On Tuesday I bought 300 shares of CF at $92.05. Today the stock broke out over resistance at around $100 and closed at $107.76. I sold half my position near the close at $107.34 for a $2293 gain (+16.6%). I am holding 150 shares and will buy more on a pullback to $100, if it's orderly and on weak volume. I've moved my stop on the remaining shares to $97.
As expected, I received a number of emails today. Arthur's is representative of the bunch:
Can you tell me why you entered this trade. I have looked at all of your recent trades and I am having trouble figuring out your entry points. It amazes me that you continually pick big winners just before they break out. You are either a great trader or you are very lucky.
I am hesitant to call myself a great trader, and I certainly do not believe in luck. I firmly believe that those who are lucky put themselves in the position to receive what seems to be luck. I'm not talking "The Secret" self help bullshit here. What I mean by putting yourself in position with regards to trading is undergoing the hard work of understanding markets, your system/setup/edge and risk/reward.
Let me get specific about the CF trade. First, let's look at the overall market. Early this week, I was looking to increase my long exposure, while still maintaining a healthy dose of shorts. While I do think the market is headed down, I also thought we would get a bounce going into the holiday since the market was so oversold and we had a historical trend on our side (Christmas/end of year).
I do not like to play bounces in broken stocks, so I was looking for strong momo stocks to play. One sector full of momentum plays is Ag. I've been looking to get long and ag related for a while now. CF, MON, MOS and AGU all looked attractive, but I went with CF because I liked the volume pattern and a cup and handle seemed to be forming. My target was $90-92, which was at the bottom of the basing pattern and would give me a good risk reward (stop would be placed under the 50 day at $87).
I am not precise with entries. I don't have to have that perfect entry at $90. Early in my trading career, I missed a lot of big gains trying to be perfect. Now, as long as the reward to risk ratio is acceptable, I'll enter early on a setup that offers an edge.
Unlike many traders, gurus and technicians, I can't give you a precise stochastic reading, fib retracement or precise reason for entry. While I do rely heavily on accumulation/distribution indicators, much of it is just having an intuitive feel for the trade based on experience. For me, it boiled down to the following:
statistical edge that overall market would bounce
strong stock within sector
nice chart, price and volume pattern
acceptable reward to risk
That's it. I placed my trade, set my target and stop, waited and "got lucky".
Note: AAPL is up 8 points from my Tuesday entry and RIG is up 4. I took partial profits in both, along with in the DRYS and EXM and housing shorts.