Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Picking A Strategy

I recently wrote a little about picking a best stock for 2011 and mentioned a few of the myriad ways in which an investor or trader might go about selecting a candidate. In my own trading life, as I review stocks, I find that the process becomes much more one of elimination than selection. As I look at a chart, for example, I can see that good old XYZ may have just reached up to a resistance and is turning down. A quick fundamental review may show that earnings have dipped due to some new competition, debt is considerably higher than other stocks in the sector, and a potentially large lawsuit has just been commenced against the company. If all this is occurring in a bull market, XYZ is not a buy for me; it is eliminated as a potential bullish addition to my portfolio since I know there are other better candidates out there. Does that mean that as a trader I am not interested in the stock? Definitely not. Though I have quickly rejected it as a buy I may give further consideration to XYZ as a bearish candidate. I may look at a different strategy that looks like it might have a greater chance of success with XYZ. Does it fit my parameters to short the stock, or to buy puts, or maybe put on a bear put debit spread or a bear call credit spread? I can see how those strategies might be a better choice given the information I have about XYZ and its price performance.

A majority of investors and retail traders may pass right over XYZ since their bias is bullish and they are only looking for top stocks to buy. Those investors may only really consider one strategy; buy the stock first and sell it later. In so doing they easily may miss the apparent opportunity the XYZ scenario offers to an investor armed with more than one strategy. There are many ways to making money in the markets, and the utilization of various strategies can add income streams and profits to the trader or investor who gains understanding.

How we invest or trade is a personal decision. The decision is influenced by how much time we have, how much cash we have to invest, our age, our family situation, our risk tolerance, our interest and a variety of other factors. No matter who you may be, if you have the interest to read this article, there is almost certainly a strategy that will fit your situation and comfort level. I devoted my new book to this subject. "Smart Investors Money Machine" is designed for investors as well as traders. In "Smart Investors Money Machine," I have tried to consider a wide variety of investors and traders using examples of a young single person, a growing family, and a couple reaching retirement to show numerous ways each might select a strategy that fits them and their lifestyle and at the same time will provide them with more income. The book isn't limited to option strategies though it does discuss some. The scope of "Smart Investors Money Machine" encompasses a variety of strategies from buy and hold to dividend capture to writing covered calls, to specific sectors that offer exceptionally high yields and includes a basic primer on bond investing and annuities, and even explains a little about reverse mortgages. With each strategy, I not only describe the strategy but also show how people in differing times and stations of life might use it to bring in more income to lighten their daily load.

The point is there are lots of ways to create streams of income. Some of them require a lot of time and some very little time. Some are very risky and offer higher potential rewards while others are accompanied by a lesser risk but offer a lesser potential reward. There are plenty of ways to do it and some of those ways are likely to fit your specific circumstances. In my view, it is definitely worth the trouble to explore the possibilities and see what you like and what can work for you.

Almost assuredly there are strategies for you. What I often see is people trying to be traders rather than investors when they have neither the time, the knowledge, the capital, nor the risk tolerance to really be traders. My advice to them universally is it is great to be a trader, but first you need to acquire the knowledge. In the meantime, there is no reason why they shouldn't be generating additional income using other strategies that may be less complex, less time consuming, require less attention (in some cases even no attention), and still add a stream or streams of income.

The strategies we utilize are critically important to our success and choosing what strategy we will employ may be as important, and sometimes even more important than the specific XYZ we select.

Recommended Top Stocks To Buy:

FAS (Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3X Shares)
This past week, Option Trader closed a debit spread on FAS for a before commission gain of 76% in just under three months. Thereafter, a new debit spread was entered using slightly different strikes. For those with an interest in financials, FAS is an interesting vehicle.

UNG (United States Natural Gas Fund ETF)
Trend Trader opened and quickly closed a one day trade to grab a 2.4% return before the small commission. Since exiting, UNG has been drifting down toward an uptrend line. I'm continuing to watch to see how the share price behaves as it deals with the trend line.

Best Stocks To Buy Now