Wednesday, January 25, 2006

When Subscribers Talk: We Listen

And produce. Yesterday and today marked the release of a new filter and a new alert to the Trade-Ideas inventory of technical indicators. The new additions are the result of our subscribers' feedback. The new alert, in fact, came to us from a specific request by TraderMike. Thanks Michael!

New Filter: Minimum Spread
  • Help section definition here
  • Key Benefit: This filter helps trader spot opportunities to "make the spread" or successfully arbritage large differences between the bid and ask.
  • Example Strategy: "Big Spreads"

New Alert: NR7

  • Help section definition here
  • Key Benefit: This alert helps traders looking for volatility find candidates that are coiled in a narrow price range and ready to pop into a much larger range.
  • Example Strategy: "NR7"
  • No matter which platform you use (e.g., browser, TI Pro), you can already access the new items - new alert and filter innovations like these are automatic to subscribers because both applications make a "call" to our servers for the latest list whenever someone interacts with our alert window settings via 'Configure'. When we add them, you receive them instantly.
  • Users of Trade-Ideas Pro are encouraged to download the latest version of the application. This is unrelated to the new alerts or filters. Rather a download of the latest version of the application is necessary to benefit from other aspects of the service, like minor visual enhancements and background "plumbing" maintenance that keeps the service as fast as possible.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Strategy Session: 3 Ways to Get More Bang for the Buck

One of the blogs that we include in our "round-up" section of informative articles is Ticker Sense from the folks at Birinyi & Associates. Today they mentioned a trading style that lends itself to several interpretations. That's a great candidate for a Strategy Session.

"Most active traders usually trade in stocks that will get them the most bang for the buck i.e., what stocks have the largest intraday ranges (from high to low)."

Ticker Sense makes the case that active traders like to trade stocks with enough room in which to maneuver. They produced two lists of stocks at $50 or above with the highest average intraday range over the last 50 days: one list of stocks with rising 50-day moving averages and the other with falling 50-day moving averages.

We came up with 3 strategies that interpret this approach and present them in descending order that most closely matches their list. The last strategy provides entirely new opportunities to consider.

Strategy One: Bang for the Buck with TS' Symbol List
The best way to match Ticker Sense's results is to copy it into Trade-Ideas as a symbol list and choose several alerts to assist you in spotting a good entry. Note Trade-Ideas requires that you create the symbol list yourself - click on the strategy without doing so and the alerts will trigger against the entire universe of stocks.

  • Steps on how to create a symbol list are here: (text, video)
  • Alert set-up you might use against this list: Bang for the Buck - TS Symbol List
  • (Note: there are no filters in this set-up because the universe has already been defined by the Ticker Sense stock list. For a recap on the difference between alerts and filters in Trade-Ideas, click here.)

Strategy Two: Bang for the Buck - Rising Above the 50-day Moving Average
Here we measure a wide intraday range not by the high and low of the day but rather the average volatility. Average volatility in Trade-Ideas is determined by the stock's price average movement over 15 minute periods. In this example we considered the list of stocks with rising 50-day moving averages. You can practice by configuring a strategy that looks for stocks in the opposite direction.

How It's Modeled

  • Minimum Volatility is set at $0.35 (this could also be expressed as a % of price). This is our method of establishing 'room to maneuver'.
  • Stocks must be up at least $0.01 from the previous close and at the 49th percentile of today's range or higher and be at least 0.05% above its 50-day moving average. This stacks the probability that stocks will be in a sustainable upward trend.
  • The set-up uses the same alerts as Strategy One to capture small pullbacks, resistance crossovers, and running momentum as possible entry points.
  • Bang for the Buck - Rising Above 50-Day MA
  • By looking at the History of this set-up from 1/23, several stocks in TS' list appear (e.g., SNDK, ISRG, RIG, etc.)

Strategy Three: Bang for the Buck - Range Explosions
This strategy uses a different filter to interpret 'room to maneuver': Range Explosions. Our Help section describes a range explosion as a stock pattern where a stock's trading range gets larger every day. A stock's trading range is the difference between the high for the day and the low for the same day. This set-up tracks stocks in either direction as long as they meet the filtering criteria.

How It's Modeled

  • The Range Explosion filter is set to look for stocks that have expanded in their trading range for at least 5 days or more prior to today.
  • Stocks must be trading at least 75% of their normal volume or more
  • The set-up uses the same alerts as Strategy One to capture small pullbacks, resistance crossovers, and running momentum as possible entry points. It also looks for broadening top or bottom chart patterns.
  • Bang for the Buck - Range Explosion


Sunday, January 22, 2006

Looking at the Markets with GOOG Lenses

Here is a picture of what a Google bot sees when it visits the Trade-Ideas website or any other site on the Internet:

Click here for what our homepage actually 'looks' like with human eyes. Big difference - a lot of noise gets stripped away.

It is not a stretch to make the same comparison between how the Google bot analyzes the web and how Trade-Ideas does the same for the markets.

For example here is how TI sees market technicals:

We even describe how we do it in an article we wrote when Trade-Ideas was still in beta. Read the outline below or follow the link to the full article if you want to walk a mile in Trade-Ideas' moccasins and understand how the tool 'sees' the market.

Full Article, "Details of Statistical Analysis"; Mirkin, Dan, and Smolen, Philip; 2002

  • Use of Statistical Analysis
  • Why Use Statistical Analysis?
  • Using Volume to Find Price Levels
  • Using Tick Data to Find Price Levels
  • Using Tick Data to Confirm Trends
  • Variable Time Scales
  • Using Time to Confirm Trends
  • Effects of Volatility
  • Geometric Pattern Alerts
  • Filtering

Friday, January 20, 2006

Top 7 Trading Strategies for the Week

Here is a list of the most popular strategies subscribers either use as is or modify to better fit their trading plan. Note that these strategies are from our universe of trading strategies developed by Trade-Ideas. Any similarity to a trading strategy developed by a subscriber is unintended and pure coincidence.

Here is the list of the Top 7 Trading Strategies for the last 7 trading days ending Thursday, January 19, 2006:
  1. Bullish Stocks Under $15 (description here)
  2. the Bull Watcher (description here)
  3. 3 Day Breakouts on High Relative Volume (description here)
  4. Up Big on Very Strong Volume (description here)
  5. the Free High/Low Ticker (our Free Trial, description here)
  6. Chart Pattern Recognition (description here)
  7. Large % Up Moves on High Relative Volume (description here)

Remember these strategies can be used as is OR (as they are intended) they can be modified to fit your own trading plan. For example by merely changing the Minimum Average Daily Volume to a different threshold, you see a whole different layer of the market than someone using the original configuration. Imagine what changing the Minimum Relative or Current Volume filter will do. The filters are like a periscope into the market. Change some of the settings and you'll see completely different schools of fish than someone at another depth. It's a big enough ocean/universe for everyone out there. Just go to the bathroom before you dip in.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Subscriptions Rates and Discounts Explained

(click to enlarge)

We are often asked if Trade-Ideas offers any discount on our subscription rates. The answer is yes. We reward our most loyal subscribers with a savings of about a third off of the regular monthly rate of $60. Any subscriber can choose from 4 payment options:

  • the Standard option: $60 per month
  • the Quarterly option: $180 per quarter
  • the Yearly option: $495 per year (i.e., a value of $41.25 per month but paid upfront)
  • the Advantaged Player option: $200 down, $35 per month
The graph plots the run rate of payments over many months to determine when a particular payment option becomes the best value. The 'stair steps' in the slope of several options represent the times a subscriber pays. As you can see after 12 months only one option becomes the obvious choice.

More information about our price list (including our free trial) exists at our website:

Our FAQ about subscribing, making payments, and canceling is here:

Friday, January 13, 2006

Strategy Session: 8-Day Highs Evidence of Momentum effects

Dr. Brett Steenbarger is a great source for ideas that can be modeled in Trade-Ideas. For his insight and plain speaking way of revealing statistically significant patterns in trading, we are grateful. The Doctor's recent post about the behavior of stocks reaching 10-day highs is the kind of example we like to make into a Strategy Session.

In a nutshell his theory and evidence suggest that the days following a 10-day high in a strong overall uptrending market will do better than a 10-day high in a weak or flat overall market. He gets even more precise with this observation,

"Markets that make 10 day highs but show 10-day rates of change of less than 2% have underperformed those that make 10 day highs with stronger momentum."

The Strategy
I tried modeling a simple strategy of filtering for stocks on good volume, trending upward, and reaching 10-day highs. This was going to be the settings for this post - delivered with the caveat that you shouldn't use this unless the overall market is bullish.

However it occurred to me that if everyone is looking to see what will happen after a 10-day high relative to the market, why not get in front of this statistical observation and look for stocks reaching 8-day highs? In other words can stocks that reach 8 day highs with momentum continue to 10 days? The context/direction of the overall market is still very important, but already in this mornings choppy market I like what I am seeing.

How Its Modeled
The set-up includes these filtering conditions:

The alerts we select as triggers within this filtered universe are stocks that: increase by more than 2% in price from the opening OR cross daily highs of the last 8 days or more.

Who Could Benefit
This strategy can be used by short term momentum traders (i.e., positions from intraday to 2-3 days max) who know what kind of cycle the market is in for the last 8-10 days. This strategy is sensitive to overall direction of the market. If the market is riding high, these settings will spot ideal candidates with enough momentum. If the market is tanking, there simply won't be much that this strategy reports.

For extra credit you could design the opposite of this strategy for use in more bear markets. Read the Online Help definitions to get started.

  • Dr. Brett Steenbarger's blog here.
  • Configure this strategy for your own use here.
  • Link to other Strategy Sessions here.
  • Remember that these set-ups are sketches meant to give you an idea how to model your own trading plan. Use this 'as is' or modify it to your own liking as many others do. Know, however, that and all individuals affiliated with this site assume no responsibilities for your trading and investment results. The indicators, alerts and all other features are for research purposes only and should not be construed as investment advice.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Trade-Ideas In Your Town 2006

Our recent Annual Partners Meeting produced a list of scheduled conferences and shows that key personnel from Trade-Ideas will be attending. If your city is listed and you'd like a little one-on-one assistance with Trade-Ideas or learn how we keep the ship afloat, please let us know via the comments section or at Subject: RoadTrip. If there is a good response we'll set up a convenient time for everyone to meet. If it's just one or two that are interested we'll still meet or at the least schedule a phone call during our visit.

  • New York, NY: The Traders Expo, Marriott Marquis Hotel, February 18-21, 2006
  • Ft. Lauderdale, FL: The Traders Expo, Broward County Convention Center, June 7–10, 2006
  • New York, NY: SIA Technology Management Conference, Hilton New York, June 20-22, 2006
  • Las Vegas, NV: The Traders Expo, Mandalay Bay Resort, November 16-19, 2006
  • International Conference: TBD
  • Atlanta, GA: Our East coast office all year round
  • San Diego, CA: Our West coast office and Data Center all year round
More events will be added as needed. The June SIA event in New York City will also feature our Press & Partners Event. Last year's success guaranteed we would do it again. All of the Trader's Expo events will feature our partnership with Scottrade and their Scottrade ELITE platform - a powerful combination.

Last year's list of events is here.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Banc of America Securities Prime Brokerage Extends Trade-Ideas Pilot

The important announcement below is communicated to our blog subscribers and readers first.

In an effort to deliver the most sophisticated Idea Generation Technology (IGT) to their Hedge Fund customers, Banc of America Securities Prime Brokerage extends their pilot program with Trade-Ideas.

This agreement allows Banc of America Securities Prime Brokerage customers to continue and receive Trade-Ideas uninterrupted through March of 2006.

"Trade-Ideas' real-time Idea Generation Technology (IGT) gives our customers the ability to see customized opportunities in the market as they happen; opportunities that are otherwise very hard to find. Banc of America Securities takes an important lead by embracing this technology to give their best clients an edge," adds Dan Mirkin, Senior Managing Partner of Trade-Ideas.

About Trade-Ideas

As a pure pattern recognition tool, Trade-Ideas' focus is on providing next level analytics and decision support via its browser-based or downloadable platform. Via Trade-Ideas clients customize an inventory of alerts and filters to produce a unique view of the markets: theirs. Recent reviews from Barron's, HedgeWorld, Active Trader, The Trade (UK), Stock & Commodities magazine, stock newsletters, and leading brokers describe the service as an accurate, discriminating alert provider that is flexible, simple to deploy, and easy to use. A free demo is available and requires no payment information to get started. For additional product information visit:

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Heads Full of Steam

Most of our customers are enjoying a string of incredible trading days marked with a lot of momentum and bullish behavior. The partners at Trade-Ideas meanwhile spent the last 2 days steering a course for the firm in 2006 from amazing vistas and barstools in San Diego, California. The occasion was our 3rd Annual Partners Meeting. Much of the plans and goals we set will be collected and transcribed from the cocktail napkins, bar tabs and lampshades we scribbled on.

Here's the agenda we considered:

1. Summary of 2005 Accomplishments and Missed Opportunities
2. 2006 Theme: Getting Ready for Growth
3. Industry Outlook: Market size, trends, competitors
4. Strategy per Segment and ’06 Business Plan: Goals, Marketing, Budget, International
5. Audit of Data Center
6. Staff: Roles, Responsibilities
7. Systems: Financial, IT, Product Development, Support
8. Style: Communications, Management
9. Recap of Partner priorities, initiatives
Just typing it makes me want another drink. There's a lot to do but the success in 2005 should be the solid ground from which we grow in terms of Trade-Ideas' usefulness and value as a premier trading tool. Stay tuned.

Places of note:
TASTE - Restaurant and forward-thinking wine bar/shop, downtown Encinitas
Pacifica Del Mar - Great views, bloody marys, and brunch
L'Auberge Del Mar - Bathrobes too plush to stuff into the suitcase - shame

Friday, January 06, 2006

Strategy Session: Recent Settings 1/06

In a previous post we discussed the usefulness of the 'Recent Settings' feature in Trade-Ideas. The feature records your most recent alert windows modeled in Trade-Ideas allowing you to access them wherever you go and trade. It also avoids the hassle of saving them somewhere for you to carry around.

Today TI Maven and I want to share what's in our Recent Settings folder. This list consists of our own devices and modifications that may or may not have originated from articles we read, support questions we receive, and our own brainstorming.

For example yesterday I mentioned my most recent strategy in my list:

  • High Yet to Arrive SMALLCAP - Looks within the universe of small caps for the stocks that have yet to make their high of the day but may well do so.
Here's what's in TI Maven's list:

I've discussed these before but these versions have some more changes to them. These take advantage of our recently released Days Consolidation feature. It is designed to spot stocks in a tight range recently but now breaking out or down

Thursday, January 05, 2006


Hook 'em Horns!

Although the partners at Trade-Ideas are no longer in Texas, the seeds of the firm's technology and success in the industry were planted when all 3 attended the University of Texas at the same time. So it is a happy day indeed for the alma matter to watch the Longhorns celebrate as the 2005 National Champions.

Another buddy of ours was captured in the above photo by the opposite field goal stand. See him? He's spilling beer on the Trade-Ideas T-shirt we made him wear for the game.

It was a thrilling game to watch, TX 41, USC 38. One for the ages...

(picture above)

Vince Young of the Texas Longhorns dives over the goal line past Scott Ware and Josh Pinkard of the USC Trojans to score a 14 yard touchdown during the third quarter of the BCS National Championship Rose Bowl Game at the Rose Bowl on January 4, 2006 in Pasadena, California.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

What's on Your List?

Unlike new year resolutions there's a list at Trade-Ideas that you can't lose or forget. It's called "Recent Settings" and subscribers to Trade-Ideas know that we save your most recent strategies in this list - even if you forget to do so. Here is how it's done. If you are using Trade-Ideas Pro, or Trade-Ideas embedded in our partner products like Scottrade ELITE, Medved QuoteTracker, TradeStream Global or many others, simply right click in your alert window and select the "Recent Settings" option. This brings up your list of recent settings. Select any of the choices and start scanning the strategy you selected. This can be repeated in any window.

If you are a web based user make sure you are logged in to the Trade-Ideas web site and select the Advanced Features link. Follow the link that says Recent Settings and you will see the list of links to start your recently created alert windows.

There is another use of the Recent Settings option. Many subscribers trade from multiple locations in any given month, week, or day. They use the Recent Settings list as a convenient way to retrieve their strategies from anywhere in the world they might be trading.

Tomorrow we'll share what's on our Recent Settings list. This is the one that is my most recent:

High Yet to Arrive SMALLCAP - Looks within the universe of small caps for the stocks that have yet to make their high of the day but may well do so.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Strategy Session: Reward Yourself

The collection of strategies we maintain on this blog arrives from a variety of sources: trading magazines, other blogs, our own trading experience, and occasionally from "inspirado".

We want to give our subscribers and readers a chance to share a Trade-Ideas strategy set-up of their own and receive their due credit, the admiration and feedback of others, and a gift for the efforts. First we must answer the question, "Why would anyone share a set-up with 'the world'?" Several answers come to mind:
  1. Sharing a strategy can only improve it when its viewed and commented on by others. Good, bad, or indifferent comments will reveal ways to improve the strategy or generate other ideas you can then model
  2. The contributions of others can also generate ideas and variations for your own use
  3. With only minor tweaks of your strategy's filters (e.g., on price, on volume, on volatility, etc.), you can slice and see an entirely different piece of the universe and never see the same stocks. So its easy to share the concept while still protecting exactly what you see on your original version
  4. You flatter us, we are not that big - yet. The odds of bumping into another subscriber on a trade in the same strategy - is remote
  5. Start your efforts at becoming a recognizable and acknowledged 'expert'. With a few of your strategies 'published' on our blog, your next appearance could be in the local paper, a national trade magazine, or even Bloomberg!

Share one of your set-ups. Modify it a bit if you are concerned about others trading the exact same list as yours. Here is what you will receive from us for each published effort:

Send us your set-up (see the format in our Strategy Session category) and a brief description of what you trying to accomplish and who (i.e., what type of trader) benefits the most from using it, and we will buy and ship to you a book from your Amazon Wish List. Don't have one? Follow the link to create one.

Who knows? Maybe you'll find your own 'inspirado'. Reward yourself as well by taking part in our 1st Annual Learning Curve Seminar exclusively for fans and subscribers of Trade-Ideas. Read about it on our blog as well here: