The Daytrading & Swingtrading Thread

Discuss your favourite picks, broker, and trading or investment style.

Postby Studebaker Hawk » 05 Feb 2008 19:11

scomac wrote:My MIL is in her mid eighties and receives a survivor's benefit from my FIL's Stelco pension. He retired in 1985. She can't spend her retirement income stream today (OAS, modest CPP, Stelco survivor's benefit). She has more in savings now then they ever had in the past. While many would find her standard of living unacceptable, I would describe it as fairly typical for someone her age in this country.


Ahhh but she's of a different generation. She probably drinks Maxwell House in her own kitchen not Tango Hotel and, most certainly, not that $tarbuck$ stuff. Saves her all kinds of money.
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Postby ghariton » 05 Feb 2008 22:49

Studebaker Hawk wrote: most certainly, not that $tarbuck$ stuff. Saves her all kinds of money.


Yes indeed. About $1.80 per coffee, or $8 per week at my rate of consumption. Of course, I get to sit in their armchairs for free. :wink:

scomac wrote:She can't spend her retirement income stream today (OAS, modest CPP, Stelco survivor's benefit).


Yes. But the first two are fully indexed for inflation. While I don't know the details of a Stelco survivor benefit, I also know that inflation has been extremely well behaved for the last decade.

rhenderson's point was the perils of non-indexed fixed investments over the last 20 years, which does include moderate inflation.

If inflation pops up to 5% -- not impossible with central banks pumping liquidity into the system -- a non-indexed fixed investment sounds like a horrible idea. FWIW, I own no conventional bonds at all.

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Postby scomac » 06 Feb 2008 00:23

ghariton wrote:
scomac wrote:She can't spend her retirement income stream today (OAS, modest CPP, Stelco survivor's benefit).


Yes. But the first two are fully indexed for inflation. While I don't know the details of a Stelco survivor benefit, I also know that inflation has been extremely well behaved for the last decade.


The Stelco survivor's benefit is 60% of the employee's pension. My FIL had 38 years service as a tradesman, so we aren't dealing with a big pension to start with. AFAIK it isn't indexed.

ISTM that in the context of the original statement by rhenderson, the fact that OAS and CPP are indexed is irrelevant as all Canadian citizens would receive at least one of these. I'm simply pointing out that someone who relies on a non-indexed DB pension (in addition to gov't entitlements) has not been "wiped out by inflation" and has actually been a net saver. So far no one has brought out concrete evidence to the contrary other than to suggest that my MIL must be "cheap". If you have extravagant enough tastes, even an indexed DB plan may not save you from out consuming your retirement income stream.
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Postby gossg » 06 Feb 2008 02:45

scomac wrote:
rhenderson wrote:Ask most anyone that retired 20 years ago on a non-indexed defined benefit plan.
[....]

My MIL is in her mid eighties and [...]has more in savings now then they ever had in the past.


Ditto for my mother. My father "played" in the Vancouver stock exchange, but the retirement money was all in CSBs. After he died, my mother settled into an economical retirement in a paid-for house. My sister managed my mother's financial affairs and was wondering whether the stash might reach a $million before she died. My parent's CSB-based retirement savings came through the seventies intact and were still growing when it came time to disburse the estate.

Of course, our generation don't plan to have the same quiet TV and bridge-club based retirement that the depression babies held. We'll need a lot more money.
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Postby dakota » 06 Feb 2008 06:03

rhenderson wrote:
dakota wrote:
all GIC's and that is what he's bought ever since. Not comfortable with any risk


jmo, but 100% GIC's are a terrible risk, eventually inflation will wipe you off the map, (and that's only if we experience past rates of inflation.) :cry:

Ask most anyone that retired 20 years ago on a non-indexed defined benefit plan.


He doesn't look at it that way, his money keeps going up. It is all a matter of perception :)
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Postby dakota » 06 Feb 2008 06:17

scomac wrote
Oh I don't know about that. That strikes me as another one of those well perpetuated myths that have been concocted by the financial serices industry.

My MIL is in her mid eighties and receives a survivor's benefit from my FIL's Stelco pension. He retired in 1985. She can't spend her retirement income stream today (OAS, modest CPP, Stelco survivor's benefit). She has more in savings now then they ever had in the past. While many would find her standard of living unacceptable, I would describe it as fairly typical for someone her age in this country.


Our pensions adequatly looks after all our needs and if we didn't have any RRSP's at all we would still be okay and we have just bought a brand new van. Now I have to work at getting my money out of the RRSP's so my sons wont have to pay 50% income tax when they inherit :roll:
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Mike's Whacko Day Trading Casino

Postby Mike Schimek » 14 Aug 2008 17:12

Well I've been doing a lot of gambling at the roulette wheel since the start of August and thought I'd take a break to see how many times the ball came down on a red number vs black one.

Since the beginning of August, for something fun to do while spending 10-12 hours per day monitoring stock stuff for a while, I thought I'd try a little bit of day trading as part of my partisan contribution to stimulating global economic growth and activity by providing additional brokerage fees for my broker.

As a precursor to this funky little experiment, I posted up every trade I made in buys and sells on these forums immediately after having done them in the "what did you buy" and "what did you sell" columns.

And here are the results of our lucky winner!!!

Red (+6.14%) Aug 5 bought Methanex 26.668, sold for 28.31 Aug 14th
Red (+2.87%) Aug 8 bought Methanex 27.52, sold for 28.31 Aug 14th
Red (+6.62%) Aug 8 bought VicWest 10.50, holding, 11.09 current
Red (+5.67%) Aug 11 bought Methanex 27.02, sold for 28.56 Aug 14th
Red (+1.82%) Aug 12 bought MCan Mortgage 9.30, holding, 9.47 current
Red (+1.29%) Aug 13 bought Petro Can 45.76, sold for 46.35, Aug 14th
Red (+6.04%) Aug 13 bought Methanex 26.93, sold for 28.56, Aug 14th
Black (-0.56%) Aug 14 bought Goldman Sachs 167.45, holding 166.59
none (+ 0%) Aug 14 bought Sandvine 1.16, holding 1.16
Black (-0.77%) Aug 14 bought Methanex 28.44 (after selling them 1 minute earlier at 28.33 or so), currently at 28.22

The last trade is a bit unfair because I let my long term picks interfere with my short term day trader money I was playing with, and had decided to sell the Methanex because I thought it would go down (which it did heh), but changed my mind 1 minute later because I decided to stick it onto my long term hold pile (x years) even if it went down a bit. Also for me to sell Methanex I have to force myself to do it. Focus really really hard, pump myself up, say YOU CAN DO IT!!! a few times, and sell some shares of my favorite stock. Funny trade though lol, sold the same shares and bought them back 1 minute later at a higher price. A nice example of emotion at work.

Wow! Look at all those red chips! I'm a genius!

Now let's take it a bit further...

Average return per trade = 2.817%

Approx amount of money I played with (fairly small, don't mind disclosing it. I suspect > 50% of people on these forums are millionaires) = 15k

Approx gain = $422.55

Brokerage fees = 99.50

Gain = $323.05

Approx Amount of hours spent = 100

Hourly wage = $3.23

Hey! I used to make more than that washing dishes when I was a kid!

:oops:

It's fun though, did some of this whacko trading while doing my monitoring. I think I'll ease off though. Got better things to do. I Was thinking picking up cans on the side of the road and returning them to the grocery store for consignment refunds might be more profitable from a time invested/return ratio perspective.

:roll:
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Postby like_to_retire » 14 Aug 2008 17:50

I Was thinking picking up cans on the side of the road


Mike, I have a better idea.

About a month ago, you posted in the preferred shares thread, and you slammed prefs, and told us all, I still don't get the value of preferred shares.

You could have simply placed your bet on a bunch of perpetual preferred shares that day. You'd be up about 8% today. :wink:

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Re: Mike's Whacko Day Trading Casino

Postby deaddog » 14 Aug 2008 23:09

Mike Schimek wrote:
Approx Amount of hours spent = 100

Hourly wage = $3.23

Hey! I used to make more than that washing dishes when I was a kid!

:oops:

It's fun though, did some of this whacko trading while doing my monitoring. I think I'll ease off though. Got better things to do. I Was thinking picking up cans on the side of the road and returning them to the grocery store for consignment refunds might be more profitable from a time invested/return ratio perspective.

:roll:


You spent 10 hours a day trading 15K using a broker that charges $9.95 a trade. I think you did real well.

What did you do all day after you placed your trades?
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Postby Mike Schimek » 15 Aug 2008 01:37

You spent 10 hours a day trading 15K using a broker that charges $9.95 a trade. I think you did real well.

What did you do all day after you placed your trades?


Same thing I'm doing right now. It's 2:37 AM here right now, I'm trolling news threads while listening to bloomberg news on the radio and just got done researching some aspects of Goldman Sachs (just did a post on Goldman in stock picks about an hour ago).
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Re: Mike's Whacko Day Trading Casino

Postby parvus » 15 Aug 2008 14:23

Mike Schimek wrote:Average return per trade = 2.817%

Approx amount of money I played with (fairly small, don't mind disclosing it. I suspect > 50% of people on these forums are millionaires) = 15k

Approx gain = $422.55

Brokerage fees = 99.50

Gain = $323.05

Approx Amount of hours spent = 100

Hourly wage = $3.23

And your after-tax wage? :wink:
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Re: Mike's Whacko Day Trading Casino

Postby deaddog » 15 Aug 2008 16:16

Mike Schimek wrote:
Now let's take it a bit further...

Average return per trade = 2.817%

Approx amount of money I played with (fairly small, don't mind disclosing it. I suspect > 50% of people on these forums are millionaires) = 15k

Approx gain = $422.55

Brokerage fees = 99.50

Gain = $323.05

Approx Amount of hours spent = 100

Hourly wage = $3.23

Hey! I used to make more than that washing dishes when I was a kid!

:oops:

It's fun though, did some of this whacko trading while doing my monitoring. I think I'll ease off though. Got better things to do. I Was thinking picking up cans on the side of the road and returning them to the grocery store for consignment refunds might be more profitable from a time invested/return ratio perspective.

:roll:


You could also say that you took 10 trades. Even using one of the slow online brolers it shouldn't take more than 6 minutes to make a trade.

60 minutes of your time spent trading $323.05 per hour.

2.8% return in 10 days; 200 trading days per year. 56% a year.
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deaddog's approach

Postby deaddog » 06 Dec 2008 14:32

[Split from ...Managed Accounts by ModeratorA]

adrian2 wrote: Maybe, just maybe, imagine they are right and you don't deserve the Nobel prize for your insight?

Maybe, just maybe, imagine you were just lucky this year with your strategy and in the long term you'll underperform?


You well may be right. Just Lucky. Guess I’d better not spend my Nobel Prize money to soon.

In the long term I don’t care that I under perform. I care that my capital is preserved.

Tell me when the “long term” ends and where your portfolio will be at that date. I can’t but I’ll be able to tell you the minimum I will have in my portfolio.

The “Fact” that most people can’t beat a “Long Term Buy and Hold” strategy is based on averages. Some do and I would like to think that the people who charge for their services would be among that group.

However it seems that the easier way is to follow everyone else. The safest thing to do is to diversify and rebalance.

So when the market crashes everyone is down but not as much as the market because a portion of their portfolio is in fixed income.

Rationalization: My portfolio is worth less than it was a year ago but I’m beating the market.

When the market goes up the portfolio under performs because a portion of their portfolio is in fixed income.

Rationalization: My portfolio is not doing as well as the market but I’m willing to give up performance for safety.

If you believe that you can’t time the market and that anyone who does is just lucky then you’ll probably never try and you’ll never know for sure.

Remember that at one time the world was flat, man couldn’t fly and Dick Tracy had a wrist radio. Nothing is impossible.
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Postby adrian2 » 06 Dec 2008 15:48

deaddog wrote:In the long term I don’t care that I under perform. I care that my capital is preserved.

You can also preserve your capital under your mattress. Why is it better to use your timing which may lead to a pre-determined loss when the mattress guarantees a better result than that loss?

deaddog wrote:Tell me when the “long term” ends and where your portfolio will be at that date. I can’t but I’ll be able to tell you the minimum I will have in my portfolio.

And are you happy to have only that minimum?

deaddog wrote:Rationalization: My portfolio is worth less than it was a year ago but I’m beating the market.

Most people should be happy with matching the market with minimal expenses.

deaddog wrote:If you believe that you can’t time the market and that anyone who does is just lucky then you’ll probably never try and you’ll never know for sure.

If you follow my posts, you'll know that I, personally, hope to do better than the market with my non-indexed picks.

deaddog wrote:Remember that at one time the world was flat, man couldn’t fly and Dick Tracy had a wrist radio. Nothing is impossible.

Sure. Just give me a short list of people who got vast amounts of money by timing the market.
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Postby deaddog » 06 Dec 2008 17:55

adrian2 wrote:
You can also preserve your capital under your mattress. Why is it better to use your timing which may lead to a pre-determined loss when the mattress guarantees a better result than that loss?

I’m greedy. If the market is going up I want to be in. It’s a calculated risk. To me it’s better than saying I’ll buy this and hope it goes up and if it goes down I’ll just hold on to it in case it goes up someday.
Once I’m back in cash I can look for other opportunities. I’m no longer biased by my decision to get into the first position.
And are you happy to have only that minimum?

Of course I’m happy with that minimum. If I’m at the minimum the market is probably close to or under that. I’ll be in cash making a little with interest.
Most people should be happy with matching the market with minimal expenses.

Maybe they should be but they don’t seem to be at this time.
If you follow my posts, you'll know that I, personally, hope to do better than the market with my non-indexed picks.

Sorry but I haven’t followed your posts. Are you using a "Buy & Hold" strategy? How is that working for you?
Sure. Just give me a short list of people who got vast amounts of money by timing the market.

Read Schwagers “Market Wizards” books. I believe every one of the traders interviewed outperformed the markets prior to being interviewed.

I'm not sure about the vast amounts of money but MW made some pretty good calls earlier this year.
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Postby adrian2 » 06 Dec 2008 18:06

deaddog wrote:
adrian2 wrote:And are you happy to have only that minimum?

Of course I’m happy with that minimum. If I’m at the minimum the market is probably close to or under that. I’ll be in cash making a little with interest.

If I understand correctly your strategy, prior to placing an order to buy you have a stop-loss. If the stock trades at or below it you sell. If the market disagrees with your picks, you could lose money on most or even all your picks. So yes, you'll earn interest on your cash but after taking a predetermined haircut for each attempt.

deaddog wrote:
adrian2 wrote:If you follow my posts, you'll know that I, personally, hope to do better than the market with my non-indexed picks.

Sorry but I haven’t followed your posts. Are you using a "Buy & Hold" strategy? How is that working for you?

I have a strong math background. To me, investing is a matter of probabilities and tweaking them in your favour, but recognizing it's possible to be wrong. As written above, I do have an important non-indexed part in my portfolio which I hope to beat the market with, but I would not recommend the strategy to other people, principally because I think I can tolerate fluctuations in my portfolio better than most.

To answer your questions, most of my portfolio is indeed Buy & Hold and I'm happy with its performance.

deaddog wrote:
adrian2 wrote:Sure. Just give me a short list of people who got vast amounts of money by timing the market.

Read Schwagers “Market Wizards” books. I believe every one of the traders interviewed outperformed the markets prior to being interviewed.

Typical survivorship bias. Even then, how many self-made billionaires got there by timing the market? There are quite a few who did it by Buy & Hold.

As for "Market Wizards" I'm betting that they won't do so well after the books are published.
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Postby deaddog » 06 Dec 2008 19:21

adrian2 wrote: If I understand correctly your strategy, prior to placing an order to buy you have a stop-loss. If the stock trades at or below it you sell. If the market disagrees with your picks, you could lose money on most or even all your picks. So yes, you'll earn interest on your cash but after taking a predetermined haircut for each attempt.

All this is true. The theory being to cut losses short and hold winners.


I have a strong math background. To me, investing is a matter of probabilities and tweaking them in your favour, but recognizing it's possible to be wrong. As written above, I do have an important non-indexed part in my portfolio which I hope to beat the market with, but I would not recommend the strategy to other people, principally because I think I can tolerate fluctuations in my portfolio better than most.


My math stinks. I did spend enough time at the poker and blackjack tables to understand odds. To me, trading is a matter of probabilities and tweaking them in your favour, but recognizing it's possible to be wrong.

The difference seems to be that when I’m wrong I accept my loss and get out. I can’t tolerate fluctuations.

Typical survivorship bias. Even then, how many self-made billionaires got there by timing the market? There are quite a few who did it by Buy & Hold.

I don’t know Adrian, I’m never going to be in the billionaire class. Even if I managed to become a billionaire, there would be those that say I took too much risk and was just lucky.
As for "Market Wizards" I'm betting that they won't do so well after the books are published.

I hope not. They're probably the guys I'm trading against. :lol:
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Postby Goofyboy » 06 Dec 2008 20:51

I'm having a really hard time making sense of things. I don't know thing are just poorly written or I'm reading things wrong.

You criticize the rationalization of "buy and hold" that makes it easy and safe to follow;
deaddog wrote:So when the market crashes everyone is down but not as much as the market because a portion of their portfolio is in fixed income.
Rationalization: My portfolio is worth less than it was a year ago but I’m beating the market.

But then you say use the same justification when you say;
deaddog wrote:Of course I’m happy with that minimum. If I’m at the minimum the market is probably close to or under that. I’ll be in cash making a little with interest.


Again, regarding "buy and hold";
deaddog wrote:When the market goes up the portfolio under performs because a portion of their portfolio is in fixed income.
Rationalization: My portfolio is not doing as well as the market but I’m willing to give up performance for safety.

But again you use the same justification when you say;
deaddog wrote:In the long term I don’t care that I under perform. I care that my capital is preserved.


Going back to your previous quote;
deaddog wrote: Of course I’m happy with that minimum.

Then you say;
deaddog wrote:I’m greedy. If the market is going up I want to be in.


Isn't being happy with a minimum the anti-thesis of "greed"?
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Postby deaddog » 07 Dec 2008 14:17

Goofyboy wrote:I'm having a really hard time making sense of things. I don't know thing are just poorly written or I'm reading things wrong.

Probably poorly written.

I was trying to show the difference between Long Term Buy&Hold and Market Timing.
LTB&H is willing to ride out the market fluctuations to eventually have a better return because that has happened in the past. IMO Market timing takes the risk that it may not happen in the future out of the equasion.

Up tread I said “Tell me when the “long term” ends and where your portfolio will be at that date. I can’t but I’ll be able to tell you the minimum I will have in my portfolio”.
That is where the term minimum came from.

I got a bit off the topic of what level of performance you should expect from your FA.
I was saying that my financial plan has a rule that forces me into cash when the value of the portfolio reaches a certain level. This hopefully keeps me out of the downturns.

If you have not discussed with your FA how to rate his performance then you don’t know when or if you should fire him.

How specific is your Financial Plan? Are you willing to see your portfolio become worth less than you started with. Is there an exit strategy? Is there a limit to the drawdown you are willing to take?

Did the Plan consist of an asset mix and 3 or 4 spreadsheets showing you how much your investment would increase if the portfolio returned 5%, 8%, 10% or 12% without any mention of a possible downturn?

Ultimately it’s your money, your future and your responsibility. If you hire a manager without some way of determining if he is doing his job and he loses your money, it may be his fault, but he gets his fee and you don’t have the money.
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Postby adrian2 » 07 Dec 2008 18:53

deaddog wrote:Up tread I said “Tell me when the “long term” ends and where your portfolio will be at that date. I can’t but I’ll be able to tell you the minimum I will have in my portfolio”.
That is where the term minimum came from.

And that minimum is less than the current value of your portfolio. For me, that's not good enough.

You can achieve the same by purchasing a put. Generally, I think selling options is better than buying them. Of course, nothing is guaranteed -- as I said before, it's a matter of probabilities.
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Postby deaddog » 07 Dec 2008 19:17

adrian2 wrote: . And that minimum is less than the current value of your portfolio. For me, that's not good enough.

What would be good enough for you?
Do you know what the value of your portfolio will be on Jan 1, or a year from now? I can tell you what mine won't be less than.

You can achieve the same by purchasing a put. Generally, I think selling options is better than buying them. Of course, nothing is guaranteed -- as I said before, it's a matter of probabilities.


Agreed; then you have a plan for managing risk outside of Buy and Hope. You are willing to risk that the options expire worthless or that your strike price doesn't get hit to protect your capital. Some would call that market timing :)
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Postby adrian2 » 07 Dec 2008 19:34

deaddog wrote:What would be good enough for you?

Good enough would be as much as possible, with a risk of a "bad" outcome in less than 0.15% ... 2.5% of cases (2 or 3 standard deviations).

I'm greedy :wink:.
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Postby adrian2 » 07 Dec 2008 19:37

deaddog wrote:Agreed; then you have a plan for managing risk outside of Buy and Hope. You are willing to risk that the options expire worthless or that your strike price doesn't get hit to protect your capital. Some would call that market timing :)

The plan is in motion right now; instead of "retiring" really early, I might have to work a couple (?) of years more.
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Postby deaddog » 07 Dec 2008 20:13

adrian2 wrote: The plan is in motion right now; instead of "retiring" really early, I might have to work a couple (?) of years more.


I wish you all the best. Early retirement is the best job I've ever had. :)
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Postby couponstrip » 08 Dec 2008 21:36

deaddog said:

I’m greedy. If the market is going up I want to be in. It’s a calculated risk. To me it’s better than saying I’ll buy this and hope it goes up and if it goes down I’ll just hold on to it in case it goes up someday.
Once I’m back in cash I can look for other opportunities. I’m no longer biased by my decision to get into the first position.


I have been following this discussion a little bit over several threads, and I admit to finding it interesting. At this point, I am curious what your next move is, deaddog? The US market has seen some impressive gains in the last week or so. The Canadian market has followed suit to a lesser degree. If they hold, those gains are already lost for your portfolio.

When do you decide to get in? How do you know you are not buying into a large bear rally? If now is the time to get in, where would you place your stops?
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