Monday, April 24, 2006

A new beginning

Day 15 - Monday
Total Account Value: $5921
Available Equity: $2886
Positions Opened: 6
Positions Closed: 3

Apart from a minor frustrating episode this morning, the past four days could not have gone smoother. My girlfriend and I went for a relaxing weekend retreat that included a deep tissue massage and a variety of relaxation pools and spa baths. The massage therapist said there were knots all over my upper back. It could have been caused by my four-days-a-week gym regimen but I suspect sitting at a computer all day had something to do with it.

Oh, and I somehow managed to generate more than $1100 over the last two trading days. That's a 23% gain on my account balance. The most pleasing aspect of today's trading was that unlike Friday when I was still staring at a $1000+ loss, much of my winnings have now been safely banked. $842 today all up.

The one bad aspect of the weekend I spoke of happened this morning when my craving for a $5 hot breakfast overwhelmed me. On a detour before heading home I parked on a city street before realising I had only 15c in change for the meter. Inspectors are always crawling around. In the desperate search for change in the glovebox and on the car floor I got frustrated a left the car, forgetting to take my keys out of the ignition. Now no change AND no keys! I ran to a corner bar to ask for change but they were closed - my yanking on the locked door probably made me sound like a desperate drunkard. Not many other stores were around. All I could find was a florist but they were too tightarse to trade me some of their precious change. Luckily a friendly bookseller helped me out.

To cut a long story short, I bought my long awaited breakfast (eggs, bacon, toast) which turned out to be runny and unappetizing. Roadside assistance took one hour to arrive in the Melbourne CBD after I made the call, despite the operator assuring me of a 30 minute ETA. Not to mention the 10 minutes on hold. Sitting idle in the cold, seeing off a couple of parking inspector twits and missing the first hour of trading gave me the shits.

But my account balance had only increased since yesterday! My big winner Healthscope (HSP) was starting to weaken after the slowcoaches forced the price to gap open but do little else. When I closed out, final profit was a handsome $708.

I then set about consolidating on CSM by adding to the short position when the price started to gather downward momentum and the sellers were in numbers. I'm liking this stock so far because of all the others I've been monitoring (with the exception of MAP and MIG), it appears very predictable and retains its direction throughout the day.

I took profits on COA as it looks prone to sharp swings and is a little too thinly traded for my liking. It went on to fall further which I suspected, but that's the way trading goes and I'm not too fussed. A similar situation happened with CPU which I shorted and closed in the same session. I had a large position size and was just a little tenative about what it would do. This was a case of thinking too much. I opened the trade for a reason - it definitely looks like indecision will turn into bearishness - and I should have left it alone without constantly looking at the depth screen.

Macquarie Bank has completed the handle in a teacup pattern and closed strongly on the back of decent volume. I think it will definitely make some nice gains in the next few days as the bears failed to force it as low as it should have gone in the last week. Appears to be much positive sentiment about this stock.

I'm overall very happy with my situation because I'm closing positions at the right time, managing my stop losses better and waiting for reliable signals. Also, I'm thinking about the near future and building a portfolio that will not either succeed or fall over within one day. This has happened in the past two weeks and left me vulnerable.

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