fstrader's swing trade journal

Discussion in 'Journals' started by fstrader, Sep 18, 2005.

  1. fstrader


    Hello. My name is Jack. I don't know how I will do at this, since I just began actively trading about 3 weeks ago. But time will tell. I am starting this journal here in hope I will get some feedback from anyone with suggestions or ideas to improve my trading.

    So, here is how I will work this journal:
    First, I have to say, I really like watson1's simple rule to enter the stock on the next day's open. So I will list that as a rule too.

    I am looking for stocks that will move by 4%, ideally within the next 1-5 days. So, I will consider the stock a success if it can reach a 4% return. This 4% is based on the last close. So if a stock gaps open, then the effective return will be reduced by the gap.

    The stock will be monitored either until it reaches the 4% goal or is stopped out.

    Here is my list of trades for Monday, September 19th. The format is (last close, stop, tentative entry*).

    These are all buys (long):

    GET (48.64, 44.4, 48.12)
    VRTX (19.40, 16.73, 18.93)
    BRY (64.99, 58.60, 64.32)
    ABCO (53.0, 50.30, 52.50)
    CERS (8.31, 6.70, 8.07)
    NTO (2.91, 2.60, 2.86)
    MHX (9.30, 8.80, 9.28)
    AGII (26.66, 23.90, 26.15)
    SAFT (37.07, 34.44, 36.65)
    NMTI (11.22, 9.32, 10.92)

    The list won't usually be this long. *The tentative entry is the price I would "ideally" like to enter the trade, to minimize potential losses. However, for the purposes here, it can be ignored, since the trade results will be based on the last close.

    I appreciate any comments. And as I said, I don't have much experience (my personal account is quite small), so any advice is welcome. Thanks for reading.
  2. You need to adapt expectations to the volatility the stock offers and 4% in 1-4 days is a bit unrealistic as a rule of thumb.
  3. fstrader


    Thanks for commenting - that was quick. I think I'll see how it goes. I definitely will change my expectations, if I need to. I try to restrict my list to stocks that are above average volatility.

    By 1-5 days, I mean, on average. (I did say five, not four). Okay, "one" day will be impossible. But, I am counting on at least a small portion of my trades to work in one day. Some others may take over a week, or even two weeks. But I expect most will meet the 1-5 day goal.
  4. fstrader


    Of the 10 stocks, 3 met, or exceeded the 4% goal. None were stopped out. I list them below. The format will be: (max gain, days held)

    CERS (8.3%, 1)
    NMTI (5.4%, 1)
    BRY (4.6%, 1)

    *CERS gapped up 1.7%, so the effective yield would be reduced by that much.
    *NMTI gapped up 5.4%, and would not have been tradeable.
    *BRY gapped up 0.4%, so the effective yield would be reduced by that much.
  5. fstrader


    My picks for Tuesday, Sep 20, 2005:
    The format is (Last Close/Stop/Tentative Entry).

    TOMO (15.30/14.15/15.24), BHI (60.75/56.19/60.0), XTO (41.72/37.25/40.90), EQT (39.09/36.01/38.90), TDW (46.32/41.64/45.80), HOC (60.01/54.36/59.38), GW (8.04/7.25/7.95), PVA (58.15/52.2/57.50), ARTC (40.12/36.80/39.90), DPTR (20.15/17.67/19.80), FWLT (28.43/25.20/28.04)

    OSIP (30.48/34.07/30.87), CLZR (9.65/10.28/9.67), COLM (46.23/47.95/46.42), MNC (15.40/16.30/15.57)
  6. fstrader


    Of the 22 stocks, 2 met, or exceeded the 4% goal. One was stopped out. The format is (max gain, days held):

    MNC (+7.7%, 1)
    CCJ (+4.3%, 2) - gain reduced by a 0.7% gap.

    ABCO (-5.1%, 2) - on a side note, this stock historically has a good run after testing its 50 day ema... worth watching.

    So far,
    winners = 4
    losers = 1

    19 stocks are still being watched.
  7. I think your system is a good start, but needs to be evolved over time. The volatility is a great suggestion, as %4 in one stock can mean something completely different in another stock.

    Also, start to think about market direction. This system might work well in a strong bull market, but what about a sideways or bear market?

    Also, if you're trading real money, set your stops TIGHT. Then cut them in half... I've told new traders to aim for pushes on all their trades before, if you can do that, then you can trade profitably...

    -The New Guy
  8. fstrader


    Thanks for the compliment and good suggestions. I think you are right about the 4%. But, right now, the 4% is really my minimum expected gain. I'm not saying some of the trades can't go higher. If I were actually trading them, I would factor in volatility and trading behavior and access resistance levels, etc...

    As far as market direction, I try and let the stocks tell me. I'm no good at guessing myself. But I am trying to learn.

    And for stops... I would love to cut this in half. I know I am testing fairly large stops (its about 8.7% on average). I am, however, expecting about an 80% win rate, so I am hoping the winners will make up for the losses.
  9. sorry, I only have a second but I wanted to clarify something. I didn't mean factor in the market direction to your trades, I meant consider what's going to happen in a down/sideways market. You may want to make it more robust by adding a shorting system, or something similar like that....

    just a thought,

    -The New Guy
  10. fstrader


    That sounds interesting. Do you mean hedging? Perhaps when you have time, maybe you could explain what you mean by a shorting "system".
    #10     Sep 20, 2005