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The $64000 Questions

Half the Battle
This has been a tough market to figure out this year.  Nevertheless we are still performing remarkably well with an overall 35% gain considering all the wild swings the market has taken.  The market has baffled most participants for most of the year and that brings up a good point I would like to address tonight. 

Half the battle of being a successful trader is knowing what stage the market is in. Over 65% of all trading losses can be attributed to being on the wrong side of the market. It is essential for traders to know how stocks move and when they are likely to repeat and to understand how this happens in multiple time frames. 

The issue is much more than whether the various time frames are supporting long or short positions.  Playing the direction is obvious but there are other factors to consider.  Playing base breakouts consolidations wedges or triangles may not be as easy as they seem under certain market conditions.  We have certainly had problems over the past year with these patterns not working like they should.  Sometimes they work like a charm but too many times they fail.  The reason is simple. In some stages bases are likely to break up or down and move exactly as expected. In other stages bases should be played to NOT follow through. That is to say the base breakout should be faded (shorted) or in other words traded to fail.  Those that can adjust to what ever stage the market is in will improve their performance greatly

The $64000 Questions
Different trading styles work better in different types of markets.  When a stock starts to fall should it be bought on a pullback or should you sell it short If you are long a stock do you sell it at the first sign or weakness If you are raising stops how and when do you raise them What do you do when the longterm trend is up the intermediateterm trend is down and the shortterm trend is up These are the $64000 questions that are gold if you have the answers.  The problem is that there are so many factors that weigh on these types of decisions. 

Stocks repeat and flow through certain stages on different time frames.  We have to recognize and identify the characteristics of each of the stages then deploy the strategies that should be played in each stage. The fine art of trading any market to know exactly how and when to enter and how the stop and target should be determined based on the stages of the market. Even better is being able to identify the signs of when a stage is transitioning so you can participate in the new stage at the earliest possible moment. 

These are not easy answers but with hard work experience and education your chances of finding the answers increase over time.  Education is not a steadfast guarantee to success neither in trading or in any business you are involved in. However failure to get educated on how the stock market works will almost certainly guarantee failure for any beginning trader.  It may cost you a little money to get the proper education but remember this if you think education is expensive wait until you see how expensive ignorance is.

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