Jan 4, 2012

Trade-Ideas Fundamentals

Written by Katie Gomez

Trading is hard.  By selecting Trade-Ideas, you choose a powerful tool to find opportunities in the market. At the same time we task ourselves with making sure you get the most out of our technology.  With the new year comes the opportunity to review the basics and extract even more value from the use of Trade Ideas.  Here are some fundamentals you don’t want to miss.


Most of our traders know volatility is important. But do you know how to use it to your advantage?  If you like looking at charts, you are picking up on volatility whether you know it or not.  A typical market view window will hide the volatility from you.  Several of our filters are available with or without volatility.  Look for the filter icons that look like stock charts.  The filters based on stock chart patterns take volatility into account.   

Negative numbers

We have a lot of videos and articles on this subject.  People still ask us, “I only see ‘Gap up.’ How do I find a stock which is gapping down?”  The simplest answer is to start with the positive case of the filter, and then use the flip button to get the reverse.  If you’re still confused by our use of negative numbers, use this page to verify that you are setting up the filter correctly.  


Our focus is never on individual numbers, like the today’s volume or today’s opening price.  Taken out of context, these mean nothing.  We like to talk about a stock’s normal behavior, and find it doing something interesting right now that is different from its normal Behavior.
For example, a lot of users will say, “I only want to see stocks that have traded at least 1,000,000 shares today.”  What does that mean?  You won’t trade TNA until 15 minutes after the market opens, but you’ll start trading BAC only a minute or two after the market opens?  You don’t start trading GOLD until lunch time?  That’s probably not what you meant, but it’s a common mistake.  We’ll let you do that if you really want, but please consider average daily volume or current volume instead.  Here is a link to a helpful video about volume

Alerts vs. Filters / Top List vs. Alert Window

An alert is an event.  You are notified when the event described for the strategy occurs.  It is like telling the software, “When XYZ happens, tell me.”  You will see fewer alerts when nothing is going on in the market.  Compared to alerts, filters last for some period of time.  These are useful when you want to periodically check on stocks that you like. 
A top list window is like the evening news; the news lasts for the same amount of time every day regardless of what happened today.  The alert window is like a hurricane warning; the TV starts beeping at you and displaying time-critical information.  Click to view a helpful video about alerts

You don’t have to use everything

Think of our software like Baskin Robbins.  Don’t be offended or confused when you see diet ice-cream or some strange thing from Italy.  Tell the clerk that you want strawberry with chocolate sprinkles on top.  A lot of our most successful traders only use 2 or 3 of our alerts and fewer than 10 filters.  We offer so many choices because different traders like different things. 
When you start your complementary one-on-one training, tell the trainer the sorts of things you like to see.  He will point you to a good starting place and help you to configure a relevant strategy.  You can explore more at your own pace.  Go here to schedule a one-on-one training session. 
These are some of the most important and the most underused tools that we offer.  If you only have a little time for education, start here.