Friday, July 23, 2010

Art Of Trading Member Cleared $1,300 Today!!!


I actually put some trades on today for the first time in almost two months. I woke up at 5:30 this morning and read your "Solid Looking Setups!" email on my iPhone while laying in bed. I thought to myself (half-asleep) "Today could be a good day to trade. I think I will buy some of these.". Right after the open I decided to take all of the trades, but by the time I calculated my stop loss targets, FNSR ran 50 cents without me ( had planned on getting 500 shares), but I did get in on the rest of them.

I planned out a $3,500 total stop loss and weighted size based on my perceived probability of each stock moving up. I ended up with the following positions:

1,000 STP @ $10.88 - Stop @ $10
500 SPWRA @ $16.62 - Stop @ $12.75
500 LPX @ $7.57 - Stop @ $6.75
2000 LLEN @ $10.37 - Stop @ $10
1000 JAZZ @ $8.75 - Stop @ $8.25
250 CAGC @ $12.00 - Stop @ $11
500 RINO @ $14.15 - Stop @ $13

The first hour of holding the trades was a PnL roller coaster but by lunch LLEN started to move in the right direction. I had an $800 profit on it so I sold half to book my gains and decided to hold the rest over the weekend. I was not seeing any positive action in SPWRA, so I got rid of it with -$95 and moved on.

So, after the close I am sitting on about $1,300 in profits from setups that you recommended. Although RINO is the only trade that triggered, you deserve all the credit once again. Sometimes your best ideas are the ones that you don't take. Here's hoping that we get a gap up on Monday and I can sell for a nice profit.

Thanks again!


P.S. I have attached screenshots of my PnL and trades for the day. Feel free to share with the community.


The Average Jay said...

Nice Job Ben.

Alex said...

I'm not exactly sure what the purpose of this post is? You have someone that loaded up pre-market and got lucky on the European stress tests news. This had absolutely nothing to do w/ setups at all - EVERYTHING went up. Now on the other hand, if the stress tests were bad than the setups were not good?

I've been following this blog for a while and I believe that this last post actually weakens, not strengthens the blogs credibility. The whole strategy is to get a nice setup on the daily AND the intraday; your not supposed to blindly buy at the open - unless there is a setup of course. This type of "trading" needs to be discouraged and not advertised as a success story.

Stewie said...

Hi Alex,

Ok, first of all you make VERY GOOD points and anyone reading this SHOULD RESPECT what Alex wrote above!

Now, having said all that, i will go out and bat for Ben simply because i have known Ben for a number of years now. Ben has patiently sat out thru the market's correction. In the past few days, i have been seeing signs that the market might be putting in a bottom and these thoughts i have been sharing with people here on my blog. Ben was in agreement of this view.

Ben saw the stock setups and realized that these were good enough setups that he trusted the 'odds' enough to start placing strategic bets into each alert to diversify his allocations and spread his risks(in the event he was wrong about the market direction). Ben showed great 'proactiveness' by eliminating the position which was not producing, SPWRA. This showed that he was not blindly buying and hoping. He knew what he was doing and he had enough confidence in his pattern recognition skills to hold on to his winners and quickly eliminate what was not working. THIS IS GOOD TRADING! This is what i advocate here.

This is my opinion and obviously yours will differ as it should be but overall it was a good day for a guy who sat out for 2 months in cash and decided to start trading again, he had a plan, he followed it, he was proactive in cutting losers, he had strict stop losses, active position management and he was taking profits when available and raising stops! Good stuff!

Kudos to Ben!

ainkurn said...

@Average Jay: thanks!

ainkurn said...

@Alex: Thanks for your comment and insight. You made one good point but also some false assumptions here. First let's clear up a few things. I did not recommend that anyone else trade like me, and I believe that every trader needs to follow their own system. However, don't jump on Stewie for posting my results; if you think you can run a better blog, why don't you actually put up your daily results for once?

Try reading thoroughly before you speak. I did not buy anything pre-market. If you would have read the post closely or looked at my trade summary you would have noticed that my first trade was 40 minutes AFTER the open.

Most of all I resent your comment that my trades had nothing to do with setups and everything to do with the stress tests. I didn't even know the stress test news was coming out, and saying EVERYTHING went up is childish and ignorant. If EVERYTHING went up then why don't you post your winning results from Friday? SPWRA didn't go up, and as a result I cut the only loser I was holding. I took these trades not because of some news that came out; I bought them because Stewie meticulously researched each and every one of them and thought that they were good enough to mention to his members. I think you owe Stewie an apology for saying "This had absolutely nothing to do w/ setups at all - EVERYTHING went up.", because it was his research I was following, not my own.

As Stewie and I said, I have been sitting this market out for several months now because I didn't see any quality setups or reasons to churn my account. I don't buy on news, and the fact that I missed FNSR because I was busy calculating stops losses completely refutes your assertion that I was buying blindly.

Finally, I held all of these positions over the weekend looking for a push higher. I went from up $1,100 to only up $500, but I held my ground and booked a total of $1,600 on these trades. When you can sit out of the market completely for 2-3 months patiently waiting for an opportunity to trade and come back to make $1,600 in two days, you let me know.

I don't claim to be a great trader, but I also don't go around bashing other traders' success because I am jealous. Trading is hard enough without all of your negativity, so do us all a favor and keep it to yourself next time.



Alex said...


Look, I'm not trying to bash anyone nor add any negativity. All I am doing is validating one of your points - that trading is extremely difficult and that there is more than meets the eye to your "success" on Friday. So to clarify a few points:

1) I guess I was wrong to say that you took these positions pre-market (the time does show pre-market hours) - I did not account for central/mountain time.

2) I never said nor gave the impression that I'm a good trader - that wasn't my point. Lets assume that I'm a horrible trader and that a monkey can perform better than me.

3) I'm not looking to run a better blog; I think Stewie is doing a great job and kudos to him.

4) I understand that you didn't know about the stress tests, that's why I said you got lucky that it went your way. I didn't know about them either; in fact I was short SNDK at the time w/ a nice profit and then had the thing run in my face on the news.

5) That fact that you stayed out for a few months and decided to jump back in doesn't mean anything. By this logic, the previous months didn't offer any good days to trade? Laughable.

6) Yes, everything did go up - including my gapped down SNDK.

7) So 6 different stocks, in a span of 3 minutes all had good intraday setups? What was your trigger to get long SPWRA? Was it the forming BEAR flag that made you bullish?

So I agree w/ you that trading is very difficult and all I was trying to say was that Friday's post gave the perception that it wasn't so hard. I know you disagree, but you got lucky on Friday - end of story. That said, it was a good move to hold over the wkend since we closed on the highs Friday; it was gutsy, made sense, and I give you lots of credit for that. Again, I'm not hating on anyone, but I did call it like I saw it. I wish you nothing but good fortune and great trading.

@Stewie, thanks for posting my comment; it served for a good discussion.

ainkurn said...

Alex, thanks for your response. In reference to your fifth point; I meant that I didn't see any good setups for "me" to trade. Knowing that there are many different styles of trading, I am positive that many traders made good money during the time I stayed away from the market, but I personally didn't see anything that fit my trading style. If you have followed Stewie for very long, you know that he highly advocates pairing back market exposure when you don't have an edge. That is all I am saying. I did not see an edge for me to trade on until recently.

Your assumption that everything went up is still erroneous. CL, INTC, LMT, MCD, MDT and I am sure plenty more equities actually closed BELOW their 7/22/10 close on Firday. Everything did not go up. That being said, I understand what you are trying to say, that it is easy to make money on days when the majority of stocks are moving in one direction or the other. This is true. However, saying that I got lucky because I made money on a trend day is a moot point. Most traders spend a bulk of their time trying to figure out what direction the market is going to go. Knowing when to trade is half the battle. I don't know many successful traders that come in every day trying to fight the market. By your definition, all momentum traders are lucky and have no skill.

To address your seventh point, I was looking at daily charts and 30 minutes charts to qualify my trades. I couldn't care less what happened in a 3 minute time frame as I planned on holding the positions for the whole day and potentially over the weekend. SPWRA was coiling in a tight range of lower highs and higher lows, which to "me" indicated that it would likely move outside of its range one way or the other. I saw a higher probability of it moving up than down, but I put in tight stop losses just in case I was wrong.

Again, I still do not accept your assertion that I was "lucky". Did I "know" everything was going to move higher? No. Did some outside force propel the market higher and increase my profits? Absolutely. However, there is one thing I know about trading; opening position and maximizing the potential of that position couldn't be more different. What made my success more than "lucky" was the position sizing, the stop losses, cutting a loser, taking profits off the table, holding onto my winners, and being confident enough to hold over the weekend. I guarantee that if you gave 10 traders the exact same scenario, you would have 10 different results; some making more than me and some making less. Remember, you only make money when you close a position, and knowing how and when to do that dictates your PnL, not luck.

That being said, I agree that it is important to note that trading is not easy. I did not mean to imply that making money in the market is a breeze.

I wish you the best in your trading and I hope to see your success story here soon.

P.S. If you want to read about a crappy trader losing a lot of money look at this ( Enjoy!

Stewie said...

Alex and BEN(ainkurn),

I must say that opening this subject and hearing both of you discussing this in a civilized manner does not only help you guys, but it helps me and my readers!! I try and keep an honest and open blog forum here and i encourage everyone who anything productive to weigh in his/her thoughts!! I want and cherish that! Trading is without a doubt in my mind, the absolute most difficult endevour anyone decides to make!

"Traders helping traders so we can ALL win together!" is one of my mottos! I believe that trading is not a "me" versus "you" mentality! It's me, you and us helping each other to create something positive and win as a group! There is plenty of room for all of us to win TOGETHER! This is not American Idol where you can only have one winner. Trading is a 'team sport'!! Think of yourselves as soldiers and "brother in arms".

After all, how many of YOUR friends chose to trade for a living? How many? Be honest! Not many, right? That's because this shit is fuckin HARD! Work as a team and flourish!

peace out guys and much love.


ainkurn said...

Stewie, thanks for allowing us to hash this out on your blog. After running my blog for a year and getting some haters along the way, I quickly found out that constructive criticism is a good thing. When someone steps on your toes so to speak, it forces you to defend your position and makes you look deeper and learn more about yourself and your trades.

I applaud Alex for speaking his mind (although we disagree) and starting this discussion. It is my hope that other traders, novice and pros alike, can learn something from our volley.

The teamwork in trading offered through blogging and chat rooms has truly changed the industry. Although it is still a lonely profession, it can be much more interactive if one chooses such, and as a result the learning curve can be shortened.

One last point that I want to make which came to me this morning. I think the fact that those trades were "easy" for me actually legitimizes your service instead of discredits it. I pay you to find good setups for me as well as educate me, and I trust you enough that I never do any research of my own; I just buy what Stewie says. I know you don't want mindless drones as members (unless they are the computers doing auto trading), but you do want to take most of the work out of it and allow the trader to replace that time void with education through the chat room, reading and following your blog. Trading still isn't easy by any means, but it is a hell of a lot easier when I only have to decide when and how much, and not what to trade.

Thanks again for the great picks over the weekend. My success is your success.

Happy trading,


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