Thursday, April 05, 2007

Trade Review: HOC

Before posting my review of the HOC trade, I'd like to answer a question posed to me after the latest "today's trades" post. The question:

You seem to hold on to positions for only a few days even though it may seem as though the position could move higher. why is that?

The person who asked this question is quite perceptive. While I've been on a tear of late, in terms of win rate and profits, I am still frustrated because I know I should be making more money. I have been exiting trades way too early, bagging profits when I probably should stay in a little longer.

The HOC trade is a good example. When I entered the trade, at $57.94, I posted a target of $62. While I didn't say it, that target was only for partial profits. My strategy was to then move my stop up and see if the stock could breakout over new highs, which I think is likely. Using this strategy, if it breaks out, I continue to make money. If it doesn't, that's fine. I break even on the remaining shares and still have my initial profit.

Instead, I was short sighted, looked at the nice looking profit that I would gain on all of the shares, and let greed and fear based emotions get the best of me. Looking at the chart below, you will see that the stochastic level has not given a sell signal. At the least I should have stayed in the trade with half the original position.

Note that I believe I made a mistake, even if the stock tanks tomorrow. It's about doing the right thing, not stroking the ego from one trade. If I trade properly, over time what should happen will happen more frequently than not.

Low volume pullback to support of a trending stock in a hot sector. Early entry. The safe play would have been to enter on a confirmation move a day later. However, the stock was acting perfectly and a low risk stop was in place, making for a nice reward to risk ratio.

Entered at $57.94
Exit at $60.76
$1410 gain (+4.9%)
Hold time 2 days

Final Analysis:
Great entry off of a great setup. However, I should have stuck to the plan and taken partial, rather than full, profits. This would have given me the chance to catch a big move. The fact that volume was acting nicely and stochastics are not oversold make the timing of the exit awful. I should have held on longer.

What to Work On:
A. Sticking with the plan at entry
B. Psychological aspects of profit taking.
C. Exits: partial vs full profits.
D. Exits: pay attention to stochastic indicator

What to Continue:
A. The "low volume pullback to support of momentum stocks" setup
B. Early entries on good setups with good reward to risk


Anonymous said...

I am playing RVSN, it has a massive bullish flag that could see the pull up back to at least 25 soon.

Anonymous said...

Good trade.... you are too hard on yourself.... Perfect trade on 60 minute chart. Look at 10 and 4 min charts... You didn't mention strong resistance at 61.47 as a reason to sell out.. In regard to 14 bar Stochastics ... Divergence could be in the making...
Note: if not the end of move I have a 64 price objective.