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Showing posts from March, 2012

Market update: S&P 500 at 3 year highs

It wasn't so long ago we were watching 1,260 as a key resistance level on the S&P 500 ($SPX).


Today we see the $SPX bumping up to 3 year highs.


Once the market closed above that same level and really held it after the start of the year, it stair-stepped higher with relatively tight pullbacks since. The last few months have been much more of a slow grind higher, as opposed to the choppy , volatile swings of last July through December 2011.

We are now approaching prior resistance levels near 1,440 from 2008. If the market can clear that, then pullback/consolidate and continue its move higher, we'll be approaching the prior peaks from the 2008 market top. 


Of course, a move towards 1,500 on the $SPX might be some time off given the extent of the move we've just seen.

Overcoming Your Fear of Pulling the Trigger (Trading Interviews)

Tim Bourquin at TraderInterviews.com brings us this helpful discussion with top trading psychologists on, "How to Overcome the Fear of "Pulling the Trigger" on a Trade". 

The full interview (and transcript) with Dr. Brett Steenbarger, Dr. Doug Hirschhorn, and Dr. Gary Dayton has been made available for free, so click through to check it out anytime. 

Here are a few key insights from Tim's discussion with these trading MDs. Now, not all of the interviewees agree on each and every Q+A topic, but there are some very interesting common threads running through each of the 3 interview segments. 

The interview begins with Tim asking Brett Steenbarger why some traders may have problems "pulling the trigger" on their trade ideas. Dr. Brett points out that we must first correctly diagnose the problem before offering a solution. In his view, there are likely two main reasons, one being a trader's lack of confidence (setup ideas haven't been tested, etc.).��…

Mark Minervini interview: define and refine your approach

Veteran stock trader and "Market Wizard", Mark Minervini shares his story in an interview with the Your Money Matters podcast. 

I thought this interview with Minervini, a largely self-taught trader who transitioned into trading after working as a musician, would make a nice follow up to our recent post on self-education and the school of hard knocks

Here are some key points Mark makes in this interview:
"I wasn't always successful. In fact, for the first six years I didn't make any money at all."Mark started trading in 1983. He began visiting the library and one day came across Richard Love's book, Superperformance Stocks. Mark spent "the next twenty-seven years" refining his approach.Persistence can be more important than knowledge. Learning to trade the stock market can be difficult, and there is a long learning curve. Mark stayed with one approach and spent his time mastering it. "It's not going to happen right away". "I …

Self-education and the school of experience

You may find this next quote about self-education personally relevant, but then again, you may not. From Claude C. Hopkins' autobiography, My Life in Advertising... 

"...To poverty I owe the fact that I never went to college. I spent those four years in the school of experience instead of a school of theory.  I know nothing of value which an advertising man can be taught in college. I know of many things taught there which he will need to unlearn before he can steer any practical course."
Having attended college (for a time), and from my own experiences and observations, I know that this passage rings true. You could substitute the words "advertising man" with the titles "artist", "writer", "economist", or "trader" and still get the same meaning.

You may have heard many entrepreneurs or autodidacts make similar remarks about the value of self-guided education and experience. You may also have heard many experienced, de…