oldprof

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Stock Exchange: Need Some Trading Room Help?

Last week’s Stock Exchange illustrated how different approaches worked to generate varied ideas. If you missed last week, you will find it to be useful background for today’s topic. In the last two weeks the market has been relatively quiet. Dow 20K is still a gleam in the eye. Some are announcing that the “Trump
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2016 Silver Bullet Awards Part Two

Each week I try to give special attention to those who do important work, even though it is probably unpopular. These contributors are so important, and their work is so helpful, that we recommend taking another look at the end of the year. (Part One is here).   7/13/16 In a WTWA first, CNBC anchor Sara Eisen
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2016 in Review: Best of the Silver Bullet Awards Part One

Since the earliest days of A Dash of Insight, Jeff has brought attention to journalists and bloggers who dispel myths in financial media. We congratulate these writers with the Silver Bullet Award – named in honor of the Lone Ranger, who lived by a strict code: “…that all things change but truth, and that truth alone,
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Weighing the Week Ahead: Digging Down on the Trump Effect

We have a reasonable volume of economic data, but few important reports. We are awaiting earnings season. The elephant in the room (sorry – I just couldn’t help myself) is the transition to the Trump Administration. Many are tired of hearing about this and thinking about the consequences, but that is not a sound plan
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Stock Exchange: Three Approaches Yield Three Trading Ideas

Last week’s Stock Exchange was a discussion of how to find new trading ideas. There are always plenty of names floated, but that is more about media than method. If you missed last week because of the holidays, you might find it useful to catch up. This week I turn theory into practice. We have
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Profitable New Year’s Resolutions for Investors

As part of my preparation for 2017, I asked how I could be most helpful for individual investors. The suggested resolutions are a combination of expert investment methods and avoiding the most common investor mistakes. They may be difficult to follow. If you can, you will find them profitable. Make a fresh start. We should
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Weighing the Week Ahead: Santa Rally Trumped?

2017 begins with plenty of economic data crammed into a short week. While most expected at least a touch of Dow 20K last week, it did not happen. The conversation quickly shifted to why the rally stalled out. In the coming week, the punditry will be asking: Should we expect a weak start to 2017?
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Stock Exchange: How to Find New Trading Ideas

Last week’s Stock Exchange was about the need for focus and discipline in your trading. Even with the help of systems and models, the human trader needs to maintain confidence. The inevitable rough patches present a challenge. This week I turn to a very common trading problem – finding fresh ideas. Sometimes the muse does
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Is Forecasting Always A Folly?

Forecasting season is upon us. Anyone who gets to be quoted in print or speak to a reporter is asked an opinion. Expertise not required! It is paradise for pundits. Many have decried the “folly of forecasting.” People love to laugh at supposed experts, looking back at old forecasts. Since most forecasts are based upon
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Stock Exchange: Great Trading has a Foundation of Focus and Discipline

Last week’s Stock Exchange was about how emotion and symbols affected technical analysis. Could our charts help us when the picture displayed involved some psychological event like Dow 20K? This week I turn from the charts themselves to the trader who must interpret them. Successful trading requires focus and the discipline to stick with successful
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Why Wall Street Strategists Always Seem Bullish

Let us divide those writing about forecasts into three camps: Those who make specific forecasts, sometimes required as part of their job; Those who criticize, but do not forecast; Those who make dramatic, non-consensus forecasts to get attention. I plan a few more posts on this theme, but today I want to consider group 2.
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Weighing the Week Ahead: New Year, New Highs, and a New List of Worries

There is a normal dose of economic data this week, but we are entering a quiet, pre-holiday period. As the rally faltered a bit, the Dow 20K talk yielded to a discussion of what could go wrong. I expect this discussion to continue in the coming week, and perhaps the next one as well. The
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Stock Exchange: Does the Symbolism of Dow 20K Affect Technical Analysis?

Last week’s Stock Exchange focused on making hay while the sun is shining. The week before we discussed risk, where every trader and investor should start. Now the models must deal with news and symbolism. Dow 20K is grabbing the headlines as I expected. It is very nice to get some recognition for my early
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Weighing the Week Ahead: Dow 20K?

The post-election market run has been accompanied by improving economic data and increasing confidence. The result has the punditry asking a question that seemed crazy in January: Will the Dow hit 20K? Before reading this week’s installment, “Sherman, set the WABAC machine to” mid-year, 2010. The Dow was at 10K and many famous pundits were
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Stock Exchange: How to Maximize Gains

Last week’s Stock Exchange focused on risk – my first step in speaking with a new client. If you take on too much risk, you will find yourself bailing out at the first modest downturn. Our guest expert last week, Blue Harbinger, helped us in discussing the topic. Mark did a great job, just as
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Stock Exchange: Model Picks Teach Us to Manage Risk

Individual investors are intensely focused on the concept of risk. And why shouldn’t they be? Finding an appropriate level of downside risk is paramount. However, too few give equal weight to the potential upside risk in their decisions. Permabears and doom-and-gloomers often watch from the sidelines as the market rallies beyond the fear of the day.
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Weighing the Week Ahead: Are Stocks Ready for Stronger Economic News?

It is (ahem) a very big week for new data. The A-teams are back from their mini-vacations, ready to take a fresh look at the new world. While some will continue to work the Trump Administration/stock theme, it remains mostly guesswork. There is a new theme, which markets and pundits will get around to, perhaps
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Weighing the Week Ahead: Possible Stimulus and How to Pay

It is a short week without much new data. Even FedSpeak is on holiday. The big story will continue to be the Trump transition. I expect the punditry to be asking a dual question: How much economic stimulus and how to pay? Last Week Once again, last week’s economic news was nearly all good, but
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Stock Exchange: Spotting a Great Chart

Technical analysts dominate the daily discussion of stocks. Fundamental concepts change slowly. Chart patterns change constantly. Usually the calls are dramatic, because no one cares about advice that says, “all is well, keep holding.” Traders live on stock charts, but investors also pay close attention. Everyone wants to know whether a stock is breaking down,
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Weighing the Week Ahead: Time for a Portfolio “Transition?”

There is some important data on the schedule for this week, along with earnings and the expected doses of FedSpeak. None of that will attract much attention. Instead expect “all Trump, all the time”. The slant in financial media will be the implications for investors. As we get news of the leadership transition, I expect
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Stock Exchange: Is Technical Analysis Effective Post-Election?

A truly disruptive event generates surprisingly large moves – sectors, stocks, and sometimes the overall market. Methods that work well in normal times may break down under this stress. Traders and investors must ask: Is my system still working? Should I adjust? Should I suspend operations for a time? When trading based upon scientifically developed
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Post Election: Pause, Reflect, and Act Carefully

Take a deep breath. Or maybe two. The biggest trap for investors during an aggressive political campaign? Allowing the political narrative to become the foundation for your portfolio decisions. I have frequently advocated that investors should be “politically agnostic,” willing to make sound investments regardless of who is in power. This is always easier said
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Weighing the Week Ahead: Time for Some Clarity?

We have a light week for data, but plenty of other big news. Earnings season continues. There will be plenty of FedSpeak, and most importantly the results of the U.S. elections. I everyone to be asking: Will the election results provide clarity for financial markets? Personal Note   I enjoyed my Wisconsin weekend away with
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Stock Exchange: Contrarian Pre-Election Trade Ideas in Chips, Biotech, Trucking, and Energy

Each week Felix and Oscar host a poker game for some of their friends. Since they are all traders they love to discuss their best current ideas before the game starts. They like to call this their “Stock Exchange.” Their methods are excellent, as you will learn if you join us for a few weeks.
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Stock Exchange: Oscar loves airlines, but Consider FAST and SLCA

Each week Felix and Oscar host a poker game. We listen in on current trading ideas in the few minutes before the game starts. They like to call this their “Stock Exchange.” I am the only human present, and the only one using fundamental analysis. Their methods are excellent, as you will learn if you
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Things I Don’t Care About — And Neither Should You!!

One of the biggest challenges for investors is filtering out bad, useless, or even costly “information.”  I have a method for screening out the noise and using my time more effectively.  Part of it is keeping the TV on mute and using TIVO to check out anything that is really significant.  You can also just
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Weighing the Week Ahead: When Will the Trading Range Be Broken?

We have normal week for economic data, including the first estimate for Q3 GDP. There are also important earnings reports. Election stories have become even more intense. Meanwhile, the market has been pretty quiet. I expect financial media to be asking: When will the trading range be broken? Personal Notes I will be traveling next
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Stock Exchange: Featuring Holmes and NKE — Energy and SCHW worth a look

Each week Felix and Oscar host a poker game. We listen in on current trading ideas in the few minutes before the game starts. They like to call this their “Stock Exchange.” I am the only human present, and the only one using fundamental analysis. Their methods are excellent, as you will learn if you
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What is Your Confirmation Bias Quotient?

Most thoughtful investors know and understand the concept of confirmation bias. Very briefly put, we selectively perceive and choose evidence that supports our existing beliefs. It is a powerful natural process. Everyone is susceptible.   Morgan Housel has a good challenge: “What’s something you strongly believe that’s likely wrong?” He has a wonderful description of
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Weighing the Week Ahead: Has the Market Rotation Begun?

We have normal week for economic data, and a big week for earnings reports. The last Presidential debate will grab headlines. We have been monitoring these factors for weeks, but something new is showing up in the data. Let’s call it a “stealth rotation” from bonds to stocks and from bond substitutes to less favored
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Stock Exchange: Great Chart Ideas Include WB, DDD, DXCM, and APD

Each week Felix and Oscar host a poker game. We listen in on current trading ideas in the few minutes before the game starts. They like to call this their “Stock Exchange.” I am the only human present, and the only one using fundamental analysis. Their methods are excellent, as you will learn if you
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Weighing the Week Ahead: Is this the End of the “Earnings Recession?”

We face a modest week for economic data. While equity markets remain open, bonds will not trade on Monday (Columbus Day). Yom Kippur begins Tuesday at sundown and extends through the next day. The punditry, fueled by recent revelations as well as Sunday’s debate, will pounce on the election news. With the official start of
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Stock Exchange: BBD, TAN, FSLR, APD, and AAP All Deserve Consideration

Technical stock analysts are a rich source of new stock ideas. Those charts always suggesting something. Our trading models each specialize in a different time frame and level of risk. Each week Felix and Oscar host a poker game. We listen in on current trading ideas in the few minutes beforehand. They like to call
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Weighing the Week Ahead: Time to Look Past the Gloom?

We have a huge week for economic data. The Fed is now on hold until after the election. The election can still go either way. It is easy to find something to worry about. That said, the fourth quarter is usually good for stocks. Should investors look past the gloom? Last Week There was plenty
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Stock Exchange: Technical or Fundamental?

Market participants split sharply on whether it is better to use technical or fundamental analysis. The question rivals “Ginger or Mary Ann” in popularity. Technical experts are a rich source of new stock ideas. Our trading models each specialize in a different time frame and level of risk. Before their weekly poker game, they spend
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Weighing the Week Ahead: Will Election News Change the Course of Markets?

The calendar has a lot of data, but the FOMC meeting is over. The market waits for the next big event. We will soon have another jobs report, but Monday’s presidential debate overshadows the other news. The news cycles this week will be all about the election, and the financial press will be no different.
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Stock Exchange: How much risk is right?

Technical experts are a rich source of new stock ideas. Our trading models each specialize in a different time frame and level of risk. Before their weekly poker game, they spend a few minutes trading ideas. They like to call this their “Stock Exchange.” I am the only human and the only one using fundamental
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Weighing the Week Ahead: Time for the Bond Correction?

The calendar has very little important data. The highlight is the FOMC announcement and press conference on Wednesday. Even though the Fed is not expected to change course, bonds have gotten much weaker, sending the ten-year note yield higher. This effect is gaining notice. Should we expect a further bond selloff? Last Week There was
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Stock Exchange: The Experts Like Energy

Technical experts are a rich source of new stock ideas. Our models, Felix, Oscar, and Holmes each specialize in a different time frame and level of risk. Before their weekly poker game, they spend a few minutes trading ideas. They like to call this their “Stock Exchange.” Here is the cast of characters: Felix is
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Weighing the Week Ahead: Should We Fear the Fed?

The calendar has little important data. Friday’s sharp selling was widely attributed to the fear of a Fed rate hike in September. Is it time? Should we fear the Fed? Last Week There was not much news, and it was another mixed picture. Theme Recap In my last WTWA, I predicted a continuing discussion of
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Felix, Oscar, and Holmes Talk Stocks

Fans of the Odd Couple know about Felix and Oscar’s regular poker game. While Holmes is a dog, everyone knows that they play poker as well. They have all agreed to take a few minutes away each week to talk with us about stocks. Here is the cast of characters: Felix is fussy, precise, and
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Test Your Employment Report IQ

It is Labor Day – a good time to think about jobs. Employment is the most important element in economic growth and also for future Fed decisions. Each month the employment situation report is the subject of intense discussion. It helps to understand the data. This will be most effective if you attempt to answer
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Weighing the Week Ahead: Should We Expect September Mourning?

The abbreviated week’s calendar has little important data. The economic news last week leaves open the timing of the next interest rate increase. As vacationing market participants yawn their way back to their desks and trading floors, what will be the focus? A look at the calendar and the end of summer will have them
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Why Smart Investors Struggle to Beat the Market: Over-emphasis on Recent Performance

The individual investor does not beat the market, but actually trails by a significant margin. It is not a matter of intelligence. The habits and skills that help smart people succeed in their jobs and recreational life actually mislead them when it comes to investing! Preface I am writing some posts subjects that have great
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Weighing the Week Ahead: Will the Fed Get the Signal for a September Rate Hike?

This week’s calendar is loaded with important data. Now that the Jackson Hole Fed Conference is over, can we expect a policy change soon? Every data report this week will get special scrutiny. Will the Fed get the signal to hike rates? Last Week The important economic news was pretty good, but interest focused on
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Weighing the Week Ahead: Showdown at Jackson Hole?

This week’s calendar features yet another light week for data, a lot of politics, and slow summer trading. Something has to fill all of that air time! This week the punditry gets their favorite topic – the Fed. Chair Yellen’s speech on Friday may set the tone for post-election monetary policy. Sometimes there is also
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Weighing the Week Ahead: Have Stock and Oil Prices Decoupled?

This week’s calendar features another relatively light week for data, a lot of politics, slow summer trading, and options expiration. Something has to fill all of that air time! Expect more Olympic coverage, political commentary, and light features. There will be the usual Fed chatter. To the extent that there is real market discussion, I
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Weighing the Week Ahead: Earnings Recession Ending Next Quarter?

This week’s calendar includes a little data, a lot of politics, slow summer trading, and the last of the earnings reports. I expect financial media to focus on an earnings season post-mortem by asking: Has the Earnings Recession Reached a Turning Point? Last Week The important economic news was excellent, and the market reaction was
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Is 2016 the Year of the Value Trap?

Wall Street loves to name things. The unofficial definition of a “value trap” is a cheap stock that is stuck around the current price. Those who focus on what happened in the past have a big advantage. They can cite facts, past performance, and explanations that make them seem to be really smart. They are
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Weighing the Week Ahead: What Does the Election Mean for Stocks?

This week’s calendar includes a big serving of data, an FOMC meeting, the Democratic convention, and plenty of earnings news. The financial media will be asking: What does the election mean for stocks? Last Week The economic news was excellent, and the market reaction was positive. It was a light week for data, but the
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