Author of ‘The Timely Trades Letter’.
When the market is resting, like it did last week, I set up the alerts function that my broker provides to text my iPhone when the market moves either above or below the resting area. When I get the text message I look at the market to see if trading is warranted. In this case I was notified when the market made a move on Friday. I looked at the market chart on my iPhone, determined that no swing trades were warranted, because I was focused on longs and the market had moved down a bit. This process takes just a few minutes and can be done from almost anywhere; or with a brief break, in most any job. New traders often make this too hard, they want to watch the market all day, afraid they will miss something. Sending the alerts to a cell phone, for both stock triggers and key market levels, allows traders to work on other things and just take a look at the market when something interesting happens. If I am too busy to get to the computer I do not worry about it; any decent move does not require you to be in on the first day, almost by definition. All of my backtesting research for the trading tools I use, and the ones published in my books was done using end of day data; trades were entered at the open the day after the trigger. Again, this illustrates that one does not need to watch the market all day. In fact, it seems that the more people watch the market the worse they do. They start making emotional decisions rather than data based decisions. I am trading patterns in market environments in which they have demonstrated interesting results. There is no emotion in trading a pattern, it is either there or it is not. The stock has either moved above the trigger price, or it has not. The market is either in an appropriate environment for trading or it is not.
Trading should be data driven, not based on emotion, wishful thinking, or hot tips from TV hosts. To be data driven one needs to test and analyze trading tools and find out what really works, and when each tool should be used. Traders must understand which tool to use for a specific task, and have a clear understanding of how the tool works, and what can and cannot be done with it. I have extensively tested several trading systems, the results of this testing on specific trading trading tools are outlined in ‘How to Take Money from the Markets’, and Money-Making Candlestick Patterns. The testing process helps us understand how stocks usually behave after forming a specific pattern such as being outside the Bollinger Bands, showing strong distribution or accumulation, or pulling back or retracing during a trend. Understanding what a stock is most likely to do forms the beginning of a trading strategy. Trading without this information is taking unknown risks.