Archive for January 2012

From the prop desk- A woman’s perspective

Jan 31st, 2012 | By | Category: General Comments
Hi Bella, I finished your book and it was so wonderful and inspiring. As a female trader (back in the game after a year and a half away, used to trade on a prop desk), I loved that you addressed the issue of women in trading, you sound like a great guy to work for. I would like to share my experience as a female trader with you, since you expressed interest in the book. When I worked on a prop desk, I worked for the loveliest, most talented trader I've ever met.... and with his unruly employees. When I first started, traders would refer to the stock as a bitch, a whore, a slut, the list goes on. They would say they got Read more [...]

Markets Change And So Must I

Jan 31st, 2012 | By | Category: Steven Spencer (Steve's) Blogs, Trader Development
I received the following thoughtful email from a reader and former SMB student the other day: Steve, From your recent email: /* Simple chart set ups are just opportunities for you to consider a trade.  They are not a signal to just make a trade.  Skill is needed to determine when an excellent risk/reward is present.  Skill is needed to know when to load up, get out of a position that isn’t working, and lighten up a position in the money.  Other factors like Reading the Tape and Intraday Fundamentals are most helpful to make better trading decisions. */ It's what you learn after you think you know it all that Read more [...]

Tim Bourquin of chats with John Locke on the Bearish Butterfly Trade

Jan 31st, 2012 | By | Category: General Comments
Our friend Tim Bourquin of interviewed John Locke last week on his bearish butterfly trade. In this interview, John and Tim discuss how the bearish butterfly trade evolved, John's personal experiences trading this strategy and why it fits his highly active lifestyle so well. To hear the full interview now, click here Seth Freudberg Director, SMB Options Training Program Risk Disclaimer Options For Step-by-Step Video Instructions on How to Trade the Bearish Butterfly Strategy Click here for more information Read more [...]

Free Options Webinar: SMB’s Options Tribe: Today, January 31, 2012 at 5pm EST: Broken Wing Butterflies

Jan 31st, 2012 | By | Category: General Comments, Options Education, Seth Freudberg's Blogs
Today, January 31, 2012 at 5:00 pm Eastern Standard Time SMB’s Options Tribe is an online community of options traders dedicated to sharing successful options trading ideas with all of our members worldwide. Each week the community will meet online for the primary purpose of watching live presentations made by veteran options traders and experts in the world of options trading. This week, Greg Loehr of will be back by popular demand to discuss Broken Wing Butterflies. Register for this FREE Webinar : Here Seth Freudberg Director, Read more [...]

A Tape Trade

Jan 30th, 2012 | By | Category: Reading the Tape, Steven Spencer (Steve's) Blogs
One of the questions I receive most often is regarding trades based strictly on the tape. These occur far less frequently than in years past because of the masking of buyers/sellers by the HFTs but they still do occur from time to time. This morning I was trading AMLN on the Open as it was In Play due to an FDA approval. It was gapping higher but had begun a pre-market downtrend so I was leaning short . I identified a seller at 14 and got short in the 13.90s.  It then proceeded to move up and down in a 20 cent range for a few minutes. With each passing minute I felt the likelihood of a profitable short trade diminished. As Read more [...]

The Lens Matters (2)

Jan 30th, 2012 | By | Category: Steven Spencer (Steve's) Blogs, Trader Development, Trading Theory
Last week I wrote a column talking about how I had moved towards using 15 minute charts more often intraday to keep me focused on a stock's most relevant trend. I still use lower time frames and the tape to identify the best entries but the higher time frame view will inform whether I am short or long. I thought the price action from SNDK on January 26th illustrated this point rather well. Take a look at this chart that includes the price action from the after hours on January 25th when SNDK released their earnings and the pre-market action from the 26th. This price action can only be described as bearish. The initial reaction Read more [...]

The Language of the Successful Trader

Jan 28th, 2012 | By | Category: Mike Bellafiore's (Bella's) Blogs
Trader A has overperformed since his start at SMB relative to his experience and peers. Trader B has underperformed relative to his experience with us. Trader A went to a middle of the road school. Trader B has a very impressive educational background. Both love trading. Both are guys you build a firm around. So what separates the two? Their language. And this is found curiously in their daily trading reviews. Here is a daily review sent to me by Trader A. Notice the language emphasis on daily improvement and what he learned from the trading session. Take particular notice of the new play he built that made sense to him. Wow, Read more [...]

An Argument for Why Not Trading Much Makes No Sense

Jan 27th, 2012 | By | Category: Mike Bellafiore's (Bella's) Blogs
So I work with a trader who started very well. I was very happy with his progress. He was consistent with his results. Steve frequently would remark at his over-performance given his experience. And then recently he has not traded well.  So much so that yesterday I wrote him this email: Hey, what is going on w u? Something bothering u in your personal life? You went from great progress to honestly u suck. Today after the close, with his review, he responded........ Bella, Sucked less today :).  In all honesty there are no troubles going on in my personal life. ...I've been more quiet than usual just because my confidence Read more [...]