The Traders Journal

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ChartPack Quarterly Update: Over 150 Improvements (v 8.5)

This ChartPack update is chock full of enhancements as a direct result of spending a week in Napa Valley with all the sensational commentators and luminaries at ChartCon 2016.  We confess that we have unabashedly incorporated a lot of their wisdom into improving our ChartPack.  We are sure you’ll notice and approve.

Before we go there, a few general thoughts on the ChartPack.  Even I myself am astonished to realize that I’ve been personally investing using the first version of this ChartPack now for over 15 years.  In 2010, I began distributing versions to my seminar students.  Since 2013, we have made it available to all subscribers.  The markets are messy by nature.  Some investors never manage to organize the mess.  ChartPack users have a tool to make it un-messy.  My point is that with a user community numbering in the thousands, we investors have all benefited and profited immensely.

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Charts I'm Stalking: Action Practice #4

I’ve annotated the six charts I presented to you in my September 20, 2016 blog which was an exercise in Selling.  If you missed that blog, I suggest you review the un-annotated charts first, and then mark them up yourself before you peek at my annotations.  Here’s the link to the September 30th blog.

Prior to my presenting my annotations, I want to remind you that this “3-Peaks Selling” methodology which we described in our book, TENSILE TRADING, is offered to investors who have no specific selling methodology.  Its attraction is based on its simplicity.  Most investors can visually grasp the pattern of a price peak followed by two lower price peaks.

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The Magic and Power of a "Four Leaf Clover" Investor

In my commentary to the 1,400 investors participating in ChartCon 2016, I reinforced an essential investing insight that I had many years ago which has served me well for over two decades. 

If I focused on the execution of my methodology instead of meditating on profits, the bottom line just materialized.  It’s a mystery, but after 25 years of trading the markets, I can assure you that this is indeed the case.  It may be counterintuitive to most investors, but a market-centric focus will beat a profit-centric approach day in and day out.  Nowhere is this more apropos that in the crucial four stages of stalking, buying, monitoring and selling, as we detailed in our book, Tensile Trading (Wiley & Sons, 2016).  

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Charts I'm Stalking Action Practice #3

Please refer to the charts of Charles Schwab (SCHW), PayPal (PYPL) and Morgan Stanley (MS/RA) that I presented to you in the Action Practice #2 blog I wrote on September 16, 2016.

Just for fun , you might revisit Intersil Corp. (ISIL) which I presented to you in Action Practice #1.  It’s up ten percent since the blog of September 2, 2016.  

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Thrive as an Investor, Don't Just Survive

Jonathan Wendel earned $454,544.  He is very similar to us investors / traders in many ways despite being a professional video gamer.  Academics have in fact identified  the roles that gamers adopt — such as Explorers, Sentinels, Analysts and Campaigners.  Not that dissimilar to the tribes academics assigned us investors. The point is, we are more alike than we are unalike, and both groups could learn valuable lessons from one another.  

I’d like to focus on one important similarity.  Video gamers competed for more than $65 million in prize money last year.  It’s serious money that demands a serious mindset.  Therefore, the top gamers treat it like a business, just the way that we investors need to treat our portfolio management efforts as a business.  

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Charts I'm Stalking Action Practice #2

This blog is in the new bi-weekly format where we’ll first analyze the charts I presented to you in my September 2, 2016 blog.  After that, we’ll present new charts.

As I wrote previously, this “Action Practice” only benefits you if you revisit the analysis you performed two weeks ago.  At that time, you had no idea what would actually happen during the ensuing two weeks.  So here’s my analysis done for you two weeks ago that you can now compare to your own effort.

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How I Use My Personal Pocket Pads to Produce Profits

As many of you know, American composer extraordinaire Richard Rodgers collaborated with Oscar Hammerstein to produce some of the greatest musicals of the 20th century.  Discussing their success, he once explained his thoughts on what it takes to be a superb songwriter.  In his marvelous quote, I took the liberty of substituting his references to a songwriter with the word “investors” instead.   With this substitution, his thoughts are especially insightful for our community:

I don’t believe that investors do something extraordinary spontaneously.  I believe it is the result of years of observational living, of diligent study, reading and dedicated practice.  Finally, after cultivating the proper prerequisites, their experience, their personality and very temperament is just so and at that particular moment, all these come together and the investors are able to profitably express themselves.

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Charts I'm Stalking: Action Practice


This “Charts I’m Stalking” blog is the second in a new series which will be a bi-weekly feature of The Traders Journal.  I’ve decided to actually take it one step further than I initially explained in my August 19th blog.


                                                  “Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection, 
                                                          we can catch excellence.”  — Vince Lombardi


When I used to survey my investment classes, the results were consistent year in and year out.  One of the most highly rated aspects of my seminars was always  an exercise we labelled “Action Practice”.  I would distribute select charts to the attendees and give them five minutes to put pens to paper and analyze a chart by themselves.  We would then review the charts and indicators together as a class and render a go or no-go decision.

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Fundamentals versus Technicals: This Ends the Debate!

In one corner, you have investors.   In the other corner, you have the stock market.  When the two communicate accurately, you make money.  Yes, it is that simple.  Stay with me and I’ll make it worth your while.

Investors, stock pickers, traders – pick a label – all sit somewhere along a dichotomist spectrum from fundamental analysis (based on earnings, sales, assets, liabilities) on one end to technical analysis (charts) on the other end.  Personally, I prefer to more accurately label technical analysts as visual analysts.  And yes, research in the academic community tells us that women are actually better in this area than men.  I consider myself a rational analyst which simply means that I sit between both camps, utilizing the power of charts while keeping an eye on earnings.

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New Direction, New Feature for The Traders Journal

Announcing a new direction for The Traders Journal.  Since 2012, I’ve been delving into my own trading journals every week and sharing with my readers what I found there.  I will continue to do so, but on a bi-weekly basis.  My revised plan is to alternate that with a new feature that I’m calling “Charts I’m Stalking”.

This change is a direct result of visitors to my office who always ask me what I’m currently looking at on my computer screen.  This past weekend, when my son Grayson queried me with this very question, I happened to be in the midst of an asset allocation rebalancing effort.  I’ve sermonized about the importance of this same topic before in my blog and in our book.  Over the past 25 years, I’ve benefited immensely by my consistent focus on making certain that my assets are working on my behalf in the most appropriate asset baskets.  I’d like to encourage you to do the same.

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