How many stocks do you keep track of?

Discussion in 'Trading' started by niner, Oct 13, 2001.

  1. niner


    Hi, have been reading books, sites that promise the world and just about everything. A lot of people have a different take or number for everything and so I would like to know what the traders on this site do for a watch list.

    Do you pick out so many stocks in so many different sectors? Do you just concentrate on one stock? How many do you feal is enough to give you as much action as you need to keep busy?

    What sectors do you look to get your list of stocks to watch? Do you have a watch list at all?

    Thanks for everything on this site and your answers to this question.
  2. Harry


    Well, I think that's quite a hard question and depends on your trading style. If you're scalping a lot you might need a watch list with some stocks you really know well. If you are more a swingtrader you might as well screen a lot of stocks for opportunities.

    For example take Nasdaq with price>$5 or $10 and avg vol>500000 and you'll get some hundred stocks.

    I have to admit that I'm not such an expreienced trader like many others on the board but I know that everyone has to find his trading style (and at the beginning I think it's not a bad idea to try several ways of trading) - I know that I will not be a good scapler because I like to have some time to evaluate a trade - but that might as well change in some years ...

    I hope, this was at least a bit helpful.

    btw, were are you from (in California it's about 3 in the morning and even on the east coast it's not even 6) - I thought as being from Europe I would have the board for me alone at this time ;) :) !

  3. ktm


    I keep track of about 2000 stocks. I have a data mine that I created and maintain, updating the data on a weekly basis. From this database, I run my own screens on the data for various conditions, both technical and fundamental.

    On the fundamental long side, I start with stocks that are near or below their 5 yr low PE and meeting various other value oriented criteria. I run assumptions on each to miss earnings numbers by between 10-30% depending on their industry and sector. I keep notes on each stock from reviewing fundamental data throughout the year. From this list, I keep about 30-40 on a watch list for longs. I may purchase a few for value but look to that list to provide some technical setups and trade those throughout the week.

    On the short side, I do just the opposite...weak fundamentals and price runups, looking for technical entry points. I only play a few stocks that have very light volume or have no options. I feel it's important to be able to get out when necessary or to attempt to repair a position using options when conditions warrant.

    Hope that helps.
  4. Niner,

    It depends greatly on your trading style. A daytrader can't watch more than a handful closely, while a position trader can screen thousands of stocks. If you're watching each stock on a Level II screen, it also depends on how good your connection is and your software, because some will freeze with too much data coming in.
  5. Niner,

    I have to agree with the others--it all depends on your style. But since you asked, I follow 9 quality companies that I know very well. These are the best in their sector and I trade only them. They're all traded on the NYSE and also found in S&P 500.

    With times being what they are, I'm condisering dumping one and picking up a defense contractor or other military related company. But chances are I won't and I'll just stick with my nine old "friends."

    Best regards,
  6. Eldredge


    As you can see, there are a lot of different approaches. Personally, I watch eight stocks all from the same sector. I use them as indicators for each other.
  7. Magna

    Magna Administrator


    Simply put, there's no one answer to this. As everyone has mentioned it depends on your style. And it also depends on whether you are daytrading, swingtrading, position trading, investing, etc. (you didn't mention which approach you were taking). So as to not get overwhelmed you might start with 10-20 stocks that you exclusively watch, a few from each sector, and that will help you get a feel for the rhythm of the stocks and sectors, synergy between the two, etc.
  8. niner


    mention my style. I guess I didn't because I am just starting and trying to find the ones that suit me best. I will not be scalping as I do know that it does not suit me well. I also know that until I get the $25,000 to day trade I will not be doing that. I guess that leaves me with swing trading to start with. I will have $15,000 of Vegas money to start with.

    Thank's to everyone who has answered. I know that with most of this that there is no one answer but sometimes you do get a feal for trying certain things if they are presented to you and you all bring a lot to the table to look at.

    Thanks again

    PS: I live in Oregon
  9. Harry


    Hi niner!

    Guess you don't need much sleep :) - it must be around 2am in Oregon, right ? We have about 11am here in Austria and I'm looking forward to some lunch ... I have been in the US a couple of times, but never to Oregon ...

    Well, although I only daytrade now - it seems to be a lot safer in these times - I would consider myself also more of a swing-trader than a really short-term-orientated trader (less than 1 or 2 hours) - but that my change ...

    If you have to hold stocks overnight due to SEC-rules, in my opinion it's better to search for opportunities in many stocks - if you just try to trade a core basket, you might find opportunities where there are none - because it's disappointing that there might be no swing-trading-opportunities in the about 10 or 20 stocks you have in your basket for several days - but that's only my opinion and experience - perhaps it's just a matter of discipline :) ?

  10. ktm



    I think it depends on how much time you have and the reason you are buying the stocks you are trading. (I think) I'm different from many of these guys here because I incorporate a lot of fundamental analysis. On these trades, I'll average down - a big no-no in tech trading.

    If I'm trading a stock based on technicals alone, I will never, ever average down. The key is: "Why did you buy the stock?" If the answer is because it was seeing support at a level, then sell it without hesitation when it breaks that level.

    If you are trading purely technical, you need to look at a lot of charts. I'd run a screen of those stocks that fit your general criteria to get to a number you're comfortable least a few hundred. Then look at every chart, noting the ones that are looking like good setups. I would also be sure to have a mix of longs and shorts. I would also go back to those that were good setups (that you didn't follow) a few days later and see what happened.

    Good Luck.
    #10     Oct 14, 2001