Brian Tracy: Develop A Prosperity Consciousness

January 29, 2010

Develop A Prosperity Consciousness
By: Brian Tracy

The starting point of all riches is the development of a prosperity consciousness. You must become a financial success in your thinking long before you achieve it in your reality. Both poverty and riches are the result of a state of mind, and the most important single step you ever take on the road to wealth and financial independence is the decision to change your thinking, to impress into your mind an unshakable belief that you can and will achieve your financial goals. This must happen before anything else happens.

Think And Grow Rich
When I was growing up, I was fascinated by stories of successful men and women and how they made and lost their fortunes, and then made them over again. I read about the importance of a prosperity consciousness in the book, Think And Grow Rich, by Napoleon Hill, several times. But I never fully understood what it meant until about five years ago. Then it hit me and I've never been quite the same since. Every aspect of my life has improved dramatically, especially in the area of accumulating wealth, since I finally understood what is meant by a prosperity consciousness.

Two Great Discoveries
Here are two of the most exciting principles ever discovered in the long search by mankind for the secrets of health, happiness and great personal wealth.

All Causation is Mental
The first principle is this. All causation is mental. That means that everything that you are or ever will be will be a result of how you use your mind. You are merely a mind with a body to carry it around with. The entire man made world that you see is simply an expression of thought. Your entire life is an expression of your own thinking. And since the quality of your thinking determines the quality of your life, if you improve the quality of your thinking, you must, you will, inevitably improve the quality of your life.

The Law of Expectations
The second principle is what we call the law of expectations. This law says that whatever you expect with confidence, positive or negative, becomes your reality. If you confidently expect to succeed, if you confidently expect to learn something from every experience, if you confidently expect to become wealthy as a result of applying your talents and abilities to your opportunities and you maintain that attitude of confident expectations long enough, it will become your reality. It will give you a positive optimistic cheerful attitude that will cause people to want to help you, and will cause things to happen the way you want them to happen.

Action Exercises
Here are two things you can do immediately to practice these principles in your day to day life:

First, start thinking today in a positive, optimistic, confident way about personal and financial success. Continually imagine what differences it would make in your life if you were financially independent. This is the starting point of developing a prosperity consciousness.

Second, develop your own attitude of positive expectations. Look for the good in every situation. Look for the valuable lesson in every setback or difficulty. Be positive and cheerful about everything that happens and you will be amazed at the difference it makes in your life.

Relationship With Money

What is your relationship with money?

As you notice, mine seems to be quite tumultuous. I've shared with you some of my financial "stuff". It hasn't been a pretty picture, but something I've been working aggressively on in the past year, making some HUGE, drastic changes.

I had committed to trading every day for the month of January with my real funds. There were 19 trading days for this month and I traded 7 days with real funds. :( Yes, a big disappointment and I renigged on my commitment.

Really, what does that mean? I have no integrity? Non-committal? Full of hot air?

Honestly, I'm not quite sure. I truly want to be a person of integrity. I could tell you all this "stuff", but the reality is, it's a challenge to sometimes believe in myself. I have, however, traded every day so far this month (minus MLK Day), just the other 11 days has been practice days.

Some of it was legitimate, as I was resolving connection issues and having to relearn another trading platform. I've retested my trading strategies over and over and when I follow them to the "T", I am ALWAYS net positive for the day and by a lot compared to my costing trades. It's that simple.

I really don't know what my fears are, or what is holding me back. I've received psycho therapy up the wazzu -- I don't even know how much I've spent since 2005 for a therapist or on mental/emotional healing to get me to have a healthy relationship with money. It's been in the many thousands of dollars.

What do I know? I know I want to be my kids' mommy and be able to be here to raise them myself - not go to a job working for someone so that I have to leave my kids in the care of someone else to raise. I want to be able to participate actively every day in their education, to interact with them, make them meals, play with them, teach them, travel with them.

I'm not knocking the parents that go to work for someone and gets to basically see their kids at night. I was one of those parents and frankly, I hated it. I missed so many things of my kids and it really devestated me. It also brought back memories of my own parents, particularly my dad, how he never showed up for anything of mine because he was always too busy working - making money . . . for us, the kids.

I saw how my parents, especially my dad, hung onto money so tightly, never wanting to spend any of it. My parents fought all the time about money. My dad is a huge hoarder of stuff, of money . . . always fearful of not having enough money.

Funny, I adopted a lot of my dad's views on money and didn't realize it. When I had loads of money a decade ago, I thought I was so poor and lived as a poor person. Now, my views on money are so much healthier, but I do not have the money as I had back then . . . at least not yet.

I was a huge hoarder of money and would even fight with my husband if he spent 25 cents on a gallon of water, berating him for wasting money. My gosh. How horrible. I lived in a tiny house, when I could've lived in a house triple or quadruple what I lived in because I was so afraid of not being able to afford my home. In fact, I could've paid that house off and bought 10 more other homes that size to rent out and paid cash for all those homes, AND, still had plenty money left over.

Nope, I lived a bit above the "bag lady" . . . okay, maybe not quite that bad, but not real great. I wouldn't buy new furniture or a new car, rather I would buy some crap piece of car that I would have to sink all this money to fix. Those were just so unhealthy forms of viewing money.

I began reading this evening a book by Maxine Hyndman called "The Naked Millionaire". She shares of her story of bankruptcy and coming out of that, sharing her relationship with money and what she learned. I'm about half way through and learning some stuff. There are no great epiphanies, but I'm beginning to see some cool things emerge.

To my readers, please be patient with me as I am in the process of creating the person I want to be, by the grace of God. The person I want to be is to have FREEDOM to live abundantly in Jesus Christ, without doubts or fears, but just fulling living in the vision and destiny He has for me.

I know a part of that is to have financial abundance and to do well in trading - not just in practice or intermittently in my real accounts, but consistently and then take that money to not only provide for my children & I, but really to do so much more to empower & help other people.

One of the big things I've done in the past 12-13 months is to really take responsibility for where I am. I am where I am because of the choices I've made. MY CHOICES. No blaming my ex-husband, rather they were MY CHOICES. Pretty tough thing to swallow, but I'm a big girl.

When you can confront the lies in your life with truth, God's Truth, then you can begin the healing and restoration process. I got rid of the tiny house. We are temporarily living with family as I get our finances stabilized. Taking a bit longer than I'd like, but it's happening.

Hopefully the last half of the book will bring more enlightment and help me implement things that I can actually do. God is good and reveals all sorts of things to me through all sorts of people. Thank you God!

There is one more day left of this month. Hopefully I can take a deep breath and at least make 1 trade according to my trading strategies with my real funds. TBD.

Next week starts a new month and we'll see.

Trading Strategies

Another apology for not writing this week.

Monday I did not trade as my kids did not have school and I wanted to spend the day with him.

Tuesday out of it.

Wednesday all over the place.

Thursday still sick and needed to get more rest.

Friday I practiced traded for 4 hrs of the market and mostly followed my trading strategies and did well. Placed 11 trades: 9 profits, 2 costs. Avg profitable trade took 1.5 pts and avg costing trade was 0.5 pt. Netted 12.5 pts for the day on 1 contract.

I posted most of my trades as real time as I could with entries & exits. It drew some attention to me as I was getting the trades correct.

The mistakes I still made was not completely following the exit strategies and exiting too soon. Though, these profits were better than the first week where I only took 1 tick. Now I was averaging 6 ticks. The thing is, the last 2 trades made, it really should've been 1 trade and it would've given me 7 pts extra than what I took. That's another 28 more ticks.

Of the 9 profitable trades, 5 of them I exited per the trading strategy. The other 4 would've given me enough to more than double what I netted. This is, however, a big improvement from Wk 1 of this year.

The costing trades I entered and exited per the trading strategies. 7/11 trades were per the trading strategies. The goal is to have 100% of my trades per the trading strategies.

My goal is to be ready to trade Monday and every day next week trade with real funds using 1-2 contracts.

Gving & Billionaires

I was reading today something that someone was outraged that billionaires didn't give 1/4 of their money to help the homeless & so children wouldn't go hungry in America. This was in regards to the plea for Americans to help Haiti in their disaster.

I'd like to say that it is very sad all the Haitians that died and were hurt in this disaster. Very traumatic and I'm not minimizing their plight. We ought to help. Rather than people getting on their soapboxes on this and that about the Haitians, just do what you can to help -- whatever that is - sending money, going there, praying, etc.

There are many good things that we can do to help others on a daily basis. One of the best ways to see where a person's heart is is what they do with their money. This includes me, too.

Some people automatically assume that if you're a millionaire or a billionaire that you have oodles of all this money lying around at your disposal whenever. Now, this may be this case for some, and others may have their money tied up in businesses, and all sorts of other things.

Self-made billionaires & millionaires typically got there by being smart with their money and it took time. I'm not talking about the people that have won the lottery, inherited the money, or some freakish thing like their stock investment went from nearly nothing to a gazillion dollars.

The people that have had to sacrifice, take time, manage their money well, be creative, diligent, perservere to get to the millionaire, mega millionaire and billionaire statuses typically do deserve to be where they are at because they do things that a typical person will not do. It's really that simple. I do know some of these people (no billionaires though) and they are very, very generous. In fact, they are percentage wise far generous than many people I know.

The Bible talks about the Widow's mite. She gave all she had to the Lord. To most, a mite isn't hardly anything, but to her, it was everything she had. Percentagewise, she gave 100%. Are most of us THAT generous to give all that we have?

I read somewhere that if you drop Robert Allan in a suberb or reasonable size town with very little money, he could figure out within 72 hrs to make money with a small amount of money to the point of many thousands of dollars. Now, I read this a number of years ago when the housing market was booming, so not sure if he can do that now.

But, that wasn't the point. The point was he wasn't limited in his thinking in how he made money, but he had no fear and went looking for opportunities and knew where to find them, and he did. However, what if you give the ordinary Joe that same amount of money. What would he do? Could he generate a good profit from that perhaps resulting in steady passive income? Probably not.

There is a point here, so bear with me. Robert Allan, I would say, is a good manager of money, not limited in fear thinking, and from the things I've read before, he seems to be quite generous. Even if it's a marketing ploy, there is still a level of generosity there.

Back to billionaires needing to give 1/4 of what they have for the homeless and hungry children. I would want to ask that person if she is currently giving 1/4 of what she has to help the homeless & hungry children. Probably not. She would have to adjust her standard of living.

I used to think that I needed $X to live and I thought that was a meager way to live. Now my 2 kids and I live on $X/7 of what we live (I'm guessing this is about the amount) . It's much simpler as I continue to make a go at my trading business. Yes, I could go back to engineering and make at least 6x what we are living on right now, but the sacrifice would be my children. Yes, I could find some nice afterschool program for them that money would buy, but no one (other than God) will love and care for my kids like me.

When I am able to give, I do - whether it be financially, of my time, in prayer, whatever. It is sacrificial. I do not have fear that I won't have these days because I've seen how God has provided for us inspite of everything. Granted, I would've liked to have shared with all ya'll that I became a quick mega millionaire and am able to live wealthy, blah, blah, blah, but that's not the truth.

The truth is, over all these past months now going into years, I'm learning a great deal about myself, faulty thinking, false beliefs and getting rid of those things so I can really live empowered and the life I want. Sure, I want a life where money is no issue -- but the lessons I'm learning in the process are how to manage and care for money better (that includes in my trading), what is necessary and what isn't.

Even with the kids and I, though we live on financially very little, we do have a great deal - probably more than 90% of the world. But, maybe to Americans, we have a meager financial life right now. It's alright, because I get to be with my kids nearly every day and be there whenever they need me practically. The times I may not get to see my children are when they spend the weekend with their dad, so maybe 2 days a month I don't get to see them.

I'm guessing that those billionaires aren't just sitting on a mountain of money, but they run or own businesses that employ people. Perhaps one of those people is the lady that wrote the comment that spurred this post. When that company employs people, it spurs the economy. Some people are like the Dead Sea with their money. Money burns a hole in their pocket because they squander it.

What if 50% of all Americans gave 10% of their gross income back to their church or charitable organizations or helped others that could barely make ends meet with the bare necessities? What if Americans became good managers of their money? What if Americans became responsible and accountable for their actions?

I'm surmising that if that happened, we wouldn't have very many homeless or hungry children in our country. And then those that were in the 50% that couldn't give, maybe they gave 1-2% instead. I think we'd actually have a surplus, demand the government live on a budget, probably have a surpolus in the government to do all sorts of things for Americans and even help other countries around.

I wonder what kind of car she drives. Would she be willing to trade that in for a good used car that was considerably older and give the difference to help some poor person.

The billionaire is most likely a very creative person and even if he gave 1/4 of his wealth away, he'd be able to figure out how to make it back within a short amount of time. Yes, they could and I commend those who give sacrificially, whether they are wealthy or not.

Giving starts with me.

BIDU Bullish

Here we are on a Daily chart that is 9 months out. If we just draw simple trend lines, $500 is the target. Today seems to be a hesitation day after such a big day yesterday and the gap up the day before. The face that on Tuesday its low was $384.66 and today it's trading in the $466 area, $82 move in 3 days is excellent. That's over a 20% increase just this week in price action.

You're not supposed to fall in love with stocks, but BIDU has served me well in the past. It has delicious patterns and big movements. You don't have to trade more than 1-2 contracts to make some decent money because of the moves. This beats those $1 options in the Qs where you have to buy LOTS of contracts to make money. The more contracts you buy, the more you give up in commissions.

Depending upon your broker, 1-2 contracts is fairly cheap as opposed to 10-20 contracts (for the Qs). With TOS, it costs me $2-4 roundtrip for BIDU or $20-40 for the Qs roundtrip.

I'm just going to refresh my memory on trading options by starting with BIDU. It's good to use a stock that moves to practice on. This is all on paper, of course. I got in today for FEB450C - 2 @ 36.30. The price was about 467. My target is 500. If it reaches that, even if all the time value (the extrinsic value of the option) is sucked out, my option will still be $50, which is more than what I paid for it. The $50 would be the ITM (in the money portion of the option which option makers cannot screw with).

What would've happened say we got in yesterday instead? Yes, we would've missed the gap up on Wednesday (the 13th), but we wanted to confirm that the stock was still headed up. Say we got in at 8:30 am MST (10:30 am EST) @ 447 for the 2FEB450C. They were $24.20 (I chose the worst case price). 447 is close to ATM, however, all the price of the option is still extrinsic, meaning, all time value.

As I look right now, the ATM options, FEB470C are trading about $25.20 (worst case) with the stock price at $467. Still close.

Today the Feb450C are worth $35.80 (worst case) as I write this at 12:08 pm MST (2:08 pm MST). The price of the stock has risen nearly $20 from yesterday @ $447 to now $467, however, the option has gone up only $12. That means that $8 of the time value got sucked out of it from yesterday 8:30 am to noon the next day. Wow!!! Can you hear the sucking sound?

Today, I'm $17 ITM, which is good. However, if the option went to zero today (it won't because these are Feb options, I'd still lose $19 on my options. Not a good way to make money.

Let's say I hold the options for 2 weeks and sell the last Friday of this month and it does reach $500. The option would most likely be around $55 ($50 ITM and $5 TV). Yes, I would be gaining $19 profit, but in that 2 weeks, there is only $5 left in TV (time value). What a rip. Remember, if we got in on the 14th, that would've been $24 for the option ($24 TV). $19 got sucked out in 2 weeks.

I'm having to relearn another trading platform as I hadn't used it in awhile. Lots of platform learning today.

Another thing I will have to test is to see if my trading strategy works on specific options (i.e., Feb480C). In TOS, the name of the option is under OPRA. If you type the option name instead of the stock symbol, it will give you the chart of that particular option.
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Banks, Fees, Obama

Okay, not sure how valid all my information is, but it's really outrageous when you get bailed out with taxpayers money to really squander it. If a normal person ran their business like some of the big banks, automakers, insurance companies, it would pretty devestating.

What I don't get is after the bailout, some of the companies decide to give pay raises to its employees. They are taking tax payer monies to give these pay raises. Yes, I believe in giving raises, but only if the company has done well and performed well. In the case of being bailed out, it's like someone giving you money to help your company and you go to Disneyland on that money rather than making sound choices of perhaps restructuring, making sure whatever caused the problems to not happen again.

I'm not saying have all these extraneous committees and spending all this money to do that, but someone's gotta be responsible, eh? The Bible has a thing that says to whom much is given, much is required. I mean, for crying out loud, they made HUGE blunders and showed no real remorse, and yet the government decided to bail them out?

Ignorance my butt.

With the case of my marriage, I was ignorant to a lot of things, but I am paying the price for that ignorance and taking responsibilities to make sure this never happens again -- though it's just me now, I do have an accountability factor. This isn't so easily remedied in my personal situation and though my ex walked away from all responsibilities in a situation he created, I know in the end, it will come back to bite him in the butt.

I'm learning a great deal and though my accounts are small, through this hardship, I'm learning how to be creative, learn, adjust and continue to grow. I live on a budget and have learned how to live with my two kids on very little until I can get my trading business profitable consistently.

So, Obama is appalled probably due to public outcry as to the wastelessness of the bailouts. He wants to penalize the big banks to make them pay back what was given to them, but at the same time not allow them to pass that onto the consumer. Good luck attempting to do that. He's saying that over a 10-12 yr period, that this will pay a good portion back of what they were bailed out on.

What about interest? Oh yeah.

Banks didn't get to be big banks without some unscrupulous dealings or without being very smart about things. I'm sure they will find some way to skirt the government because that is where the big money lies -- in big banks. And, I'm sure there are plenty of ties to government officials that will make this seem like a gesture to appease the public.

I, for one, am a skeptic. Obama is not the savior. Though he says he's for the common folk, he isn't because look at how he runs his life with his family. What is good enough for the American public is not good enough for his family. Just another fat cat in another suit, a rather skinny suit.

Oh, and the auto dealers not having to pay back what they were bailed out in? Hmmmm. Can I have some money? No one is bailing me out or the many Americans for whatever reasons have made not good choices. Some purposefully. Some out of sheer ignorance.

I'm reminded with my children when I give them a little leeway in some areas where they do not have good self-control or discipline, they really just run amok. Americans are no different. Come on. If you give loans out where you need no proof of income or allow 150% of whatever of the equity in your home, do you think people will take that? Of course. It's like letting loose kids in a candy store to have at it. Yeah, right. Like they aren't going to grab all that appeals to them until the point it makes them sick.

Oh, give it to Mikey. He'll eat anything.

Think another bubble is about to burst? Let's get trading squared away - technicals, logistics and trade well, so when the next downfall that happens, we can really profit from it. We really shouldn't be so concerned about the direction as much as we are going with whatever the market gives us whenever.

Enough of the soapbox. I'm done, for now.

RIMM, MA, SHLD, WYNN, GS

RIMM has been another favorite of mine to trade, however, I remember around earnings times or other times, this was also a stock that was frustrating to trade. During some of its heyday in the '07 and '08 timeframe, some days had huge wicks and I would get repeated knocked to the ground by being whipsawed. Not fun, but I had some of my biggest trades, if not my biggest trade on RIMM that was successful.

However, admittedly, it was not due to skills, rather it was just a guess on my part and I guessed correctly. I'd like to say it was skills, but it wasn't.

Right now, RIMM looks to be in a pennant pattern just ready for a breakout. I'd be ready to do a bracket trade on this to go either directions. Though it's had a more bearish flavor, the bulls are coming in. Of course, earnings was in December, so unless there is great or devestating news, I don't expect the gaps that it normally does during earnings to happen. It would be nice to see this stock back up in the $87.50, the most recent highs from 2009.


I first learned of this stock from Markay Latimer of Better Trades back when it first came out. It appeared to be quite exciting to trade. Really, until mid-2008, it had some great bullish plays. I loved doing earnings on this company as it usually was huge moves. I also made some really profitable trades here. Some were planned, some were by accident and God was really merciful to me.

It's amazing that with some of my notable trades, I knew exactly where I was and what I was doing when I made those. Some were expensive lessons. One of the lessons I learned with MA was regarding earnings. Always know for the stocks you are trading when earnings are and if you're going to intentionally do an earnings play, then do it, but know when earnings are.

One time I was caught with my pants down where I did not know when earnings was -- sloppy work on my part. My position was very against me -- didn't have a good trading plan or strategy in place then. Earnings came out way in my favor. The stock moved a bunch and not only did I come out in the black, but way in the black by thousands of dollars. Let's just say God was so merciful as I was pretty under on this trade and didn't pay attention to when earnings was.

Anyway, RSI is in overbought territory. MACD is weakening in bullishness, and bullish volumes are decreasing on the weekly chart. The gap back in 4/08 has finally been filled. It would be nice to see the stock rally to $290 and then pullback.

Right now I just pulled up the Daily Chart over the past year. In the short-term, it would be alright to take a bullish trade on this. I'd use the 20 EMA as my cost stop.



SHLD looks pretty bullish to me on this Monthly chart. Bullish volume is increasing. MACD is strongly bullish. Above all the EMAs. The $110-120 range could be a stopping point, but that would still be a very nice move to the upside of $10-20.

My past of trading SHLD hasn't been too good. I've known a number of people to be fairly profitable in trading this stock, but it hasn't been for me. It looks like a relatively easy stock to trade fromt his monthly chart, but it really gave me problems. Maybe I have some psychological issues because I used to own a bunch of K-Mart stock. When they went belly up, I was one of the investors that lost a bunch of money.

Then, SHLD bought K-Mart and did a bunch of restructuring. Those of us who had K-Mart stock got zilcho. What I owed in K-Mart basically became worth pennies on the stock. Maybe I never subconsciously got over it and feel so screwed by them that I could never trade this stock. Though, after a number of times losing money in trading SHLD, though I may put the charts up, no longer will I trade this stock no matter how the patterns go.



WYNN is another stock that a lot of people I know have made money, but not me. I think in real life, I've only made 1-2 trades on this. I can read the patterns, but this is not a stock, even in practice, that I do well on. Perhaps it's what WYNN is. Though I have stayed in a number of their hotels and find them really nice, the fact that WYNN is more into casinos, it is another psychological barrier for me.

I've never bought a lottery ticket or placed a nickel in a slot machine or done any of that. A lot of people like going to Vegas and doing a little gambling, even if for only $20. The sheer joy of it. I see throwing money away NOT joyful and makes no sense to me. I'm thinking for all those people that feel throwing $20 or whatever denomination out fun, hey, come throw it my way. I'll thank you and even give you a hug if you don't creep me out.

Aside from my own philosophical prejudices about gambling, which ironically, many may think trading stocks is gambling, I'm just going to look at WYNN from a purely technical perspective for a few moments. It's just breaking through the resistance it's been in. MACD is bullish and it's breaking through the 38.2% Fib Level. 50% would put it at $85, a $13 move from where it is now and would be nice to see.

Overall, lows have been getting higher. RSI is in an uptrend. It's a nice pattern.



GS is among one of the stocks that I have enjoyed trading in the past. LEH was my favorite of the investments stocks, but, they went bye bye. GS nearly stands only, as BSC is also thrown to the curb. Hope you GS execs aren't doing shady things. That would be a shame.

GS looks to be more on the bullish side to me. MACD on the weekly chart is weakening on the bearish side. RSI broke the downtrend going to the upside, but is on a pullback. If it goes for double tops ("M"), that would put the stock around $191. It's currently at $168, so that's a $23 move up, which is nearly a 14% move. Very nice. If I were to get in going up, it would be in the $170 area.
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CAT, DE, CMI

This is a 5 yr Weekly chart on CAT. Both my kids love big earthmovers, as well as mommy. They are incredible machines. Tires that are bigger than 6' in diameter is a sight to see, especially if you stand next to them. I feel so small.

Anyway, CAT is just reaching overbought territories. It just broke out of the RSI uptrend, s well as the consolidation period it was in for a number of weeks. I see the target being about $67 from the $62 it's at now. If it blows past that, then $72.50 is the next target. It would be good to see this stock back up near it's highs of just under $80 again.
This is a 2-Yr Daily chart of DE. A part of the community I grew up in was agricultural, so there were a lot of John Deere equipment all around. It's less impressive than the HUGE caterpillar earthmovers, but they did the job. It looks like we're at the 50% fibs level. Though it's a bit hard to see, DE is steadily climbing upward.


If it can make it above where it's at now, the 61.8% Fibs level is at $65.58. That's a $7 move from here, which is more than 10% of the stock move. It's possible. There are no real signs to me that show it really wants to be bearish, except for very small pullbacks to the 10 EMA.


CMI was one of those stocks I loved trading in 2007-08. That's when it was far more volatile and had great price movements. The past few months, it's been in a really boring consolidation rectangular trend, but recently broke out of that. Now it's pausing again. It just reach overbought territories in RSI. Volume is a non-plussed from bearish and bullish stance.

Seems like traders really are just bored with this stock. We may see it consolidate here and if you're a spreads trader like an Iron Condor kinda person, this might be a good stock to do this on.
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UPS & FDX

UPS looks bullish. This is a Weekly timeframe. Bullish volume is noticably up, MACD is bullish. The stock broke out the week before above the 200 EMA. The next resistance looks to be in the $66 area, so trading at $62, that's still a possible $4 move. However, RSI shows that this stock is in overbought territories. It would be nice to see it hit between $65-67.50 and then pullback.

I do like this company as it helped put me through engineering college. Worked really hard, but they were fair, paid me very well (as a college student), with great benefits as a part-time employee.


FDX and UPS look sort of similar. Though I do not have the weekly chart posted, the bullish volume has been decreasing gradually as price action moves up, while bearish volume has been sneakily increasing. This is very similar to the $SPX. There is bearish divergence on RSI and we are at the 61.8% Fibs level of the highs and lows. So, this would be a great time for a retracement from this retracement.

What the chart looks like is it may want to form a double top ("M") pattern around the $90 mark. Though it's at $86 right now, a $4 move just doesn't seem as exciting here as it does in the $60s.
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FLR, XLE, LAMR, X

Though I totally love trading the ES and the simplicity of trading only 1 thing, sometimes just seeing the patterns of other stocks just makes me drool. FLR is no exception. This is not a high priced stock, but has some really great movements.

Right now the stock may be at a resistance unless it can break through this area. This is a Weekly timeframe. RSI shows an uptrend. Bullish volume is iffy. MACD is just starting to turn bullish. If it can break through where it's at now, $50.20, the next stop is $58-59. That would be almost a 20% increase in the stock price. Very good, if you ask me.
XLE looks like quite a few other charts and I don't know if it bears repeating. Price action is moving up, while bullish volume is decreasing. However, MACD is continuing in bullishness. As we can see from the price chart, we are at a potential resistance. If we break through here to the upside, the $78 mark would be the next target. If not, then a drop back down to $40 would see like the next likely bearish target, which would be a 33% drop in the price action.

LAMR is one I periodically look at. When I was an engineer, this was one of the vendor's that we worked with and after initial working throughs, we finally came to a working way of doing things that was a win-win for everyone. They have left a good impression on me.

LAMR is not a high priced stock, but they are a good company, and there is movement in the stock. Wow, I can't believe the stock got as low as $5 early last year. Eeek! Now, it's trading at a more respectable rate of $32.20. That seems to be about the mid-point for this stock. Is this a resistance or will it attempt to go for the $65 mark?

Bullish volume is trending down while price action is going up. We see that as a central theme with many stocks. That seems to match the $SPX. But, there is still strong bullishness in RSI and MACD. We have not reached overbought territories and I'd really love to see this company flourish. They make some really nice tools for semiconductors and offer great servicability.


X has a good pattern that also looks similar to so many stocks I've seen. It's all becoming a blur. I don't have a lot to add other than we look to be near a resistance, decreasing bullish volumes, not in overbought territory on RSI, and MACD starting to turn bullish.

It would be good to see this in the $110-120 range, which would put it double from where it currently is.

There are about 7 other stocks I want to post charts on, but I'm too tired right now and just want to get to bed. Until tomorrow . . .
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Funded Trades

I haven't made any funded trades since Monday, as I'm getting used to the broker's platform. After using Trade Navigator for nearly 5 yrs, there are some very deep habits have been engrained. Though, I have not been trading off their trading platform until nearly 2 yrs ago.

So, I'm just making sure I understand how to place the trades, the hand movements, looking at the screen, etc. I'm used to when I place a trade, it shows up on my Trade Navigator, but now that I'm not placing my trades through them, they won't be showing up on my chart. That's probably the biggest thing to get used to -- not seeing my trades on my chart.

The view from my broker's platform is alright, but not ideal. However, not being able to connect to my broker's trading server is a huge deal. I'm highly disappointed in Trade Navigator in their not being forthright to solve this issue. Apparently I'm not the only one that has this problem.

In the meantime, I wanted to look at some companies to trade in a different account and hence, the stocks.

AMZN, FCX, POT, V

AMZN was recently trading at their highs. Right now, RSI is saying things are a bit on the bearish side. Since the gap up, volume has been stronger on AMZN. Good sign that traders want to trade this stock. However, the past 2 months, there is greater selling action than buying.

AMZN doesn't always fill their gaps to the upside, so this bodes well for this stock. Right now it's in the 50 EMA, sitting pretty. If I were to trade this, I'd bracket trade this, as I'm not sure which direction it's going to go in. I'd go bullish in the 131 area and bearish around 124. Cost stops for both would be using the the 10/20 EMA.


For FCX on this monthly chart, 95 is an area of a possible resistance. My gosh. Look at the fairly linear pattern of 2009 in the bullish direction!!! Gosh, gorgeous. However, as we look at volume, bullish volume is weakening as the price action continues to move up. MACD looks like it's starting to level off. RSI is still trending up.

When I traded this stock in the 2007/08 timeframe, it was just all over the place. The traders have been VERY cohesive in the past year for FCX.

For POT, bullishness isn't super strong, but the fact it's doubled in price nearly in 2009 is a good thing. The moves aren't as strong as in 2007/08 with the huge move up and huge move down. There is still a lot of room to make money.

Right now it's hitting its head at the 61.8% retracement. It could break through, but volume says it's weakening. However, MACD is looking to be more bullish. RSI says we're in for a slow uptrend.

For V (Visa), we are at resistance. Let's see what happens here. Will it break out or come tumbling down? In December, there was a lot of buying action and traders were able to push the stock up to at least the highs, but not beyond that. The past month, it's really not be doing anything.

You could poise yourself for a breakout either to the upside or downside and trade that. Bullish for above $90. Bearish for below $85.
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MEE - Energy Stock

I heard a friend of mine talk about this so I decided to take a look at this stock. If I were trading stocks or options, I typically would not go for a stock this low, however, this is a beautifully traded stock and has lovely patterns.

The traders are very cohesive here, and though going from nearly $95 down to $10 is a pretty steep drop in a half year, losing 90% of its value, I'm not sure if I would've actually played this stock near the bottom. I have no idea what happened to cause such a tumble. However, where it stopped in the downfall is where it opened trading as a stock.

Don't tell me that traders trade randomly, at the least the big traders.

The blue horizontal lines on the chart are some major areas where there was either reversals or hesitations. Right now, we are nearing the $55 mark. As we can see on the volume, bullish volume is decreasing while the price action is moving up. However, MACD is gaining bullish momentum. RSI continues to be in an uptrend.

It's not time to get out yet if you're trading on the monthly chart.

One of the things I would like to note in how I use RSI is everytime a trendline breaks (when it closes beyond the trendline), it's time to reverse directions. Is this true 100% of the time? No. But, the majority of time it is, if you're using only RSI. In my case, I use the EMAs, volume, MACD as my other indicators.

Something that I've learned is RSI's trendlines can get steeper and you can redraw the trendline to be steeper to get out sooner. You could hang on, but sometimes you have to hang onto some retracements.

Price action is overall going up and RSI is trending down on a longer timeframe of over weeks. This signifies bearish divergence, which means that it tells us that it will turn over in the future. When in the future? No clue.

It's been using the 10/20 EMA mainly for support and periodically will pull back to the 50 EMA. Notice the volumes (bullish and bearish) were much stronger in mid-2009. Right now, it seems like those trading it are less interested. So, perhaps some consolidation is coming up.

Of course, if it decides to try for $55, that's about $6 from where it is today, which is $48.67. That's over a 12% move left and still plenty of money to make.
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AAPL - At Resistance?

This chart is of AAPL Monthly for the past 5 yrs. This could also partially mirror a part of how the S&P has behaved, though, in a different timeframe. I can almost see a "M" formation, but we are missing the right hand part of the "M".

We are just above the all time highs right now. The candle patterns on this are basically a stout Hanging Man, a Hang Man, a fat Shooting Star, and a Tombstone. These are all reversal patterns at Resistance.

As we look at volume, there is a slight downtrend in the bullish volume. MACD, however, is actually gaining strength, so this indicator is not confirming that the BULL plays are over. RSI could possibly go higher, but seems to be leveling off. Of course, this month isn't finished, so we don't know yet.

But, one thing for sure, there is less volume traded during this bullish run-up than the prior on before '08.


This is AAPL's Daily chart over the past 6 months. With RSI and price action, in several places (I don't have them marked on the chart) there is bearish divergence. We are at the all time highs and have overshot them. But, we do not seem to be moving up strongly past that.

There were 3 main attempts to exceed the all time highs and each rally failed, however, this is the first real rally that came that they were able to push more than a few dollars past. Bullish volume is a bit stronger here than in Nov'09.

But, MACD shows bullishness weakening. There is more bearish volume than bullish, we are at resistance. If I were trading this stock, it would be just quick and small profits daytrading while I let the stock decide which direction it wants to go.

AAPL has some great products and people I know who have AAPL products seem to enjoy them a great deal. Will they want to buy this stock when it's in the $200+ range?
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GOOG Sell Off

The chart is of GOOG on a Monthly timeframe. As you look at the bullish volume (the black bars), though it still has a lot of volume, 2004-05 had far more volumes than the past year. After such strong buying from 04 to 07, it was time for some selling action that occurred in the 08 timeframe. By the end of 08, people began seeing deals and buying up GOOG, but the feverishness at which they bought when it was initially offered had significantly decreased.

On RSI, it had a pretty steep uptrend from late '08 through to '09. Jan'10 isn't over yet, but if it were to be, this candle would be a bearish engulfing, if this happens to be resistance. This would be about a 75% retracement.

On this daily chart that shows 6 months, there seems to be quite some selling action. It seems to rival that of the Mar'09 timeframe when the S&P hit it's all time low in the past decade or so. Looking more at RSI, it can go lower. Currently it's at the 50 EMA and could bounce off here or it may go for the 200 EMA.

Everything right now looks bearish.

And with the news of them wanting to pull out of China, Chinese businesses/supporters probably have a pretty big impact here. Just guessing. There is definitely room to go down here. Let's look for 500 for the 200 EMA and 525 as a closer target.
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BIDU - At Resistance?

BIDU's all time high in 2007 was $429.19. Notice now, 2.5 yrs later, we are in that same range of all time highs. The climb back in 2007 was much steeper than it is now. Note, this chart is using a WEEKLY period.

There's some interesting candle patterns here. I see a Bearish Engulfing in the Oct'09 timeframe. Going into Nov'09, we get a Dark Cloud Cover. These things happen at resistance, which that is where we are. Then, the latter part of Nov'09, we get a gap to the upside and that doesn't fill for 7 weeks. I think that's significant and lends to a more bullish flavor.

With the news of GOOG possibly pulling out of the Chinese market, it gives BIDU basically no competition, which is what is I believe causing the bullishness this week.

However, if we switch to the Daily chart where this is 6 months worth of data, we see there is more a bearish flavor, but not super strong, at least not since mid-Nov'09. Today's candle looks like a Hanging Man, which is a reversal type candle. Honestly, I can't remember the percentage where it's like 46% or 64% of I don't know. Hanging Man's occur at resistance.

Something I learned in one of my coaching classes is "The Tale is in the Tail". The tail points down. We are at resistance. Is there enough news to take BIDU to its next level? $540? $671?

BIDU has had a whole year of BULLISHNESS. Let's see if this news will propel it to greater highs.

As for the technicals, RSI downtrend was broken today. The volume was pretty strong on the bullish side by A LOT. And, MACD's bullishness is starting. Will the news be enough to sustain?
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The Economy

For months now, we've been hearing the economy is growing and getting in good shape. However, why don't I believe that? Perhaps, as a chartist, though I may not be up on all the latest news for everything, that may be a good thing. What do you think?



As I've said in previous posts, price action has been marching up for weeks on the S&P 500 (SPX) while bullish volume has been decreasing. That's a divergence in the data. We are in the area of 50% retracement from the high of 1576 in Oct'07 and low of 666 in Mar'09. 50% retracement is 1121. Yes, we are slightly above that.

61.8% retracement = 1228

38.2% retracement = 1014

Yes, there are other pausing points in between, but these are some key areas to look.

I still hold to my hypothesis that 666 was not obtained by chance, rather that was a very deliberate point.


Looking here at RSI & MACD, RSI is showing consolidation into a pennant. It's compressing. We can see earlier in late 2008 when price action was moving down, RSI began diverging from the price action, showing BULLISH divergence. Surely enough, we get the bounce off of 666.

RSI has been in the same trend as price action, trending up. But, now we see some bearish divergence and the uptrend looks to be slowing down.

MACD is showing NO strength in either the bearish or bullish direction. Before the move down in 9/08, MACD showed similar as now. However, the period was way less. One of the things I learned from a prior trading coach is that the longer it stays in colsolidation, the less strong the breakout.

As I am just guessing, if we push down to 666 somewhere soon, the amplitude from here to 666 is less than 1576 to 666. It's a challenge for me to believe we were only there for 2 weeks and less of a test for that area than I imagined. There is always the chance that I can be wrong. It's happened many times and will undoubtedly happen again.

I wonder if the news is attempting to hype up that we are heading in a positive direction in the economy, when, in fact, it's about to go back down again for a bit. I probably should read some stuff on the housing market, banking. That might tell me some things. However, due to my busy schedule and not wanting to clutter my mind, I tend to be a bit lazy when it comes to reading news. It seems to sort of mess up my trading when I do.

New Trading Platform

For the most part, rarely do I ever use my broker's trading platform. Probably in the past year, I've only used it on a handful of trades. But, as I'm seeing the recent instability of my trades going through on Trade Navigator, I no longer trust my charting tool to be also my trading platform.

My commit is to trade every day in January with my funded account, however, I think I will have to modify that some. I need to get used to my broker's trading platform before I seriously trade with my funded account. Yesterday I made some trades, but mainly they were mostly against me. Meaning, this is NOT how I want to trade my funded account.

I'm going to take the rest of this week and do my best to trade by my trading strategies, use Trade Navigator as my charting tool, but NOT to trade off this. This is a HUGE adjustment for me. So, bear with me.

Friday & Saturday I will just report practice results, not funded as I'm not trading funded. Hopefully the last 2 weeks of January I can trade only funded. Thank you for your patience.

Trades: Tues, 12-Jan-2010

---------------------------------------------------------------

Day: Tuesday
Date: 12-Jan-2010

# Trades Made = 0
# Profitable Trades = 0 (0%)
# Costing Trades = 0 (0%)

Max # Contracts Used = 0
Max Capital Used In 1 Trade = $0

Profits = $0.00
Costs = $0.00

Commissions = $0.00

Net = $0.00 (0% ROI)

-----------------------------------------------------------------
MONTHLY RUNNING STATS:

Total Trades = 14
# Profitable Trades = 10 (71% Profitable Trades)
# Costing Trades = 4 (29% Costing Trades)

Profits Total = $162.50 (kept 0% profits)
Costs Total = $350.00 (took 215.4% profits)
Commissions Total = $55.86 (took 34.4% profits)

Max Contracts Used = 1
Max Capital Used At One Time = $500

January Cumulative Net = <$243.16> (-48.6% ROI)

------------------------------------------------------------------

Things I Did Well:
1. Did not enter any trades that did not fulfill my trading strategy. Unfortunately, my market timing was off as I was doing various things to get myself drectly connected to the internet. Each time I sat down at my desk and waited, there wasn't a trade I could take. This caused me to not be able to take any trades while I was at my desk.

2. Took my heart meds. This kept me more physiologically calm.

3. Did not get into any trades that I could not attend to.

4. Listened to both Genesis & my broker about getting directly connected to the internet instead of WiFi. I've used WiFi for a long time, but I wanted to eliminate all possibilities of the disconnects from my broker.

Learnings From Today:
1. I did make some practice trades that didn't quite go with my trading strategies. They dd not turn out very well. Follow the trading strategies!

2. Got disconnected from my broker a number of times from Trade Navigator. I really didn't want to call Genesis Tech support AGAIN. No energy.

Trades: Mon, 11-Jan-2010

---------------------------------------------------------------

Day: Monday
Date: 11-Jan-2010

# Trades Made = 1
# Profitable Trades = 0 (0%)
# Costing Trades = 1 (100%)

Max # Contracts Used = 1
Max Capital Used In 1 Trade = $500

Profits = $0.00
Costs = <$37.50>

Commissions = $3.99

Net = <$41.49> (-8.3% ROI)

-----------------------------------------------------------------
MONTHLY RUNNING STATS:

Total Trades = 14
# Profitable Trades = 10 (71% Profitable Trades)
# Costing Trades = 4 (29% Costing Trades)

Profits Total = $162.50 (kept 0% profits)
Costs Total = $350.00 (took 215.4% profits)
Commissions Total = $55.86 (took 34.4% profits)

Max Contracts Used = 1
Max Capital Used At One Time = $500

January Cumulative Net = <$243.16> (-48.6% ROI)

------------------------------------------------------------------

Things I Did Well:
1. Followed my EXIT strategy, as well as ENTRY strategy.

2. Called my broker when my Trade Navigator went awry AGAIN in my connection quickly. Trade Navigator said I didn't have a trade on while I actually had a pending trade with my broker. I'm really tired of these disconnects.

3. Showered/dressed, was ready to trade when I did.

4. Checked to make sure I knew when economic indicators were announced. There were none today.

5. Had my trading strategy out.

6. Closed down applications & things that were distracting.

7. Had my broker's # handy and called him many times to ask for assistance on various things I was having issues with regarding my broker's platform. He had to have their technical support help me, but we think we've resolved the issues.

Learnings From Today:

1. Trade Navigator/Genesis wasn't willing to assume responsibility for the issues I was having, though, I think it's from the Trade Navigator side. So, I will be trading from my broker's platform instead and only doing simulated trading on TN. Very disappointing since I've been a customer for many years of theirs.

2. It's okay to take profits sooner, even if it's one tick.

3. Take my heart meds. When I don't, I'm less calm.

More Logistics & Frustration

Today I mainly practiced, but as I had committed for the month of January, I would daily trade with my funded account. Today is no exception. The same problem I ran into, just not as bad, that occurred on Friday occurred today, minus the getting me in a trade at the wrong time.



When you're daytrading the ES, you want to plan your trades and get in then, but not after some glitch and after the fact. Sometimes your moves are really short, in the realm of minutes or less. If your system glitches for 5 min. the trade could be over and done with.



As I had moderate success during realtime practice trading, I closed down most everything minus my trading software to switch to realtime funded. I entered a trade on Trade Navigator to find it just stalling. Immediately I called my broker because I could no longer see how the ES was moving. He said there was an order on the floor, which Trade Navigator said there wasn't. ARRGHHHH. I could see it on the chart. Anyway, my broker was able to cancel my trade, which inadvertantly as I write this, it would've been pretty darned profitable.



Sigh.



I did make one trade, and my gut told me to get out, so I did.

Trades: Fri, 8-Jan-2010

---------------------------------------------------------------

Day: Friday
Date: 8-Jan-2010

# Trades Made = 1
# Profitable Trades = 0 (0%)
# Costing Trades = 1 (100%)

Max # Contracts Used = 1
Max Capital Used In 1 Trade = $500

Profits = $0.00
Costs = <$262.50>

Commissions = $3.99

Net = <$266.49> (-53.33% ROI)

-----------------------------------------------------------------
MONTHLY RUNNING STATS:

Total Trades = 13
# Profitable Trades = 10 (77% Profitable Trades)
# Costing Trades = 3 (23% Costing Trades)

Profits Total = $162.50 (kept 0% profits)
Costs Total = $312.50 (took 192.3% profits)
Commissions Total = $51.87 (took 31.9% profits)

Max Contracts Used = 1
Max Capital Used At One Time = $500

January Cumulative Net = <$201.67> (-40.3% ROI)

------------------------------------------------------------------

Things I Did Well:
1. Got out of a costing trade that was going WAY against me.

2. Called my broker and the floor to help me with my trade, including verifying that I was in a trade.

3. Acted quickly to remedy the situation that I was in, which I was a bit uncertain initially. Once I knew what was happening, I took immediate action, as I didn't have time to assess further and if there was going to be further damage done.

4. Talked with my broker as to how to avoid the problem I had that cost me big this morning.

5. Talked with Genesis' Tech Support as to how to remedy the problem I had as well as any recourse I could take.

6. Though it was an emotional thing, I remained calm, cool, level-headed and listened to my broker, the floor, and Genesis Tech Support.

7. Stopped trading with real funds to figure out a solution to avoid the problem I had.

8. Worked with my broker for a solution and took his suggestions.

Learnings From Today:

Let me preface this by telling you about what happened. This morning just before 6:30 am MST, I was looking at the market, talking outloud, reading my trading strategies. My cursor was hovering over the price ladder in my Trade Navigator platform with my funded account opened.

I accidentally clicked on what I was possibly thinking about entering. That periodically happens and I would just click on the X to get me out of the order that was pending. Unfortunately this time, as I clicked on that X, which was only a few seconds later, if even that, my account said that it's unable to cancel the orders because I wasn't connected to my broker or the floor.

I attempted to cancel again and got the same message.

I attempted a third time to cancel and this time got a different message that it was unable to cancel orders because there were no orders to cancel. At this point, I'm panicking because I have no clue whether I'm connected to my broker or not. Everything that I knew on my Trade Navigator said I was connected -- Real Time was up and Green. I was able to see the price action on the ladder move. It looked like I was connected.

What I didn't know was to look at a couple other places, and even if I had, by the time I would've done so, it would've been too late and already past. See, for 37 seconds, the floor/broker disconnected me and then reconnected me, all without my knowledge until I went back to the log of all movements made by me to the second.

During that 37 seconds when I attempted to cancel the order that had already been sent to the floor and executed.

One of the things that I do before I trade is I look at the economic news reporting for the day. Rarely will I trade right before the news or right after, because of the volatility. This really depends upon what the news is, though. I knew today was some Unemployment reporting, so I wanted to check when that was.

Apparently that was at 6:30 am MST, and unfortunate for me, as I was already in a LONG position. I called the floor, as I didn't think my broker was in, and had him wait with me as I rebooted Trade Navigator. My position was going more against me as we spoke. He told me my broker was in, so I called him and he recommended not staying in a losing position that was quickly going against me.

So, I figure, cut my costs then. Of course, it rebounded not too long after that back to some level where I wouldn't have had to take THAT big of a loss, but I did. As I didn't know if it was going to go another 10 points against me or just another 1. It went another 2.25 pts against me from where I took my cost and then began coming back up. It didn't come back to where I got in until a little over 5 hours later.

Yes, this could've been just a commissions cost, but it wasn't.

Usually things do rebound if the news isn't terrible. Unemployment met what the market expected. Not terrible. Not great. We're basically back to when unemployment reported as of this writing at 3:25 pm EST.

Could I have waited and seen? Yes, but the thing was, I did not KNOW what the market will do and could only make a decision from what was happening and it was moving down fast. It dropped 8.5 pts in a matter of 12 minutes or less. It could drop another 6 pts and then I would have to recoup all that rather than just get out.

I could've gotten out about 2 pts earlier when I was talking with the floor, which that would've been the smarter thing to do, but I did not.

1. Have both my broker's platform as well as Trade Navigator up. When executing trades, make sure I'm connected by checking the task bar to see that I'm connected to the servers. Sometimes one thing will show that I'm connected, but all things must be connected.

2. When an order is placed now, make sure my profit & costs stops go with it, just in case there is a disconnected.

3. Have my broker & the floor's #s handy.

4. Do NOT hover over the trading ladder with my cursor unless I'm willing to execute a trade.

Logistics

I learned a very valuable, but costly lesson today. It had nothing with following my trading strategy or not, but with some errors and some chance not good things happening.

My trading platform is Trade Navigator (TN) from Genesis, which links up to my funded trading account with my broker. We'll call my broker ABC. ABC links up with the floor, which we'll call YZ.

Here are some things I knew, but the importance of that didn't hit home truly until today:

1. YZ doesn't see OCO's, Trailing Stops and whatever other fancy orders there are. They see LONG and SHORT orders.

So, if you entered at 1137 LONG with a limit, and you have an OCO at 1134 SHORT (limit stop cost) and 1139 SHORT (limit stop profit) where the OCO is not filled but waiting. YZ sees that you're in a position (we'll say 1 contract for ease of illustration) and that you have 2 limit SHORT orders on the table. It doesn't know that it's an OCO or anything. It just sees 2 limit SHORT orders.

2. In order for there to be proper execution of my OCO, the connection from my laptop to ABC must be opened. I cannot turn off my laptop, or turn off whatever program I'm using to connect to ABC. The OCO can ONLY be executed properly with my trading platform up.

3. Since I use TN as my trading platform, TN connects to ABC and to YZ. So, TN is a middleman, as I like trading off my chart. HOWEVER, I may be changing this or at least use my broker as a backup to see if my trades are there or not.

4. Broker ABC says that if I trade off TN, only orders that have been filled show up on my ABC platform. Orders that are pending (waiting to be filled), do not show up. However, if something glitches on the side of TN, I can go on my ABC platform and trade from there.
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Some Learnings During The Market

Daily I'm committed to trading my trading strategies. Today is no exception. Each day, I've been missing the moves in the first hour of trading. Though I do desire to trade this hour, it is the hour I spend with my kids in our morning family devotional times, finishing up on breakfast and taking them to school. I do not have time to really watch the market, and thus, this would not be good as it seems that the market moves during these periods.

Today, I watched a number of things happen as my body was exhausted from all the coughing I'd been doing now for a few hours. My chest hurts, but I am following my plan. Honestly, this would be easiest for me to make a video and post, but it really is a pain in the butt to have the video render and wait for that. I do not want to take up resources on my computer as I trade.

As I enter trades, if the price action continues to move up, but RSI is in overbought territory (>70), I use caution, especially if I'm near a pivot point. A good example is todays high was 1135 as of the writing of this at 12:29 pm EST. The market has now hit this area 4 times on the 3 min. chart. RSI is 81.77. Do I get into a bullish position? NOPE. Could the market continue to move way up in this overbought territory? Of course.

However, I'm not looking to get whipsawed. That's happened to me far too many times, and that is not following my trading strategy. The volume, MACD criteria are met, but seeing that I'm at a pivot point and RSI is in overbought and it's been a bit since the RSI downtrend was broken, it would not be a wise move here. What if I miss out on some good money? So what? There is plenty of money to take when the odds are more stacked in your favor.

I'm finding some periods it is a challenge to wait for all my trading strategy criteria to be met -- there are 4 main things. But, it will give me the greatest success, rather than trade willy nilly as I have from mid-Aug to end of Dec. A part of good trading is consistency and not consistency in doing whatever the heck you feel like it but showing discipline in your trading.

Something else I learned today was though I got into my trade using my strategy, as I waited to get out using my strategy, the position turned against me. I did end up taking a small cost and got out as per my strategy. There was a few points where I kept thinking, "Maybe I should get out now and take the 3 tick profit, but I waited for my strategy to tell me when to get it. My cost was a 1 tick plus commissions cost.

Thankfully I got out as per my strategy, because at this writing (still during trading hours), it's now more than 8 ticks against me. So far, 5 out of 6 trades are profitable this year. Granted, I wasn't completely following the strategies to the "T" on all 6 trades, rather 3. So, if we're to be honest, that's so far a 67% of my trades are profitable.

This cough is really tiresome. Going to go lay down for a little bit and see if it calms down some.

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Okay, back. While I'm lying down, no sinus drainage, so very little coughing. I'm only coughing when my torso is erect. Can't trade lying down. It's now 12:45 pm MST (2:45 pm EST).

I've now made 4 trades today: 2 costs, 2 profits.

From 9 trades this year, 7 are profitable. That's 78% of my trades so far profitable. Yes, the data is a bit skewed as the exits of my profits were not done per the trading strategy. I didn't want to incur 2 more costs, so I quickly took profits.

At 12:32 pm MST, I was in @ 1136.25. Perfect. Unfortunately, I was fearful from my first 2 costing trades and set it at 1 tick as it stayed there for a few minutes.

Anyway, I was in trades for 4 breakouts at the right time. Unfortunately, I set my stops way too close. However, in the other 3 trades, they were not breakouts and 2 ending in costs. One of the profitable trades were not breakouts and where I got out was exactly where I needed to to make a profit.

So, there is a fine balance here that is needed.

Trades: Thurs, 7-Jan-2010

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Day: Thursday
Date: 7-Jan-2010

# Trades Made = 7
# Profitable Trades = 5 (71.4%)
# Costing Trades = 2 (28.6%)

Max # Contracts Used = 1
Max Capital Used In 1 Trade = $500

Profits = $62.50
Costs = $50.00

Commissions = $27.93

Net = <$15.43> (-3.086% ROI)

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MONTHLY RUNNING STATS:

Total Trades = 12
# Profitable Trades = 10 (83% Profitable Trades)
# Costing Trades = 2 (17% Costing Trades)

Profits Total = $162.50 (kept 39.8% profits)
Costs Total = $50.00 (took 30.8% profits)
Commissions Total = $47.88 (took 29.5% profits)

Max Contracts Used = 1
Max Capital Used At One Time = $500

January Cumulative Net = $64.82 (12.96% ROI)

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Things I Did Well:
1. On all 7 trades, I waited to get into trades as per the trading strategy. That is a big thing for me. Every entry was excellent and at exactly the right place.

2. Showered and dressed.

3. Ate breakfast.

4. Did not multi-task while in trades and just focused on my trades. Shut down applications like chat programs, email, Facebook, Twitter, etc. Between trades, I did get online to check things.

5. Turned off distractions. There was music I was listening as I was looking at my brother's wedding pics. It was causing me to lose concentration on the market, so I turned it off so I could clearly think.

6. Did not allow myself to wuss out. I could feel myself fading a bit as I drove home from after taking the kids to school, but I said one of my goals was to make at least 3 trades today. It was preferable that I made double what I made yesterday, but wasn't sure that I would as I started off with the first 2 trades costing. I told myself that I have a trading plan & strategies to follow and that that was what I was going to do.

7. Took a break when I found that my psyche was off. I called a friend and talked about some other things, as well as took my heart meds.

8. Though I was fearful after 2 costing trades following the strategies, I told myself that I needed to get those out of the way (the costs) so I could move onto making profits. It is a part of doing business and to not dwell on them, rather learn from them.

9. Exited the first 2 costing trades as per the trading strategy. They were both profitable at some point, but my strategy was not telling me to get out. Had I done like I did on Monday & Tuesday with getting out too early, these would've been profitable trades. But, the key here is to trade well - to keep costs small and profits bigger and many profits and fewer costs.

10. Did not overtrade, rather each entry was carefully planned. There were far more entries than the 7 that I took, but these were the ones I was ready to enter. It gave me a greater sense of calmness.

Learnings From Today:
1. Fear will cause you to set your stops too close. The reality is, my trading strategy is about 80+% profitable in terms of the number of trades. So, there will be costing trades. If the strategies are followed, these are actually kept small. In the case of today, they are relatively small if I always traded exits as per my strategies, meaning, the profits would be medium to large most of the time. TRADE THE STRATEGIES ON EXITS no matter what.

2. The coughing I was experiencing was very distracting. Not sure what to do about this, but this probably had some level to do with contributing to fears.

3. There was some construction going on where the noises were very intermittent and loud, sort of annoying and startling. Nothing I could do here except mentally tune it out. It probably contributed a little to fearfulness.

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Every day this week I have learned a great deal in my trading. Although I've been trading for many years, it's really getting back to the basics and being honest in your trading. I've made trades where I used more than $100K capital for a single trade and have made more than a 6-figure profit on a single trade. So, then begs the question as to why I'm using only $500 and making so little on a trade.

I'm totally grateful to God for giving me not only a second and third chance, but so many chances that it's not even funny to count to be able to do what I love, which is trading, full-time. Bad habits are easy to develop. Good habits require time, consistency & effort.

Time really is to short to keep wasting it. I have solid trading strategies and there is no reason why I would not be following it except for sloppy work, laziness. That does not lead to a successful business and that's what I've proven. Now that I've gotten that out of the way, it's time to get serious.

Life will always have some level of distractions and "stuff" going on. I've attended so many classes, had the mentors, put in the time & work, traded various derivatives, have the tools. I've spent the money in psychological therapy and really have everything I need to be successful.

Hopefully those reading can glean and not repeat my mistakes. Yes, there is the rare breed that does everything right, but most of us have to learn the hard way. So, it's getting back to the basics. The Bible talks about if God can't trust us with the little He gives us, how can He trust us with more?

It's better to learn the lessons using small amounts of money (after extensive practice time has been done on paper - paper trading) -- this is like the consolidation period. And, when you've honed the most important aspects, then you can really take off exponentially.

My goal this month is to make $>1K, roughly $250/wk. Yes, not a lot, but it is developing and engraining habits, being transparent about what is going on with me so that eventually I can soar with the eagles.

Trades: Wed, 6-Jan-2010

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Day: Wednesday
Date: 6-Jan-2010

# Trades Made = 2
# Profitable Trades = 2 (100%)
# Costing Trades = 0

Max # Contracts Used = 1
Max Capital Used In 1 Trade = $500

Profits = $62.50
Costs = $0.00

Commissions = $7.98

Net = $54.52 (10.904% ROI)

January Cumulative Net = $80.25 (16.05% ROI)

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Things I Did Well:
1. Used my trading strategy for trading.

2. Waited for the conditions to be met in my strategy before executing my trades. This took me waiting 54 minutes, which seemed like an eternity. As conditions changed, I continued to readjust my entry points.

3. I traded my strategies for both ENTRY & EXIT. My strategies are discretionary, so I took more immediate profits than longer profits.

4. Went to sleep early enough to get a reasonable amount of sleep and feeling alright.

5. Was patient.

6. Did not jump into any trades.

7. Spent time with the Lord.

8. Did gratitudes & Bible time with my kids before school.

9. Showered & dressed for trading.


Learnings From Today:
1. I would have to say I was chatting with a friend on Yahoo IM while trading, but I did tell him to not bring anything up that would distract me more. Still, something to be aware.

2. First Trade - Though I followed my discretionary trading strategies, I did pull out of my first trade way sooner than I would've liked as RSI was retracing a bit. My goal was to get $50 for this trade, but ended up with $25, as I sort of was anxious to get out. I did have my stop to get out at $50, but it looked like the market wanted to move at least to 50% retracement from the high and low of the day, so I was keeping my stop just slightly out of the way.

My ultimate target was @ 1130.75, which was where the 200 EMA was. My trade target was 1131, one tick shy as there is a 1 tick slippage for me. I entered the trade @ 9:53 am MST @ 1133.25. It was hovering around the 50 EMA and I ended up getting out as I thought maybe I was wrong and it was bouncing off the 50 EMA instead of the 200 EMA. I was correct originally - not at a second thought, but it was testing and I didn't realize this, though, my gut told me I was originally correct.

The more short-term RSI downtrend was broken, but in the original RSI downtrend that I was using, it only showed retracing. This was too big of a retracement for me on my chart, so I got out with that and that the bullish volume (though not as strong as bearish) was stronger than I would've liked.

Second Trade is just a continuation of the First Trade. I meant to get in at the retracement, but wasn't quick enough and was filled a couple ticks from where I wanted to get in. It was alright. Entry was at 10:07 am MST @ 1132.25. My ultimate goal was still the same as the first trade, but I still wasn't sure if it would go there. So, I had my profit stop @ 1131.50, which is where the 61.8% retracement from the high/low of the day so far (high = 1134.50; low = 1129.75).

As I realized it was going to punch past this, I attempted to cancel my order, but wasn't quick enough. Got filled @ 1131.50. This also met a more short-term RSI breaking, but not the volume or MACD. What I should've done was to have the profit stop @ 1130.50, completely out of the way and see what it did. Oh well. At least today I took more profits on both my trades than in the past 2 days.

Summary of this learning: Keep profit stops just a little past the target or just before the further target. If it doesn't look like it's going to go there, then move stops in.

3. Eat breakfast. Haven't eaten anything, but did drink a bit of hot tea.

Trades: Tues, 5-Jan-2010

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Day: Tuesday
Date: 5-Jan-2010

# Trades Made = 2
# Profitable Trades = 2 (100%)
# Costing Trades = 0

Max # Contracts Used = 1
Max Capital Used In 1 Trade = $500

Profits = $25.00
Costs = $0.00

Commissions = $7.98

Net = $17.02 (3.404% ROI)

January Cumulative Net = $25.53 (5.106% ROI)

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Things I Did Well:
1. Used my trading strategy for trading.

2. While reading my trading strategy to make sure I was following, did not get into a couple trades because I was following it, which turned out to be the right thing.

3. Went to bed early last night so I could get enough sleep. Though I awoke several times in the night, resisted the urge to get up to do sudokus or crosswords, but forced myself back to sleep.

4. Determined that I wasn't going to let my personal issues bother me while trading, which is my livelihood.

5. Ate a good breakfast.

6. Knew what time the economic indicators: Factory Orders & Pending Home Sales @ 8 am MST, Auto & Truck Sales @ noon MST. Waited for market reaction before entering trades.

7. Put my fib & trend lines on, which worked to the "T".

8. Showered, dressed, spent quiet time alone with the Lord before the kids got up. This helps me center and focus on the right things. It is God, despite any trading plan/strategies, that empowers me to be able to create wealth.

9. Had prayer, gratitudes, and Bible time with my kids before leaving for school. This really is an awesome thing.

Learnings From Today:
1. The very first trade I entered, the market was very bullish and I just jumped right in. The very next emotion was "Uh oh . . . this is the top, isn't it?". I didn't even both to see where I was and just jumped without looking. Then, I began praying. Thankfully God gave me grace, but if He didn't, it would've been deserved if it cost me.

2. On both exits, I did not follow my trading strategy and continued to have a poverty mindset to take profits too quickly. I took only 1 tick for each trade.

First Trade I got in @ 8:27 AM MST @ 1131.25. The trendline I had connecting 4:45 am MST and 6:03 am MST had the top being around 1132.75. My stop was originally @ 1131.75 before drawing the trendline.

Well, guess what happened? Not only did my revised stop @ 1131.50 get taken out, but it went to tag 1132.75, exactly where my trendline was and then came back down. Good trading would've done one of 2 things - had the stop at 1133 or 1132.50. The first was if it was going to overshoot, which sometimes it does. Often I will opt for bringing in the stop just slightly closer to be taken out and start over, if need be, just to capture some profits.

It's still great to have a profit, but these are areas of where I could improve. That allowed $50 to slip out of my hand and that was in a matter of 2-3 minutes. Profits on that trade could've been 5x than what it was.

Second Trade entry was at 9:15 am MST @ 1130.25. I originally wanted to get in at 1130.50, but I took too long to put the entry on so if I wanted in and still abiding by my trading strategy, I needed to get in. Better entries would've been at 1131 or 1130.75, but I think I was chatting with a friend on Facebook and missed it.

The 50 EMA & the 38.2% retracement was at 1129.75. One has to decide one of 2 things when you have only 1 contract on the table. Do I have a closer profit stop that is just 1 tick from the target or do I keep the profit stop out of the way in case it overshoots the target?

If you're paying attention and able to move quickly, keeping it out of the way is often better. My gut told me to do that, but some level of fear had me have my stop only 1 tick away to be taken out. Not only did my stop at 1130 get taken out, but it went on to tag the 61.8% retracement point exactly @ 1128, which is just below the 200 EMA. I missed 2 points. The reality is, I probably wouldn't have had the full 2 points, rather 1.5 points of it following my trading strategies EXITS, which is still great.

So, in these 2 trades, I missed out on 2.5 points, which equates to $125 missed opportunity by not following my trading strategies. So, January's net in 2 days of trading could've been 30% instead of the 5%. However, I'm excited that it is positive and my account is back to growing again.

3. Eliminate fears by following the trading strategies to the "T".

4. When trading, trade. Do not do other things. Focus.

Trades: Mon, 4-Jan-2010

Today I kept to my word to trade and to trade fully to my trading strategies. I have 2 - 1 bearish and 1 bullish that works for all timeframes from quarterly down to 1 min. It does not work on a Tick chart, however.

Due to some personal emotional issues that kept me in a rollercoaster of sleep last night from prayer to God and sleeping, I didn't awake until 7:15 am MST. The equities market opens at 7:30 am MST. I knew there was some economic news where the ISM Index reports, as well as Construction Spending reported at 8 am MST.

So, I chose to not get into a trade, however, I didn't even have my realtime data feed on to see what the market was doing. That was something that should not have been, but was.

Was feeling a bit emotional this morning because of things between my boyfriend and I. However, to expect perfect conditions to trade isn't impossible, but to consistently expect this is unrealistic, as life entails all sorts of things happening.

Thanks however, to my trusty TRADING STRATEGY. This takes the guess work out of trades and tells me EXACTLY when to enter a trade and when to EXIT. In fact, I have 4 criteria that MUST be met before a trade can be put on for either bearish or bullish trades - JUST 4 things. I have a couple auxillary things to look at, but not necessary. They are just extra confirmations.

So, whether I am having an emotional day or what, I CAN trade. However, physical distractions are another thing. My kids don't return to school until tomorrow (Tuesday). That will be good. My trading platform was up, but wasn't working properly, which I wasn't totally sure if it was or not. As I got ready to enter a trade, I noticed that things weren't jiving between accounts and I decided it was best to close everything down and do a computer reboot.

Thankfully, everything was reset to where they needed to be, and I waited for a bearish entry. My criteria was met and so I entered the trade. Even as I type this, it's 1:38 pm MST. I need to be out of all trades by 2:15 pm MST. I promised my kids we'd go to the park about 2 pm MST, so I'd better keep my word. It's my word.

A part of me sees that I exited the only trade I made today a little too soon, as I was impatient and just a little fear, but why should I have fear? I'm following my trading plan that is over 80% profitable in trades and the ones that aren't, are small costs if I follow the plan. Anyway, I was out of the trade awhile back, when I really should still be in the trade.

As I committed, every day in January from Mon-Fri, I will trade with real money in my funded account and report the results here in my blog. So, all results for the month of January will be with my funded account unless otherwise stated.

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Day: Monday
Date: 4-Jan-2010

# Trades Made = 1
# Profitable Trades = 1 (100%)
# Costing Trades = 0

Max # Contracts Used = 1
Max Capital Used In 1 Trade = $500

Profits = $12.50
Costs = $0.00

Commissions = $3.99

Net = $8.51 (1.702% ROI)

January Cumulative Net = $8.51 (1.702% ROI)

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Things I Did Well:
1. Read my trading strategy BEFORE trading. Though I've read this MANY times, it's needed to recenter me.

2. Did not trade when I was emotionally very foggy, even though I had my trading strategies in place.

3. Made sure my trading platform was working well before trading, everything was syncing.

4. Knew what time it was.

5. Knew what economic indicators were out today and when, and waited to trade.

6. Looked at the foreign markets to see what they thought of the market before trading.

7. Got rid of all physical distractions before starting to trade. Had my kids leave the room and be quiet as they played. Closed all windows & applications not pertaining to trading.

8. Did not begin any trades the last 1/2 hr of the trading day, so that I would not be caught needing to get out for the sake of getting out and not fulfill my trading strategy.

9. Followed through on my commitment to trade with real funds, not looking back in fear of what happened last year.

10. Did not allow myself to cop out of trading with real funds because of personal life issues.

Learnings From Today:
1. I followed the trading strategy on ENTRY for a bearish position, but got out too soon on the EXIT. Following the trading plan would've given me 2 more ticks, which would've resulted in 4x the net ($33.51 - 6.7% ROI) as I took.

This may not seem like a huge deal to make another $25 more, but what if you had 10 contracts? That's a $250 extra money you could have in your account. That is serious money, to me. That was not waiting an extra 18-21 min., but having poverty minded thinking of not wanting to lose.

2. Wake up 1-2 hours BEFORE trading, so I can look at the market, have quiet time with the Lord, get my mind situated and centered.

3. Need to shower, get dressed and treat this as a real business, as it is. When I am consistently successful, I take things more seriously and that includes with outward expressions of how I operate my day-to-day business.

4. Computer & everything should be rebooted and ready for trading. No extraneous applications opened to hinder trading.

5. Need to make sure I am well-hydrated and have eaten a nutritious breakfast. As of 2:03 pm MST, I've had a few nuts and a sip of water. Definitely not enough nourishment and hydration.

6. Needed to look at the big picture, which I did last week, but it's good to always make sure everything is on the right track each morning and reassess where I actually am (meaning, where the market is).

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Today is a good day. I am learning a lot and will continue to learn.

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