In the past few weeks I have looked at my trades for the past year and realized I don’t have a winning trading strategy. I have been making a lot of trades with varied amounts of success. The trades put me in the hole quite a bit and I knew I needed to change something. I signed up for one of Timothy Sykes’ education courses and hit the books studying! Follow the links to get more details about those items. Here are some of my early trades as my education starts to show.
Losing Trades = Learning Opportunities
On 8/29 I watched as GOL, a Brazilian Airline, was on the upswing after bouncing off support around $5. As the stock pushed higher, I decided to buy in order to capture the momentum. I bought 911 shares for $5.55 each, total cost $4,997.23. The price seemed to stall but I stayed optimistic that it would stay above $5 and soon make a move toward $7 or $8 as it had earlier in the year. On 9/4, I saw the price drop toward $5 and decided to buy more in order to lower my average cost. I bought 1956 additional shares for $5.12 each, total cost $10,014.00. My total position was 2,867 shares with $15,011.23 invested at an average of $5.24 per share.
That same day the $5 support didn’t hold and I sold all 2867 shares for $4.98 each. In hindsight I could have seen this coming. See the graph below, notice the obvious downtrend? Despite the $5 support level, when the trend is down it will eventually come to a point, quite literally. When it reaches this point, it will either reverse direction into an uptrend or fall through support. The thing to remember is no one knows what it will do.
So the only safe move is no move. Sure, you could guess and maybe you’d be right, but maybe not. Either way, it’s a gamble, and to me it’s not worth taking. This lesson resulted in a loss of $737.66, about 5.3%. In perspective, I paid $1900 for my educational material. I now have a firm understanding of what can happen on a downtrending chart.
Ford: Downtrend with Good News
Ford (F) had a similar graph when compared to GOL. It was downtrending in a similar manner but was slightly different. They released earnings and the initial reaction was positive. I believed it could reverse its trend. On 9/4, I bought 1571 shares for $9.54 each, total cost was $15,007.74. Turned out I was wrong, the trend reversal didn’t hold. I cut my losses quickly when the price dropped to $9.35 the next day. This resulted in a loss of $305.53, about 2%. Despite being wrong I think this was still a good trade. They had positive news and were bouncing off a support level. But it didn’t go the way I thought so there was no reason to stay with it and hope I turned a profit in a few days or weeks. Hope is not a strategy; I am committed to playing my strategy.
On the morning of 9/5, I received an alert from the education program I bought. WATT was flying upward and Tim Sykes himself had bought in. In pre-market trading, I bought 361 shares for $13.94 each, total cost $5,036.97. I didn’t have any other reason other than the alert to buy this stock. I did take a smaller position, around $5K instead of my usual $10K – $20K, to limit my risk. As 9:30 approached, the price jumped all over the $13-$14 range but never went above $14. Tim had sold out only a few minutes after buying in but I held until the market opened. After a few minutes the price continued on a downward spiral and I sold when the price reached $13. Total loss was $349.03, about 6.9%. The lesson I learned here is not to go blindly into any stock even if it comes from an expert alert. You need a plan to make a trade, I had no plan. $350 to learn that lesson.
OK so I’m down $1,392 after making those trades and learning those lessons. Not everything went wrong, after enduring those losses, two of them completely avoidable, I hit a stride and started making money again.
NLST is a penny stock that had been moving quite a bit this week. Twitter and chatrooms were buzzing and there was plenty of volume to support a quick trade. On 9/7 the stock opened at $0.36 after closing at $0.16 the day before. That is more than double in price! It quickly moved up to $0.40 before going back to $0.30 in the first 10 minutes of trading. After touching $0.30 it hovered around $0.31 until it began an upward move. I bought 35,000 shares for $0.315 each, total cost was $11,029.95. The chart moved up slowly and seemed to stall at $0.35, when the price retreated I sold. I sold all my shares for $0.345 each, total sale $12,065.72, a profit of $1,035.77, about 9.4%! All this happened in the first 20 minutes of the market opening. I had ideal conditions, no one was bothering me at work. After this trade I went on with the rest of my day!
This trade was on my watchlist of 6 stocks in the morning pre-market. As 9am rolled around I checked again and 4 of those stocks weren’t acting like I wanted. As 9:30 hit, NLST was moving quickly so I ignored the other stock I was watching. Had this pattern not emerged I would not have traded. Here is the chart I was looking at as the market opened:
It doesn’t matter that some people held overnight and doubled their money. It doesn’t matter that the stock now trades at $0.38, so I “could” have made even more. What matters is that I saw a pattern and took some profits from that pattern. Don’t get greedy and don’t get scared. Keep emotions on the sideline and take predictable profits when they are available. This is the winning strategy of a day trader.
With a similar mindset as the trade above, I typically select a few stocks to watch between 7am and 8am, before the market opens. As it gets closer to 9am, I check on all those stocks again for a strong open. At 9am I typically cross off any stocks that are not acting favorably. As 9:30 arrives, the markets open and this is when I look for patterns to develop; the one above held support at $0.30 and began moving up. I don’t try to predict the move, I wait for the move to show itself and then capture a portion of it. If the stock moves against me I get out immediately. No “hoping” because hope is not a strategy. If you are hoping for a stock to go in your favor, you are better off buying a lottery ticket and hoping you win.
9/11 CVSI was just one of these stocks on my pre-market watchlist, and survived multiple list reductions to be the sole survivor. I bought 3,000 shares for $5.25 each, total cost $15,754.95. Within a few minutes I sold them for $5.37 each, total sale was $16,104.48. This was just another disciplined trade. Total profit was $349.53, about 2.2%.
The Gap-Up Strategy
Another strategy I am using is the Gap-up strategy. This is a simple move that is relatively safe. All you do is look for a stock that made a large move, 5% or more, and see if it closes near or at the high of the day. The next day, after a strong close, you will typically see a strong opening. Even when you don’t get a strong open, you will usually have a chance to get back out even.
9/12 No trades in the morning but as 4pm neared I bought 50,000 shares of SGMD for $0.1175 each, total cost $5,879.95. I was attempting to use the gap-up strategy. The next day it worked! The stock opened at $0.1190 and began inching upward. I got distracted in another trade and missed an opportunity to sell above $0.13. I did manage to sell at $0.1227 per share, total sale $6,126.52. Total profit $246.57, about 4.2% a solid profit!
The trade that was distracting me was NIO. Today I worked from home as hurricane Florence moved toward North Carolina, so I had plenty of time to prepare a watchlist and narrow it down as the market open came close. I was still holding the SGMD I discussed above so I had to pay attention to that, too. NIO is an IPO (Initial Public Offering) that claims to be challenging Tesla (TSLA). The day before it made gains but failed to break through $7. Today it moved through and rocketed past $7. I made a typo on my first order and ended up buying higher than I hoped at $7.20. I bought 1,000 shares for a total of $7,204.95. A few minutes later I sold as it was rising and distractions from house guests increased. I sold for $7.49 per share for a total sale of $7,484.83. A profit of $246.57, about 3.9%! I made over $500 before 10am!
Final Thoughts and Notes
From all the trades above I netted a profit of $519.53. Including all my trades since beginning the training course, my profits are $1,558.60! I have nearly recouped the entire $1,900 cost of the course.
Contributions of $450 in side hustle income.
Contributions from my paycheck totaled $200, $100 each week.
I am finally beginning to feel more comfortable trading! I am confident in my plans and the profits are proof of concept. There is still much more studying to do. Please follow my blog to learn with me and get inspired yourself!
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Thanks for reading and happy trading!