Monday, January 25, 2016

Long-term stocks vs. short-term stocks

For many years, I posted breakout ideas on Twitter and StockTwits. I've been happy with seeking these daily setups, mostly based on charts, as well as fundamentals to a lesser degree. Scanning for breakout stocks is fun every night. Actually 3pm is the best.

In 2015, I had some awesome breakouts in $AGEN, $LXRX, $ANAC, $XON, $ESPR and maybe a few others on buyouts. But, also a few shit the bed - $SWIR, $OVAS, $CTSO and $CUR come to mind. Sadly or perhaps thankfully, I'm not a day trader. But I've been scanning the market with this mindset. And 2015 was flat for me after a ton of work. I also work full-time, hike incessantly, and have an awesome summer gig.

Previously, my goal was to scrape 10% out of a stock in one or two weeks. My new goal is to reduce the portfolio dedicated to riskier moves, but seek the same reward on the riskier portion. The safer moves should holds their own, pay a dividend, and not get easily wacked unless earnings suck. Current thinking implies these riskier stocks include those priced under 10, biotechs, and companies with a seemingly weak business model. Biotech and small cap giveth and taketh away. I love the potential with these higher-beta stocks. I can't give it up. The reward is too great. Perhaps if I dedicate less of the portfolio to risk, this percentage can be easier to manage.

In general, I plan to seek a blend of breakouts and "safer" stocks. Maybe this is a consequence of the market conditions. Or, I'm approaching middle age when I previously thought I was approaching Middle Earth. Sorry. I've had that line in me for a few years. If my speculative stock buying proves more fruitful, I can change the balance. Until then...

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Stock ideas - $ORBC, $PLAB, $QSII

First, I'll start with $ORBC, a wireless data company, seemingly a growth company going through growing pains. I am no financial analyst, but it appears they took on some debt and didn't have the growth to support it. Please investigate further. The chart, however, looks strong.

$QSII, a health care information services stock, has been on a tear. Company looks solid. Seems like a great sector. They report earnings near January 20. Company has a history of beating estimates, which sadly doesn't always translate into profits for long investors. I've saved 6 charts for this stock in the past 6 months. Still watching. 

$PLAB is showing up on all my screens tonight - growth, margins, flags. Chart is very strong after long decline summer 2015, which I decided not to hold through. Since then, it trended higher for quite a while, then spiked. Buying volume seems to be building.

Lastly, sorry I haven't been posting on Twitter or StockTwits. The regular job has been hell and a down market gives me time to pause. 

Monday, January 4, 2016

Keep posting stock ideas on Twitter

A cool stock trader guy retired from Twitter recently. We were kinda friends. And now he is gone. Today, I'll outline why you should post stock ideas, charts, and blog posts. Perhaps, I write to keep myself going. More importantly, Twitter provides financial value and knowledge. I'm also trying to resurrect my Twitter friend from the grave. Joking.

Twitter finance encourages expressing ideas, learning from the smart people, and digesting pure entertainment. Some people are insanely funny, knowledgeable, or crazy. I like the last group. However, the smart ones, including yourself, help you learn to make money.

By explaining your stock ideas and perspective on the market, you build knowledge and market experience. Writing down your ideas gives you a force to lean on. Extra Jedi. You've been there. You saw it. Time will prove you right or wrong. Looking at your own Twitter feed should reflect your experience and personal growth. Or misery. As you express your own ideas, you add to the knowledge of Twitter finance. Normal people will read and reflect on your ideas. Mean ones will attack. Crazies will make you laugh, which is great. Seriously, your tweets could be helping someone, perhaps yourself, understand a new concept.

Beyond the continued value of thinking, writing and building ideas, Twitter allows you to study the great stock people. If a person consistently makes amazing calls and describes part of their strategy, you can find commonalities - profit margin, growth, volume, market cap, chart, market conditions, time frame, sector, debt, location, anything. You have to spend time to figure out their logic. It could change depending on market conditions or anything. However, when you know the logic for a person with repeated success you observed, you should be able to screen and find good stock moves using their strategy.

More simply, news, sports, and history are great Twitter entertainment and follows. Personally, an interesting Twitter person is the best. They think aloud and write great lines. I remember a few great Twitter stock moments when people's inspired words are powerful enough to dictate great novels or lead armies. I'm exaggerating, but it was still amazing at the time. You had to be there. More commonly, people are nice, friendly, and outgoing. Normal. Keep writing. Keep posting. Keep thinking. Know that everyone sees it differently.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Remembering a "retired" twitter friend - Paul

Paul was a heck of a guy. Prior to us "meeting", he worked in finance and left to day trade on his own. For some reason, he followed me on Twitter. I am just a regular guy. But Paul always encouraged me and made me feel like I had great ideas. If I posted a chart posted while having beers one night, Paul retweeted me and gave compliments like I was a stock veteran. I remember numerous nights (maybe 20), he would favorite every one of my posts in a row. As my phone beeped incessantly, my wife would look at me and say, "Is that Paul again?"

He had an interesting time with Twitter. He likely burned out a few times. Initially, he posted at a somewhat normal but frequent rate. He must have had a bad experience (or a moment of zen) when he cut back considerably on who he followed, including me. I missed him. Somehow, I got caught up in a tweet with his name, and I mentioned some gratitude towards him, and we were buddies again. Paul once again retweeted me, gave me accolades that humbled me. In one tweet, Paul mentioned myself and another guy. As Twitter history would have it, this other guy has me blocked and I block him. Paul brought enemies together in one tweet -- classic! Paul blogged feverously and had tons of energy for social media. I still admire his energy and passion for stocks and writing.

Alas, he disappeared and canceled his account. A few times, he mentioned how he hated twitter. He gave so much to others, with kind words or in his effort, perhaps he wasn't getting it back in return. I admit, Twitter is sometimes shouting into a blinding snow storm. No one may hear you. At best, you might be talking to yourself. Spending time with the wife and kids might be better if you aren't getting satisfaction or entertainment from Twitter. But Paul gave me some good Twitter "friends". A few stock symbols remind me of Paul. I thank him for some fun experiences and cool Twitter friends. These things are fleeting and seemingly unimportant, but people still have an impact on you, no matter how brief and even if through just an Internet medium.