Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Getting burned by a slide: stops ahoy

So I placed my dueling strategies into place; one at $20.00 stop at $19.85 (there had been a lot of support just above that, figured it wouldn't trigger; was wrong) and another at $19.55, in case it broke through its support, with another stop at like $19.20 or so.

Sadly, it slid through both my stops, but that's only sad to the degree that those two plays only cost me $150, versus the $230 I lost holding my Scottrade 200 shares through the entire plummet. I know, how stupid to have the stops on one side and not the other; true story.

Moral of the story: you should never have to ride a downtrend. Every second a long position goes down at any speed costs you. If you bail at the start of a slide and pick back up once it starts to level/turn around, you can "gap" the dips and make money on each and every upswing. Of course, predicting accurately the turnaround can be a bit of a bitch; I didn't think it was going to break through its support so harshly but alas, some news moved it and down it went 5%.

Still, my strategies worked in that my losses were minimized; locked in at the level I had already determined. And much more expensive on Scottrade, where they weren't.

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