RSSAll Entries in the "Tools of the Trade" Category

Worden Blocks Raising Eyebrows

June 5, 2008 at 7:30 am

In case you haven’t heard, the charting program that two years ago I referred to as “the future of charting” is now… (wait for it)… FREE!

In a similar spirit to that of the ever-evolving trader, the fine folks over at Worden and The Blocks Company have shifted their approach and are now offering their revolutionary charting program free of charge for end-of-day data.

That means that those of you who have considered checking out this amazing trading tool can now get your hands on it free and right now. This does not appear to be a limited-time promo, which is really incredible when you consider what this thing can do.

I have a feeling that everyone who is currently using free charting packages such as QuoteTracker or web-based StockCharts are about to step out of an old pick-up and into a Ferrari and find out that it’s completely in another league from what you’ve been using. Build watch lists, annotate your charts, add indicators from a plethora of choices, scan and sort without any limitation on what’s possible…it’s all in Blocks and it’s fully customizable.

To those of you who want integrated news, BackScanner, or of course real-time intraday data, each are available (along with several other services) with separate pricing. But to those who have been needing a charting program and didn’t want to pay for it, you’ve now got the very best at a price that you literally cannot beat!

To download and install the program:
– Visit
– Click the Blocks icon at the top of the page
– Click the Download Now button.

Trade well today!

Jeff White
President, The Stock Bandit, Inc.
Swing Trading & Day Trading Service

Blocks Webinar

May 17, 2008 at 11:16 pm

Just wanted to post a quick heads-up here regarding a webinar I’ll be attending on Monday evening for Blocks.

What’s New in Blocks Trader – Monday, May 19th 8-9pm ET

The webinar will be put on by a friend of mine, Worden’s Training Director, Craig Shipman. Craig has educated many thousands of traders on TeleChart (which I’ve used for almost a decade) and now Blocks (which I’m integrating more and more into my research). Needless to say, I have no doubt at all it will be worth attending for some tips & tricks on using this amazing charting software.

I wrote long ago how Blocks would “revolutionize the way stock chartists and researchers tinker with data, because it allows the user to combine data sources all in one place – on the code level.” I continue to be impressed with the way Worden is improving and updating the program, which is no surprise given the tremendous success they’ve had with TeleChart for so long.

To register and attend the Webinar:
Click the Blocks icon at the top of the page
The center of the next page will have the Webinar info.

Have a great weekend!

Jeff White
President, The Stock Bandit, Inc.
Swing Trading & Day Trading Service

Trading With Multiple Monitors

March 11, 2008 at 12:01 pm

In an age of falling prices on LCD monitors and computers, it’s becoming increasingly common among active traders to expand screen space through the use of multiple monitors. Split-screen displays are easy to come by with any dual-head video card, and I’ve seen arrays containing up to 16 screens – talk about information overload! But it is very important to remember that more isn’t always better.

So what is the best way to get started expanding your screen real estate? I think the first step to take is to take stock (pardon the pun) of what info you need in front of you throughout the trading day. Consider which charts, tickers, filters, and various windows of your trading platform (open positions, Level 2, orders, time & sales) are absolute necessities. That’s going to give you the bare minimum requirement for how much screen space you’ll need for your trading, but it’s never a bad idea to have a little space left over. Perhaps you’ll want to save some room for instant messenger or for your favorite website to keep open and read updates on during the day, so those should also be considered.

What’s important though is that you have only a little leftover space – not a bunch. What happens when there’s lots of empty screen space is that many traders tend to start to tinker with things they shouldn’t. They begin to add studies, extra charting timeframes, and basically just complicate an already good trading system by allowing too much info to clutter their thought process. The old phrase, “paralysis by analysis” comes to mind. Before long, they have a very impressive-looking setup, but they have lost their trading mojo and no longer know which way is up.

Here’s the thing about extra screens: you can always add more when you need them! My trading platform offers a huge amount of tools I could clutter up my screens with, but I try to stick with what’s important to me and let the rest be. There are only a certain number of tools which I can effectively use simultaneously.

Good trading doesn’t necessarily mean having more information at your fingertips – it’s about having the right information. Figure out what you need, gather enough screens to display it, and trade the way you know you should based on your own personal style. Just don’t add confusion to the mix in an effort to see everything at once!

Jeff White
President, The Stock Bandit, Inc.
Swing Trading & Day Trading Service

[tags]Stock Market, Day Trading, Stock Trading, Investing, Swing Trading[/tags]

Storing Watch Lists in Worden’s TeleChart

January 24, 2008 at 1:47 pm

I have discussed watch list management before and how it’s an important responsibility for active traders. I store my watch lists in my charting program, which is TeleChart Platinum from Worden, and it’s nice knowing that at any time I can pull up a group of stocks with tradable charts. Watch lists truly are at the core of my swing trading method, and the constant review of daily charts is where I locate new trading opportunities and update important levels on my existing trades.

Storing my watch lists in TeleChart has a number of benefits, but here are several reasons why I do it:

Backup Watch Lists
Technology is great and it is the driving force at any trader’s desk, BUT it only takes one hard drive failure to send all of your hard work right out the window! I have dual hard drives in my desktop PC’s, along with external backup drives running at regular intervals to ensure that my data is recoverable in the event my primary technology fails. (I encourage you to do the same)! However, some of my watch lists have slowly been compiled across years of trading. TeleChart allows me to upload all of my chart settings (watch lists, trend lines, notes, etc.) to the Worden server, giving me added redundancy with my important chart data. Furthermore, when I edit settings on one of my PC’s, I can download the new settings straight from the Worden server to sync up all of my computers. This is huge when I am traveling and working on my laptop.

Store Multiple Watch Lists
The organization of your trading ideas is what will enable you to act quickly and decisively when the time comes to place trades. This can be as simple as separating long from short ideas, or as complicated as dividing up market sectors or even indicator-based scans. I particularly like this feature of TeleChart, because I don’t have to try to mentally separate certain ideas from others. The ability to create and label new lists helps me to compartmentalize my trade setups according to direction, timeframes, industry, or anything else I may specify.

Copy All or Selected Stocks Across Watch Lists
This is a major part of my daily routine, as I will manually screen several watch lists each evening in search of setups for the following day. The “flag” feature of TeleChart lets me hit the ‘F’ key to flag or unflag a stock, allowing me to mark stocks of interest as I go along. So for example, while working my way through a list of 500 stocks, I can hit ‘F’ anytime I see a stock which interests me and be able to pull those needles out of the haystack once I’ve completed the list by viewing these flagged items. Even better, I can copy only those flagged symbols to another list, or even remove them from a list altogether.

Another aspect of the “copy all or selected stocks” choice is that I can sort a list to separate only those stocks which fit my criteria, and then copy those symbols to a list. So for example, say I want to review a master watch list but I only care about stocks which had volume today of 500k. I can sort the list by 1-day volume, flag those symbols, and then copy them to another list. This is an excellent way to filter out only the stocks you want to review closer, cutting down the work load considerably.

At the end of the day, you need a system of some kind to keep your trading ideas organized. Having the right setups at the ready is a major part of a well-formulated game plan for your trading, and it’s much more difficult to act with speed or precision otherwise. Determine a way to keep locating new setups in the charts, and decide to stay organized with your trading ideas. It will keep you a step ahead of the pack.

Trade well today,

Jeff White
President, The Stock Bandit, Inc.
Swing Trading & Day Trading Service

[tags]Stock Market, Day Trading, Stock Trading, Investing, Swing Trading[/tags]

Staying Connected to the Market

November 5, 2007 at 12:35 pm

The holidays are just around the corner, and for me that means some travel to visit family in other cities. Fortunately, that doesn’t require having to be out of touch with the market. When things heat up on the trading front like they have been lately, I have a hard time stepping away from it!

Whenever I leave town for the holidays, I travel with my laptop and can visit some “hotspots” or just connect at wherever I’m staying if I really need to get online. Even better, I have internet access on my Treo smartphone. The Treo is great for staying connected, and I really like the email and internet features of it. However, trading is the most important option it provides me.

I have accounts with brokers who provide a streamlined way to trade and/or monitor positions by way of my Treo. My primary broker lets me pull up a simplified version of their trading platform to monitor positions and real-time P&L, keep watch lists, and even close out all open positions (bail) with the push of one button! How cool is that?! Your broker probably offers something similar, so ask them if they have a streamlined mobile link which can load faster just for this purpose. After all, being out of your element these days doesn’t mean you can’t keep tabs on the market or your positions.

So if you need something useful to add to your holiday gift idea list, put a web-enabled phone or PDA on the list with a data plan. Whether it’s an iPhone, Blackberry or Treo, it is great knowing that although you might physically be away from the PC that you’ll still be connected to the market whenever you have the need.

Jeff White
President, The Stock Bandit, Inc.
Swing Trading & Day Trading Service

[tags]Stock Market, Day Trading, Stock Trading, Investing, Swing Trading[/tags]

CyberTrader & Schwab Integration Update

June 15, 2007 at 7:10 pm

A little while back, I discussed how CyberTrader is integrating with Schwab, and the discussion has been somewhat ongoing about what all that will mean. Lots of traders were concerned that certain things they enjoy right now with CyberTrader might not be included unless Schwab’s StreetSmart Pro were to make some improvements. Good news – here’s an update of some details I got today through an email sent by Vincent Phillips, CEO of CyberTrader addressing some of the big items of interest:

Per-share Pricing – CyberTrader’s currently published equity pricing, including per-share pricing, will be honored at Schwab for all current CyberTrader clients regardless of your assets or trading activity. Call Client Services with any questions about your pricing.

Strategy Testing Tools – The same advanced back-testing suite you currently use is already integrated within Schwab’s StreetSmart Pro® trading platform.

Saved Layouts/Watch Lists – Upon integration, your saved CyberTrader Pro layouts and watch list settings will automatically load into StreetSmart Pro. You will not have to learn how to use a new trading platform – it will look quite familiar to you. Research – In addition to continuing to receive free and MarketEdge research, through Schwab you will also get access to proprietary content like Schwab Equity Ratings, integrated into StreetSmart Pro.

Direct-Access Orders – Schwab’s equity direct-access order-routing technology and tools were developed by CyberTrader. These tools provide clients with choices regarding where to route orders.

Advanced Order Types – In addition to currently supporting limits, stops, trailing stops and alerts with Schwab by the end of 2007 you will also have contingent order-entry capabilities to simultaneously place profit and loss order targets with your buy and sell orders.

Real-time Profit & Loss – Upon integration, you will receive streaming lot-level cost-basis data currently available in your trading platform.

Futures Data – All CyberTrader clients will receive CME® futures data through StreetSmart Pro.

Starting right out with the per-share pricing is great, although they addressed that from the very beginning. Platform-wise, I’m particularly happy to hear that the contingency orders (brackets, OTO, OCO) are still coming, and that futures data will still be available for current CT clients after the integration (since I watch them all day long).

I’ve traded with CyberTrader for several years, so I shared some of the concerns since my experience with CT has been ideal from day 1. I’ve also been a Schwab client for even longer, and I’ve never had a complaint there either. Changes in anything are not always perfect, but it looks like what’s important to me will be kept intact, and unless you’re using an API or placing basket orders, any difference between the two should be minimal. Looks like a nice list and I get the feeling they’ll keep us posted regularly going forward.

Enjoy your weekend & Happy Father’s Day!

Jeff White
President, The Stock Bandit, Inc.
Swing Trading & Day Trading Service

[tags]Stock Market, Day Trading, Stock Trading, Investing, Swing Trading[/tags]

CyberTrader Fully Integrating With Schwab

April 25, 2007 at 7:44 pm

CyberTrader Elite

I’ve been a Schwab client for about a decade now, and I’ve been trading through CyberTrader for about 4 years. CyberTrader is owned by Schwab, so it’s been no surprise to see quality customer service provided by both of them. I’ve used Schwab for my longer-term accounts and CyberTrader for my active trading accounts, but today there’s some big news I just received from CyberTrader regarding some changes coming a little later this year.

In late 2007, CyberTrader plans to fully integrate with Charles Schwab, bringing the best of both worlds together. The active trading fees will be dirt-cheap just as they currently are with CyberTrader, but some benefits will obviously come about from this integration.

CyberTrader has been the driving force for Schwab’s StreetSmart Pro platform, which is a modified version of the CyberTrader Pro platform. As a result, CyberTrader clients will be able to trade on virtually the exact same platform.

Additionally, fees will be much improved in a few areas. The Level 2 access fee at CyberTrader has been $249/month for accounts trading fewer than 40,000 shares each month, but that will drop to $10 per month at Schwab for those same accounts (it will be waived for any account with 10 trades per month). Schwab will also offer 3 free wire transfers per quarter for accounts over $100k, which is nice for us active traders who need to move funds. The account minimums will also drop, helping out the more casual traders quite a bit.

The only thing about the platform that won’t be offered (at least initially) is that StreetSmart Pro won’t offer Basket Orders, which is something that sector traders rely heavily on.

As for investment products, StreetSmart Pro won’t offer access to futures, but fixed-income vehicles and mutual funds will be available, so that’s a great way to keep everything in one place if you ask me.

The move also comes with 24/7 support and nationwide branches, so that will be great for those after-hours requests that sometime come up.

Real-time news like Briefing will still be included, which is also great.

CyberTrader is looking to make the transition easy for clients, and until late this year I’m going to stay right where I am!

Jeff White
President, The Stock Bandit, Inc.
Swing Trading & Day Trading Service

[tags]Stock Market, Day Trading, Stock Trading, Investing, Swing Trading, CyberTrader, Charles Schwab[/tags]