Archive for March 2013

Are You a Pro or Piker?

Mar 31st, 2013 | By | Category: Mike Bellafiore's (Bella's) Blogs
There never was a moment, and never will be, when we are without the power to alter our destiny. I spent most of Easter immensely enjoying The War of Art by Steven Pressfield. For traders there is a wonderful section from which we can learn that defines the difference between being a professional and an amateur. We might say at SMB and in our field, the difference between being a pro from a piker. So what is the difference between the two in our profession? The professional trader shows up on time to prepare for the trading day. This time is constant as preparation takes a certain amount of time for the pro, which he fears missing Read more [...]

Four Ways To Get Your Trading Ready For the Summer

Mar 31st, 2013 | By | Category: Bruce Bower, General Comments, Guest Blog, Trader Development, Trading Lesson
In most parts of the US and Europe, this winter has been positively arctic. Record snowfall, freezing temperatures and howling wind. It can be a downer, even for the hardiest of souls. Even then, most traders are in the office, focused on their screens and their results and not paying any attention to the weather. Summer may seem like the furthest thing from your mind, but you should start thinking about it now. It offers an opportunity to reflect on our trading progress. As the middle of the year, it’s a readily identifiably halfway point; given the changes in market conditions over the summer, we usually have to think about Read more [...]

Spencer Trade Review: Second-Day Plays for $FDX $ORCL $BIIB

Mar 30th, 2013 | By | Category: General Comments, Steven Spencer (Steve's) Blogs, Trading Lesson
In this video Steve discusses stocks with strong catalysts that can lead to high reward low risk second day plays. Stocks covered in the video include FDX, ORCL, BIIB and PCYC. Steven Spencer is the co-founder of SMB Capital and SMB University and has traded professionally for 17 years. His email is [email protected] No relevant positions Try all our trading tools for 2 months *SMB Radar not included Read more [...]

What is Your Mission Statement?

Mar 30th, 2013 | By | Category: Mike Bellafiore's (Bella's) Blogs
I had the privilege to visit a prestigious US hedge fund this week.  I just cannot shake this one image. We, 4 of us from SMB, arrive from NYC in Greenwich in my family SUV.  You pass the private airport so close to Westchester and Southern, CT .  The four of us joke about the SMB private jet, that can take you anywhere in the world.  No airport lines.  No traffic to the airport.  One of us has flown private and tells the other three about that.  So cool.  That is living the life as they say. You pull up to the mansion expanded, with the vast manicured grounds.  This to me feels as a trader what Augusta must to Read more [...]

Is There Power in Negative Thinking?

Mar 29th, 2013 | By | Category: General Comments
Is it productive to think negatively as a trader? Bobby Knight, National Collegiate Hall of Fame coach, thinks so. Coach Bobby Knight says that when he first started coaching one of the worst things he would hear was “It will be O.K.” Not only that, Knight says, as he did in a recent New York Times interview, that “the worst word in the English language is ‘hope.” Clearly, Knight is bucking the trend of positive thinking. Why? And what does Knight say that offers value to traders? Plenty, in fact, and it all stems from his new book called The Power of Negative Thinking. In an interview on WYNC's The Leonard Lopate Read more [...]

What do you do when your strategies stop working?

Mar 29th, 2013 | By | Category: Mike Bellafiore's (Bella's) Blogs
Hello Mike, I have an interesting question for you.  Its about the life cycle of a trade set up.  I've realized that like businesses trading setups are also cyclical.  There will be periods where the set up produces an edge, and there will be periods when the set up is not producing an edge. Does this mean the setup no longer works and it has become extinct like a dinosaur? or Does this mean the market conditions are currently not favorable for this set up and it would be best to revisit this set up at a later date?  What does one do when a set up has stopped performing? I've also heard the term "There is always a bull Read more [...]

How happy should you be?

Mar 28th, 2013 | By | Category: Mike Bellafiore's (Bella's) Blogs
Should we seek to be happy all-the-time as a trader? No, says the research. Eric Barker, at his Barking Up the Wrong Tree blog, asks a question: “Should we try to be happy all the time?” It’s a good question and he answers it with one word: no.  Now, he isn’t knocking happiness. He’s only pointing that context matters and that, as he quotes from Top Dog: The Science of Winning and Losing by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman, “What’s good for your well-being is not necessarily going to be effective in a competitive context.” Here’s a key takeaway (once again from Top Dog): “When the object is to compete, Read more [...]

NFLX Buyers Running the Show

Mar 28th, 2013 | By | Category: General Comments, Steven Spencer (Steve's) Blogs
In yesterday's AM Meeting we talked about NFLX. It appeared to be getting ready for an explosive move. The narrowing of its trading range as well as several tests of both the top and bottom of the range set it up for a large move when it finally broke. I laid out the bear case on a break through 180/179 for a move down to 172 and then the 160s. Then I laid out the bullish case on a move through 186/187 for a move to 192 and 200. Whether it broke to the upside or downside I wanted to be mentally prepared for a large move. By mentally preparing for a large move you will ensure that you stick with a position longer and you will tend Read more [...]