Rules for Bear Market

1. Good news in a bear market is like smoke in the breeze (i.e., soon dispersed). Don’t buy into upgrades or analyst recommendations. Analyst “upgrades” or recommendations can kill you.Every person reading this has access to some kind of trading platform, trading tools or systems that afford instant access to the financial markets. Good news like upgrades in bear markets typically has about five minutes of fame.

 

2. Bear markets are not a time to learn how to “day trade” in an effort to recoup losses (no matter how many times you hear that “this is a traders’ market”).

 

3. Accumulation days (there may be three or more in a row) are shorting opportunities, but resist being aggressive until the S&P 500 shows a 3- and 5-day moving average bearish cross. (Remember that it’s 50% market, 25% sector and 25% stock as far as direction, but some could argue in markets it’s 75% index, 15% sector and 10% stock.)

 

4. Chart patterns (unlike ice cream) come in just two flavors: continuations and reversals. Reversal patterns mostly form in weak trends. If the trend that the market or stock you are watching has been strong, then chances are that any pause is just a consolidation before the next leg down.

 

5. There is no such thing as “safe sectors.” Sure, each bear market brings sector rotation. But make sure if you are playing this game that you don’t have the flexibility of wood. And when the music stops, quickly find a chair!

That is, you must keep a flexible mindset so that you are able to change with the markets. The best traders are those who are nimble and approach the markets without bias.

 

6. Your stop-losses are YOUR stop-losses. The pain of being down 8% in a bull market is no different than being 8% wrong in a bear. If your risk tolerance requires you stopping out at 8%, then be consistent in any market you trade, but trade “with the primary trend.”

It takes greater emotional balance to trade a bear than a bull. So, always manage your risk — just remember that, in the markets, your money is always at risk.

Great traders manage emotions and risk. This makes them great. YOU know your risk tolerance and YOU control what happens between the “keyboard and chair.”

 

7. Bear markets are generally slow-moving affairs. However, stocks in bear markets can move much faster than you think (hence the reason that volatility rises drastically). But the “time” we spend in a bear is what everyone needs to keep in perspective. Bear markets last much longer than most are willing to wait. (more…)

Divorce Ego from the trade

Divorce
The most important change will only occur when you will learn to DIVORCE  EGO FROM THE TRADE. Trading is a psychological game. Most people think that they’re playing against the market, but the market doesn’t care. You’re really playing against yourself. You have to stop trying to will things to happen in order to prove that you’re right. Listen only to what the market is telling you now. Forget what you thought it was telling you five minutes ago. The sole objective of trading is not to prove you’re right, but to hear the cash register ring.

Great quote by Marty Schwartz which sums up where so many people go wrong in trading.

“Most people think that they’re playing against the market, but the market doesn’t care. You’re really playing against yourself”. – Marty Schwartz.
 
The full quote is was from the following paragraph from Schwartz’z book – ‘The Pit Bull’s Guide To Successful Trading’. Schwartz himself was one of the original interviewees in the original ‘Market Wizards’ book.
 
– I’ve said it before, and I’m going to say it again, because it cannot be overemphasized: the most important change in my trading career occurred when I learned to divorce my ego from the trade. Trading is a psychological game. Most people think that they’re playing against the market, but the market doesn’t care. You’re really playing against yourself. You have to stop trying to will things to happen in order to prove that you’re right. Listen only to what the market is telling you now. Forget what you thought it was telling you five minutes ago. The sole objective of trading is not to prove you’re right, but to hear the cash register ring. (more…)

Lessons from Martin Schwartz

To succeed in trading one must learn from the best, so it is wise to consider the advice of Martin Schwartz.
I highly recommend you read his book Pit Bull – Lessons from Wall Street’s Champion Trader.
“I took $40,000 and ran it up to about $20 million with never more than a 3 percent drawdown.” (Month-end data)

“By living the philosophy that my winners are always in front of me, it is not so painful to take a loss. If I make a mistake, so what!”
My trading style was to take a lot of small profits rather than go for one big one.
“After a devastating loss, I always play very small and try to get black ink, black ink. It’s not how much money I make, but just getting my rhythm and confidence back.”
“The market does not know if you are long or short and could not care less. You are the only one emotionally involved with your position. The market is just reacting to supply and demand and if you are cheering it one way, there is always somebody else cheering it just as hard that it will go the other way.” (more…)

Twenty Six Market Wisdoms from Warren Buffett

1. It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.26WB

2. Chains of habit are too light to be felt until they are too heavy to be broken.

3. Risk comes from not knowing what you’re doing.

4. Only when the tide goes out do you discover who’s been swimming naked.

5. If past history was all there was to the game, the richest people would be librarians.

6. I never attempt to make money on the stock market. I buy on the assumption that they could close the market the next day and not reopen it for five years.

7. It’s far better to buy a wonderful company at a fair price than a fair company at a wonderful price

8. We simply attempt to be fearful when others are greedy and to be greedy only when others are fearful

9. Time is the friend of the wonderful business, the enemy of the mediocre. (more…)

Trading Without Ego

Make no mistake about it. A trader’s self concept has to be separate from the trading. Who you are as a person began before you ever thought of trading and who you will be as a person will extend beyond your trading. When personal self-worth entwines with trading, it not only damages self esteem, it sabotages the trading.

You hear about it. You read about it. Don’t be misled. Traders tell stories. They write stories. They tell how great they are. Big trades. Big numbers. Big egos. Hubris. And sooner or later, big downfalls. It goes with the territory.

Consider the outsized egos of certain traders who brought themselves and those associated with them to ruin. Nicholas Leeson brought down the Barings Bank. Victor Niederhoffer ran his fund into deficit. John Merriweather threatened the health of our banking system by betting more than fifty times his capital that his strategies were certain to work, that he could forecast with impunity the direction of various bond markets. There’s a pattern here of seeming or real success for a while and then collapse for themselves and for those caught up in blindly following them. (more…)

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