A financial blog on investing in stocks, commodities and the gold bull market.
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Trading against the odds
I think it must be human nature to love the underdog. It seems that it is often human nature to want to invest in the underdog. By that I mean play the low percentage bet or buck the odds. Now if you are in a casino you will get rewarded if the long shot hits with a sizable return on your original bet (not sizable enough for you to make money over the long haul though. Hey they don't build those casinos by letting gamblers win.) Let's take roulette for instance. If you put $5 on 13 and it hits you will be paid 35:1 or $175. Unfortunately there are 38 spots on the wheel so over the long haul you will slowly lose money. Now lets take a look at what's involved when you choose to fight the odds investing. I showed subscribers today that the odds were roughly 4:1 that the rest of the week should be positive. Now if you were in the casino you could expect to get paid at least 3:1 if the long shot hit. That's not the case here. If you do beat the odds and the market goes down there's no guarantee it's going to drop 3 times as much as it would go up. Actually the odds in this situation are skewed the other way. Historically the return has been 3 times higher than the drawdown on options expiration week by going long Wed. thru Fri. Either way the market is rarely going to reward you for playing the long shot. The market is only interested in taking away your money as fast and as unfairly as possible. Fortunately you have the option to be the casino and keep the odds in your favor at all times. Unfortunately because we love the underdog or because the market makes the underdog look so appealing it's quite often hard to make ourselves take the correct trade.
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T1. A move followed by a sideways range often precedes another move of almost equal extent in the same direction as the original move. Generally, when the second move from the sideways range has run its course, a counter move approaching the sideways range may be expected. T2. Reversal or resistance to a move is likely to be encountered: - 0n reaching levels at which in the past, the commodity has fluctuated for a considerable length of time within a narrow range - On approaching highs or lows T3. Watch for good buying or selling opportunities when trend lines are approached, especially on medium or dull volume. Be sure such a line has not been hugged or hit too frequently. T4. Watch for "crawling along" or repeated bumping of minor or major trend lines and prepare to see such trend lines broken. T5. Breaking of minor trend lines counter to the major trend gives most other important position taking signals. Positions can be taken or reversed on stop at such places. T6. Triangles of ether slope may mean either accumulation or distribution depending on other considerations although triangles are usually broken on the flat side. T7. Watch for volume climax, especially after a long move. T8. Don't count on gaps being closed unless you can distinguish between breakaway gaps, normal gaps and exhaustion gaps. T9. During a move, take or increase positions in the direction of the move at the market the morning following any one-day reversal, however slight the reversal may be, especially if volume declines on the reversal.
General Trading rules
G1. Beware of acting immediately on a widespread public opinion. Even if correct, it will usually delay the move. G2. From a period of dullness and inactivity, watch for and prepare to follow a move in the direction in which volume increases. G3. Limit losses and ride profits, irrespective of all other rules. G4. 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. G5. Seldom take a position in the direction of an immediately preceding three-day move. Wait for a one-day reversal. G6. 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 the the chart formation. G7. 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% profit, whereas an advance from 25 to 50 will net 100% G8. In taking a position, price orders are allowable. In closing a position, use market orders." G9. Buy strong-acting, strong-background commodities and sell weak ones, subject to all other rules. G10. Moves in which rails lead or participate strongly are usually more worth following than moves in which rails lag. G11. 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.
Investing in the financial markets can involve considerable risk. Past performance is not necessarily an indication of future performance. The information included in The Smart Money Tracker and The SMT subscribers daily updates is prepared for educational purposes and is not a solicitation, or an offer to buy or sell any security or use any particular system. Information is based on historical research using data believed to be reliable, but there is no guarantee as to its accuracy. G.D.S L.L.C., nor Gary Savage, do not represent themselves as acting in the position of an investment adviser or investment manager for funds that are not under their direct control and fiduciary responsibility. GDS L.L.C., Gary Savage, will not provide you with personally tailored advice concerning the nature, potential, value or suitability of any particular security, portfolio or securities, transaction, investment strategy or other matter. From time to time, GDS L.L.C., Gary Savage, may hold positions in securities mentioned, but are under no obligation to hold such positions.