The 6 Steps a Stock Doctor takes

Posted by Tyler Bollhorn -

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perspectives_commentary-1 Perspectives for the week ending June 11, 2010

The Stock Doctor

In this week’s issue:

Weekly Commentary
Strategy of the Week
Stocks That Meet The Featured Strategy


Have you ever thought about breaking your trading decision down the way a doctor looks at a problem? Imagine if a doctor made decisions on your health using the same process as you use to make trading decision. I am quite sure that many people make “instinctive” trading decisions that hurt their financial health, so let’s consider a series of steps that should be taken in the trading process.

The first thing you need to do is figure out what the situation is. Are the buyers or sellers in control? You answer that question by looking at the stock chart and whether there are rising bottoms on the chart or falling tops. Rising bottoms means the buyers are in control while falling tops show the sellers are strong. Look at six month time frame to judge the near term sentiment but also look at a two year chart to get a feel for the longer term sentiment.

Have they just taken control or are we nearing the end of their reign? For this, check the two year chart and see how long one side or the other has been in control of the market. Keep in mind that one side could be in control in the relative short term while the other side could be dominant in the longer term. This can set up a good opportunity since the longer term time frame will usually win over the shorter, providing a trading opportunity for someone who times the reversal back in favor of the longer term time frame.

Is the stock trading rationally or emotionally? A rational market will be in a linear trend. An emotional market will be much steeper, more of a curve. Emotional markets usually regress back to the linear trend line, setting up another type of trading opportunity.

Finally, is the stock trading in a way that provides opportunity? Most stocks, most of the time do, not provide a good trading opportunity because they are efficiently priced. However, a great trading opportunity may exist in cases where the market is trading emotionally or where there is important new information coming in to the market.

With diagnosis you can make a prognosis, a telling of what will happen in the future. A stock that has gone up with emotional buying will eventually correct. A stock breaking down from a pessimistic trading pattern will likely go in to a downward trend. Abnormal buying on strong volume out of a period of sideways trading often leads to a strong upward trend.

Correct Prognosis is only profitable if it is well timed and it is the timing of trade entry that is the most difficult. You can go broke by making the correct diagnosis and prognosis if you don’t time the entry correctly. I always look for a trigger to prove my Prognosis correct. If I am considering shorting a stock that has gone up with emotional buying, I want to see a break of the upward trend line as the trigger to take the short. For me to take a trade, the market has to show a little hint that I am right. This means I will get in just slightly late but it also dramatically increases the probability that I am right.

With Verification comes the cue to execute the trade. With good diagnosis and prognosis, this is a simple matter of completing the transaction. However, with every execution you must also know under what conditions your diagnosis or prognosis has been proven wrong. This is the stop loss point, the price level where the market has told you to exit the trade and go back in to diagnosis mode. You must know your stop loss point at the time you execute the entry for your emotional self will change your interpretation of what the market is telling you once you are in the trade.

As the market evolves and prices change, always evaluate. Remember that the market is not a perfect pricing mechanism, there is a lot of uncertainty and that causes price fluctuations around the general price move. Buying a stock with the correct diagnosis, prognosis and verification does not mean that it will instantly go in to an upward trend and a failure to do so means you were wrong in some way. Expect and accept some deviation from the plan but if the stock goes off course to the point that you have been proven wrong, get out of the trade.

If everything works out and you make the right trade, the winning trade, then there will come a time when the trade will have played itself out and it is time to exit. The completion is the most difficult step in the process because it requires the patience to wait for the play to develop. You must work to maximize profit when you are right and minimize loss when you are wrong.

Take these trading elements to heart and work through them individually every time you trade. Whether I am doing a day trade to hold for the next 10 minutes or a position trade to hold for the next 10 months, I always break the trade down in to these steps. Actually, there are times when I make mistakes and don’t do each step, and when I do, it always seems to cost me money.


This past week was an important one for the stock markets. On Tuesday, stocks found support at the same place that they found support on May 25th and bounced. That is not enough for a reversal, I wanted to see a break of the downward trend line that had been in place since late in April. A late day rally Friday accomplished that for the Dow and S&P 500 indexes who both made the important break through support at the downward trend line.

This means we have likely see the low and the market is now more likely to go higher than lower. The US markets fell harder than the Canadian so they will have more to gain. However, I think the Canadian markets have more potential longer term, provided the US dollar can back up after its extreme strength relative to global currencies.

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1. T.NSU
Cup and handle breakout on T.NSU (which also trades on the AMEX as NSU) on strong volume. Support at $2.85.


Good break through resistance on NOVL today, not an ideal situation because of resistance from 2008 and volume was not too strong. I would look for a confirmation signal for entry on the 15 minute chart. Support at $5.75.


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Tyler Bollhorn started trading the stock market with $3,000 in capital, some borrowed from his credit card, when he was just 19 years old. As he worked through the Business program at the University of Calgary, he constantly followed the market and traded stocks. Upon graduation, he could not shake his addiction to the market, and so he continued to trade and study the market by day, while working as a DJ at night. From his 600 square foot basement suite that he shared with his brother, Mr. Bollhorn pursued his dream of making his living buying and selling stocks.

Slowly, he began to learn how the market works, and more importantly, how to consistently make money from it. He realized that the stock market is not fair, and that a small group of people make most of the money while the general public suffers. Eventually, he found some of the key ingredients to success, and turned $30,000 in to half a million dollars in only 3 months. His career as a stock trader had finally flourished.

Much of Mr Bollhorn’s work was pioneering, so he had to create his own tools to identify opportunities. With a vision of making the research process simpler and more effective, he created the Stockscores Approach to trading, and partnered with Stockgroup in the creation of the web site. He found that he enjoyed teaching others how the market works almost as much as trading it, and he has since taught hundreds of traders how to apply the Stockscores Approach to the market.

This is not an investment advisory, and should not be used to make investment decisions. Information in Stockscores Perspectives is often opinionated and should be considered for information purposes only. No stock exchange anywhere has approved or disapproved of the information contained herein. There is no express or implied solicitation to buy or sell securities. The writers and editors of Perspectives may have positions in the stocks discussed above and may trade in the stocks mentioned. Don’t consider buying or selling any stock without conducting your own due diligence.