General Guidelines from Donchian

  • Richard DonchianBeware of acting immediately on a widespread public opinion. Even if correct, it will usually delay the move.
  • From a period of dullness and inactivity, watch for and prepare to follow a move in the direction in which volume increases.
  • Limit losses and ride profits, irrespective of all other rules.
  • Light commitments are advisable when market position is not certain. Clearly defined moves are signaled frequently enough to make life interesting and concentration on these moves will prevent unprofitable whip-sawing.
  • Seldom take a position in the direction of an immediately preceding three-day move. Wait for a one-day reversal.
  • Judicious use of stop orders is a valuable aid to profitable trading. Stops may be used to protect profits, to limit losses, and from certain formations such as triangular foci to take positions. Stop orders are apt to be more valuable and less treacherous if used in proper relation to the chart formation.
  • In a market in which upswings are likely to equal or exceed downswings, heavier position should be taken for the upswings for percentage reasons a decline from 50 to 25 will net only 50 percent profit, whereas an advance from 25 to 50 will net 100 percent profit.
  • In taking a position, price orders are allowable. In closing a position, use market orders.
  • Buy strong-acting, strong-background commodities and sell weak ones, subject to all other rules.
  • Moves in which rails lead or participate strongly are usually more worth following than moves in which rails lag.
  • A study of the capitalization of a company, the degree of activity of an issue, and whether an issue is a lethargic truck horse or a spirited race horse is fully as important as a study of statistical reports.
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