Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Buying ExxonMobil Stock (XOM)

So, the no margin idea went right out the window when things to buy started to pop up.  You can only look at Exxon in the low $80 for so long till you have to get a little.  So yesterday I took a small bit in the $81 range and will wait for it rise.  I have had a little XOM off and on for the better part of 20 years.  That experience and the need for at least one lower beta stock in the group was all it took to jump in again. 

Here’s to watching some companies throughout the years and to keeping an eye on your Everyday Money.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Weekend Weigh In (5/20/2012)

So, this week sucked.  The markets just kept dropping.  It’s hard seeing everything falling and not doing something.  Perhaps I should be doing something?  I have thought about dumping some but haven’t.  And there were moments this week, when I thought about dumping them all but just turned off the computer instead.  For the most part I like what I have and believe that all will recover in time.  Here’s what I have right now.

Alcoa (AA):  Underwater and still waiting.  Next earning date is beginning of July.  I flip back and forth between selling when it recovers enough for a small profit and sticking with it longer term.  If I stick with it longer term it may recover toward that $15+ level.  I just don’t know if I want to have money tied up in it for that long or even how long that might be.  Let’s see how long it takes just to get back to good.

Aflac (AFL):  Underwater and pissed.  Here’s a perfect example of what not to do.  I bought this just before earnings, it jumped up and I was slow to sell.  Since then I have watched it go from profit to loss this week.  Stupid!!  Need to be better if I am to transition to full time trading someday.

Hewlett-Packard Company (HPQ):  Underwater.  There’s talk this week that Meg is going to cut about 25,000 employees.  Looking back I should have passed on this one.  The company just has too much stuff going on.  And it seems that investors are just tired of hearing it all.  I am going to have to wait a couple of quarters for this one to get back to good, I feel.  I bought in that $25 range so it has some swimming to do.

Walgreen Co. (WAG): Underwater.  Walgreen dropped out of what I would call the channel of $32 - $35 range.  Have played this range before a few times and I may have pushed it one too many times.  I am really interested to see how it acts this week.

International Game Technology (IGT): Underwater.  This too I was looking for it to bounce back into that $17 range and it hasn’t done it yet.  So another one that goes on the wait list.

EXCO Resources Inc. (XCO): Underwater.  Still waiting for nat gas prices to go up.  They have been climbing some but I need them to keep climbing.  Still thinking about hanging on to this one and seeing if it might turn into a homerun down the road.

That’s it for this weekend.  I find it is always good to review where I’m at and the good and bad decisions that I have made.

Here’s to a better week than the last one and to keeping an eye on your Everyday Money.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Channel trading Walgreen’s stock (WAG)

So, had my limit order in at the open and it got filled under my price.   Getting filled under my limit price is both good and worrisome at the same time.  It closed today above my buy price so that is a small bit of confront.  The one thing about trading a range bound stock is that it is in a range all the way to the point that it isn’t.  For the past few months that I have traded Walgreen’s stock I always  think that this may be the time when the channel stops.  This is fine, if it breaks to the up side.  So now I wait for the move back up.  Under a month is what it should be if it is like the past times.  I have my sell order just waiting too.  That’s it for today, short and sweet.

Here’s to channel stocks staying in the channel one more time and to keeping an eye on your Everyday Money.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Watching the markets sink and looking for things to buy

So today the stock market just started going down and took all the stocks I own with it.  Everything was in the red today.  It was a weird feeling watching things drop, thinking there goes some of my hard earned dollars and yet wanting the market to drop more so I could buy stuff.  Had some orders in but nothing got filled.  Was feeling margin good about some stocks but it wasn’t meant to be today.  Added some money to the account tonight so tomorrow if things drop a bit more I can buy without the margin. 

I have sell orders in for almost every stock I’m holding right now.  The hard part is just watching things go down days in a row with nothing to do but wait.  (And second guess myself.)  I’m happy with where I bought AFL, IGT, and AA.  Need all three to rise a little and I’ll cash out.  I see all three of these stocks as short term plays.  As for HPQ and XCO I was early by half and don’t really like my average price for either one.

It will take some time for either of them to get back to good.  Although XCO has come up a bit this past week, it still isn’t nearly enough.  I still think down the road nat gas prices rise and XCO becomes a big winner.  If it got back to its 52 week high then all would be forgiven. 

As far as HPQ, I don’t know what to think.  IF Meg can right the ship then the stock looks way undervalued right here.  I should be adding hand over fist, but I ain’t.  Even after all she’s done I don’t have that kind of faith in her or HP.  What I am willing to do right here is wait and see.  Not so long ago the stock was in the $40s.  I know a lot has happened in the past year, but still… $40s.   So I’ll wait and pick up a little dividend money along the way.

Here’s to buying stocks at prices that we still like days later and to keeping an eye on your Everyday Money.

Friday, May 11, 2012

JP Morgan’s Two Billion Swing and Miss, and Trying to Fight the Boredom

So today how could you not notice the Two Billion trading loss that JP Morgan fessed up to.  The stock dropped almost 10%.  In between watching the train wreck my mind kept trying to decide a good price to get out at if some of my stocks went up.  My mind swings from taking quick money and missing out on money by jumping off too soon.  Trailing stops, no stops, mental stops, limit sell orders, around and around my mind spun today.  Waiting on stocks to go up and being patient is difficult for me some days.  Today was one of those days.  It is days like today the all sorts of crazy thoughts fly through my head.  Fight the boredom and try not to do anything stupid that will damage the account.  That was pretty much the goal today. 

Walgreen’s started back down today and that got my attention… a little.  I’ll have to keep an eye on it.  Unless I free up some cash or add to the account there is no money right now unless I throw margin money at it.  And somewhere awhile back I had decided that I was trying to get away from margin trading. 

No margin trading, that was the idea when I started back trading.  Last time I got a little soft with my margin discipline and it almost cost me the account.  Truth be told it wasn’t just the margin; I was way heavy in one stock with options and snap!  It turned and took a monster shark size bite out of me.  So now my mind plays tug of war, go with margin but with better discipline or go without because I have no discipline.  If WAG keeps coming down we’ll see which way wins next week.  That’s it for today.

Here’s to not doing stupid things on days of boredom and to keeping an eye on your Everyday Money.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Buy Time: Alcoa (AA)

So today was the day I thought yesterday would be.  Started in the red and people where jumping out left and right.  It was kind of impressive that we came back to being only 76 down on the Dow after spending most of the day way worse than that.  Tomorrow will be interesting to watch.  With today’s buy I am done for the time being until I can free up some cash.

About the buy.  Yesterday I talked about looking at a couple of stocks and that neither came down enough.  Well today I had my buy limit in at $9.15 for Alcoa and it went through about 10:30.  Aluminum price are for crap right now but AA bounces around enough that I think I can turn a trade with it.  It has been good to me once before.  This past December 23 bought at $8.90 and let it go on January 10th at $9.79. Looking for lighting twice, all I can do now is wait.  Above $10 and I am a seller.
The other stock from yesterday was WAG.  I have done a few round trips with WAG in the last few months and was interested in going again.  I was looking for under $33 but it never came.  Today’s low was $33.18 and it closed at $34.09.  Maybe another time, maybe a different channel.  Out of money right now anyway and don’t have margin level belief in Walgreens with all its headaches right now.  That’s it for today.

Here’s to getting in and to keeping an eye on your Everyday Money.

Monday, May 07, 2012

The Craziness in France Should have Gotten Me Some Stock Cheap Today

So after the election this past weekend I was expecting stocks to fall some today.  And some did... sort of.  I had my eye on two different stocks and had my buy limit orders in but it was not to be today. 

One of them was my own fault.  It dropped some right out of the gate and I thought it would slide some more.  I couldn’t make up my mind on a price that would make me all smiles.  By the time I picked a number it was above and never came back to me.   I don’t want to jinx it for tomorrow so I’ll let you know which one it is and the number I was looking for in a couple of days or so.  I’ll start with the buy order in same area tomorrow, only this time before the opening bell and see what happens. 

The other stock I have been around and around with the past few months and have made money on it every round trip.  I was hoping that it would come to me today.  Nope!  Again I’ll let you know in a couple of days which stock it is, just don’t want to jinx it.  I’m feeling that this one might not get down to where I want it to be for a buy but who knows. 

I am not sure what to think about this whole Europe thing.  The French pick a guy that says “let’s start spending again.  Screw austerity.”  Ok maybe that’s not the exact quote I read this weekend, but it’s kind of close.  Then there is Merkel saying “To bad buddy.  Congrats on the election but the deal is done and we ain’t looking to renegotiate.”  You know, something to that effect.  Maybe I should be looking to get to cash right now.  Are we on the edge of a correction?  For now I’m still buying if I can find a price that catches my eye.

Here’s to the Euro not collapsing till I can make a little more money, then get to cash and to keeping an eye on your Everyday Money.

Saturday, May 05, 2012

Weekend Weigh In (5/5/12)

Here’s where I am sitting for this weekend.
Aflac (AFL):  Average cost $41.76.  Right now this is a tiny bit to the good.  I got this right before earnings and it ran the next day.  Looking back I should have let it go and took a quick profit.  If it returns this week to above $45 then I will think about let it go.
Hewlett-Packard Company (HPQ):  Average cost $25.57.  This one went under water shortly after I got it.  Still think that it will work out down the road, but it is taking longer than I would have wanted.  Was a little early jumping in.  Will sit on it for now.

International Game Technology (IGT):  Average cost $15.49.  I got this just a little while ago (5/1/12) and it went positive right after.  I should have pulled the trigger and took my money but I didn’t.  So now this position is slightly underwater.  I will wait on it and expect to be able to get out of it with an alright profit in a few weeks or less.

EXCO Resources Inc. (XCO):  Average cost $ 9.09.  This is just an ugly position and a perfect example of how not to trade.  I took flyer on natural gas and it slapped me in the face.  I made the mistake of adding to a loser and didn’t have strong mental stops.  This may get back to good someday?  I will hang in there awhile long and see if gas prices can come back some.

Here’s to a moment of reflection and to keeping your eye on your Everyday Money.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Bought International Game Technology (IGT) Today

Even with the market going up and up today IGT spent the first half of the day in the red, just where I needed it to be.  A little history first; International Game Technology first showed up in a screen back in early February.  I got in at $15.75 only to watch it sag for most of that month.  I got out late March at $16.60.  For the most part I consider that a good trade for a month and half.   Now here we are in May and it is back to a good buy point again.  Yesterday I had a limit order in for $15.50 and missed getting filled by eight cents.  So this morning changed the order to $15.45, thinking it might trade down a little more.  So now I am back in and looking to trade this range back to $17 ish.  I may do $16.60 again.  Ideally if IGT can stay in this range I can get a couple of more turns out of it in the next few months.  Will let you know how this all turns out.

Here’s to familiar stocks coming back to buy prices and to keeping an eye on your Everyday Money.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Trading video I found with Jack Schwager

Over the weekend I stumbled across this video on YouTube of Jack Schwager.  If the name rings a bell somewhere then you have more than likely read one of his books.  I picked up one of his, “The New Market Wizards” some time back and have read it off and on ever since.  In it he interviews some of the top traders that he could find at the time and told their story.  The video is good, I like it.  It covers ideas and skills that can help make you a better trader.  He uses examples from the traders he has interviewed to highlight the points.  The main thing that I took away from the video is simply, to be really good you have to trade your way.  Your trading style must fit you and your personality.  It has taken me some time and some money but I am finally starting to find my way.  Take a look and let me know what you think.
That’s it for today.  Here’s to finding your own way in trading and keeping an eye on your Everyday Money.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Watching Amazon run ahead

Let me start by saying that Amazon (AMZN) doesn’t fit my parameters so I don’t trade it. For the most part I don’t really keep track of it either, except on those days that it runs up like crazy and it is all over the headlines. It doesn’t pay a dividend and that is one of my rules. No dividend, no trade. That being said it is still hard to watch a stock run 15% plus today and not be a part of it. Amazon reported good numbers yesterday and was up big in after hours and up today on big volume. I had thought about taking a flyer on it yesterday before the close. I have a kindle touch and buy stuff from Amazon. And I had a “feeling” that it would do well yesterday with its numbers. If you don’t recall I am trying to get away, far away, from trading on feelings.

So, on the whole I am glad I didn’t chase those feelings yesterday with a buy of Amazon. As I watch it bounce up today I have been trying to remember that it is all about developing solid trading tactics, the kind that make me money year in and year out. Flyers won’t pay the bills consistently. It will be those skills that allow me to transition to full time trading. At least this is how I am rationalizing missing a 15% move in one day.

If you bought Amazon yesterday and caught that big wave today, congrats! Have you jumped out after the 15% + burst or are you holding out for more?

Here’s to trading guidelines, sticking to them, and keeping an eye on your Everyday Money.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The stupidity of adding to a losing stock position (XCO)

They say confession is good for the soul.  Well this one has been months in the making and perhaps overdue.
So the books I have been reading, for the past oh say… forever, say that adding to a losing stock position is a sucker’s bet.  It is the amateurs that try and average down into profits instead of cutting bait and moving on.  It sound easy enough but there are times I still have no mental discipline.  Such was the case with XCO.  On January 10th  2012 I bought a little Exco Resources Inc. (XCO) for $9.30.  (There has to be a bottom somewhere for natural gas prices, right?)  It kept dropping throughout the day.  The next day I threw more money at it, buying again, this time at $8.80.  The games our mind plays when trying to trade stocks.  And I thought my mind played games when I was giving up smoking.  The short of it is that once again I was trying to catch a falling knife without the mental discipline to do it half way safely.

Nat gas prices can’t possibly keep falling

Famous last words as the past months have seen the price plunge, to what I think, is an all-time low.  Natural gas quotes are now routinely near $2.00 .  Sub two dollar trades have printed enough that it seems almost common place and people are no longer shocked.  As far as XCO, it would have to work really hard just to be able to see it’s way out.  A short while ago it was trading under $6.   This position is so far underwater of my $9.00 breakeven, that it might as well be my own personal submarine.  It has recovered a bit in the last two days, just enough to give me the tiniest of slivers of hope that one day, some day it will come back to the surface.  Then again maybe it won’t.  I once thought that about Orion Pictures (look it up).

Long term take away
My goal is to one day have a pile in the trading account big enough to allow me to dump the day job and trade for a living.  In order to do that this kind of mental lapse has to be learned from.  Don’t add to losers… ever!!  Even if this stock somehow gets back to good I may keep it as a reminder of what not to do.  Well that’s it for today. 

Here’s to learning from our mistakes and keeping an eye on your Everyday Money.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Games my mind plays when trying to trade stocks

For the last couple of days things have not been great on Wall Street. Good!! I was looking for some stocks to pull back so I can get back in. Yet none of the ones that I track have pulled back to the point that I am compelled to jump back in. As I watched the prices bounce up and down today my mind started to play its games.

Should I change my buy price?

Maybe I should be tracking different stocks.

What happens is this is as low as it goes and then reverses and I miss out… again?

Maybe this is just the beginning of a bigger pull back and my buy prices are way too high.

I am going to feel like an idiot if this keeps falling for the next couple of days and I jump in too soon.

And the games and thoughts swirled through my head all day. And to think this is what I want to do full time in the future. Quite the day job and just trade. It seems like the perfect idea until my mind starts spinning on days like these.
Make the right decisions and it rains money. Make the wrong decisions and you get pounded. Simplicity defined.

Here’s to making good decisions and keeping an eye on your Everyday Money.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Learning to Use Something Besides Feelings with My Stock Trading

Awhile back with Garmin and Crocs and so many others I traded for the most part on feelings, headlines, and momentum of the stock. When the music stopped a couple of years back I realized I wasn’t as smart as my account balance lead me to believe. As I have reminded myself over and over, at least I didn’t run it to zero. It has taken me sometime to mentally be ready to start trading stocks again. But, stock trading is what I like to do. It is what I have always liked to do. I would do it full time, if I could roll up a big enough pile. Which is now the plan.

New Trading Rules

Before coming back I knew I needed something more concrete than feelings and headlines to trade on. My new guidelines are pretty simple.

1) All companies must be paying a dividend. If my timing is wrong and I have to sit on a stock I want some money while I’m sitting.

2) Companies need positive earnings. I know there are ways companies play with the numbers. I still want to see pluses not minuses.

3) The slow stochastic needs to be showing oversold or close to it. I have been learning to use this and hope to get a better feel as time goes on. So far it has helped keep me from chasing entry points.

4) Stock needs to be below their 200 day SMA. This seems to go against most books I have read the past two years. Most that I have read talk about following the trend, only buy when above 200 day, sell when it cross below. Don’t get me wrong I don’t want the stock to be trending down or falling off a cliff below the 200 day. I’m not looking to catch fall knives if I can keep from it. I want to find ones that have already dropped, stabilized (I hope) and are working on a comeback.

All of these rules are a work in progress. So far together they have kept me from chasing entry points especially the past few months with this big run up. Right now not a whole lot has caught my attention lately. So now I am learning to wait and do nothing, which is hard but that is for another post.

Well that’s it for today. Here’s to getting yourself some trading rules that you can lean on and as always keep an eye on your everyday money.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Back to Writing

I’ll make this short. I’m back posting and looking forward to hearing from you all. There have been some changes and I’ll be getting to them in the coming days. I have cleaned up all the spam comments (at least for now ) that have accumulated the past couple of years. Hard to believe I have been away for so long. The thing that hasn’t change is that I still have my trade account, albeit a lot smaller than it was in the Crocs heydays. But, I didn’t run it to zero so as long as I have a chair at the table I’ll play on. I have changed my trading strategies, those too in the days to come.

That’s it. Here’s to coming back to the pad and pencil. Keep your eye on your Everyday Money.