Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Trade-Ideas In Your Town: Vegas 2007

We are headed to Las Vegas this week and weekend for the Traders Expo.

Here are the details:

Las Vegas, NV: The Traders Expo, Mandalay Bay Resort,

November 15-18, 2007

Are you planning to attend?

Here's a snapshot of some last minute fares to Las Vegas. There's another good travel site to consider called FareCast. They are good at forecasting airfares for flights and letting you know if a current price is above or below the historic average. They also developed a cool tool called FareGuard that lets you protect the lowest fare for one week without buying a ticket.

We are hosted again by Scottrade this year as well as a couple of other new partners. Please look for us at their booth and talk shop.

You can also catch our presentation on Friday with Scottrade and see how Trade-Ideas excels inside the Scottrade ELITE platform.

Let us know if you are coming with a comment here. Drinks on us. Come Friday night to MIX Lounge at the Mandalay from 6pm to 8pm.

If you can't make it

The good folks at MoneyShow.com capture many of the presentations at the Expos. Some of them are available for free. Here is a free presentation from the last Expo in San Diego earlier this year featuring me and Trade-Ideas. We discuss several different styles of technical analysis (no trading fundamentally dared to speak on the panel!) and fire off several hard-learned lessons on advancing the practice of trading. Take a look:


Luck be a lady!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

This Test Measures Trading Signals: S.M.A.R.T.

We don't create alerts unless we know they're helpful at spotting opportunity for traders. In fact we are now known for removing alerts when market rules change and render some events insignificant.

You can rely on us to keep an ever evolving list of relevant, useful, S.M.A.R.T. alerts.

I explain what that means by describing why we are removing one of our alerts: The Up Tick rule

Is it really doing what we thought?

When we write a formula for an alert or filter we sometimes wonder, "Is it really doing what we thought?" The market makers, specialists, and other traders don’t always show us their real intentions, so we often have to rely on common sense and good guesses.

This is really cool. Now we have proof.

We have an alert called stepping down. This alert looks for the case where someone tries to send a market short order for a large number of shares. Because they had to wait for an up tick, they couldn’t do it in the obvious way. Instead, they had to offer the stock at one penny above the price of the last print. Each time there was a new print for a lower price, they could lower their offer. We recognized that pattern, developed the logic, and displayed a stepping down alert.

Recently the up tick rule went away. Now people don’t have to use that trick. And, sure enough, we don’t see as many stepping down alerts.

(If you'd like to read about other effects the removal of the Up Tick rule has had on the markets, read here (thanks Mike!))

We still see a few. But we saw about 100x as many back when the Up Tick rule was still in effect. What does that mean? That means that the alert worked as intended. Approximately 1% of these alerts were just noise. The other 99% were legitimate patterns.

What it takes to join the alert list

Over the years a few people have asked why we didn’t have a stepping up alert. It’s the same answer. The (legitimate) stepping down pattern was caused by the Up Tick rule. That only applied to short sales. There was no reverse pattern for people buying stock. We could have entered the opposite formula into our servers, but it only would have reported noise. There was no legitimate pattern to report.

We don’t create alerts like that.

S.M.A.R.T. Alerts

So our test for an alert to join the club is: S.M.A.R.T.
  • Specific - Does the alert describe a legitimate, actionable pattern?
  • Measureable - Can the event be quantified or is it subjective?
  • Actionable - Can traders reap rewards from finding this pattern in the market?
  • Relevant - How much noise or false signals might this event generate?
  • Timely - Can the event be spotted in real-time?
All of our alerts pass this test when properly combined with our filters. Use this helpful test in your own trading. Do your signals pass this test? How much noise do you sift through before deciding on a trade? Answers to these questions will tighten the belt of any trading plan and hopefully generate additional insights into your trading.

Monday, November 05, 2007

The Free Top List of Stocks You Can't Miss

It's strange how life can work in cycles. Apparently it's no different with software either. Last year at this very time, we introduced a free, End of Day custom scanning module for Netvibe users. Since we made the tool available, usage of the module hits new highs every month.

Welcome the Trade-Ideas Top List

We're celebrating by announcing another free scanning tool that's based on the technical analysis filters used in Trade-Ideas Pro. Here's the innovative part:

Not only is the data free to anyone, but it's also intra-day (i.e., it refreshes every 15-20 minutes instead of once a day). Our blog affiliates will like the fact that the list is also embeddable anywhere on a webpage and will update throughout the day.

We call it our Top List and it's another way to find opportunities using Trade-Ideas. Here is a sample that finds stocks which are way up for the day. Pick any number of filters in the list by adding values that model your strategy, then select any filter in the list by which you want us to rank the results - whether it has a value in your model or not. (Hint: Choose a 'Max' filter to see the list descending from the greatest value).

The Full Stable of Free Tools

So let's review all the free information we provide anyone (someone could make a business out this alone!)