Monday, October 18, 2010

Bluechip Bulldog

The number of good quality and free market sites, WITH real time collaborations going in is getting slimmer, the following commentary from Bluechip Bulldog blog are an example of why I visit their site, especially on days where I can trade.

From Brinkley at Bluechip Bulldog

 Bears Fight While the Market Takes Flight

When the rally off the summer lows first got underway, pessimism had reached extreme levels and the prophets of doom were out in droves. We heard about dreaded Hindenburg Omens, Cardinal Climaxes, and in essence the end of civilization as we know it. Richard Russell put out an urgent call to liquidate assets and "batten down the hatches," Elliot Wave gurus warned of a coming crash, and investors were understandably scared to touch stocks. As I said at the time and have continued to point out since, such are the breeding grounds of bull markets. This is particularly true when the stock universe starts to be populated by a multitude of charts putting in sound bases while revealing increasing evidence of buying on weakness, another phenomenon taking place at the time. Be that as it may, the investing public has been mistrustful of each and every new move higher, waiting for the other shoe to drop, while bears have persistently (and painfully) attempted to short the rally they give no credence to. And ironically, it is precisely this fear and skepticism that has served to fuel the rally higher. Meanwhile, charts and market breadth have strengthened with bullish patterns popping up across a wide range of sectors. Those watching the market action closely the past few months were given repeated and clear signals that stocks intended to move higher, and so they have. Perhaps the most important trading lesson I've learned over the years is that as counter-intuitive as it may seem, one's opinion of the economy should be kept separate and apart from one's analysis of the market. The market itself will always be your best guide to successful trading: listen to it.

I chimed in with an observation on the Solar PV marketplace, and expected fundamental on Solar companies....wait weren't we supposed to keep economy and market analysis separate....hehe

Brinks, being in the solar business, I rarely play any solar stocks as the industry has seen a massive influence of exuberant players in the market, and likely margins will get pressured (if there is any profit at all anywhere) as the weaker hands get forced out of the market.

However, that said, the Federal Gov is handing our 30% grant check within 60 days of project completion instead of a long waited tax credit. Many companies can't use the tax credits, or maybe only over years, so this grant is creating a bubble in which I am scrapping to even obtain PV panels at all, I buy every one I can, whenever I can get my hands on the quality ones,

Bottom line--because of this "new bubble" created by gov legislation, earnings for everyone in the manufacture business of PV ought to be good this 3Q and especially 4Q. This grant is set to expire at the end of this year, but as a sneaky play I bet Obama brings it back as part of QE2. For now---bubble on!

 And from another Bluechipper--and I do have to say...everytime the market gets moving, it seems that TOS just gets spastic, slow, inaccurate.   They are still coming out with good new features, but after the takeover by Ameritrade...expected degradation in service appears clear.

 An enquiry into the relative performance of competing platforms.

I have through the years had retail accounts with various brokers, both discount and full price. Schwab,Siebert,Thompson.TOS ,Lightspeed,Infinity,FXCM,Cannon,TradeStation,etc.

Many will recognize theses names as being full-range as well as specialized brokerage firms.

I have, for the last few years, been using TOS and comparing it to some of the others listed; stock vs stock, fx vs fx futures vs futures.

My experience is as follows:

If you are serious about fx, don't even bother with TOS, as fill price and execution seem to be an after-thought to the company. I have watched as trades never fill whilst the price runs through the order price for minutes, or worse, fill at horrendous prices whilst execution on other platforms is consistently quick and reliable.

If you trade futures, you might use TOS as a backup in the case that your real broker has some hick-up in their system. Otherwise, same experience as with fx. I have many times watched an order trade on other platforms 30 seconds or more before the price even registers on TOS. As for their Time and Sales data...

Stocks are a toss up, though this may be due to the fact that I do not trade any size in Equities, usually only 100 shares at a time. In the past I traded 1k whilst scalping, but the execution and fill price I found lacking.

Options on TOS seem to be the real jewel . There are a lot of things to like.

I prefer their charts by far over most other platforms, when the data is not on vacation or simply wrong, which seems to be more and more often. Sigh. In a fast moving market I am getting more and more uncomfortable with TOS's data.

My intention is not to trash any platform, but rather to offer an honest account of my experience. I have a tremendous amount of screen time invested in the TOS platform over the last 4 years or so and would hate to have to change. But the never-ending and increasing data discrepancies as well as platform performance issues are very worrisome to my soul.

If anyone is experiencing better performance with a suitable retail broker, please inform me. Or if your experience with TOS is different or the same, I would appreciate your input.

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Insightful and Useful Comment!