Welcome and thank you for visiting!

The charts and comments in my Blog (posted in Eastern Time) represent my technical analysis and observations of a variety of markets...
*World Indices *U.S. Indices *Futures *U.S. Equities & Sectors *ETFs *Commodities *Forex
...an expanded version of the "Observations" section in my private Daily Trading Journal.

*** N.B. to my readers: Although I stopped trading in July 2013, I still take a peek at the markets now and then and post the occasional article here on my Blog.
NEW SERVICE: I'm pleased to announce the launch of my new service as a Certified Professional Life Coach...please check out this page for details and updates.

Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving

EVENTS

UPCOMING ECONOMIC EVENTS
* Thurs. Nov. 27th - U.S. markets closed for Thanksgiving
* Fri. Nov. 28th - NYSE closes @ 1:00 pm ET
* Wed. Dec. 17th @ 2:00pm - FOMC Interest Rate Announcement + FOMC Economic Forecasts...2:30 pm - Chair Press Conference

Psychology

~~~~~


The Path to Happiness...


"It's not enough to know what to do...
you must do what you know."
The Secret of Deliberate Creation
Author/Creator -- Dr. Robert Anthony
...in my opinion, an awesome CD program!

A few words from me about this program...I've taken many "self-improvement courses" over the past umpteen-million years of my life and I have to say that this program is so different from all the others that I was, firstly, really pleasantly surprised and, secondly, very relieved as I began to listen to the CDs...Dr. Anthony revealed the why's of behaviour in a way that actually made sense to me and, because I didn't have to spend hours and hours writing out goals, etc. as I've done in the past, I was able to just sit back, relax, and really listen to his messages. Now I must say that, for me, to just relax is a remarkable feat in itself, let alone sit still and just listen! I had a blast listening to his pearls of wisdom curled up in my La-Z-Boy chair and just wanted to pass on this opportunity to others (please note that I do not receive any compensation from Dr. Anthony for my recommendation).

P.S. I came across the CDs in my den closet during the preparations for my last move in 2011...it was a program that my late husband had ordered but never got a chance to listen to...I consider it his final gift to me. :-)

*If you have any questions about this program or its benefits, particularly as it relates to your trading (or even just to your life in general), please feel free to e-mail me at: sbmarketsummary@gmail.com



Zap Your Stress 


...in thirty seconds...

Once upon a time, a smart professional daytrader (whose methods I studied a few years ago) happened to mention that a successful technique that he uses when he's lost a trade is to count to thirty...apparently this shifts your mind from a negative emotional state to a neutral rational one. Well, give me neutral any day over negative...at the very least. I tried this technique many times over the ensuing years during difficult periods of family health issues/crises and, I have to say, that it actually works. It kept me sane when I thought I wasn't...so it's my turn to share this little gem...thanks for listening.


=^.^=




Knowledge


I once heard that the key to Warren Buffett's success was his predilection for only investing in something that would grow in value and not depreciate.

I've discovered that one of the perks of growing older has been the accumulation of knowledge...its effects are cumulative...it can never depreciate. It's something that I've been spending more time and energy on over the past few  years. The magic appears and begins to accelerate when we believe in our ability to find the value of  that which we have learned thus far and direct it toward something about which we're passionate. I'm enjoying the journey!




Judgement


The following question came up in my mind after visiting another Blog today (10/14/12). If I see an old woman pushing an empty cart up a hill, should I feel sorry for her? I had to think about that while I went for a long walk down to and along our local beach. I decided that I should not, and here's why.

The woman may be happy that she has a cart. She may be happy because she has shown someone else how to have a cart of their own. She may have sold all her wares from her cart and has just finished a satisfying meal. She may know where more wares lie in abundance and is on her way to collect them. She may be glad that the trip with a full cart is downhill. She may be happy because she knows how to fix her cart if it breaks. She may be happy because she knows how to show others how to have a cart when she's no longer able to push hers and can then share some of the rewards of their good fortunes in exchange for her knowledge. She may already be in that position, but continues to push hers because she enjoys it and the fact that she can.  She may be happy because she can hear the sounds of little children playing along her journey or can witness the changing seasons, knowing that civilization and nature are still evolving. Or she may be happy that she is strong enough to push her cart and is simply out for a walk to build up her fitness.

I'm sure I could learn a few things from that woman. No doubt, she could show me how to have a cart of my own and push it uphill...I could not show her that. So, who is better off? I don't know, as I've finally figured out that it's not my place to judge that, but I do hope she's happy. What I CAN do is ask her if she is happy and then listen. I may just be very surprised by all that I end up learning from her!   :-)




My "Job"


I decided awhile ago that my "job" was to make money every day, no matter what.

Recently, I amended that to say that my "job" was to enjoy making money every day, no matter what!

I'll see what, if any, changes/revelations surface, as a result of that little tweak...




My "Slice-of-Life" Moment


It was one of those "Slice-of-Life" moments that made me smile when I happened to look out my den window late this afternoon (November 26, 2012) and spied a cute scene. My neighbours and their friends were outside in their backyard dressed in warm jackets, gloves, and hats, sipping hot chocolate, and roasting marshmallows over an open fire. The kids were excited and will, no doubt, dream of their outdoor feast tonight as the taste of the scorched white fluffy stuff lingers and tantalizes their senses.


We don't have any snow, but it has been cold here as the rain finally stopped a couple of days ago and was replaced with sunshine here in the Pacific Northwest. The countdown to Christmas Day says that the kids only have to wait 28 more days to see what Santa has brought for them.


We traders only have 19 1/2 trading days left until we see what Santa brings for us...hopefully lots of goodies! I can dream, too...


May I have more of those moments...

  

Reflections


You are who you think you are...



In Search of "Truth" in the Markets...A Trader's Edge


If I ask myself, "What is the truth about this situation?" and if I'm truly open to hearing the answer, I'll get the right answer. I may not like the answer, but it will be the right one. Truth in action represents reality.

As a trader, I can only take this to mean that I should ask myself, "What does the market think about this situation?"...that will show me the overall reaction of the market, and, since the market generates more force than I do, it doesn't matter what I think of the situation. It seems to me that the "truth" in trading, lies therefore, in how the markets are trading this situation, and not necessarily what the situation is (since the situation itself may be based on false information/perceptions/interpretations).

A trader's edge lies in being able to "feel" what the market flow is and get on board at the appropriate time...not an easy task. It really boils down to how good an "interpreter" I am at any given point in time of market action, not how good/bad I judge the situation to be.

So, on to another day of my life-long studies in "Market Interpretation 101"...



Begin at the Beginning


A good way to live my life...



Coping With Losses -- In Life and In Trading


(Article written February 24, 2013)

No doubt, everyone has experienced some kind of loss over the years. Its consequences can be quite painful.

Last Monday (February 18th) my male pussycat, Smudge, who was 14 years old, passed away. He was with me from the age of 8 weeks. He's been my companion and comforter for the past two years since my husband died, and since Smudge's sister died three years ago. My family of four is now a family of one.

Within the space of four short days from when I first took Smudge to the Vet's (on February 15th) to his passing, I experienced a roller-coaster of emotions beginning with:

  • worry (as I suspected he was gravely ill);
  • which progressed to extreme panic and fear (of not knowing what decisions I'd have to make and the ensuing consequences);
  • and then moved on to profound sadness;
  • and then to numbness and disbelief;
  • and, now, to somewhere just slightly above (and more positive than) numbness, as I come to terms with what has happened and where I go from here.

These range of emotions, as well as losing those whom I love, have re-enforced the old saying that "nothing lasts forever." People, events, places, things, and stuff, in general, are transitory and are not ours to keep or possess, but, simply, to borrow and enjoy while they are in our lives. I'm finally realizing that to yearn for something or someone that is in our past (and gone) is not a healthy place to be...it uses up valuable energy and weakens my abilities to, firstly, decide what it is that I desire in life now, and, secondly, from recognizing it and acting on when it tries to show up and become a part of my new life.

You may wonder why I'm writing about this in my trading Blog. I realized today that I've experienced these same emotions when I've made trading losses.

  • First, the worry each morning (as a daytrader) that I won't be able to make money that day;
  • second, extreme panic and fear that I won't know what to do if the trade goes against me;
  • third, profound sadness when I've lost a trade;
  • fourth, numbness and disbelief that this loss happened to me;
  • and fifth, somewhere more positive than numbness as I try to assess the trade and move on to the next opportunity.

There has to be more progression from the fifth state (in my life and in trading)...to that of being in a state of "having and happiness" (since the "Law of Attraction"works without fail and we will get more of what we have or are experiencing in life). It won't do me any good to beat myself up over my loss or yearn for its return by trying to "make up for that loss on the next trade." That never works. It only clouds my judgement and puts me in a state of "not having something that I can never have" (the lost trade)...not a good place to be as it's, simply, a dead-end.

I think I can accomplish that sixth state...my health, happiness, and welfare depend on moving to that level. I know that I have the ability to more forward. I also know that I'm capable of making the right decisions at the right time and that it's so very important to not worry that I can't...I had to make a spit-second decision on Monday and did so without a second thought...oddly enough, I wasn't experiencing fear when I made that decision...I knew it was the right thing to do...and I'm still here...I don't need any more proof than that (that I can do the right thing at the right time, again and again, in life and in trading).

Perhaps you can recall a time when you made a split-second decision and knew that it was the right one...hang onto that experience/feeling and know that you can and will make the right decision at the right time in all areas of your life...do not worry that you can't, because you already have and you can do so again, at all times. It will keep you sane. Stay in the moment, accept things as they are, deal with them (knowing that you can), be grateful for what you do have, and move forward toward your desires, for they do exist (as unformed probabilities of existence)...look for them and they will eventually show up and you'll recognize them when they do...then, and only then, you'll know what to do (not a moment before)...it will feel natural and easy and will be the best option (for you) in the world. Everything will work out in the end...it always does, if you allow it.

I may add more to this article from time to time as more is revealed to me on this subject in the days/weeks/months ahead. In the meantime, I thank you for taking the time to read what I've shared, and I wish each one of you a happy, stress-free, rewarding, and exciting life! :-)

The following little snippet was e-mailed to me by my "personal cheerleader" (my dear sister-in-law) just as I was finishing this article, but hadn't yet posted it. Amazed, I thought it was timely and pertinent to my post, so I've included it here...co-incidence or the "Law of Attraction" at work?


 Since writing that article, I've changed career, and am working towards leading a more fulfilled and rewarding life as a Stager/Organizer and Life Coach. I'm happy with the way things are going, as I'm being led down a path full of creative possibilities, which I'm motivated to write about (e.g., see my article entitled "The Key to Happiness"). May that happy process continue!

Who Are You?


Who you are and who you think you are may be two different things.

Who you (actually) are is shaped by your inner self or intuition, whereas who you think you are is shaped by your ego or logical mind.

Your ego is the sum total and the final effect of all your thoughts and beliefs that you've accumulated over the years.

Your true self is your intuition that provides guidance to you in some way, shape or form...it may surface as a sensory stimulation of some type...its signal may be loud and clear, or it may be subtle. It can only take its cue from your thoughts and beliefs to present you with options from which to choose at the right time. It is all-knowing, whereas, your ego is limited in its perceptions and power.

If your thoughts and beliefs are always negative and involve self-doubt, you'll only receive cues from your intuition that serve or support them. The opposite is true -- if your thoughts and beliefs are always positive and based on self-confidence, you'll only receive cues from your intuition that re-enforce those.

Since the job of your intuition is to seek to attract those things that resonate with what you believe to be true into your life and to alert you to their presence when they arrive, doesn't it make sense to intentionally program a supportive "intuition language code"  in the form of thoughts, beliefs, and desires on a daily basis...similar to programming a computer with its software language. Then, that sets up a two-way communication system with your intuition to, firstly, let it know what you think, believe, and desire, and, secondly, opens the channel for you to receive the signals from your intuition that would prompt you to then take action (at the appropriate time as determined by your intuition) to actualize what it is that you desire. Remember, your intuition always knows what's best for you...not your ego, for it's far too limited in its scope and power to properly analyze any situation that arises and determine the best course of action to take.

It would, however, be necessary to make sure that your thoughts, beliefs, and desires are clear and consistent, otherwise your intuition will become confused and will malfunction...like the computer, which only runs as well as what's been programmed into it.

So, from this day forward, you have the power to choose what type of program you wish to write and incorporate into your life, in order to create the type of life that you desire. I wish you success in whatever you choose for yourself.   :-)



The Importance of Maintaining a Positive Energy Flow


I finally realized a few things today (March 29, 2013) about energy flow (from within).

The challenge for me over the past few years has been to try to maintain a nice positive and even energy flow (devoid of highs and lows) without being drained of energy. For me, my energy can be drained by any number of things, such as:

  • sidetracking myself from any one purpose/intent at any one time causing me to mess up on my original purpose and then having to undo any damage
  • ignoring negative body signals
  • ignoring unusual emotional signals (highs and lows)
  • doing any task for too long (e.g. sitting at my computer for hours on end without taking a break)
  • procrastinating
  • 'awfulizing'...that describes what I sometimes do to a tee...that is to think that something bad will happen and then look for all the reasons as to why it will...that unnecessarily blows up, what is probably a tiny blip, into something huge that will probably never happen (anxiety and fear of the future)...I'm a pro at this one, as I have a very over-active imagination...this is my Achilles' heel
  • carrying old and hurtful baggage (thoughts, feelings and regrets about stuff from the past)

When I'm low in energy, it's usually because I've done one (or more) of the above things and I realize that I'm out of balance, need to step back, and then ask myself some searching questions about what it is that I need to do next...sometimes I get immediate answers, and sometimes it takes a little while, but, usually, not too long.

It's been said that, "If you keep doing the same things with the same mindset that created them, you'll keep getting the same results." I'd add my own observation to that, "If you keep doing the same things with the same energy flow that created them, you'll keep getting the same results."

So, my focus will be on creating a balanced energy flow that helps me move effortlessly from one activity to another throughout my day, leaving me satisfied and happy, not only at the end of it, but also during those activities.

I'm already energized just thinking about it!



The Brick Wall


(Article written April 28, 2013)

When you feel that you've hit a brick wall at any point in your life and can't seem to get through to the other side, just gather up all the hurdles that you've overcome, pile them up against the wall to create steps, and simply walk up those steps to the top of the wall. Then leave those hurdles behind for they have served their purpose. The answers that you seek await on the other side of the wall and will guide you forward.


Fate


(Article written April 29, 2013)

I haven't spent the past 10 years of my life studying and trading the markets in order to become a bad trader...I don't believe that's my fate.



Yes, YOU Are a Leader


(Article written April 29, 2013)

If you don't think you have what it takes to be a leader, know that you're already a leader. You've led your life in a way that only you could have...no one else could have. That makes you a leader...don't let anyone else tell you you're not.



Keep Your Eye on the Ball


(Article written April 29, 2013)

As in playing a game of tennis, when trading, just keep your eye on the ball, trust in yourself, and everything else will fall into place.



ACCEPT vs. LIKE


(Article written May 10, 2013)

I'm finally learning that I don't have to "like" what others are doing around me one single bit...but, if I can simply "accept" it, see it for what it is, use that to my advantage, and focus on what it is that I wish to be/do/have, then I'm liable to be in a headspace and have the energy that facilitates that...otherwise, my toxic thoughts and energies will be wasted on all those things I don't like and will get me nowhere, except to a possible early grave...and that's not on my agenda! ;-)



A Trading Hazard of Being in a State of "Before-My-Time"



Today's BC comic strip reminded me of a trading hazard...one of being in a state of "Before-My-Time." As a daytrader, being able to foresee setups and trading them prematurely without confirmation of high probability of success can, more often than not, lead me to a trading failure.

That has been, and continues to be, one of my challenges which I'm constantly working on to refine and perfect...the challenge of interpreting data in real-time action (includes news-related data) and trading it without being too early (or too late)...so I continue the search for the "solid middle-ground entry" (the "optimal level in between too early and too late").

The structure around such a middle-ground entry has to be built on:
  1. my method
  2. my real-time observations
  3. my forecast
  4. my upside and downside probabilities of success (minimum ratio of 2x +'s to -'s for each)
  5. my risk vs. reward assessment (minimum ratio of 1:2 to tie in with #4)
  6. my trading platform and order method used to enter a trade to achieve the best entry price
  7. my entry execution (my level of commitment and confidence ratio needs to match #4 & 5)
  8. my trade management skills in real-time assessment of the trade's progress to target (includes monitoring or adjusting, but never increasing, my stop-loss)
  9. my recording of the trade in my Trading Journal, which includes my reasons for entry, what went right or wrong, what I could have done differently, my net profit/loss, etc.
  10. my enjoyment of the rewards! (the best part of all!)
    Without the benefit of this solid structure being in place on every trade I enter, my potential profits, and, worse still, my capital, are in jeopardy, along with my ability to effectively monitor such a poor trade because of an increase in anxiety.

    Since every price point contains a success probability, it's up to me to figure out whether it fits in with my trading plan. As world-renowned Psychologist, Dr. Robert Anthony, has said, "It's not that you'll believe it when you see it...it's that you'll see it when you believe it." When I'm "in flow" with myself, generally, I can then be more comfortable with being "in flow" with the markets and am more open to a correct interpretation of what they're telling me. Each one of us has the ability to know what we need to know at any given time and if I don't believe that of myself, I'll miss the signals that are given freely to me and the answers that I'm looking for. If I keep getting the same results in my trading, it's because I keep making low-probability-of-success trades...it's my job to figure out where and when it's a high(er) probability and also when it becomes a lower probability because of time decay. Like a trend in trading (up, down, or sideways), all things age and begin to sag, wear out, and lose their appeal...once that's been recognized and begins to accelerate (with some sort of confirmation), this seems to be the optimal time for entry. It's still possible, however, to trade before then, but I have to be prepared to accept the consequences, less favourable as they may be, and consider the costs to me in the process.

    As an aside, and going off topic for a moment, I've discovered that one of the perks of growing older has been the discovery and accumulation of knowledge along the way...the trick is, trying to remember it! (The truth is, that's the main reason I've kept a Trading Journal, and then started Blogging, as well. I'm happy to add that other unanticipated benefits of Journaling and Blogging have popped up along the way!)

    The quest continues...the prospect of the rewards (in whatever form they, ultimately, appear) keeps me going...



    The Key to Happiness


    (Article written March 17, 2014)


    Imagine that you've left for a 500 mile trip in your car to an unfamiliar destination. As you drive along the winding roads, would you be consciously driving each mile at a time, or would you be attempting to drive and navigate the road as it is at Mile 400 if you were only at Mile 100? Do you think you'd reach Mile 500 without experiencing negative feelings of doubt or insecurity along the way if it were the latter, or would you even reach it at all if you drove like that?

    So, too, it is with our conscious thoughts. While you may think you're actively thinking about a certain task (which may be tied to a larger goal) as you perform it throughout your day, you may, in fact be thinking about something else and not be fully aware or present in your current task. That "something else" may be a thought about something in the past or the future. If those non-present thoughts have worry or fear attached to them, they will steal from your energy supply and will rob you of your complete abilities to handle the task at hand. This can lead to feelings of insecurity and misgivings on your part about your abilities to reach your goals or destinations. The more we perform our tasks in this non-present manner, the more these bad habits become ingrained in our subconscious and become automatic with negative emotions attached to them.

    How can functioning in this negatively-charged habitual mode lead to anything but feelings of insecurity?

    As we know, our goals are made up of small incremental tasks forming our daily lives. It is for the above reasons that it is important that we are fully present when performing these tasks. This allows for our creative spontaneity (which we all possess) to actually do its job properly and without stress and worry. Also, if we are consciously trying to keep our thoughts and actions based on the present task at hand, we can become fully aware of our accomplishments (small as they may be at the time), which will manifest into a feeling of security (in the knowledge that we have the ability to actualize our goals).

    This becomes a "process-oriented" life rather than a "goal-oriented" life...and will allow us to enjoy the journey (as we've heard so often for many years, but probably haven't been able to fully embrace).

    The key to happiness is to live this "process-oriented" life and to consciously remember to acknowledge (with positive emotions) that we've actually handled each task. It's really OK to pat yourself on the back for jobs done to the best of your abilities while fully present (no matter how small)!

    Confucius says, "When chopping wood, chop wood." I say, once you've done that, acknowledge that you've done it and experience the security that comes with knowing that you can and did do it! Have a great moment! 


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