May 17, 2011 at 1:43 pm | | Comments 0

Dealing with the Pop and Drop Trade

This question came in from a fellow Bandit recently, and I wanted to share it (and my response back to him) with you here…


Jeff, what’s the lesson to be learned from this today. One trade I was watching (***) moved past 13.45 in a hurry this morning. By the time a trade could be executed it was already up in the 13.60s, got up as high as 13.74 and then dropped like a rock back down to where it started the day. All of it happened in about an hour. I’m thinking it would have been better to leave this one alone today. Thoughts? B


That one did shoot quickly past the trend line, and anytime that’s the case I try to lighten up into the move. The sharper the moves tend to be, the more prone to reversal they are. So while it’s nice to see a big fast favorable move, at the same time it’s imperative to recognize that it may not last long and to use that strength to book some profits.

pop-dropAnother thing I’d add is that anytime you happen to get a bad fill on your order (in this case 13.60 as you mentioned when you wanted 13.45, it’s important to recognize that the risk/reward profile of the trade has just changed. You might have intended to exit around 13.30, or just about 1% from your entry, but a higher-than-intended entry necessitates raising your stop aggressively in order to offset the late buy.  Otherwise, your stop is simply too far down and the risk/reward is no longer as favorable as your original plan for the trade.

The idea is to keep managing risk, keep managing risk, keep managing risk when day trading. Sometimes you get ‘slipped’ on an order like that and end up with a later-than-intended entry, so when you do, either keep a tight stop beneath it or trail it behind the trade aggressively so as to either exit with a minimal loss or book a little gain. If the trade doesn’t unfold as planned, look for the next-best alternative, which is getting out about flat or slightly better if possible.

Sometimes as you said, hindsight will show stocks which may have been better left alone, but on the fly we can still manage the situation well with some good habits.

Trade Like a Bandit!

Jeff White
Producer of The Bandit Broadcast

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