In uptrends, it is more profitable to be long all time highs and positive reactions to earnings. In downtrends, it is more profitable to be short all time lows and negative reactions to earnings. Every trend experiences normal corrections on its way up/down. Such corrections are often good buying opportunities as the trend tends to continue in its major direction. Sooner or later every trend ends. No one knows when. But to maximize and protect profits, we gradually raise our stops to levels, which when broken indicate an end of a trend. There will be times when our stops will shake us out too early from a trend, but we don’t need to catch the exact top or bottom in order to be profitable.

Simple is good

“I’ve made phenomenal amounts of money for very simple decisions but I was willing to make them. Somebody had to. Others are looking for highly complex ways of interacting with the markets, when most of the time it’s only the simple ones that are going to work. ”

Ed Seykota

Investing vs Gambling

“Investors are the big gamblers. They make a bet, stay with it, and if it goes the wrong way, they lose it all.”

Jesse Livermore

Not having an exit strategy before initiating a trading position is worse than gambling, where you realize that the chance to lose is too big, therefore you risk only money you can afford to lose. Not having a stop loss means that you are most likely risking more than you could afford to lose. As they say amateurs go out of business because of taking big losses. Professionals go out of business by taking small profits. Cut your losses short when your stop level is hit. Even more, make sure to put your stop loss order immediately after you initiate a trade. Put your stop loss at a place where the trend you are following will be over. Let your profits run by gradually lifting you  profit protection stop order. In order to maximize your profits you have to be willing to give some of them back.

I” don’t believe anyone ever gets wiped out in the market because of bad luck; there is always some other reason for it. Either you were off when you did the trade, or you didn’t have the experience. There is always a mistake involved.”

Mark Weinstein