Charles Santerre's  Instablog

Charles Santerre
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Investing on my own since 2007. Investing successfully is the most challenging activity I have ever undertaken. Books that inspired me to fire my investment adviser: The Big Investment Lie, Michael Edesess; and What Wall Street Doesn't Want You To Know, Larry E. Swedroe. The Snowball: Warren... More
  • Tell Us How You Follow Nokia, Or Any Stock 17 comments
    Jan 12, 2013 7:30 AM | about stocks: NOK

    Two heads are better than one. Imagine 10 or 100!

    In this era of instant communications, complex and marvelous tools are being creating and improved upon everyday designed to provide us with a priceless resource: information.

    We have all heard of the expression "Information is power." It`s more true today than ever before. I don`t mean power in the sense of dominating over a person or a group, but power to better your own life and those you cherish.

    That`s why I thought it could be very, very useful if those who wanted to share their sources of information, or tools that they use to follow and understand Nokia, as well as how its share are traded, could do so here.

    My sources are few and simple, but I will also share an example that I received in a Stocktalk on Thursday that impressed me.

    News on Nokia: go to Set up an alert on Nokia to send you by email news as often as you wish via email. Staying on the news page itself and adding Nokia as a topic of interest can also be useful.

    Stock movement: 1) again here I am very simple. I go to and have set up a portfolio. When I set it up Google was one of the rare places where you could get a real-time price feed for free.

    2) On Thursday I believe Seppo included a link to Nasdaq Nordic where NOK1V is traded. It includes info on upcoming blocks and their bid-ask price:

    Portfolio management: again Google Finance helps me keep track on my portfolio that I have divided in two separate brokerage accounts: CIBC Investor's Edge and RBC Self-Directed. Why two brokerages? I am glad you asked. See fees below.

    Fees: 1) $6.95 per trade at CIBC Investor's Edge. The only reason I still have money here is a family connection and because we have other products with them that keeps fees lower. However if you buy US or other foreign cos in currencies other than Canadian, you will get squeezed both ways. That is why I created a second account.

    2) RBC Self-Directed Investing: RBC offers Registered Retirement Savings Plans in Canadian and US currencies with the obvious benefit of saving on change fees on transactions. Once you have money in the US account there are no more change fees. Trust me, 1% or more in fees on every transaction hurts a lot.

    That's it. I have a two-monitor setup but that is for my work as a computer tech not for stock monitoring. No expensive, customized stock monitoring software, charts and graphs, other than SMA on Google Finance.

    I am a newbie. I don't follow or believe in technicals but I believe that it does have an impact on stock movement as many follow and act on it. The market is large enough to carry many truths, lies and perspectives.

    Go ahead and share yours if you dare and don't fear giving away your advantage! Thank you in advance!

    Disclosure: I am long NOK.

    Stocks: NOK
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Comments (17)
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  • Seppo Sahrakorpi
    , contributor
    Comments (2146) | Send Message
    For NOK specific news:
    +Yahoo and Google NOK page feeds


    For raw financial data:
    Helsinki stock is on Google as NOK1V
    Helsinki short interest
    Helsinki institutional ownership:
    NYSE short interest
    NYSE institutional ownership


    Portfolio management:
    SA Portfolio
    Excel spreadsheet for book keeping, stop losses, targets, valuation calcs etc


    Fidelity, $7.95 fee per transaction
    12 Jan 2013, 12:34 PM Reply Like
  • Charles Santerre
    , contributor
    Comments (1224) | Send Message
    Author’s reply » Thank you Seppo. I forgot to add the obvious in my piece that I use SA for a lot of information discovery on NOK.
    12 Jan 2013, 01:14 PM Reply Like
  • OldWarrior
    , contributor
    Comments (2677) | Send Message
    I also use 2 Brokerages but for different reasons. I use TD Ameritrade for the tools they have, IMO the best online. I use Schwab for my trading for the cheaper(8.95 vs 9.99) trade price, but also for different tools. Example I use TD for longer term investments, and because I can build Watch Lists that I can set a "bought-at" price, and watch it over time. IMO I like Schwab's Stock screener better. If I am trading a few times a week, that $1/trade adds up, but if I am buying like $5k worth of a stock, that dollar is insignificant. I plan on at least 3 trades this coming week, a large one on TD and 2 smaller ones on Schwab.
    I listen to a lot on SA as it gives me ideas on what to research. Peter F Way for instance has taught me a lot about Market Makers strategies. Sure there is a lot of noise here; but the points to research can be Gems, or , more importantly warning signs. An example was Apple this summer. Anyone who dared criticize them was shouted down on opinions, not references. BIG red flag.
    When Apple started down, I watched the money. It didn't leave Tech, just went elsewhere. "Follow The Money"
    and Good luck!
    For news I follow MarketWatch, Bloomberg, .SA, and certain publications specific to a given sector, like for raw materials,
    I read an awfully lot of 10k's 8k's and 6k's. Even obvious scams like can point me to a company's SEC filings.
    12 Jan 2013, 08:02 PM Reply Like
  • solucky
    , contributor
    Comments (13816) | Send Message
    I use various consumer and techblogs


    "finanznachrichten"..a side that collect differrent sources including MF , DJ, SA and others.


    Broker is Consors here 5 eur / trade no additional costs.
    12 Jan 2013, 08:14 PM Reply Like
  • OldWarrior
    , contributor
    Comments (2677) | Send Message
    I usually at some point use Price to Free Cash Flow Ratios when weeding out otherwise similar stocks. PE is abused, but can be useful. When a PE is high, the P/FCF may justify a higher PE. If you have access to "The Street" ratings, while they often draw wrong conclusions, they DO have those stats on their evaluation page.
    Portfolio Management, OpenOffice Spreadsheet like Seppo, Notepad for notes, Lotta bookmarks for research, Also I subscribe to 1 newsletter, Cabot Top Ten.(have to pick through their recs carefully, but they pop up a lot of stocks I was unaware of, plus I got a great deal. The problem with them is that they are usually a day late on recs, like telling you max buy price is 34-35, when it's already to 35.50. Still, they do give good exit points if I am in one of their stocks. Having an exit point, whether it is a Price Target, or a Time Target, is more important than which stock to buy most of the time.
    I don't just read the Technical stats on a 10k, I look deeper like at pending litigation, Stock dilution paid out to employees and Directors, potential debt due dates. On some shipping stocks, I look at ship size, age, contract prices/ton. Little things that add up.
    As for Exit Strategy, I look at the charts around Dividend payment dates, Volume aberrations, Volume cycles, Relative Strength Index (RSI) Accumulation/divestiture, etc.
    12 Jan 2013, 08:46 PM Reply Like
  • OldWarrior
    , contributor
    Comments (2677) | Send Message
    Bottom line for me is that Research is my hobby, and being retired, I have the time. I get more joy out of finding little Gems, positive or negative, than I do making money. I could, and have, walked away from everything I owned, and started anew, and been as happy then as now. My things don't own me, they are just that-Things.
    I cannot afford anything I cannot walk away from.
    That goes for deals as well, You cannot afford a deal that you cannot walk away from.
    I need to spend more time on my book and less on playing with stocks this year, if I am ever to finish it.
    BTW, Going to start following your Blog a bit Seppo2, May even start one.
    12 Jan 2013, 09:17 PM Reply Like
  • Rookie IRA Investor
    , contributor
    Comments (2874) | Send Message
 is an excellent charting site where you can customize your own charts and choose from a vast number of technical indicators.


    This is where I check on the price of NOK in Finland before the US market opens.



    Yahoo finance is useful for quick option quotes, and other information about the stock. However I find the option calculators inside the TradeKing (my broker) site useful too for giving a quick read on the delta, gamma, theta etc. of options.
    13 Jan 2013, 09:22 AM Reply Like
  • KIA Investment Research
    , contributor
    Comments (13530) | Send Message
    I start my day with the wall street journal and a local san jose paper.
    I then login to Charles Schwab StreetSmart Edge which is their trading platform. From there I see how my favorite stocks are doing and begin checking the news sources. My favorite news tool are Google Alerts. For instance I have a Google Alert for [nokia "China Mobile"]. Each morning I get an email with all the news stories that match that query.
    When I'm close to buying or selling I will up the frequency of the Google Alert to "as it happens" from "once daily".


    I like Google Finance for quick 'while I'm at work' updates on my portfolio. I also like Google Finance for checking After Hours activity.
    My mobile app is Bloomberg. I have both the bloomberg app for stocks and news, and bloomberg radio app. The stocks and news app is my favorite.. it lets you create a portfolio and track it. You can then click on your stock to get charts as well as news. The only problem with the news is that's it's limited to bloomberg news (which isn't bad.)


    But the most important tool in anyone's arsenal is research.
    Don't listen to only one source, and try to know what it is you are looking for.. it does no good to only look for good news.
    13 Jan 2013, 03:35 PM Reply Like
  • OldWarrior
    , contributor
    Comments (2677) | Send Message
    I only read the articles when I go to Yahoo Finance, not the comments like on SA as there are just too many Yahoos on Yahoo.
    Google and Bloomberg are better places to go.
    14 Jan 2013, 10:59 PM Reply Like
  • Eld
    , contributor
    Comments (376) | Send Message
    I personnaly look at the cash-flows generation, how sustainable they are (by crossing with industry dynamics & competitors). I also look at the intrinsic value, and then I compare the overall with market cap and my forecasts.


    I also look at technical analysis to enter/leave a stock.
    15 Jan 2013, 09:13 AM Reply Like
  • OldWarrior
    , contributor
    Comments (2677) | Send Message
    If you want to screen with Technicals, My method is to start with comparing PE, and Price to Cash Flow. I personally only go to technicals deeper into my Eval process, and then to weed out otherwise equally attractive stocks based on Fundamentals. For my purposes, Technicals are more for developing an exit strategy than an entry point. If I am reaching a PT or TT on a stock, a quick look at PE and PTCF will often tell me if a stock is getting "grey Haired"
    16 Jan 2013, 11:22 PM Reply Like
  • Charles Santerre
    , contributor
    Comments (1224) | Send Message
    Author’s reply » Bilton:
    Would you be interested and have time to paint us a scenario, real or fictitious, on how you decide to buy or sell a stock, and for how long?
    Also, how do you combat having blood shot eyes at the end of the day staring at monitors, or plain boredom?
    Do you just research companies that interest you and is it that research that finds you stocks to day trade or invest?
    I am sure many here would find your answer a good read as usual.
    Thank you, Charles.
    17 Jan 2013, 09:09 AM Reply Like
  • bilton
    , contributor
    Comments (2425) | Send Message
    Charles, that would take a long time to explain. There are many ways to trade but like I tell people who PM me about getting into day trading, it takes a lot of education (learning and/or experience) from understanding markets to economic/other external influences to technical analysis. I tell everyone to start with the two Jesse Livermore books. He nailed how markets have worked for over 100 years. All this talk about fairness and disclosure is just smoke and mirrors. When he traded, there were bucket shops. In late 20th century, it was day trading rooms. Today it is online trading. They are all the same. First thing you have to understand is YOU do not have the same data as someone who pays for information or works for a big trading firm They get news before you do. They get analysis before you and likely in greater depth. They can substantiate rumor faster than you. They get everything before you do. But none of it matters because you are only competing against the data (in the form of quotes) that is presented to you and not to anyone else. Even being on the same broker tools, it is highly unlikely the data arrives to someone else at the exact same fraction of a second. HFT megamachines, who cares. Big money bank quant program trading, who cares. With that mindset, you learn to understand the "cycles" presented to you. With technical analysis, you can see where buyers and sellers in your data reference are becoming indecisive and when one side decides to take a new leap of faith.


    So, here is one example of trading:


    1) You find a highly volatile stock or ETF with thin bid/ask size and big bid/ask spread that results in 1 to 2 point swings in a few seconds or minutes. What does this mean? You need to understand bid and ask price and size. Bid is what buyers are offering to pay. Ask is what sellers are willing to accept.
    a) Price - These are the currently offered buy and sell price. Best way to see this visually is with a trading book tool. Most stocks like NOK you will see a bid of 4.51 and ask of 4.52. This is a small bid/ask spread. The kind of security we seek is more like a bid of 420.59 and an ask of 420.77. This is an 0.18 spread.
    b) Size - These are the number of shares available at the offered buy and sell price. Best way to see this is with a Time&Sales or LastSale tool. Many stocks have 100s or 1000s at the offer price most of the time. What you want is single or low double digits.


    It is a lot more complicated than this but that's the gist. You have a candidate.


    2) Now you need to know what the price action is. Both current and recent history need to be checked. There are many ways to do this. I use Time&Sales and a couple of charts, a 6 month daily with 10,20,50,100,120,150,200 day moving average overlaid and a 5 minute candlestick chart with 10,20,50 day moving average overlaid and 2 underlays: volume and a slow stochastic oscillator. Volume shows how intense price action is compared to recent history. The oscillator shows where a possible price direction reversal may be about to happen. The chart shows where the indecision points have occurred in the last couple of hours. The candlestick shows buyer/seller conviction for the given period. Time&Sales shows whether buyers or sellers are dominating and how big the lots are that they are pushing. This is also where the big bid/ask spread is used. If you were in a small spread stock, it would be hard to tell because buyers will buy at the bid and sellers will sell at the ask. There is more likelihood the other side will accept that. But when the spread is 0.20, do you want to surrender 0.19 of it. You are more likely to go halfway to 0.10 but not much more.


    Once again it is a lot more complicated than this but that's the gist. You have a trading system ready for entry.


    3) Entry/Entry - you have a 5 minute chart that shows where indecision has happened in the last couple of hours. Now you really need to understand candlestick charting basics and moving average behavior. That would require a bit of illustration so I will just say they show you where a good entry/exit might occur. Combine this with Time&Sales activity, and interpretation of volume and the oscillator and you increase your chance for a successful takeoff.


    I use a book trading tool so I can click a price anywhere from the bid to the ask and the order is immediately executed.


    One other thing. I use near-the-money options most often in this kind of trade to reduce risk. How is that? Because they represent a percentage of the underlying stock so they start and stop slower and they provide an additional indicator for exit.
    18 Jan 2013, 02:14 AM Reply Like
  • Charles Santerre
    , contributor
    Comments (1224) | Send Message
    Author’s reply » Bilton, Thank you. I am sure it will make an interesting read those all who read on this blog.


    What I take from your post is: the bigger the spread, the greater likelihood you can take part of it and put it in your pocket. Whereas a stock like NOK, the spread is too thin so there is no room to walk away with a portion of it. Of course it`s more complex than that but that is disregarding your tools that help you find those entry-exit points that will help you take the portion of a spread.
    18 Jan 2013, 09:26 AM Reply Like
  • bilton
    , contributor
    Comments (2425) | Send Message
    "What I take from your post is: the bigger the spread, the greater likelihood you can take part of it and put it in your pocket."


    You got it. You also need the volatility to keep the spread moving. Otherwise, it is just a price spread looking for action.
    19 Jan 2013, 04:04 AM Reply Like
  • Andreas Hopf
    , contributor
    Comments (19480) | Send Message
    I'm with Nordea (Swedish owned) and ING (Dutch owned). Both very low cost and direct trading with real-time quotes. I started investing only into businesses that I can understand because of my work, and that is found at the intersection of design/brand strategy/consumer research. I have worked and work with consumer goods manufacturers and in adjacent fields, so my prime source of information is what customers want, what customers don't yet know they want and what customers no longer want. I enjoy looking for "fallen angels". My approach is "careful neglect" & "mindful provocation". I do read blogs to understand retail investor and early adopter sentiment. I don't surf Elliott Waves and risk my board with similar technical hallucinations :)
    17 Jan 2013, 04:17 PM Reply Like
  • doggiecool
    , contributor
    Comments (4920) | Send Message
    I identify God awful, stinky, beat up, left for dead companies, that have massive revenues, cash flow and restructuring.


    Once identified, I scour the planet for information regarding the prospects of the company(s).


    I try to get information before it makes the mainstream outlets. Otherwise, I'm a firm believer of getting ahead of the crowd. I will attend trade shows of where these companies will be attending (CES, MWC, etc). I will go to their booths and inquire about their company and the goods they are promoting. Usually after a day or two, you will get a good or bad feeling about their prospects. Generally speaking, if their booth is dead, so is the company. The year Google released the android OS, MWC was completely buzzing about Google. You could sense it in the air. Something big was coming. I will be looking forward to this years MWC show.
    17 Jan 2013, 04:44 PM Reply Like
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