WANTED: 1000 people who want $1,000,000

With technology giving anyone and everyone with a computer or smartphone the ability to send and receive information in real time, the measure of any information source (website, app, etc) has become how fast and how transparent the source gives out its information. The website How Do I Trade Stocks has embraced the world of immediate information and gone beyond the standard of the vast number of stock trading advice websites.

Now its founder John Bannan, wants to up the ante once again. John is on a quest across Canada to find 1000 people who he will help become $1,000,000 wealthier. He recently said of his goal of make 1000 individuals $1,000,000 wealthier, “I know it’s a lofty goal, and others that have gone before me have tried, but I truly believe we can do it. If people are willing to learn, my team and I will be there every step of the way.”

He has begun a speaking tour which will run throughout 2014. The event is called “Anyone Can Retire in 10 Years”. Here he will showcase the strategies which he has been broadcasting live on his site for the last three years. Every trade on How Do I Trade Stocks is listed before it even happens, and the history of every trade is available for all members to see.

The highlights of the “Anyone Can Retire in 10 Years” event will be John’s steps for outperforming the market, which he claims take up about 15 minutes a day to put into practice, how to minimize risk, and when to get out of the market. Plus, he will demonstrate how his system saw the dot-com bubble & the crash of 2008 coming, and how both were avoided.

The first engagement took place in Kitchener, ON in late March.  Forty dates are scheduled across Canada and will roll out across the rest of 2014.

Tickets and dates of Seminars are available at www.Retirein10.com

The How Do I Trade Stocks website has a low entry point. John Bannan specifically wants to encourage every level of trader to follow his strategies, with a lot of encouragement from his team on how to adapt the strategies to each traders unique trading habits.

The “Anyone Can Retire in 10 Years” event will be a chance to meet John live, hear how his strategies earn profits in any market, and find out how he learned himself from top world-class traders. He will also answer questions.

Tell me more

S&P 500 Up Despite Poor Jobs Report


U.S. stocks rallied on Friday, with Wall Street clearing weekly losses and posting its best two-day gain in four months, as investors decided the nonfarm payrolls report wasn’t so terrible after all.

The government reported the creation of 113,000 jobs in January versus expectations of 185,000. The jobless rate fell to 6.6 percent versus an expectation of 6.7 percent.

The report showed increased employment in construction, and declines in retail and government work.

Friday’s nonfarm payrolls report follows terrible data in December, which was revised just a bit, up 1,000 from the previous estimate of 74,000.

Stock futures initially fell on the report, but recovered within minutes.

Lousy data on the labor market aside, U.S. economic momentum has been picking, Dallas Federal Reserve President Richard Fisher told CNBC on Friday. The hawkish Fisher, a voting member of the Federal Open Market Committee, said the Fed was unlikely to sway the Fed from continuing to scale back its monthly asset purchases.

European markets finished higher. Asian markets ended the week with gains. The Nikkei in Japan was a standout performer, advancing by 2.2% Friday. The index is on the rebound after losing more than 11% since the beginning of 2014.

News Sources:  CNBC and CNN Money

The portfolio:

Another great day for the portfolio.  I was very surprised watching how quickly the futures dipped after the release of the jobs report only to recover and grow even stronger a few minutes later, very bizarre.

Coming out of PRLB on Monday due to its earning release on Tuesday morning.

Bring on the bulls!


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Stocks Rally as Growth Worries Fade


U.S. stocks surged on today, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average marking its best session this year, as Wall Street embraced a drop in applications for jobless benefits as indicative of an improving U.S. labour market and economy, a day ahead of the monthly jobs report.

“The market was heavily oversold. you tried for two days to have a credible rebound and this is the first one you’ve seen. This is a combination of short covering and the buy the dippers,” said Art Cashin, director of floor operations at UBS.  Perhaps we will see a further bounce from here.

Talk from European Central Bank President Mario Draghi helped push up the euro, with one trader saying the ‘risk on’ trade started after Draghi’s comments boosted the currency, which jumped after Draghi said there was no deflation problem.  The European Central Bank kept interest rates on hold Thursday, despite growing concerns about the threat of deflation in the eurozone and the outlook for global growth.

European markets closed up more than 1%, while Asian markets also mostly ended with modest gains.

News Sources:  CNBC and CNN Money

The portfolio:

Great day for the new portfolio.  Now it’s down to the non-farm payrolls report tomorrow morning at 8:30am to indicate that things are not as bad as they seemed a few short days ago….how fickle the market can be!

Sorry I dumped GMCR before it’s deal with Coke, oh well…Next!

Bring on the bulls!


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Indexes Flat as Investors Await Jobs Report


U.S. stocks fell mildly on Wednesday, with the S&P 500 finishing the session near unchanged, as a better-than-expected report on the service sector helped neutralize another that had companies adding slightly fewer employees to their payrolls than anticipated in January.

Private employers added 175,000 jobs in January, slightly below the gain of 180,000 estimated by analysts. December’s increase in jobs was revised lower to 227,000 from an initial 238,000. The report comes two days before the government’s nonfarm payroll report, a gauge that includes public and private-sector employment.

The Institute for Supply Management’s non-manufacturing index for January came in at 54.0, showing expansion at a more rapid rate in January.

Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia President Charles Plosser said he anticipates the U.S. economy will expand 3 percent this year as the unemployment rate declines to 6.2 percent by the end of 2014, justifying a faster tapering of the central bank’s monthly asset purchases. Other central banker talk Wednesday had Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart labeling stocks as in correction mode, and saying the market may have gotten ahead of itself.

Lockhart echoed the view of many analysts, many of whom believe Wall Street has been looking for a reason to take a break from 2013’s unsustainable climb that had the S&P finishing the year up nearly 30 percent.

European markets ended little changed following the release of positive economic data.

Meanwhile, Asian markets closed with mixed results. Indonesia’s economy grew by 5.7% in the fourth quarter, compared with the same period the previous year. That was better than expected and may calm fears about its ability to weather the storm battering it and the other so-called “Fragile Five” emerging markets

News Sources:  CNBC and CNN Money

The portfolio:

Not a bad start to the revised portfolio.  Closed the day net positive in a challenging market.  Perhaps the selling will stop and people will start to see this as a buying opportunity.  The Small Cap index, the Russell 2000 has taken a 8% hit so far this year, with 10% being a good watershed for a decent correction, I now expect that it may start to signal some buying too.

Bring on the bulls!


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Stocks Rebound From Yesterday’s Carnage


U.S. stocks rose today, with equities regaining some footing after the prior day’s rout that shaved more than 300 points off the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

Equities maintained their gains after data had factory orders falling 1.5 percent in December after a 1.5 percent gain in November.

But some market strategists felt Monday’s plunge may have gone too far. Analysts at Capital Economics said the sell-off Monday was “overdone” and that stocks will recover over the remainder of the year. They blamed Monday’s poor manufacturing numbers on unseasonably bad weather and said that further economic data could reflect a similar pattern.

Economic reports on Wednesday were more likely to be market moving, with the ADP employment report coming ahead of Friday’s nonfarm payrolls report for January. Another report on the services sector could shed light on a portion of the economy that is less sensitive to weather.

On Tuesday, Fed Bank of Richmond President Jeffrey Lacker said the drop in global equities was unlikely to divert the Federal Reserve from its tapering of monthly asset purchases.

Meanwhile, Asian markets suffered another battering Tuesday, taking their cue from Monday’s sharp sell-off in U.S. stocks.

Japan’s Nikkei index fell 4.2%, extending its losses this year to just over 14%. The slide has put the index well into correction territory, and erased a chunk of last year’s stunning 57% gain. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng also pushed into a correction, dropping nearly 3%. European markets ended mixed.

News Sources:  CNBC and CNN Money

The portfolio:

After extensive testing and analysing over the last few weeks, I have now updated the stock list for the coming new year.  Many have changed and I have decided to add in 2 leveraged ETF’s that have tested particularly well since inception.  These etf’s track the S&P 500 (SSO) and the Nasdaq (QLD) Indexes.

Nice to see a bottom put in temporarily today, a decent bounce may come now that could last a number of days.  The outlier is the jobs report on Friday morning though, we shall see…

New buy prices are now set for the new portfolio.

Bring on the bulls!


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Dow Sinks 300-Plus Points….Again!


U.S. stocks were hammered on Monday, with benchmark indexes falling through key support levels after a gauge of factory activity disappointed, heightening concern about the economy before Friday’s monthly jobs report.

Stocks had wavered ahead of the report that had U.S. manufacturing expanding at a substantially slower pace in January, driving overall factory activity to an eight-month low.

Dropping below its 200-day moving average for the first time since Dec. 28, 2012, the Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 2.1 percent, with all but one of its 30 components in the red.

The S&P 500 fell 2.3 percent, with telecommunications falling hardest and all 10 of its major groups in decline.

Falling under 4,000, the Nasdaq declined 2.7 percent.

European markets finished with losses after investors ignored reports of stronger manufacturing activity in the eurozone in January.

Many Asian markets were closed for the lunar new year but those trading moved lower, with the Nikkei in Japan declining by 2%. The benchmark Nikkei has tumbled 10.3% so far this year. That means the index is now undergoing a correction, after posting a whopping 57% gain in 2013 — its biggest annual rise in over 40 years.

Traders in Asia were cautious after the release of weak official Chinese manufacturing data. Many emerging markets have suffered over the past few weeks as investors have moved money out of riskier markets in favor of relative safe havens.

News Sources:  CNBC and CNN Money

The portfolio:

Nothing will humble you faster than the market….

I was pleased that I managed to avoid the first 70 point drop in the s&p, but it seems that it was not done yet!

Still the damage to the portfolio isn’t too bad, and I doubt that there will be much more to the downside now.  However, I have a sell signal across the board anyway, which I must follow in-case I am wrong.  But I don’t expect to be out for long.  Hoping to have a nice bounce at the open so I can claw back some of the selling today.

Bring on the bulls!


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Stocks End Worst January in Years


Good riddance to a cold January, and I’m not just talking about the weather!

U.S. stocks closed steeply under water today, with Wall Street recording its worst month in years and first monthly loss since August, as investors compiled a list of worries that now include emerging markets.

The S&P 500 slipped more than 3% this month, while the Nasdaq has shed nearly 2%.

Stocks remained in the red through a series of economic data on Friday, with Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan’s final read on consumer sentiment showing a decline in January from the previous month, while the Chicago Purchasing Manager’s Index for January fell 1.2 to 59.6, down for a third month in a row. Data also had personal income up 0.1 percent in December, matching estimates, and spending rising 0.4 percent versus a 0.5 percent estimate.

Emerging markets were in the limelight once again, with the Turkish lira and other currencies weakening further.

The volatility has been sparked by the fact that economic growth is slowing across developing economies and fears that China’s shadow banking system could spark a credit crunch.

The Federal Reserve’s decision to reduce the size of its monthly bond purchase program has also been weighing on emerging markets. The so-called tapering by the Fed is expected to leader to a stronger dollar, which should make emerging markets less attractive for investors.

In a statement Friday, the International Monetary Fund said “the turbulence also underscores the need for vigilance among central banks over liquidity conditions in international capital markets.”

News Sources: CNBC and CNN Money

The portfolio:

Such a rare event to see the index futures spike and plunge double digits on multiple consecutive days. Nobody seems to have any sense of direction, but growth does seem to be happening in the US economy, hopefully this is just an excuse to let of some steam from the end of year rally.

Even with the recent volatility, I don’t change my stance that I think we will get at least a short term bounce from here, but we shall see as always, news on emerging markets will dominate in the coming week.

I am just finishing my analysis on the portfolio, I will be phasing out some stocks and replacing them with new growth stocks that I feel will do better for me. So expect to see a few changes in the DPR in the coming days.

Bring on the bulls!


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End-of-day trading as a Philosophy

I am not a big fan of intra-day trading. The reasons are pretty simple; there is more random price movement or market ‘noise’ on the intra-day charts, and they thus contain more ‘clutter’ and are just more difficult to trade than the daily charts. For a skilled trader who is already successful, intra-day trading might be something to consider, but even then I would personally discourage it!  But, if you are a beginner, a struggling trader, or simply someone who doesn’t have a lot of time each day to devote to trading, trading the daily charts in an end-of-day manner as I do is going to be your best option.

The most successful traders are position traders, they carry positions overnight often.  For people like Larry Williams and Courtney Smith, this is the only way to trade.

End-of-day trading basically allows you to fit in trading around your schedule, whatever it may be. You can keep your day job with no problems. Many people seem to think that if they can’t sit and watch the markets all day then they can’t trade, this is simply not true.

In fact, being away from the market is actually good for you – this is a ‘hidden’ advantage to end-of-day trading. Since you won’t be as involved with the markets you will less emotional and less prone to over-trading or over thinking and this will likely increase your bottom line at the end of the year. It’s a statistically proven fact that low-frequency traders make more money over the long-run than high-frequency traders, on average.

As an end-of-day stock trader you can live your life exactly as you are now, but instead of spending 10 minutes extra watching television at night, you can simply analyze what your trading system is telling you to do next and place the trades for the following day.  It might seem too good to be true, but really it’s not, the truth of the matter is that once you learn an effective trading strategy and develop it into an effective trading plan, you really do not need to spend hours analyzing the markets each day.

We have a tendency to make trading far more complicated than it really is. I am not saying that trading is ‘easy’, because as we all know it’s not easy to make consistent money in the markets. But, most people make the entire process of trading far too complicated, and really the analysis part of trading is actually very simple assuming you have a system or strategy that makes money on past data consistently. The difficult aspect of trading lies following your plan and remaining unemotional. Deciding to enter or not is the easiest decision you have to make in the markets; essentially it all boils down to this; there’s either a signal or there’s not!

Once you have learned or developed an effective trading strategy, it’s as simple as checking the markets each day after the New York close and seeing if your system is telling you to alter a trade or position. Once you develop this into a routine it really should not take more than 10 minutes per evening.

By being a daily chart end-of-day trader you are making more effective and efficient use of your time. Since daily chart signals are more powerful and contain more ‘weight’ than intraday signals, it means your time is better spent analyzing the daily charts after the NY close where you can simply check the markets for a signal very quickly and then walk away. Any signal you find is likely to be much more significant than a signal you may have found earlier in the day on an intra-day chart. Thus, you are getting more out of spending less time in the markets by focusing on the daily charts rather than sitting at your computer all day trying to trade the intra-day charts.

End-of-day trading or position trading is not only a good strategy, but it’s also a philosophy. The philosophy of not being glued to your charts, of accepting that the market will do what it wants, and of generally just being less involved with the markets is a mature trading philosophy that shows understanding of how the markets work and of how the trading game is won. It really allows you to release that ‘need’ to be right and to control everything in your trading. So, even as you become more experienced and perhaps want to trade lower time frame charts, this philosophy of briefly checking the markets for your signals, place you stop and then walking away, will still benefit you and can still be used. This philosophy is at the heart of my personal trading style and so my advice to anyone wanting to trade is don’t trade intraday and strange as it may seem, don’t look at the portfolio during markets hours, the swings may only stress you out unnecessarily and have very little bearing on the outcome of the trade, so don’t look!

Luck and Trading

I was at a Chinese buffet restaurant recently as my youngest son turned 3, it happens to be his favourite restaurant.  Anyway, after we had finished we all received our fortune cookies, mine was the following:

“Luck sometimes visits the fool, but it never sits down with him”

What a great proverb when it comes to trading success.  I think there is certainly an element of luck in trading.  For me, when I look back and re-test the stocks I picked at the beginning of each year I am looking to see if my actual performance matches that of my real results.  In this case it has.  However, having made some changes to my current portfolio in my mid-year shake up, had I had these new additions instead of the 5 I replaced, I would be significantly ahead.  Perhaps it is just unlucky in terms of which stocks shoot for the moon, while some underperform?  I am not complaining, I am beating the Index average by some way and particularly with the use of leverage, but there is a little element of luck when you are basing your choices based on fundamentals alone.

Besides that though I think that is the only place that luck can live in my trading system.  Psychology is the biggest part of trading, not luck.  Luck can visit, but rarely stays for the long hall.

Same with risk control, there is another saying:  “there are bold traders and old traders, but there are no old bold traders”.  Doesn’t that capture risk control well?  No old bold traders, as bold traders take on too much risk and get wiped out on “bad luck”.

So in conclusion, I believe there is an element of luck in trading from the point of view of stock picking, but beyond that we must be systematic, emotion free robots if possible, we must have our long term hats on and think years in advance in terms of growing our accounts and overall wealth through trading.  After all, there are no short cuts and we cannot rely on lady luck, we can only reply on tested and trusted systems.

To our success,


Ramblings of a Trader…

Don’t you wish you could look into the future and see where your account would be if you stuck to a particular strategy or system without fail for the next 10 years? This is the magic of back testing: Pretending it was 10 years ago and you are about to embark on an odyssey to become a hugely successful trader/investor. Except that you don’t have to wait for the 10 years to actually go by, you can see them instantly via the click of a mouse, hey presto, viola!

Teachers talk about discipline and sticking to a system, but why do so many fail, isn’t it easy to just follow a tried and tested method?

Well it a bit like watching paint dry too, I find back testing exciting, but perhaps I am weird, however I find trading boring. But boring is good; boring doesn’t have too many emotional swings. It’s the way it should be. I don’t get anxious back testing paper money..ever….so why should I get anxious with real in the moment trading.

The way I see it is that the only way to have the discipline to trade to success is to be able to have proof that your method works. As human beings we are very flawed, as our emotional swings call on us to make irrational in the moment decisions that usually end up in us taking a bigger loss than was necessary.

If I did not have a robust system I would be driven crazy on a daily basis trying to time the markets. The tops and the bottoms, the news, the earnings et al. Thankfully I have learned (and continue to learn) that risk control, backtesting a system and following it, and picking great companies is my recipe for success.

Then there is personal integrity and how it relates to trading success. The hardest part of integrity is keeping our word to ourselves; we often find it much easier to keep our word to others. For example, setting a task within a time period and not completing it. Being in integrity with ourselves is about keeping our word and our promises to ourselves. It relates to trading in terms that we have a system a set of rules, but when we break them we are not in integrity with ourselves, it causes a disconnect, causes us to beat ourselves up with our little tyrant inner voice. Bottom line, it’s not healthy.

There will be winners there will be losers, but you cannot be out of integrity should you do what you said you were going to do and stick to your system and promise yourself that you would not speculate on something else. Trading is difficult, more difficult than buy and hold investing. But the rewards are bigger if your strategy is robust and tested.

This is the reason I will look back in 10 years from now and say, well done, you have grown your account consistently; you have stuck to a system, kept your mistakes to a minimum and promised yourself that you will not speculate out with your system. In other words, I kept my word to myself. Now that’s powerful!

May today be a profitable day for all of us…