My Favorite Follows on StockTwits

In the three years I’ve been a market participant, StockTwits has quickly become an invaluable tool for me. This community is home to some of the smartest market participants out there, and the platform allows for a constant flow of market information, healthy debate, and knowledge sharing. With that being said, in order to fully take advantage of this powerful tool, it’s important to curate your own stream with users who provide the information that helps you to navigate the markets and improve your own process. Regardless of your timeframe, strategy, or education level, I can guarantee that if you take the time to curate a stream of your own, StockTwits will become a valuable tool for you as well.

Before I get into my 5 favorite follows, I just want to echo the recommendations that Ryan Detrick and J.C. Parets made in the posts that preceded mine. I agree wholeheartedly with their favorite follows, but in an effort to avoid repetition I’ll focus on five that have yet to be mentioned.

Without further ado, here are my 5 favorite follows on StockTwits:

Howard Lindzon @HowardLindzon – I know this one seems like a total copout, but hear me out on my reasoning. When you follow Howard, you’re essentially following 100s of the best market participants on the site.  Not only does Howard share his own trades and commentary on the markets, but he’s constantly sharing work from, and interacting with, some of the best and brightest minds on the site. Plus, Howard has a vested interest in the site; therefore you know he’s going to be consistently adding value to the stream.

SeeItMarket @SeeItMarket – Though this second one may seem like a plug since the members of DRC and I have started to contribute to this site recently, the reasoning for its presence on the list is very similar to Howard’s. When you follow this account your stream is going to be filled with quality, timely content from all of their contributors. The list seems almost endless and ranges from folks like Ryan Detrick to Ben Carlson and Venky Srinivasan.  Andrew Nyquist, the site’s founder, has done a great job at building a stream that offers a variety of perspectives on almost any market you can think of. Regardless of timeframe, strategy, or education level, there’s bound to be something for everyone on this stream.

Jon Boorman @JBoorman – If trend following is your thing, Boorman is a must follow! He was one of my first follows when I first began learning about markets almost three years ago and I can honestly say his insights have been invaluable. Whether you’re looking for thoughts on position sizing and portfolio management, or for stocks setting up for big moves, Jon’s stream is the place to be. Also, if you happen to catch his streams on Periscope you can witness him crushing the music game as well!

Greg Harmon @HarmonGreg – If you’re interested in incorporating options into your process, Greg Harmon is the guy to follow. He’s consistently sharing great charts and market analysis for a variety of asset classes from around the world. Greg is always looking to utilize options in a way to manage risk and express his market views in a more capital-efficient way, which offers a nice change of perspective from those simply trading the underlying.

Ivaylo Ivanov @Ivanhoff – Whether it is interesting charts or setups, quotes and insights from the best market participants, or just quick comments or analysis of a particular market or stock, Ivan’s shares are always timely and insightful. I find myself constantly referring to his stream for stocks making moves that I may have missed during my own analysis, as well as to gain a perspective on where the momentum in the market is.

There are a lot more great follows on the stream, but these are a few of my favorites. Check out the full list of people I follow on StockTwits and build your own curated list to help you navigate financial markets and accelerate your learning process.

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The Power of Social

For better or for worse, social media has become an integral part of our personal and professional lives. Whether you’re applying to college, searching for a job, or just trying to find the “perfect” significant other, you can rest assured that your counterparty will be combing through your online presence at some point. In fact, in the “Recruiters Nation 2015 Survey”, 92% of recruiters said they used social media in at least part of their process of recruiting candidates. Roughly 86% of respondents reported using LinkedIn, followed by Facebook and Twitter at 55% and 47% respectively.

Additional studies have suggested that recruiters and other third parties will even Google your name as part of their process, likely giving them full access to your whole online presence: everything from your blog to that selfie you posted on Instagram a few years back. This can be a huge positive, or negative, depending on how strategically you curate what information you post on the interwebs. While you might think that selfie might not make you appear to be a more attractive candidate, industry data suggests that simply posting to a personal website on occasion can give you a big leg up. In a study conducted by Workfolio in 2013, 56% of all hiring managers stated that they were more impressed by a candidate’s personal website than any other personal branding tool; however, only 7% of job seekers actually have a personal website. Moreover, it wouldn’t surprise me if both the numbers discussed above have increased in the two years since the survey was conducted, but either way, it’s clear that candidates with a personal website have a quantifiable edge over their peers.

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Analyst vs. Market Participant

On the surface, being an analyst and being a market paricipant seem almost identical in nature. Both parties are analyzing various asset classes from around the world to identify potentially skewed risk/reward opportunities to profit from. The steps following that analysis are what really separate the two parties.

An analyst is paid for his/her research / expertise in an area and never actually commits any capital his/her self. Their job is to provide information for other people to make decisions, essentially making their goal to be right, or at least convince people that they’re right, as often as possible.

Market participants however, take the process a step further in actually putting capital to work based on their analysis. In this sense, market participants are concerned only with making money, not with being right, making risk management their number one priority at all times.

This is a distinction that I see reiterated over and over again in my own trading, with these last few weeks providing me with a number of frustrating, but prime examples. (See tweets & outcomes below)
Europechart

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Technical Analysis Guide

A few months ago I created a Technical Analysis “crash course” to help one of my good friends prepare for his summer internship. I’ve shared it with a few people and it proved to be of value to them, so I decided to clean it up and share it via PDF below.

Please feel free to download and share it with those whom you think may benefit from the information it provides.

It is a free download. My only request is that you provide feedback so I can periodically update/improve the content to better serve the needs of those trying to learn about the subject.

Technical Analysis Guide

As always, if you have any questions feel free to reach out and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.

Price Targets and Me

One of the main things that’s hammered into financial market participants’ minds is how to determine, and what to do, if you’re wrong. Something that I see discussed less frequently is what to do if you’re right. Now this topic encompasses a lot of material depending on how you think about the question, but for this post I want to discuss price targets.

If a stock starts moving your way, how do you know where to take profits? Unless your stock is on a one way trip to the moon, you’re going to need a plan for where to exit.

To me, a price target is defined as an area where the risk/reward of a stock is no longer in my favor to the degree I’m comfortable with.

There are a variety of ways to determine price targets including measured moves, Fibonacci retracements & extensions, prior support & resistance levels, levels on indicators, etc… There is no right or wrong way to determine price targets, it depends on your strategy, but it’s important to have some sort of method.

For me, I like to use measured moves, prior support & resistance levels and Fibonacci retracements & extensions to determine price targets.

Depending on the trades thesis, I think it’s important to have targets on each timeframe so you can avoid sitting through all the counter trend moves along the way. I look at markets on a weekly and daily timeframe, so I have structural targets (weekly) and tactical targets (daily) for every symbol I follow.

Structural Targets: I use the weekly timeframe to determine the long term trend and health of the overall market. This is helpful in identifying opportunities for investors and position traders with longer holding periods. It is also helpful to know what is going on on a higher timeframe when looking at the daily for tactical trading opportunities.

Below is a weekly chart of APPL. The trend was clearly higher with price above the uptrend line from the ’08 lows and a rising 200 week simple moving average. When prices broke above the ’12 highs and made new all time highs, I used the 161.8% extension of the ’12-’13 pullback to determine where I though prices would head next. Since then, prices hit my target so I’d be out, waiting for more consolidation or a pullback before getting involved again on the long side. Does this mean that I think AAPL’s major uptrend is in jeaporady? No, but the risk/reward at current levels is a lot less appealing up here than when it broke out.

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