Friday, July 28, 2006

Preview of Trade-Ideas Pro v2.0

A colleague's wise words recently described our efforts this summer:

"Most highly successful people across a variety of fields—from arts to athletics and science—succeed by maximizing their strengths, not by focusing efforts on their weaknesses."
The ability to translate trader preferences into features is a major strength of Trade-Ideas. Our small firm is built to turn feedback into improvements which we capture via emails, IMs, this blog, and the conferences we attend or host. Glimpse our track record in the “What’s New” section of our web-site. It keeps us busy and more importantly keeps Trade-Ideas as a must have tool among our subscribers.

Apparently the summer months and this market leave little else for traders to do but stuff the suggestion box. On June 26th we released version 1.9. Now we prepare our customers for the biggest change yet to Trade-Ideas Pro: Version 2.0.

We will reward readers of this blog with a special invitation to beta-test Trade-Ideas Pro Version 2.0 ahead of its formal release.

What's New for v2.0:
The main difference in 2.0 is the configuration screen. Here is a screen shot:

A new tab appears in the first position. It's the Strategies section which we moved from the right-click menu to the configuration menu.

Now a trader using Trade-Ideas Pro can see under 'Current Settings' a summary of the selected alerts and filters in their current strategy.

Click on the 'Preconfigured Strategies' folder and see it expand to show you the current list of strategies traders use 'as-is' or modify on their own. Note that a description of each strategy appears on the right. See what this looks like below:

All of your personal settings are still available to subscribers in the 'Recent Settings' folder. Clicking on the name of a recent setting will again reveal the settings of your strategy.

One more useful feature of the summary area on the right: Click on any of the icons representing an alert or filter and be taken immediately to that alert or filter in the configuration screen - No more hunting in the menu for what a trader selected.

Once a subscriber changes any setting in a strategy, they are automatically prompted to modify the 'Window Name' tab. We also post the list of what just changed as a helpful confirmation. This keeps changes organized and easier to track when viewing them later. See the screen shot below:

What you are seeing is a work in progress. All of this is getting set up to prepare our customers for the best innovation to come out in a very long time which we call the “Odds Maker”.

Interesting? We would very much like to hear your feedback and comments. Please post a comment and share your opinion.

Stay tuned here for more details.


  • Users of Trade-Ideas Pro are always encouraged to download the latest version of the application in order to benefit for our latest improvements. This is unrelated to any new alerts or filters we may add from time to time. Downloading the latest version of the application is necessary to benefit from other aspects of the service, like the visual enhancements described above and background "plumbing" maintenance that keeps the service as fast as possible.

  • No matter which platform you use (e.g., browser, TI Pro), you can always access any new alerts and/or filters we add. 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.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Is Your Trading in Tune with this Market? It Will Be

There's a great installment of StockTickr's 'One Question Interview' series. Dave poses the following question to each interviewee:
What trading lesson(s) have you learned from the downtrend that started in May?
Dr. Brett Steenbarger, of TraderFeed, provides a cogent, informed answer. What caught my attention was his last statement:
"The lesson since May is that the big picture does really matter. It’s important to track price and volume, but the patterns that work in one market environment can fail miserably when that environment changes."
Markets are always changing from states of momentim, choppiness and areas in between. A one strategy fits all approach will not generate consistent winning trades. That got me thinking how relevant our close-to-beta-release tool, The Odds Maker, will be to traders in the challenging markets we are witnessing. This was my response (however I decided it was too coy of me to post, so I didn't do it. Here's what was on my mind)

Ah, if only a trader could test her current trading patterns against the current market environment and come up with a probability that the strategy she was using would produce a profitable signal - a win rate. The resulting knowledge would afford her the flexibility of changing tactics without paying for costly mistakes. It would inform her what trading styles are best suited to what the market's currently doing.

If ESPN's Poker tournaments can show probabilities of a player's hand, then surely someone can do the same for a trader's strategy.

This is the tool we intend to introduce in the coming months.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Daily Ticks

A list of what's got our attention today:
  • Trader-X peels the onion explaining his use of Fibonacci indicators and trading style - A Stocktickr Interview. Key Takeaway: money management and position sizing technique worth a look

  • The right way to rob a bank, by Peter Kaplan. Key Takeaway: In trading don't get greedy or swing for the fences - discipline and consistency (i.e., small repeated wins) keep you one step ahead

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Trading Tools to Get a Boost

That's the headline in the Personal Journal section of the Wall Street Journal today. The article is only a handful of paragraphs in length and it quickly surveys the landscape of sophisticated trading tools now offered investors.

Mentioned in the article is E*Trade and their new "conditional order" capabilites that automatically execute trades if certain predefined conditions are met. Also mentioned is TD Ameritrade's latest tool, the "market motion detector". We gave this tool a small review previously, but what it does can be explained by our "Running Up/Down" alert.

And most significantly privately held Scottrade Inc. gets the following mention:
Scottrade introduced two trading tools that are designed to help customers get pricing on trades and identify possible trading ideas.
That's us by the way mentioned indirectly. We'll take it. We plan on working with Scottrade to make more of a marketing splash in the months to come.

(Subscription needed to see full article," Trading Tools to Get a Boost" archived here.)

See also some interesting letters we've received from TD Ameritrade customers eager to see us integrated with their platform.

Service Interruption and Update

This morning our exchange feed vendor reports that their service is down. This affects our service today, July 19, 2006.

This unusual event will be investigated with the exchanges and our vendor. It is being resolved now. We apologize nevertheless for the inconvenience this causes our subscribers in today's market session.

A fuller explanation of the event and our response will be posted here as an update.

UPDATE: July 19, 2006 10:55 AM EST
Service at our vendor is restored. Trade-Ideas is up and running. Thank you for your patience.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Stock Sellers May Be Overreacting

The Wall Street Journal suggests today there may be some overracting to the latest increase in Middle East tension. The article, "Keeping Cool Amid Global Strife" in the Money & Investing section, quotes an old British maxim from a banker during the Napoleanic Wars:

Buy to the sound of cannons, sell to the sound of trumpets.

Essentially the WSJ says that the market tends to overreact to crises like these. It notes that "only when economic fundamentals have been seriously damaged, usually in the form of a disruption in oil supplies, has the Middle East fighting led to serious market trouble."

From this headline, here are the strategies we've discussed before that you may find of particular interest. These strategies all look for opportunities after major sell-offs:

If you subscribe to the WSJ online, see the article here.

Interestingly Dr. Brett Steenbarger comments today on what to do with these failed patterns and overreaction. Check out his article here.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Be audaciously selective

There's an interesting discussion on the use of real-time scanners that got my attention. The post appears on Uglychart's blog (a good, well written blog with an entertaining edge to it). The post and several comments stress the usefulness of real-time scanners for generating ideas but offer the caveat that it's the number of ideas generated that lead them to frustration.

I make the following point (in a nutshell):

Scanners are built to filter and discriminate. Be audaciously selective with the ideas that come from your scanner.

If you use Trade-Ideas this means tighten up the alert-specific filters as well as the window specific filters.

Here is the post and its comments.

Friday, July 14, 2006

TickerSense BS Poll Results

TickerSense debuted a interesting sentiment indicator called the Blogger Sentiment Poll (could they be serious about keeping the name as the 'BS' Poll?) which seeks to take the pulse of the blogosphere's growing independent market analysis. They do this by polling a select group of Who's Who among analysts on the overal health of the markets. It seems they received an enthusiastic first response.

It will be interesting to see whether this poll becomes a leading or lagging indicator to the true direction of the markets.

Here are the 2 key takeaways:

  1. The inaugural consensus sentiment is a wash reflecting uncertainty about the current direction of the economy and markets.
  2. Of the currently 31 blogs contributing to the poll, 6 regularly use Trade-Ideas (that's 20% and growing!) including Kirk Report, Fallond Stock Picks, and Trader Mike

Full article appears here

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Opening Range Breakouts

The Kirk Report today provided some insight regarding what he looks at throughout the day; namely, stocks that are trading above the first hour. Kirk then provides a list of stocks currently meeting that threshold. At Trade-Ideas subscribers look for the same event using the Opening Range Breakout alerts and can choose among several timeframes: 60 minute opening range, 30 minute opening range, etc.

I find this list very useful for good afternoon trades especially around the 1 - 2 pm (EST) timeframe. See a previous Strategy Session post that builds on a good trading phenomenon uncovered by Dr. Brett Steenbarger for more information.

Here is our list of stocks breaking out of their 60 minute opening range - right now (UPDATED for Friday, July 14th) (Time is NY-EST):

07/14/2006, 02:41:21 PM
Opening range breakout. (60 minutes)
07/14/2006, 02:40:34 PM
Opening range breakout. (60 minutes)
07/14/2006, 02:39:54 PM
Opening range breakout. (60 minutes)
07/14/2006, 02:37:39 PM
Opening range breakout. (60 minutes)
07/14/2006, 02:34:57 PM
Opening range breakout. (60 minutes)
07/14/2006, 02:34:16 PM
Opening range breakout. (60 minutes)
07/14/2006, 02:33:45 PM
Opening range breakout. (60 minutes)
07/14/2006, 02:33:44 PM
Opening range breakout. (60 minutes)

You can keep refreshing and visiting this list - for free: Here

The Kirk Report is a great read whose headlines we feature in our 'Round-Up' section of the blog. Here are a couple of previous mentions of Trade-Ideas:

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

It Takes a Village to Convince a Committee

You got to admire the lengths that this customer will go to have his Trade-Ideas subscription paid for.
-----Original Message-----
From: Nimic [mailto:n*****@*****.info]
Sent: Sunday, July 09, 2006 9:30 PM
Subject: Ameritrade

hello -

are there any plans to partner with Ameritrade so that their customers get free Trade-Ideas Pro access? I contacted Ameritrade and suggested it to them, they said they would consider it and left it at that.

is there anything you can do to talk to them directly?



No doubt this customer knows that ScottradeELITE traders receive Trade-Ideas for free thanks to our partnership and wants the same service through TD Ameritrade. We want to help him in every way - and we are via our own discussions with TD Ameritrade. But these days the real coin of the realm is customer 'word of mouth' and it takes a chorus of voices to push committees of decision makers to do the right thing. (Note: there's a whole organization dedicated to helping amplify customer enthusiasm and feedback)

What to Do
If you are using Trade-Ideas separately from your broker's platform and would like to see the tool integrated and possibly subsidized, add your voice to ours and contact them directly or comment below - we'll direct it to the right ear.

Here are the voices of some who wrote us recently:

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Top 10 Stocks: 50 Day MA to Cross 200 Day MA

This list shows which stocks are most likely to have their 50 day SMA cross above or below their 200 day SMA in the next trading session. This is an important trading signal for institutional traders. When the 50 day SMA crossed below the 200 day SMA, it is called a "death cross." When the 50 crossed above the 200, it is called a "golden cross."

We do not track the actual cross-over event. We focus on a smaller time scale. Many stock screeners focus on daily candlesticks; they would be the best place to find out what crossovers happened the previous day.

To predict which stocks are most likely to have a moving average crossover in the near future, we compare the two moving averages, then use the stock's recent volatility to see how likely it is for the moving averages to cross in a fixed amount of time. Makes sense.

The formula for this list is absolute_value(50 day SMA of the closing prices - 200 day SMA of the closing prices) / volatility. The smallest value is shown at the top of the list.

As of July 11, 2006:
The latest list (that gets updated daily) is here (50 Day MA to Cross 200 Day MA). See Note below.

Here's more information on moving averages.

Note: This list highlights some interesting stocks that we track. This interest is based strictly on the historical baseline information described above. Our real-time product generates far more specific lists based on this data, real-time price and volume information, and a more detailed user configuration screen. This screener updates once a day, at approximately 4am Eastern time.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Holy Grail of Trading Explained: StockTickr Interview

Our own Dan Mirkin, Senior Managing Partner at Trade Ideas LLC, appears in a recent interview on the StockTickr blog. It's got alot of nuggets on how Dan trades and some history of why Trade-Ideas was created.

A popular feature of StockTickr is the Interview Series which contains insights from traders in various stages of their development/expertise.

About StockTickr
StockTickr is free "social investing" and it's the easiest way to store a watchlist on the web. Uncover new trade ideas, use RSS to track investing ideas, and more.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Websites as Fireworks

Thanks to The Big Picture for pointing out an interesting way to graph websites. I always take a second look at different ways of presenting data - it's helped us to develop the Trade-Ideas interface and method of presenting lots of data quickly to the viewer. Professor Edward Tufte is a thought-leader in this area.

In the spirit of Independence Day these graphs remind me of fireworks. Enjoy.

Below is a graph of

Here is a graph of this blog:

For comparison here is the graph of WSJ: