The final month of the year (though writing this in 2017). I am going to use this time to look at gains / losses and the way ahead in trading . However, first I will start by going over the fun stuff first…divis!

  • Kroger (KR) = $42
  • Starbucks (SBUX) = $38
  • BP = $154.70
  • Total December 2016 divis = 234.70  (132.95% YoY increase from Dec 2015 divis)
  • Total divis in 2016 = $2,109.775 (251.09% YoY increase from 2015 divis)

I received divis from two stocks (KR / SBUX) that got sold for profits along with BP that I have been an owned in since I started this dividend adventure.

I hit my goals for 2016 and am now going to do what I’m not supposed to do: Make less concrete goals for 2017.

The Three P’s

Preparation: I think of this in the physical and mental aspects. I plan to continue using running and reading as the primary methods to achieve this. I am, however, looking to spend more time reviewing my trades and studying different indicators / methods for possible implementation. End state: Run more, Read more, and Review more.

Planning: I have been reading more trading books as opposed to investing books (read retirement books like “Retired Inspired” too) of late.  Books like “The Complete Turtle Trader” and “New Market Wizards” have been a couple of my favorite. I am looking to have a solid plan by the end (hopefully before) to figure out my OWN method. I will need to dabble with others then mix and match to see what fits me. Before writing this, I just read from a book called “The Market Whisperer” (yes, sounds sketchy but actually has good information in it. Many sketchy ones are just that…TERRIBLE.) about using Bollinger bands with the 100 stocks in the Nasdaq. Basically, you buy as soon as it goes below the low band and either sell when it goes above the band again or sell after 20 days. Sounds too easy and i’m sure it is. The time frame it was back tested for gave good results. However, the book is dated and the method may or may not work. If a rube like me can read and implement it then don’t you think many others could do the same? This probably makes the method invalid. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a simple answer to trading? I think it’d take the intrigue away and also a system also has to be able to adapt because if many people start to use the same thing then it loses its ability. Waves, bands, RSI (Relative Strength Index), and MAs (Moving Averages) are all around me, but I still don’t have a plan.

I do have a few money management techniques that I am currently using. Three to be exact:

  1. Only risk 1% of account value in any given trade. This helps set position size and stop.
  2. Limit myself to three trades at a time. (Breaking this one because I’m kind of on a trading hiatus. Granted, I do consider SJM, VOD, GIS, and PFE to be ‘trades’)
  3. Use stops, use stops, USE STOPS. I must admit that I didn’t place my stops on SJM, VOD, GIS, and PFE until writing this article. I reprimanded myself. (No stops on NAT or BP because I have specific price goals and will collect divi along the way.)

Patience: In “New Market Wizards” a father told his 11 year old son that had just purchased a stock that the stock has been around longer than you so it does not have to go up just because you bought it. That 11 year old, as you could probably guess, did become a very successful trader. Almost all of the great traders from the book said that patience (along with discipline) were key for success. It could probably be argued that patience is one of the highest virtues. I do not have the patience for that though.

I hope to have the patience to continue learning and to persevere against the setbacks that undoubtedly await me. I want the patience to admit that I was wrong and move on. I do not wish to dwell on past failures. Also, I do not want the dark side of patience, stubbornness to keep me from admitting that I was wrong on a position.  Finally, I want to have patience in all areas of my life and not just trading.

 

A different flavor of goals for the year but with the same end in mind of improving myself. I hope you had a great 2016 and an even better 2017.

 

Take Care,

JT

“Journeyman Trader”

 

 

 

Success is the ability to move from one failure to another without loss of enthusiasm. -Winston Churchill

A lot happened in November 2016. I also tried my hand at trading, received some divis, and have a new forward divi outlook record for myself!

The Sleeper Portfolio:

No, this isn’t any russki KGB undercover shenanigans. I decided to temporarily suspend my trading license and move back to my divi ways as work ramps up. I had a solid month where I was able to be more active with my portfolio. It was fun and will show the results I have later. The fantastic five below:

  • BP  (cost basis lowish 30s? Honestly, not sure with lots of changes. I should track better….oh well)
  • NAT (cost basis $8.35)
  • PFE (cost basis $31.66)
  • SJM (cost basis $126.28)
  • VOD (cost basis $24.50)

I decided to take more risk with VOD as opposed to buying T or VZ. I think it’s undervalued, and if I am patient can maybe sell later next year. It has the potential to be a ‘value trap’ but think it’ll go back up at some point. I can handle being paid to wait and have accepted the risks. My forward divi outlook is now $4,358.00 annually.

November 2016 Dividends:

  • T paid $62.40
  • VZ paid $28.88
  • POT paid $20 took back $3 (Canadian company) = $17
  • NAT paid $110.50
  • Total for November 2016 = $218.78

I am okay with this as my focus was mainly on trading for the month.

RIP Trading Career (10/24/2016 – 12/02/2016)

I am not done but only temporarily paused until mid-2017 due to work picking up. My end result was a gain of 9.58% over the course of the time period above. My peak performance was at the close of 11/28 which would have left me with a 12.36% gain. However, I let the gains slip away as I did not get out of VALE, FCX, and BHP at their high points. I actually took a very very small loss on BHP! Then I made poor trades on ATVI (largest loss during this period) and HACK. BP decided to be a hero after the OPEC meeting to help salvage the results.

I still have one last trade open with KTOS that I am waiting to close out. My avg price is $7.20 with it closing on 12/02/2016 at $7.94. I am currently up 10.21% on this trade. I originally thought of just closing out at $8.00 but have now decided to get greedy (I admit it!) on this trade and just see if I can let it run. I am not sure when I will take my first profits as I will most likely try to scale out and adjust stop loss. My stop is currently at $7.00. I will be adjusting this shortly.

Plan Going Forward:

Whenever I do close out the KTOS trade, I will be keeping a cash reserve. The only thing that I might possibly do with it is buy more of one of the 5 stocks that I own if they go down a lot! I do not plan on adding money to them unless I think it has a decent chance of running up. I am slowly starting to learn the value of cash. No reason to be fully invested all the time. A little patience can go along ways.

I was just going to max out my 2016 Roth contribution, but now have decided to start working on 2017 as well after I finish up with 2016. I keep it very simple by just investing fully into VSIAX (small cap value index fund). I was in a life strategy earlier in the year. I’ve got no time for bonds though. No time. Give me stocks for better or worse.

I still plan to read about investing and trading going forward. My enthusiasm for trading has not been dampened even with some of the mistakes that I made. I just will not have the capability to do it for a while. It is nice going back home to the divis. It’s not nearly as stressful as tracking daily/weekly fluctuations. I am looking forward to the break to hopefully grow my knowledge on trading and investing.

I hope everyone had a good November 2016 as well! Here’s to December!

 

JT