Skip to main content

Using the TradeRadar software -- thoughts after one year

It has been one whole year since I started writing this blog and trying to document both my opinions on the markets and my experiences using the TradeRadar software.

In terms of writing on topics of interest related to stocks, ETFs and the economy, I know I have gone in many directions but I hope that I have at least hit a few areas that have been of value to you, the readers. Many times I have tried to pull together information in such a way that a new point of view can be derived. Other times I have tried to be informative on a subject in which I myself wanted to know more. In any case, I want to thank everyone for visiting this site and taking time to read the posts and leave your comments. Feel free to leave suggestions on new topics you might like to see covered.

As for using the TradeRadar software and attempting to trade based on its signals, it has been an interesting journey. There are a couple of general points that I would like make.

One of the pieces of advice that many stock trading gurus provide is that investors should keep a journal of their trades. Why they elected to open the position, why they chose to close the position and what was the result. This is how investors can most effectively learn from their experiences. This blog has served as my journal, a very public journal.

What are some of the things I have learned? The first one is that I am better at buying stocks than I am at selling them. Over the past year I have watched a number of profitable positions go bad by not selling in time. Sometimes these were cases where the time between buying the stock and the optimal selling point was too short for the TradeRadar software to generate a clear signal in time. Other times I allowed my hope for a recovery to overcome my common sense. This is why I have adopted the practice of setting stops and communicating them in both this blog and on the TradeRadar Track Profit & Loss page. Where I am unclear about the future of a stock or ETF, you will see that I adjust the stop accordingly, tightening it up to ensure capital is preserved.

(For those of you who have downloaded the TradeRadar software, you can use the Portfolio feature to keep your trading journal for each stock that you may purchase. You may also join the TradeRadar Users group which allows you start your own blog that can be private or viewable by other members of the user group.)

Recently, I received a comment on my picking Starbucks as a Pick 'o the Month. The person took me to task for picking a loser and potentially costing my readers money. I sometimes pick stocks based on a positive trend's continuation (Cisco Systems, for example) but when using the TradeRadar software, stocks are picked because a trend appears to be broken. This means we look for stocks that have been viewed in a negative light, whose stock prices have been declining. The TradeRadar software attempts to identify when this kind of stock has hit bottom and has begun a reversal. There is risk to that approach. The stock could disappoint again and resume its downtrend. That is what happened with Starbucks, for example.

What all this means is that the TradeRadar software attempts to identify out-of-favor stocks that are beginning to show signs of a recovery. With Starbucks, we set a stop that prevented us from taking much of a loss. The fact that the stock eventually fell in spite of generating a BUY signal shows that there were a good number of buyers who also believed the reversal was imminent.

As users of the TradeRadar software, we need to understand what the signal is saying. It may be better to use weekly data rather than daily data to generate BUY/SELL signals in order to be more assured that a true reversal is taking place. I have typically used daily data and, as you can see, I have not always been right. Using weekly data, however, may cause the signal to be delayed and you may miss quick swings up or down that can cost you profit or capital. This can be an especially acute issue in today's volatile markets.

In any case, as I experiment with the TradeRadar software and attempt to improve its functionality and my trading techniques, I will keep you informed. Now that the User Group is in place, I encourage you to leave your opinions and experiences regarding your trading and your use of the software.

Once again, thanks to everyone for visiting this site. It has been an interesting year to be involved in the stock market and I have enjoyed sharing my thoughts with all of you. I look forward to continuing this blog and, in a crowded blogosphere, I hope I can continue to earn your attention.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Running TradeRadar on Windows 7 and Windows 8

Development of the original TradeRadar Stock Inspector software was begun back in the days before Windows 7 and Windows 8 were available.

As these newer versions of Windows have become more popular, we have heard from some users that they are having problems installing and running TradeRadar on their newer PCs.

The good news is that TradeRadar will work just fine on Windows 7 and Windows 8. All you have to do is adjust the Windows Compatibility Settings to ensure TradeRadar runs as intended.

It is recommended that you can apply Compatibility Settings when running the initial installation; however, it is also possible to apply Compatibility Settings after the program has been installed.

Prior to installation
After downloading the install program, go to the folder where you have stored the TradeRadarStkInsp_7_Setup.exe or TradeRadarStkInsp_7_PRO_Setup.exe executable. Right-click on the executable file and select Properties. Click the Compatibility tab. Adjust the Compatibility mode to …

Durable Goods report for Sept just so-so but Computer segment is on fire

The Durable Goods advanced report for September 2011 was released on Wednesday.

I like to dig into the Durable Goods report because it can be useful for seeing how tech in aggregate is performing and how the sector may perform in the future. I always focus on two particular measures: shipments and new orders. Let's see how it played out last month.

Shipments -- 

I generally give less importance to Shipments since this is a backward looking measure reflecting orders that have been confirmed, manufactured and shipped. It's similar to earnings reports -- it's good to know but the data is in the past and we're more interested in the future. The following chart shows how September shipments looked for the overall tech sector:


Results for the overall tech sector were a bit weak but take a look at the next chart which tracks the Computers and related products segment:


Results here were actually quite good and, to make things even better, the previous month was revised upward.

N…

Alert HQ has moved!

End of an era!

This site was started way back in 2006/2007 to showcase my blog posts and the Alert HQ buy signals and sell signals. Alert HQ grew to include other kinds of stock alerts including Swing Signals, Trend Busters, Trend Leaders, Cash Flow Kings and more.

In the meantime, I built a sister site, TradingStockAlerts.com and I started using some of the same Alert HQ content over there. As a result, I am discontinuing the Alert HQ data here at Trade-Radar.com

The good news, however, is that all the Alert HQ signals and stock screens are still completely free. In addition, the pages have been enhanced so that you can hover over a stock symbol and a small chart will pop up so you can get a quick look at the stock's recent price action. If you click on a symbol it will take you to a page with plenty of financial and technical analysis information (still free!) as well as a larger chart that you can play with in terms of adding or deleting indicators, moving averages, etc.

Click …