Tuesday, December 21, 2010

End of year results

This will likely be my last post before I go on holiday, so I just wanted to post my results for the past year. It has been a challenging year for me, but I have learnt a tremendous amount! I feel like my trading has been improving, but I still have tons to learn, and I look forward to improving my performance in 2011. In the new year, I'll be posting my updated trading plan for 2011 and I'll try to post some setups in advance.

A couple of things to note: I still have 8 trades that are open (so the resulst are not totally accurate for december). I didn't trade in January 2010 for personnal reasons. Finally, these results are net of all fees and commission: I've actually added all my commissions and fees and they mount up to a staggering 39% of my profits (without fees, my YTD gains are +27%). So I'm thinking I need to find a better broker! Anyway, here are the results:

There's a few things I noticed: first of all, I was clearly overtrading in October and November this year, especially given the small size of my account. Secondly, my monthly returns have been very inconsistent  throughout the year (ie all over the place), so my plan going forward is to try and limit losses when my trading is not going well. I will try to sit out of the market when there is no clear trend, like this past summer. And lastly, I'd like to keep my win ratio above 50%. If I'm more wrong then right, I should probably just sit and do nothing! That's it for now... feel free to send me your comments here on the blog, or cath_campbell at hotmail dot com.

I wish everyone happy holidays and I look forward to 2011!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Doji day in the indices but huge day for momentum stocks

Today was an interesting day, with not much underlying strength in the indices (the S&P500 is up a mere 0.25% for example), but several momentum stocks had huge breakouts today. ARNA comes to mind, with a 45% run!

I had a pretty good day overall, but I had one bad trade which I'm a bit upset about. The trade is described below in the chart, and as a brief explanation, I had bought ATPG on December 16th when it seemed to bounce on the 50day moving average. My plan was to hold until I got stopped out, or until the stock broke out of the wedge. My mistake was placing the stop too tight, at a totally random spot of 14.89, even though I knew it would probably stay within the boundaries of that wedge, as it had done many times before. I should have placed by stop just below the rising trendline, and I would have been fine. I have no doubts that ATPG will retest the upper trendline in a few days. In fact, ATPG is a great technical stock, as it follows patterns very nicely.

Other than ATPG, I took profits in EXXI, ESI, RDWR, VVUS, TPCG, IGOI and BZH. I had one loss in ATPG, and a tiny loss in SFD. I don't have time to post all the charts today, but here's the chart for BZH which was a nice play today. I got in at 4.97, scaled out at 5.12 and 5.18 and I'm still holding 1/4 size.

And here's the 1-min chart:

Friday, December 17, 2010

BSX trade December 17th, 2010

I got triggered in a few positions today, including VVUS, TPCG and EXXI. I hadn't noticed the low volume on TPCG, otherwise I would not have set a buy stop on this one... it still looks ok on the daily chart, so I'll keep it until I either get stopped, or it reaches my target ~31. I also took a small speculative position in PIP today, as it looks almost ready to breakout on the daily chart. Finally, I also closed one position in BSX that I had been holding since Dec 7th, 2010. Here is my trade in BSX:

Otherwise, I'm still holding small positions in ATPG, BEE, F, GPC, 1/4 size in IGOI, and short PZG.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

IGOI trade, December 16th, 2010

I had set a buy trigger in IGOI and few days ago, and kept adjusting the trigger price every night as the stock was really respecting that down trendline. I took 1/2 off at 3.35, which was close to the previous high of 3.40, and I'm keeping the other 1/2 in case we get a follow-through day tomorrow. Below are the daily chart and the 1-min intraday. Notice the decreasing volume on the condolidation on the daily chart, as well as the huge volume on the breakouts.

I also got triggered in GPC this morning, and took a small position in F and ATPG. I'll update those trades once I take profits or get stopped.