Mach, I hope you know by now that I respect you very much and have learned a ton from you, but I'm not sure your advice here is appropriate for a person in a situation like mine where I have a full time job that often keeps me away from my computer for hours at a time during the trading day.
I may be wrong, but I don't think you can even set a trailing stop with any of the brokers that I have, so even something as "simple" as a trailing stop requires monitoring the stock more closely than I am able to. So I can set a limit sale for 5% over where I bought and not even look at it again. Yeah, I'll miss some of the bigger gains, but I know from my own personal experience taht at this point in my trading career that's what's best for me.
I have tried trading my strategy with trailing stops and have seen possible 5% and 10% gains end up selling at breakeven because of pullbacks from their highs. Honestly, I'm just not good enough at it yet, so maybe I'll try paper trading some other sell strategies, but in the mean time, I can virtually guarantee that I wil make more with the 5% sell rule than if I tried to do something else.
Even so, I'm always trying to learn, so if you're willing to share, and I know you usually are, how do you apply trailing stops? Like do you sell after a 5% pullback, or do you leave more room as it goes higher, for example if it's up like 25% do you let it pull back 10% and if it's up 50% let it pull back 20%, etc? Or do you not actually use "trailing stops", you just base your sells on charts?
Any chance you'd be willing to offer your advice on some of my "system" picks on the next few? There's only been 9 in 6 weeks, so there would only be about 1 or 2 a week. Maybe something as simple as "I see resistance at $X and would sell at that point". If you're willing, I could shoot you a PM when there's a new "signal".
Posts: 5508 | From: Southeastern PA | Registered: Jan 2006
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Since first following PCola's 5% thing, I've been acutely aware of that percentage. So far, everytime I didn't take the 5%, I've gotten bitten.
Most recently with AAPL, I had purchased at $183.00, and as I watched my profits soar to the over 5% mark ($193.00), I decided that that percentage wasn't enough (yes, emotion was in play). I upped my sell order to $203.00 (which would've been 10%). The stock hit $200.00 and then tanked shortly afterwards. Now it is sitting in the low $130.00's.
I must also admit that some of the times I got OUT of a stock BEFORE I hit the 5%, were also costly, as the stock did rise up to that point after that. TGT was my most recent mistake in that regard.
So, lately, at least in this market, the 5% seems like a good target to me to help take the emotion out of it.
-------------------- "Great Day for Up!"....Dr. Seuss Posts: 3387 | Registered: Mar 2006
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You bring up a good point Jo. 5% seems like a very conservative number that is easy to attain. If you look at a stock in a good trend, try to imagine in your head how many areas on the chart you could have entered and won with the 5% rule. Now consider if you're TP is 10%, 20%, etc.. It becomes clear how many more opportunities there are to advance your account with wins.
Again, if success is in the money management I think it is just as advantageous to look for 5% as it is 100%. You can throw a larger equity amount in stocks just looking for 5%. The success comes later when you can take a loss and move on. The success comes in winning more often than losing.
Posts: 1504 | Registered: Sep 2004
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