, but for now, let me just address the two excuses I hear most often.

Excuse 1: “It’s too hard”

Repeating this statement is like holding up a white flag.  I mean sure, you have to apply yourself and do some work.  You do have to learn about managing risk and your emotions.  It shouldn’t be a surprise that something worthwhile will take some effort.

But let’s be honest: this isn’t brain surgery.  Hell, I can do it!  My background is computers and music, not Wall Street.  Seven years ago I didn’t know the first thing about stocks.  If I can figure this out, there’s no reason why you can’t as well.

Learn the rules of a trend following system like the 821x and then study charts.  See how a big winner looks at it’s buy point and vice-versa for big losers.  It’s not hard, it just takes practice and repetition to identify the best setups.

 

buy signal

buy signal

 

sell signal

sell signal

 

Excuse 2: “I don’t have time”

Do you have time to watch TV?  Do you have time to play video games?  Do you have time to surf the web?  I could go on but I won’t.  Just answer the following questions and be completely honest with yourself.

Is it worth investing the time it takes to develop a valuable skill that will ultimately lead to increased personal freedom? 

Is the short-term sacrifice worth the long-term benefit? 

If your actions are not congruent with your answers, perhaps you need to spend some more time on this to figure out the truth.  For example, if you continually engorge on junk food, one would have to seriously question the veracity of any claim you make about wanting to lose weight.

Another thing to keep in mind is that the first step is always the hardest and most time intensive.  Once you get past the learning curve of a system like 821x, it really should only take a few minutes a night to look through charts and enter orders if any.  The cost in time spent is miniscule in comparison to the potential benefits.

So get busy.  Don’t be afraid to make some mistakes.  Lose the excuses.  You can do it!

portfolio introduction and new trade

(watch video for details)

IRMD – buy with a limit price of $26.50.

Other idea INFN – buy with a limit price of $19.76.