1) What type of trader are you? (day trader, swing trader, etc.)
My preference as a trader is to be a swing trader with holding times of 3 to 10 trading days. To manage risk appropriately, current market conditions and market action make it difficult to be a swing trader. During these market conditions I will focus my attention to trades on smaller time frames for intraday setups and I will use them for day trades. I will base my setups on intraday action with longer time frame support. Simply put, I am looking for swing trades with setups on smaller time frames. By doing this I am trying to maximize the risk/reward which is my primary concern.
2) What markets do you trade?
I trade US stocks on the NYSE or Nasdaq. That includes all listed companies, ADR’s and ETF’s. ETF’s have allowed me to trade sector movements when individual names do not present an appropriate opportunity for a successful trade.
3) Describe your overall trading philosophy.
I use technical analysis for trading. As most of traders I like to follow the trend. My main focus is to find a synergy between several time frames. That way I am looking for an appropriate trade with a risk/reward that meets my criteria. I have learned as a trader I must be patient and wait for the right trades. Taking higher risk trades for the sake of trading I think is the major reason new traders do not remain in the game very long. I try to explain these ideas on my site, my scanning and everyday in my live trading room. Of course there are other important factors, like risk management chart recognition but it is hard to explain all these thoughts in a few words. More about my style can be found here .
4) What types of charts do you monitor (time frame, indicators, etc.)
On my trading screens I follow 5 min, 15 min. 60 min, 120 min, daily, weekly time frame charts. I also have 2 min, 5 min and 15 min charts for the indices that I use it to follow the general market action because it is important to know what market doing at any particular moment. I don’t use many indicators since too many indicators can confuse me. For intraday time frame charts I use volume, CCI and moving averages (10/20 and 200 sma) and for daily/weekly/monthly time frames I use volume, CCI and moving averages (10/20/50/100 and 200 sma). For reading charts my focus is on pace because I think that pace with volume can tell us a lot about future expectations.
5) What types of things help you learn how to trade?
My first language is not English so when I started to trade I thought that would be my biggest obstacle, however as it turned out it was an advantage since I did not have go through all the clutter that is given out there. I was able to concentrate and spend most of my time studying charts and learning how to read them without all the indicators and the overload of information. I still almost went broke starting out but I learned risk management out of necessity. I am a firm believer in managing risk and developing a trading plan for every trade. Before I enter a trade I know my entry, my exit for both a winning trade and my stop loss for a losing trade. Having a plan works. I am inherently an inquisitive person so when I first started to trade I joined a trading room and asked a million questions. I try to model myself now after those times believing in giving the traders in my room information so they can make good decisions versus being an impulsive trader relying only on my calls. I really believe to be a successful trader, especially for new traders, it important to understand the reasons you put on a trade.
6) Describe a recent good trade you had
I mentioned earlier that I use a trading plan for every trade. Before every trade I make a trading plan with an entry, stop, possible target etc. If I follow that plan I can say that it is good trade. A recent winning trade was NFLX. I took it on 11/19/2010 based it on a 30 min bull flag pattern: http://www.xpertstocktrader.com/2010/11192010nflx.jpg The plan was to see the previous high resistance but on Monday 11/22/2010 NFLX opened with nice gap and a reward of over 18 dollars. It was really great trade. Of course that I had gap luck there, but it is part of trading too. NFLX was strong and larger time frame supported the long trade.
7) Describe a recent bad trade you had
If I don’t follow the plan, or if I use too much risk, then it is not good trade for me. I could be lucky and make more, but if the trade goes bad it could result in a larger loss that I can easily handle. A recent example is WCC entered on Monday 11/22/2010. I took it based on 60 min consolidation: http://www.xpertstocktrader.com/2010/11222010wcc.jpg. Setup was above 47.75 with stop under 47.20. Monday’s market was strong, then weak, then strong again and I didn’t follow the WCC plan and I closed it at 47.55. It was not big loss, but I didn’t follow the plan and for me that was bad trade. At the end to the day WCC traded back at its high and above.
8) What are your favorite patterns to watch for?
Markets are always changing and some patterns are not as effective as others during different times. It is my job as a professional trader to adjust and change to keep the odds of success in my favor. My favorite pattern is the third try triangle. Actually I like the triangle and when it breaks on its third try. It was like a sure jack pot. Since the financial crises started and market momentum shifted to lower volumes I noticed the 3rd try triangle would sometimes finish with a false breakout and then a strong reversal so now I’am very cautious with it. My underlying philosophy is to watch a stock for a move-rest-move pattern. That means I am looking for consolidations, range bars and rest periods. After a stock rests we can expect to see some action. A Continuation pattern is one good example of it.