Jesse Owens And Hitler….In Cartoon Form

I recently came across a very cool site called Zen Pencils.  The blog is run by Gavin Aung Than and the concept behind it is summed up in its tag line,  ”Cartoon Quotes From Inspirational Folks.”

Gavin takes some of the most famous (and not so famous) quotes of authors, politicians, scientists, athletes, and the like and incorporates them into an almost manga style strip. Here is one about Jesse Owens and the 1936 Olympics in Germany.

At the bottom of each post Gavin also adds a few paragraphs on the background of the the strip’s subject.  I love the graphics, the creativity, and especially the format which allows you to easily digest a cool bite-sized piece of inspiration.

Check out some other recent strips:

Bruce Lee: There are no limits

Carl Sagan: Make the most of life

Rudyard Kiplin: If

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Brilliant stuff like this rains down like..well, rain, on my stream during the week. If you want to get wet, follow me on Twitter and StockTwits. You can also pick up my book Trading – The Best of the Best: Top Trading Tips For Our Times by clicking here.

Why Traders Want QE3 Even Though They Know It Will Fail

This week on my Monday morning hit for “Business for Breakfast” I talk about why traders want QE3 even though they know it will fail, using relative strength to find winners, and what’s up with the retail trader.

(click image to start audio)

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What bclund is, is the intersection of markets, trading, and life (with some punk rock, pop culture, and off-beat humor mixed in).  Check out “The Best Of bclund” to get started.

Brilliant stuff like this rains down like..well, rain, on my stream during the week. If you want to get wet, follow me on Twitter and StockTwits. You can also pick up my book Trading – The Best of the Best: Top Trading Tips For Our Times by clicking here.

Best Of The StockTwits Blog Network 7-28-12

Let’s be honest, you could pretty much throw a dart any day of the week at the StockTwits Blog Network, and end up hitting a post that is better than 99% of the other stuff out there that passes as financial blogging.  So to say these are “The Best of….” is a little disingenuous; let’s just say these are some of the posts from the last week that caught my attention and I think will interest you.

Investing in Preferred Stock ETFs: What You Need to Know  Sizemore Insights

Value Guys Give Up On Microsoft  The Reformed Broker

Want to Own Facebook Lower – Check Inside  Dragonfly Capital

Durable Goods, Household Employment and Caterpillar Value Plays

Did The Tech Bubble Burst Again?  Points and Figures

More On Luck and Gaming Company Earnings  Kid Dynamite’s World

The Platform and Destination of Stocktwits Continues to Grow… Integrating Chartly Into StockTwits  Howard Lindzon

Letters to a Young Trader  Dynamic Hedge

China Manufacturing Contracts: “Demand still remaining weak”  Osprey Flyer

What To Do When You Lose Everything Altucher Confidential

When a Put is involved, it is not always Bearish 1nvestor

Relative Strength of Cyclicals Hits 3-Year Low Crossing Wall Street

Rates drop on realization that EU situation is nowhere near solved  The Basis Point

Is Spain the Opportunity of a Lifetime…or a Wicked Value Trap? Sizemore Insights

The Beauty of Back Testing  Rogue Traderette

Gold Gearing to Breakout  Dragonfly Capital

Confidence, and Market Have No Bounce  Points and Figures

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What bclund is, is the intersection of markets, trading, and life (with some punk rock, pop culture, and off-beat humor mixed in).  Check out “The Best Of bclund” to get started.

Brilliant stuff like this rains down like..well, rain, on my stream during the week. If you want to get wet, follow me on Twitter and StockTwits. You can also pick up my book Trading – The Best of the Best: Top Trading Tips For Our Times by clicking here.

Thinking Counter-Intuitively And Why Perspective In Life Helps With Trading

This week on my Monday morning hit on “Business for Breakfast” I talk about how counter-intuitive trading is and why perspective in your life helps in trading.

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Why not subscribe to bclund.com for free  Via E-mail or Via RSS and follow me on StockTwits and Twitter?

What bclund is, is the intersection of markets, trading, and life (with some punk rock, pop culture, and off-beat humor mixed in).  Check out “The Best Of bclund” to get started.

Brilliant stuff like this rains down like..well, rain, on my stream during the week. If you want to get wet, follow me on Twitter and StockTwits. You can also pick up my book Trading – The Best of the Best: Top Trading Tips For Our Times by clicking here.

Your Trade Ideas For 7-23-12

Some trade setups for your consideration…..

Would like to see a consolidation day first in $AMZN before an attempted break, but past this resistance it could run.

This flag keeps getting tighter with an NR7 inside day on Friday.  Big move coming in $BWS.

Five tests at this level and I think soon it will break for the next move down in $FRO.

Tight consolidation after a drop and an NR7 bar makes it look like the next move for $GMCR is down.

$MCP chart looks like death.  Tight consolidation below the 20/50 ma and right on support looks like a short set up.

Good sideways movement in $NFLX after a strong move up sets up a long over 85.65. They still have a crappy movie selection though.

Tight range and NR7 day after breaking support says this goes lower.  Pro-Werewolf play in $PAAS.

I like the bounce off longer term support, recapturing the 20ma, and the inside NR7 day in $SHOO.

Former short, weak bounce back to breakdown area.  Red inverted hammer and NR7 may signal time to re-short $SIMO.

$SNCR is not quite ready but recaptured the 20/50 ma’s and setting up for a possible break of the resistance level.

Stay away from $VVUS unless you are a pro trader….and then still stay away.  Would not trade it with Satan’s money.

Why not subscribe to bclund.com for free  Via E-mail or Via RSS and follow me on StockTwits and Twitter?

What bclund is, is the intersection of markets, trading, and life (with some punk rock, pop culture, and off-beat humor mixed in).  Check out “The Best Of bclund” to get started.

Brilliant stuff like this rains down like..well, rain, on my stream during the week. If you want to get wet, follow me on Twitter and StockTwits. You can also pick up my book Trading – The Best of the Best: Top Trading Tips For Our Times by clicking here.

Best Of The StockTwits Blog Network 7-21-12

Let’s be honest, you could pretty much throw a dart any day of the week at the StockTwits Blog Network, and end up hitting a post that is better than 99% of the other stuff out there that passes as financial blogging.  So to say these are “The Best of….” is a little disingenuous; let’s just say these are some of the posts from the last week that caught my attention and I think will interest you.

Why You Should ALWAYS Ignore the Headline ValuePlays

Momentum vs. Value Investing The Stock Sage

“They’ll never suspect a thing!” The Reformed Broker

Homebuilder Confidence Spikes. Here’s Historical Context The Basis Point

10 Resources to Learn Finance and Economics Online StockTwits U

Not All Sin Stocks are Created Equal Sizemore Insights

Struggling As A Trader? Part 3 – Blame Your Teachers Rogue Traderette

Who Can You Trust? Points and Figures

$12.50 corn! How high is high? Peter L. Brandt

Here Today, Saigon Tomorrow AlphaVN

Google Earnings Review: Fundamentals Change With Motorola Acquisition Osprey Flyer

How much more downside for the greenback? Raghee Horner

Trading Rule #7 – Via Pulp Fiction’s Marcellus Wallace Kid Dynamite’s World

My Favorite Growth Sector Joe Fahmy

Four Keys to Understanding Uncertainty Ivanhoff Capital

Re-test? Check. We’re going higher High Chart Pattern

The Temperamental USD FaithMightFX

Hedging Options Gains After Hours – Case Study Mellanox Technologies Dragonfly Capital

Today’s China Readings July 18, 2012 DigiCha

The Complete Interview Crossing Wall Street

What Are Your Plans For Your Death Bed? Altucher Confidential

Higher Highs & Higher Lows S&P 500 AlphaTrends

The Anatomy of My Favorite Trade All Star Charts

Why not subscribe to bclund.com for free  Via E-mail or Via RSS and follow me on StockTwits and Twitter?

What bclund is, is the intersection of markets, trading, and life (with some punk rock, pop culture, and off-beat humor mixed in).  Check out “The Best Of bclund” to get started.

Brilliant stuff like this rains down like..well, rain, on my stream during the week. If you want to get wet, follow me on Twitter and StockTwits. You can also pick up my book Trading – The Best of the Best: Top Trading Tips For Our Times by clicking here.

Weekend Project: Optimize Your Trading For Better Profitability

What do you have on tap for this weekend?  Gonna hit the bars with some friends? Hang out at the beach?  Perhaps you and your significant other are going to go to Home Depot and maybe Bed, Bath, and Beyond as well (if you have the time).

Let me be so bold as to suggest that you set aside a few hours this weekend for a project that will improve your trading….and your profitability.

This project can be as complex and in-depth as you want, but it need not be.  As long as you have a basic understanding of a spreadsheet program like Excel, just follow the outline below and you will be fine.

The first step is to download your trade history from your broker into a spreadsheet.  How far back you want to go is up to you, but obviously the more data you are willing to look at the better your results will be.

The goal here is to match up your opening and closing transactions to determine profitability. The best way to do this if you are a day trader is to sort the spreadsheet by “date and time” and if you are a swing or position trader by “symbol.”

Once trades are matched you might find it helpful to categorize them as “winning,” “losing,” and “break even” trades. The “break even” category should also include trades which were small wins or losses.  Once you match them up I suggest you color code the categories, with green, yellow, and red being the most obvious choices.

Now you want to go through each category and do some analysis by looking at the following;

Asset Class – Are there certain asset classes that you do better with than others?  That you do worse with?  A trader friend of mine who used to trade numerous asset classes went through this process and found out that he did worse overall trading equities than trading forex.  He dropped stocks and began focusing exclusively on forex to the benefit of his account’s P&L.

Instruments –  Here you are looking at the instruments within asset classes you trade to see what patterns emerge.  Are you a consistent loser with ETF’s?  How about leveraged ETF’s?  Do you do better with small caps or large caps.  Do your option profits come from in the money or out of the money options?  What forex pairs do you shine at trading?

Sectors –  Maybe you will find that you do better trading consumer goods stocks than pharma stocks.  You might be the axe in the NASDAQ E-mini (tech) and the donkey when trading oil futures (energy).  If you are crushing it in the $AUD make sure you know you are trading a proxy for commodities.

Time of Day –  Most historical trade data will not only have the date but the actually time that you entered the trade listed.  See if there is a pattern that you can identify.  Often the opening and closing hours are the good for trading, while the middle of the day is not.  Are your losing trades clustered around less than optimal times of day?

Length of Trade –  This is a critical area because even with a swing or position trade that you break even on, you still have to factor in how long your funds are tied up in those trades with no return.  Many traders don’t consider themselves day traders, but will find that in the few day trades they do take, they have a better win ratio than their longer term trades.

Price –  Where is the sweet spot here?  Are you coining money it the $20-$60 range of stocks?  Are you weak in the under $10 stocks but a monster in the $AAPL and $GOOG’s of the market?

Liquidity –  You won’t get this data from your history download but it’s easy to pull up the average volume numbers on the stocks in each trade category to determine if there is a pattern related to less or more liquid issues.  You can take this one step further if you like and browse the intraday charts of these stocks in more depth.  Many stocks that have what is normally considered “decent” volume can still move in a choppy fashion with wide spreads on an intraday basis, and a 5-min charts will show you that.

These are just some suggested filters and you can use whichever ones you think are most relevant.

In the end what you are trying to accomplish is to throw out any preconceived notions you might have about your trading and let the facts speak for themselves.  If you are open to what they are saying you can then start to eliminate factors related to your losing trades and emphasize the factors associated with your winning trades.

We all know that our weekend time is very valuable and it may seem a little bit tedious at first when starting this project.  But once you get into the process I think you will quickly see the value of it, and besides, nobody says you can’t still drink while you do it.

Why not subscribe to bclund.com for free  Via E-mail or Via RSS and follow me on StockTwits and Twitter?

What bclund is, is the intersection of markets, trading, and life (with some punk rock, pop culture, and off-beat humor mixed in).  Check out “The Best Of bclund” to get started.

Brilliant stuff like this rains down like..well, rain, on my stream during the week. If you want to get wet, follow me on Twitter and StockTwits. You can also pick up my book Trading – The Best of the Best: Top Trading Tips For Our Times by clicking here.

Your Trade Ideas For 7-19-12

A few setups to consider….

Everybody’s favorite stock $AAPL may start a pre-earnings run if it can break this small downtrend line.

$FRO which recently looked more like a long setup is now below 20/50/200ma’s and looks like a short if it breaks the bottom of this range.

Red reversal hammer closing below the 200ma after a strong gap up out of a range tells me that $FTEK might be ripe for a day trade short below yesterday’s candle.

Break of an intermediate trendline in $FXCM and an NR7 bar compressed between the 200 and 50ma may set up a short below yesterday’s candle.


Red reversal hammer at a double top area may set up a short below yesterday’s candle with a target of the 20ma in $LPX.

Rare earths like $MCP looked like they might have been perking up recently, but a break below this support level would be a short.

$MHR is another company that I have no idea what they do, but a break below this support level (after numerous tests) would be a short.  May need a day or two more.

Why not subscribe to bclund.com for free  Via E-mail or Via RSS and follow me on StockTwits and Twitter?

What bclund is, is the intersection of markets, trading, and life (with some punk rock, pop culture, and off-beat humor mixed in).  Check out “The Best Of bclund” to get started.

Brilliant stuff like this rains down like..well, rain, on my stream during the week. If you want to get wet, follow me on Twitter and StockTwits. You can also pick up my book Trading – The Best of the Best: Top Trading Tips For Our Times by clicking here.

Occupy Chalk Street

I know it may be hard to believe that the once mighty, uninformed, narcissistic, smelly, and unorganized movement that was Occupy Wall Street has fallen.  But the fact of the matter is, OWS has succumbed to the organizational form of Alzheimer’s.

On the surface the participants look the same, and can regale you with triumphs of the past, but ask them what they are doing today, and you get that sheepishly embarrassed look of a poor soul who can’t remember their own name.

Their sorry state was on display recently when remnants of the West Coast crusade showed up at Art Walk LA.  From the Los Angeles Times;

About a dozen activists from Occupy L.A. turned out too, scrawling slogans on the sidewalk to call attention to their campaign to pressure a downtown business group to scale back development that they say would limit options for low-income residents.

“We didn’t consider it a protest,” said Occupy L.A.’s Cheryl Aichele. “We were just passing out fliers and offering chalk to visitors,” she said. 

Now granted, I have been an outspoken critic of the movement ( see “R.I.P. Occupy Wall Street – What You Didn’t Learn From The Vietnam War” and “So You Want To Reform Wall Street? Okay, First Let’s Talk About The Real One Percenters”), but at first even I felt a bit sorry for these diehard revolutionairies.

Chalk….?  Really, that’s all you got left?  For months on end you had the full focus of every media outlet and politician in the country, if the not world, and now you are relegated to disrupting community events to draw chalk slogans on the street?

I mean have some self-respect and dignity and just join PETA or the ACLU for Christ sakes.

To illustrate how really “over” OWS actually is, read another except from the LA Times;

Patti Berman, a longtime downtown resident and ArtWalk board member, said the activists are on a mission to “de-gentrify” downtown.

“I’m a liberal, I don’t like talking like this,” she said. “But these people have no goals, they just seem to want to cause trouble…. The fact that they wanted to destroy ArtWalk, that’s very hurtful. ArtWalk has done a lot for my neighborhood, and I don’t know what’s going to happen now. I don’t know where it’s going to go.”

Brady Westwater, a longtime downtown resident and activist, was more blunt about Occupy. “It’s a dead movement — it saw its day in the sun — and now they can’t do anything but try and find the place to cause the most disruption at a real community event. Downtown is a real community.”

Rarely in my life have I seen such a great opportunity squandered as was done with the OWS movement; but a blind man without a cane could have seen it coming.

Youth, and protest, and activity gets people’s attention, but real world plans for change and the experience to execute on those plans is what makes them stick around.  Perhaps a lesson our current Commander In Chief will have time to reflect on four months from now.

Chalk protests at downtown L.A.’s ArtWalk draw a defiant new line via The Los Angeles Times.

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Brilliant stuff like this rains down like..well, rain, on my stream during the week. If you want to get wet, follow me on Twitter and StockTwits. You can also pick up my book Trading – The Best of the Best: Top Trading Tips For Our Times by clicking here.

Paul Tudor Jones Talks About The F-Word

Failure is hot these days.  All the cool kids are talking about it.  From the clubs in Hollywood to the uptown Manhattan cocktail soirees, nobody wants to hear about your success, they only want to hear about your failure.

Let’s face it, failure is the new black.

And why not; everybody fails from time to time.  Talking about our defeats lets others know we are human too and promotes interpersonal empathy.

Back in 2009, everyone’s favorite Market Wizard Paul Tudor Jones gave a commencement address to the 9th grade graduating class of The Buckley School on the topic of failure.  The title was appropriately enough “Perfect Failure.”  Here’s an except…

The next time the dragon of failure reared his ugly head was
in 1978. I was working in New Orleans for one of the greatest
cotton traders of all time, Eli Tullis. Now, New Orleans is an
unbelievable city. It has the Strawberry Festival, the Jazz Festival,
the Sugar Bowl, Mardi Gras, and just about every other excuse for
a party that you can ever imagine. Heck, in that town, waking up
was an excuse to party.

I was still pretty fresh out of college, and
my mentality, unfortunately, was still firmly set on fraternity row.
It was a Friday morning in June, and I had been out literally all
night with a bunch of my friends. My job was to man the phone all
day during trading hours and call cotton prices quotes from New
York into Mr. Tullis’ office. Around noon, things got quiet on the
New York floor, and I got overly drowsy. The next thing I
remember was a ruler prying my chin off my chest, and Mr. Tullis
calling to me, “Paul. Paul.” My eyes fluttered opened and as I
came to my senses, he said to me, “Son, you are fired.” I’d never
been so shocked or hurt in my life. I literally thought I was going
to die for I had just been sacked by an iconic figure in my business.

My shame turned into anger. I was not angry at Mr. Tullis for
he was right. I was angry at myself. But I knew I was not a
failure, and I swore that I was going to prove to myself that I could
be a success. I called a friend and secured a job on the floor of the
New York Cotton Exchange and moved to the City. Today, I will
put my work ethic up against anybody’s on Wall Street. Failure
will give you a tattoo that will stay with you your whole life, and
sometimes it’s a really good thing. One other side note, to this
day, I’ve never told my parents that I got fired. I told them I just
wanted to try something different. Shame can be a lifetime
companion for which you better prepare yourself.

Personally, I think the speech drones on at times and I would have gone with a sexier title like “I Was A Failure Then But I’m A Billionaire Now Bitches,” but hey, that’s just how I roll.

The key point in Tudor Jones’ speech and why it’s relevant now, is that it highlights something that many of those currently hoping on the “failure trend” don’t quite get.  Failure in and of itself is not cool.  It’s not a badge of honor you pull out with pride at the local watering hole or backyard barbecue.  Failure as an “end” is for losers.

It’s the “getting up” that shows courage.  It’s the lessons from the mistakes that have value. It’s the “never giving up” that merits honor.  And it’s converting the sting of failure into the sweet smell of success that’s really, REALLY cool.

Trading is a tough game and you will get the crap kicked out of you more than your fair share of times.  And you will fail, oh boy will you fail.

You will fail small, and you will fail big.  Very big.  Brian Dunkleman big.

And that’s okay.  It’s not your failures, but how you get up from them, how you learn from them, and how you never let them make you quit that will determine your success as a trader.

Read the complete Paul Tudor Jones speech here.

Why not subscribe to bclund.com for free  Via E-mail or Via RSS and follow me on StockTwits and Twitter?

What bclund is, is the intersection of markets, trading, and life (with some punk rock, pop culture, and off-beat humor mixed in).  Check out “The Best Of bclund” to get started.

Brilliant stuff like this rains down like..well, rain, on my stream during the week. If you want to get wet, follow me on Twitter and StockTwits. You can also pick up my book Trading – The Best of the Best: Top Trading Tips For Our Times by clicking here.