Thank You

I’ve learned a lot this year. I started this blog a few days before I got married in April with the purpose of getting my thoughts on the market written down and sharing them with whoever had an interest. One of the difficulties I had last year was the constant flood of information and opinions that knocked me around like a buoy in the ocean. I thought if I was able to write what I thought it would help define my thinking and make me a better analyst and trader.

2012 brought a lot of changes for me; I got married, got settled in with a new firm, started competing in BBQ competitions, and learned a heck of a lot about the markets along the way. In late 2011 I moved back to Indiana and I’ve truly enjoyed working alongside Adam Harter, who I’ve picked up a lot from over the last year about fundamental research and bond analysis. I have many of you to thank for the progress I’ve made as not only a market participant but a writer.

My wife, Abby, is obsessed with Twitter. I always saw her checking her stream on her phone but never gained an interest to be more involved on the 140 character social media site. But with starting the blog I thought it’d be a good idea to get more involved. Twitter has now changed everything for me. It’s where I get the lion’s share of news updates and gives me the chance to connect with other traders and asset managers I would never have the opportunity to otherwise. Barry Ritholtz once said that his favorite aspect of Twitter is the fact that he can surround himself with some of the smartest investors in the world and keep up-to-date on their opinions.

While I’ve grown in my understanding of technical analysis and the markets in general, there have been some bloggers/traders that have had a great influence on me.  J.C. Parets stands out the most. J.C. is an excellent writer, posting something thought-provoking almost daily at his Allstarcharts.com blog. His views are unique and have challenged me to look at things through a different scope than I normally would. Chris Kimble at Kimble Charting Solutions has the ability to say so much in so few words. He can post a chart spanning 20 years and bring your focus in to the important levels of a security or market. Chris strips down technical analysis to its core, looking at long-term trend lines and important junctures in sectors to commodities to indexes to bonds. More recently I’ve been talking with Jason at ChartLearning.com, who seems to have a similar approach to evaluating the markets that I do. I’m always interesting in seeing how he views the latest price action and indicators. I also have a lot of appreciation for Barry Ritholtz. His is one of the first sites I began reading back when I left college and started in the investment industry. He collects, writes, and publishes some of the best content on the web. There are many others, but the post would be far too long to name everyone.

I also want to thank the entire StockTwits community and blogging network. There are so many original thinkers and excellent traders that are active on StockTwits it’s almost overwhelming. Phil, Howard, and the rest of the StockTwits team have done an excellent job at constantly improving and tweaking the site, never settling for the status quo.

Finally I want to thank Josh and Phil. While always striving to be a better blogger I reached out to Phil Pearlman and Josh Brown to get their insight and feedback on how I could improve. I thought I’d get back a one line response from each of them that they were too busy to talk…nothing could be further from the truth. Phil quickly setup a time for us to Skype and he gave me the brutal truth of what I needed to change, advising me to drop the Trend Spectator name and to make some improvements to the site. Josh is one of the top financial bloggers out there, producing more content and better quality content than just about anyone, all while doing segments for CNBC, writing  for other sites and working full-time as an advisor in NYC. With that kind of schedule he still was kind enough to talk to me about focusing on what I wanted to get out of my blog and the key things I should be doing to accomplish them. It was a pleasure having the chance to meet both Phil and Josh at the Big Picture conference a few months ago, I’ll always be grateful for the help they’ve given me.

I’ve really enjoyed writing this year; I’m far from being the most profound author or the most eloquent. But this blog and the relationships I’ve made in 2012 have had a large impact on the improvement I’ve been able to make. I never plan to stop learning, adapting, or trying new things. I’m happy I’ve had the opportunity to meet people and find other great bloggers who keep challenging me to be better.

I wish you all a Happy New Year and I hope 2013 brings wonderful things for each of you.

Disclaimer: Do not construe anything written in this post or this blog in its entirety as a recommendation, research, or an offer to buy or sell any securities. Everything in this post is meant for educational and entertainment purposes only. I or my affiliates may hold positions in securities mentioned in the blog. Please see my Disclosure page for full disclaimer. Connect with Andrew on Google+.

Has The VIX Run Out of Steam?

The equity markets are at an interesting crossroads right now. Many of the short-term charts I watch are giving some hints of an oversold market while longer-dated price action is showing some breaking down in equities that could take us lower. However, we still must contend with end of the year window dressing and the fiscal cliff nonsense.

With the weakness in stocks over the past few weeks we’ve seen the $VIX start to tick higher. Today I want to look at an interesting way to find  mean-reversion opportunities in the Volatility index. The current level in the $VIX is still under 20, so we aren’t quite to a price extreme but it’s still enjoyed a nice run and might be due for some kind of pull back.

The chart we are going to look at has the Volatility index in the top panel with the Rate of Change (ROC) indicator in the bottom panel. The absolute level of the ROC indicator doesn’t tell us much. For that reason I’ve overlapped the Bollinger Bands on top of the ROC. This helps us get a sense of when Rate of Change might be ‘out of bounds’ in relation to the two bands.

vixAs you can see, when the black ROC indicator breaks above the top Bollinger Band we often see a period of weakness in the $VIX. Now this isn’t always the case, as not every indicator works all the time. But this is a great example of how we can use two different indicators, the Rate of Change and the Bollinger Bands together in order to get a better idea of what a security or index is doing.

Disclaimer: Do not construe anything written in this post or this blog in its entirety as a recommendation, research, or an offer to buy or sell any securities. Everything in this post is meant for educational and entertainment purposes only. I or my affiliates may hold positions in securities mentioned in the blog. Please see my Disclosure page for full disclaimer. Connect with Andrew on Google+.

The Technical Analysis and Trader Blogs You Should Be Reading

I hope everyone is staying warm today, we are supposed to get a blizzard here in Indianapolis…. so that should be fun. As the end of the year approaches many bloggers begin to reflect on the past year or post lists of blogs, predictions for the next year, or stats about window dressing trading. Josh (as always) has a great post up about the blogs and websites he reads. As I’ve mentioned a few times on my site, thereformedbroker.com is one of my go-to blogs and if I could only visit five sites all day, it would definitely be on that list.

Sticking to my personal focus of technical analysis, here are some of Josh’s (and many are ones I read as well) favorite trader blogs and websites:

Market Montage
All Star Charts
The Armo Trader
Dynamic Hedge
Downtown Trader
Kimble Charting Solutions
ZorTrades

Zikomo Letter

Price Action Lab

Dr. J Blog (OptionMonster)
Peter Brandt

High Chart Patterns
Derek Hernquist

Upside Trader

The Kirk Report
Slope of Hope

Dragonfly Capital
Joe Fahmy
Risk Reversal
Vix and More
Bill Cara
Maoxian

Quantifiable Edges
Afraid To Trade
AlphaTrends
Condor Options
Surfview Capital
SMB Capital
Dynamic Hedge
Andrew Thrasher
Dragonfly Capital
ChessNWine
Mercenary Trader
Investing With Options
The Trend Rida
Crosshairs Trader
Ivanhoff Capital
Chicago Sean
Bigger Capital

The whole list is well worth a read and a bookmark for future reference. I’ll be back tomorrow with my regular postings of market analysis.

Source: ENTER THE FINANCIAL BLOGOSPHERE (The Reformed Broker)

Disclaimer: Do not construe anything written in this post or this blog in its entirety as a recommendation, research, or an offer to buy or sell any securities. Everything in this post is meant for educational and entertainment purposes only. I or my affiliates may hold positions in securities mentioned in the blog. Please see my Disclosure page for full disclaimer. Connect with Andrew on Google+.