Wednesday, June 22, 2011

My best purchase in a long time

With that title you would think I (have to use “I” here, this one is all me, not from my partners who work in offices) I am talking about a stock purchase, but no, I’m talking about a home gym.    I’ve had exercise equipment in our rec room downstairs for years but never took it too seriously, maybe I’d use it once in a month.  Maximum.  Aside from that I’d try to get some exercise at least 3x a week but a lot of times it was a time-struggle fitting it in.    I often wanted to get some exercise during the trading day but being away from the computers, even for 1 hour, often made me hesitate.
About a month ago I decided to change things up — I knew very well that as per the HCPG trading strategy there would be chunks of time where I would be doing nothing, just waiting for alerts to set-up, or targets to be hit.  At the same time I knew I would always hesitate leaving the office for too long.   I decided to build a quality home gym in our rec room.
First purchase:   a quality dock/speaker for the music via iPhone.    I went for the Bowers and Wilkins Air Zeppelin which is one of the only systems that allows AirPlay.   It also has formidable sound.   I’ve been using it almost every day for a month and couldn’t be happier with the quality.

We already had an Elliptical machine in there but I never really took to it — but I do like running, so I bought a LifeFitness Treadmill.  I did some research into treadmills and thought LifeFitness was a good fit. Again, very happy with the quality thus far.     The Air Zeppelin can be controlled via my iPhone on the treadmill and I have my Interactive Broker app running on the iPad to monitor my positions/market.   The only pain here is that you can’t have two running at same time so you have to log-out of the main office TWS and log into the one on the  iPad.

In order to add some variety I bought a free-standing bag for punches and kicks.   I went with the WaveMaster but that was the only one they offered — didn’t put too much research into this one but no complaints, works great.

A couple of yoga mats for sit-ups, etc is a must for the room.

A few medicine balls for strength-training.

And so far that’s about it — there’s nothing I want to immediately add.     It’s been the best material quality of life jump purchase I have made in a long time — I am working out now around 6x a week, I feel better about trading, and I’m much less tempted to trade for trading sake (one of the most common errors for day-traders).   If I’m bored, I’ll go downstairs, blast some music and go on the bag.  Today was a very good example.   I came into the day with no alerts and just nursing a few swings.    There was really nothing to do (even though my buddy DinosaurTrader did get me involved in a nice little miner short for an hour, thanks dude).  I worked out for 45 minutes and feel great.
This is my first foray into giving  non-stock advice but it’s one I feel strongly about — if you already have a home gym think about  upgrading/sprucing it up so it becomes more attractive to you and if you don’t, think about it setting one up  for your next purchase.  I think almost more than any other profession, having a home gym is a great asset for  home-office traders.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Charts are never enough

We  rarely trade only on what we see in charts, nor in fundamentals.  We always defer first and foremost to price action (especially to divergences), and a lot of times to “feel”.     Yesterday was a good example — we went long late in the day on a basket (tweeted before close) of $ANR $CMI $SMH $GDXJ $OIH $XME and it certainly wasn’t what we saw in the charts (even though we liked the potential of trend-line breaks in CMI ANR) but price-action.    We started to sound more bullish in our tweets yesterday and finally purchased the basket — why?  Two reasons:
1.  We had $UA 70 in our newsletter for a few days and it finally triggered and worked very well.  Appetite for momentum was coming back into the market as retail stocks ripped.
2. Market  refused to die no matter how much bad news it was bombarded with from overseas.    As our readers know we don’t like to buy support when there’s basing — because often what happens after the base is the stock craters.  But on the flip-side when a stock refuses to die even though it’s basing on support then there’s a chance it will rally hard, which is exactly what we saw yesterday.   We didn’t think the 200SMA would hold but it was holding — and that was enough to flip our bias and to initiate a position long.
We’re out half of the basket  ( up on the worst position SMH 2%, and 4.7%  on ANR, our best position).   Stops are on lows of day on everything but will be updated after the close.
It’s still hard to trust this market as these one-day rallies have consistently been sold, however this is a good start with the break of trend-lines.
Long  $CMI 93.38 (posted real-time yesterday) and made it in our newsletter for trend-line break long.

We’re playing it tight enough (already out 1/2 and stops over break-even is tight in our books) but also leaving some room (might swing 1/2 but at least 1/4) in case today’s bounce has some legs.
We posted this yesterday as our SPY road map –$SPY now has passed several short-term resistance areas but still has to deal with the big kahuna resistance of 130.
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Update, sold 1/4 more, swinging last 1/4 into the night.