On Secrets for Profiting in Bull and Bear Markets

I recently finished reading Secrets for Profiting in Bull and Bear Markets by Stan Weinstein.

Below are key excerpts from the book that I found particularly insightful:

1- “After having mad plenty of mistakes, I’ve learned how to decipher the very obvious clues that the market gives us and then tactically respond to a given situation. I’m going to teach you a new set of stock market rules that will make the market much less stressful and far more profitable for you. These rules won’t have you pouring over balance sheets or listening to some company spokesman drone on about his firm’s progress toward higher returns on shareholders’ equity. These rules will require that you do two things: control your own greed and fear, and find and decipher the obvious clues that the market tosses your way.”

2- “Therefore, your philosophy should be simple: 1. Never buy or sell a stock without checking the chart. 2. Never buy a stock when good news comes out, especially y if the chart shows a significant advance prior to the news release. Never buy a stock because it appears cheap after getting smashed. When it sells off further, you’ll find out that cheap can become far cheaper! 3. Never buy a stock because it appears cheap after getting smashed. When it sells off further, you’ll find out that cheap can become far cheaper! 4. Never buy a stock in a downtrend on the chart (I’ll soon show you specifically how to define a downtrend). 5. Never hold a stock that is in a downtrend no matter how low the price/earnings ratio. Many weeks later and several points lower, you’ll find out why the stock was going down. 6. Always be consistent. If you find that you’re sometimes buying. sometimes selling in practically identical situations, then there is something terribly wrong with your discipline.”

3- “Any stock has to be in one of four market stages, and the trick to be able to identify each one. The four stages of a major cycle. as illustrated in Chart 2-1 are: (1) The basing area, (2) the advancing stage, (3) the top area, and (4) the declining stage.”

4- “There is never an investment—whether it be stocks gold, real estate, gems, or Naugahyde futures—that is a “buy it and forget it” situation. All investments go through cycles, and When you hold through the down part of the cycle (Stage 4) you suffer both financially and emotionally.”

5- “After years of observing and studying market cycles, there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that sector analysis is just as important as overall market timing. In fact, in certain markets it is even more important.”

6- “There definitely is! While no system will ever be a perfect forecaster of the future, we can learn some simple rules that will put the probabilities of success strongly in a our favor…THE LESS RESISTANCE THE BETTER…THE IMPORTANCE OF VOLUME..never trust a breakout that isn’t accompanied by a significant increase in volume…IT’S ALL RELATIVE The next important factor to check out when narrowing down our list of potential buys is the relative strength (RS). This is a measure of how a stock is acting in relation to the overall market…If the relative strength is n good shape and improving and all other criteria are positive, then go for it. But absolutely never buy a stock, no matter how good the other factors, if the relative strength is in negative territory and it remains in poor shape.”

7- “QUICK REFERENCE GUIDE ON BUYING…Check the major trend of the overall market. • Uncover the few groups that look best technically. Make a list of those stocks in the favorable groups that have bullish patterns but are now in trading ranges. Write down the price that each would need to break out. • iNarrow down the list. Discard those that have overhead resistance nearby. Narrow the list further by checking relative strength. Put in your buy-stop orders for half of your position for those few stocks that meet our buying criteria. Use buy-stop orders on a good-’til-canceled (GTC) basis. If volume is favorable on the breakout and contracts on the decline, buy your other half position on a pullback toward the initial breakout. If the volume pattern is negative (not high enough on breakout), sell the stock on the first rally. If it fails to rally and falls back below the breakout point, immediately dump it.”

8- “STAN’S DON’T COMMANDMENTS…Don’t buy when the overall market trend is bearish. * Don’t buy a stock in a negative group. Don’t buy a stock below its 30-week MA. Don’t buy a stock that has a declining 30-week MA (even if the stock is above the MA). • No matter how bullish a stock is, don’t buy it too late in an advance, when it is far above the ideal entry point. • Don’t buy a stock that has poor volume characteristics on the breakout. If you bought it because you had a buy-stop order in, sell it quickly. Don’t buy a stock showing poor relative strength. •Don’t buy a stock that has heavy nearby overhead resistance. • Don’t guess a bottom. What looks like a bargain can turn out to be a very expensive Stage 4 disaster. Instead, buy on breakouts above resistance.”

9- “DON’TS FOR SELLING 1. Don’t base your selling decision on tax considerations…2. Don’t base your selling decision on how much the stock is yielding…3. Don’t hold onto a stock because the price/earnings (PIE) ratio is low…4. Don’t sell a stock simply because the PIE is too high…5. Don’t average down in a negative situation…6. Don’t refuse to sell because the overall market trend is bullish…7. Don’t wait for the next rally to sell…8. Don’t hold onto a stock simply because it is of high quality.”

10- “This increased volatility in the stock market is a two-edged sword. On the positive side, it gives us a chance to make money even faster. The downside is that when a reversal occurs, your stock can move from Stage 2 into Stage 3 far more quickly. This is especially true if it’s one of the overly loved institutional favorites. These issues can really change direction in a hurry when bad news comes out and the institutional herd starts to panic. The way to protect yourself is by using a sell-stop order.”

11- “Don’t waste your time trying to determine if trading or investing is the best way to make money. There is no one best way; either approach can lead to success if skillfully applied. Instead, give some thought to understanding the kind of person you are and which approach you’d be comfortable with. Use a little introspection to find out what cloth you’re cut from, and then become the best damned investor or trader that you can be! It leads to disaster if you decide to invest, but then get so angry because your stock dropped six or seven points that you end up dumping it just before the next upleg. So have an honest talk with yourself. If you obviously belong in one area or the other, then get there. Interestingly, there really are a number of market players who are in the middle ind can adopt either approach. If you fall into this category, I suggest a mixed approach.”

12- “SUMMARY OF SHORT-SELLING DON’TS Don’t sell short because the P/E is too high. Don’t sell short because the stock has run up too much. • Don’t sell short a sucker stock that everyone else agrees must crash. • Don’t sell short a stock that trades thinly. Don’t sell short a Stage 2 stock. Don’t sell short a stock in a strong group. Don’t sell short without protecting yourself with a buy-stop order.”

13- “When a truly one-sided opinion really grabs the Street, it becomes so heavy you can almost cut it with a knife. One other word caution: I disagree with those who believe that contrary opinion alone is enough. Not true. I view CO as a psychological potential. just as the price/dividend ratio represents a value potential. Neither one should ever make you buy or sell stocks if all the timing gauges disagree. When CO gets the agreement of the other technical tools, then get set, because a big market move is getting ready to unfold.”

14- “Here are the proper ways to increase your probability of success (Options)…Buy a call option only on a stock that is in Stage 2 or is moving into Stage 2…2. Buy only an option that has big potential…3. Give yourself a reasonable amount of time before expiration…4. Buy an option that is close to the striking price and, if possible, in the money…5. Use a very tight protective stop on your option positions.”


Omar Halabieh

Secrets for Profiting in Bull and Bear Markets


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