Check out my MACD interview at the New York Traders Expo to learn what I consider the most important aspects of trading with the MACD.
Exit Strategies for Swing Traders on 6/12/2010, 8:00 AM – 9:00 AM PST
This workshop examines key sell strategies for swing traders, including stop losses, profit targets, and more. The material is drawn from the back test results published in the Exit Strategies reports. The real bonus for attending live is analysis of your favorite markets. Please bring the tickers of any stocks you are swing trading and we will evaluate different exits for them using end-of-day data in the session. The Traders Expo is held at the Pasadena Convention Center, near Los Angeles California.
With many Traders Expo talks webcast and (in two weeks) available on-demand from the web, its fair to wonder why attend in person. I won’t presume to say for everyone but I do want to comment that not everything gets recorded in the presentations.
Of course, in person you get to ask questions live, see the products live and meet other traders. What’s not always apparent is WHO you get to ask. With the StockFinder guys appearing incognito as FreeStockCharts.com and INO TV quietly taking meetings, its clear that some of the big names at the show chose not to be listed in the program.
Be open to learning from everyone you see at an event like Traders Expo because you never know if that guy you pass in the hall is a Today Trader headed for a tweet up or the manager of a hedge fund. And you just might run into a private trader or two who knows the ropes and is willing to “talk shop”.
In the next couple blog posts, I’ll highlight sessions and lessons not covered in the Traders Expo webcast.
Greetings from the Las Vegas Traders Expo!
I’m here to present the “Truth About MACD”. Click here to check out the webcast.
People attending in person get the chance to fill out a BackTesting Report survey for a chance to win a doorprize. If you would also like to participate remotely, you can also fill out the survey. It’s anonymous so we will have to rely on the honor system.
You can enter a second drawing by signing up for the Divergence Alerts mailing list below. I’ll randomly select an email address on Nov 30, 2009 and arrange to send out a copy of Sell and Sell Short
by Dr. Alexander Elder.
(StockFinder® screenshot of McClellan Summation Index in yellow plotted with S&P500 in green, red arrows mark important divergences between indicator and price.)
Tom McClellan’s hour at the LA Trader’s Expo started from a deep historical perspective and carried through to current market conditions. Los Angeles was a fitting locale because it was actually reporting on local LA television stations that made popular the McClellan Oscillator and McClellan Summation Index. These two indicators were developed by the speaker’s parents, Sherman and Marian McClellan respectively. The McClellan Oscillator and Summation Index are market-wide indicators whose mission is to help traders and investors get an early sense of market trend, the strength of the trend, and impending changes.
Part of the talk focused on the construction of the McClellan Oscillator and the McClellan Summation Index. Rather than repeat it here, you can find it at the McClellan website.
One thing I want to highlight is that the McClellan Oscillator is the difference of two EMAs of the Advance/Decline line which means it is actually a MACD of the Advance/Declines. Evidently both the McClellan Oscillator and the MACD were invented independently at about the same time. What an interesting confluence of events!
Another somewhat geeky point is that the Advance/Decline data varies between vendors. The Yahoo data includes ETFs while the Wall Street Journal Advance/Decline number does not include ETFs. According to Tom McClellan, the difference in end results is not that large, but its nice to see that he is on top of data sources and using clean data for his calculations.
Engaging the audience at an early-morning session of the Trader’s Expo is not an easy thing but Dr. Brett Steenbarger showed up with the energy, good advice, and R-rated language to wake us up to the mportance of psychology in trading. Dr. Steenbarger is an expert in “brief therapy” which is getting things done in a few minutes rather than years on the couch. He’s applied his skills to helping professional traders improve their craft. Institutional/hedge fund traders only – attending an Expo session or reading his book is the only way us private traders can take advantage of his work. However, after his talk, the good doctor did stay for another hour answering questions and helping people with their particular issues. A trader himself, Dr. Steenbarger’s blog packs as much if not more info about trading the markets than about psychology.
Key take-aways from the LA Trader’s Expo session:
Trading is a performance art (like music or athletics) and we can improve by building on our strengths as well as interrupting and reprogramming our patterns of problem behavior (impulsiveness, not adapting to conditions, acting on anxiety, etc).
Five Best Practices
1. Break trading into components and work one at a time, e.g. getting good entry prices.
2. Evaluate performance with metrics
3. Identify strengths and weaknesses, especially find strengths.
4. Set realistic goals for development. 2 per day: one strength to enhance, one weakness to curb
5. Institute mechanisms for review
Especially emphasized the role of our personal strengths and positive emotions. A brief quiz showed us that we need a ratio of 2:1 positive to negative emotional states to achieve high performance. (positive: joy, contentment, energy, affection. negative: anxiety, depression, guilt, anger)
In short to improve:
- Find things that went well and do more of that.
- Train self to follow sensible rules.
- Stay in the zone.
I spent a few days last week at the Trader’s Expo in LA. I don’t think the show is designed to be as big as the main event in Las Vegas in November, but it drew a fair crowd and some excellent presentations. Certainly there were no shortage of people coming to see John Carter of Trade the Markets fame give his latest prognostications on how to make money swing trading. As always I enjoyed catching up with friends I know and meeting new traders. Too bad this event’s evening party kind of fizzled out because it was on the same night as the big LA Lakers basketball play-off game. Still, lots of good education for traders and investors. Amazing that conference attendence and most sessions are offered free of charge — its a great value. In the next couple articles, I’ll post my notes from a couple good sessions.
Trader’s Expo is posting video’s of selected sessions, starting Thurs Jun 10. Click Here for Videos
For the next event in San Francisco, click here
Mark your calendars to take advantage of my free educational presentations at the Money Show and Trader’s Expo. More details to follow…
In San Francisco, click the Money Show banner to register
Friday, Aug 21, 2009
06:00 PM – 06:45 PM
Get Green, Stay Green: Exit Strategies for Active Investors
Saturday, Aug 22, 2009
02:10 PM – 02:55 PM
The Truth About MACD