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Frank started market timing in 1982 when the Federal Reserve cut interest rates and sparked the 1980’s bull rally. Realizing that this rally could have been forecasted, he began to search for indicators which had similar forecasting ability. Within a year, his first newsletter was launched,... More
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  • Powershares QQQ Trust (NASDAQ: QQQQ) Break Support

    June 8, 2010

    Shares of the ETF Powershares QQQ Trust (NASDAQ: QQQQ) have broken below two important support levels.

    On Monday, June 7, the Q’s closed at $44.27, well below the 61.8% retracement of the entire February to April advance at $44.57.

    The Q’s also closed below its 200-day moving average, currently at $44.79; a level many investors consider the dividing line between a bull market and a bear market.

    These broken support levels are likely pointing to further declines ahead. The one hope is a reversal to the upside on Tuesday, June 8. That would constitute a lack of follow-through after Monday’s bearish break of support.

    If we get the reversal on Tuesday with a close well above these just broken support levels, there is a chance for at least a short term rally considering the oversold market conditions. If not, the Q’s may be headed for a test of their February 5 lows at $42.12.

    Disclosure: The ( ETF Timing Strategy holds a position in the Powershares QQQ Trust
    Jun 07 4:35 PM | Link | Comment!
  • Market Timing Discipline, Not As Easy As You Thought

    Market timing discipline means controlling impulses and controlling emotions. When emotions rule our trading, loses are usually the result.

    This is why successful market timers follow a thoroughly tested timing strategy. One that has been used in all kinds of markets, including bull, bear and sideways markets.

    As many novice market timers can tell you, however, maintaining discipline is often easier said than done.

    Usually the first problem arises when the markets are between market trends. Possibly you had a nice profit during a rally, but now the market is trading sideways and has generated a small loss on a false signal. There is no trend, or one is certainly not obvious.

    You were strong the first couple of signals, making all the trades, but after this loss you are starting to second guess the timing strategy.

    Self-Doubt Arises

    Just as the vast majority of market participants are driven by fear and greed, many new market timers find it difficult to avoid succumbing to self-doubt and panic.

    Market timing is challenging in that we often take positions "against" the prevailing sentiment of most traders. It also has times when false signals are generated. But a good strategy does not stick with the false signal. it changes and protects capital from large losses.

    Losses are part of trading with "all" successful strategies. Small losses are acceptable. Large ones are not.

    And remember this, sideways markets are almost always either a base, or a top, and are followed by the next profitable trend. If you do not take all the trades, how will be sure to take the one that generates all the profits?

    Invariably, the trade you skip, is the big profit maker. The one that starts the next huge trend. And there is "always" a next trend. In fact, 200 years of trading history shows the markets are in a trend 80% of the time. That 20% in between can be rough, but soon the next trend will begin.

    Discipline is key. It is vital to take whatever steps are necessary to maintain discipline and take every trade.

    Markets Are Unpredictable In Short Time Frames

    The markets are chaotic and unpredictable in short time frames. The current volatility being a perfect example. When faced with an uncertain set of circumstances, it is easy to see why market timers may, at times, feel unsure and unsettled.

    Timers follow strategies that provide entry and exit signals based on timing strategies designed to be profitable over time. Strategies that are also designed to protect their capital during the inevitable sideways markets.

    But no timer can know with certainty how any "one" buy or sell decision will play out. Some market timers thrive on the excitement, but many find it disconcerting.

    The best way to combat feelings of uncertainty is by following a trading plan. If one trades with a detailed trading plan, such as the strategies offered at, he or she will impose structure onto an unstructured reality.

    The more structure you have to follow, the less uncertain and unorganized you'll feel. You will know what to do and when to do it.

    The markets may seem at times like a mass of confusion, but you can address it by following a strategy that actually uses the volatility of the markets to generate timing signals.

    Optimistic Yet Realistic

    One's mood and attitude is another factor that impacts the ability to maintain discipline. An optimistic yet realistic attitude is vital to maintain market timing success.

    Market timing often places you at odds with the current market sentiment. It is understandably hard to feel optimistic when your position is at odds with the majority.

    Many market timers struggle with trying to maintain a positive or at least neutral mood.

    It takes practice.

    Emotions And Decision Making

    Maintaining discipline is vital for market timing success. It can be extremely difficult at times, especially in sideways (non-trending) markets.

    The best way to be disciplined is to stick to your timing strategy and keep your emotions and impulses under control.

    Take a look at the trading history of the strategy you are following. Every timing strategy at FibTimer has a "Trading History" link. You will see times when it generated losses. On paper they seem insignificant. But when they occurred, subscribers had difficulty making the trades.

    Note that the trading histories posted are real-time. They are not backtested. Fibtimer has been in business through two bear markets (since the mid-90s) and has no backtested results posted.

    Now look at the results of the trading strategy after a year. Two years. Three years. Those small losses did not stop the strategies from being very profitable. This important fact will help you to stay the course and make all of the trades.

    Only by maintaining discipline can you realize long term success timing the markets.

    Disclosure: no positions
    Jun 04 3:09 PM | Link | Comment!
  • S&P 500 Index (SPX) & S&P Deposit Receipts (NYSE: SPY) Still Below 200 Day Average

    June 4, 2010

    Both the S&P 500 Index (SPX) and its tracking ETF the S&P Deposit Receipts (NYSE: SPY) continued to gain ground but have not been able to close above their 200-day moving averages.

    The 200-day average is, for many, the dividing line between bear market and bull market. Even with Wednesday’s huge rally followed by gains again on Thursday, this average has not yet been surpassed.

    There is little doubt the SPX and SPY have found support at their May 25 lows. Since that date the markets have moved generally higher. But resistance levels are the confirmation signals needed to confirm advances.

    The SPX needs to make a decisive close above 1106.26 and the SPY needs to close above 110.83 to confirm this advance. This is only one indicator to be sure and no indicator is right all the time, but right now the 200-day average is important.

    Disclosure: The ( ETF Timing Strategy has a position in the S&P 500 SPDRs.
    Jun 03 5:33 PM | Link | Comment!
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