The Van Tharp Institute

February 07, 2007 ó Issue #308

Home   | Workshops  | Products  | Contact Us

www.vantharp.com


Do Not 'Reply.'
Click Here To Email info@iitm.com.

Tharp's Thoughts Weekly Newsletter


Thank you for subscribing to "Tharp's Thoughts"

In this Issue:

Workshop

Exchange Traded Funds Workshop Coming in March

Feature Article

Market Update, Market in Yellow Light Mode, By Van K. Tharp

Workshop

NEW WORKSHOP Professional E-Mini Futures Tactics

Update from Van

Trading Portfolio Update, Position Sizing Software Feedback

Trading Tip

Donít Underestimate the Effect of Overnight Gaps, by D.R. Barton

Melita's Corner

Itís All in the Way You Phrase It, by Melita Hunt

View this newsletter on-line, or read back issues

 

Coming Soon

Highly Effective ETF and Mutual Fund Techniques

March 16-18, 2007

Raleigh, NC 

Presented by Ken Long

Most people are doing the exact opposite of what the big funds are doing and they pay a big price for doing so. For example: you put money into a stock after hearing that a fund manager really likes it.  However, by the time you hear about it, the fund manager is getting ready to sell.

But what if you could see what the big mutual funds are doing with their money well before they complete a transaction and jump in ahead of them? 

Learn More...

 

Feature

Tharpís Thoughts

Market Update for February 7, 2007

1-2-3 Model In Yellow Light Mode

By
Van K. Tharp

Look for these monthly updates on the first issue of each month. This allows us to get the closing month data.  In these updates, weíll be covering each of the major models mentioned in the Safe Strategies book:  1) the 1-2-3 stock market model; 2) the five week status on each of the major stock U.S. stock market indices; 3) our four star inflation-deflation model; and weíll be 4) tracking the dollar.

Part I:  Market Commentary

The market seems to be replete with conflicting information.  On the one hand, I have sources that tell me people have cash that they just donít know what to do with.  For example, someone bought a New York building that was full (with ten year leases) at a rate of return that was about 4% (less maintenance costs).  Why would one spend billions on an illiquid asset like that when you could do better with treasury bills?  But this seems to be the state of the market.  The baby boomers are still pouring pension money into the market (and that should continue through April 15th), so the market has lots of cash.  In addition, the Fed has stopped raising rates (and may even start reducing them in the near future) and many pundits are saying that the market is undervalued at current levels.

At the same time, I hear other market gurus saying that the market is overvalued and due for a major correction at any time now.  Just wait and see.  This one might fit with the secular bear market scenario (which I believe) that says valuations (not prices) will continue to go down for the next ten years or more. 

This is all the more reason why the best traders just watch the market and act based upon what it is doing right now.  And right now the market looks pretty good.  Our model portfolio, which I report on in the middle of each month, is mostly long and efficiency levels, as discussed later in the update, are positive.

Part II: The 1-2-3 Stock Market Model IS IN YELLOW LIGHT MODE and thatís good for stocks

As I said last month, the Fed stopped tightening a little over six months ago, so we can now say the ďthe Fed is out of the way.Ē  And that officially occurred on December 29th.  Under red light mode, stocks typically go up, although not massively.  The average yearly increase in the S&P 500 is about 10.9% during yellow light mode.

Letís look at what the market has done over the last five weeks and compare that with where the averages were December 31st last year.  This is given in Table 1.

Table 1: Weekly Changes in the Major Averages 
   Dow 30  S&P 500  NASDAQ 100 
Date  Close  % Change  Close  %Change  Close  % Change 
Close 04  10,783.01    1,211.92    1,621.12   
Close 05  10,117.50 -6.17% 1,248.29 3.00% 1,645.20 1.49%
Close 06  12,463.15 15.58% 1,418.30 13.62% 1,756.90 6.79%
5-Jan-07 12,398.01 -0.52% 1,409.71 -0.61% 1,785.30 1.62%
12-Jan-07 12,556.08 1.27% 1,430.73 1.49% 1,844.81 3.33%
19-Jan-07 12,565.53 0.08% 1,430.50 -0.02% 1,796.81 -2.60%
26-Jan-07 12,487.02 -0.62% 1,422.18 -0.58% 1,772.97 -1.33%
2-Feb-07 12,653.49 1.33% 1,448.39 1.84% 1,798.13 1.42%

The market is continuing to rise and everything is up on the year.  Last week included some excellent gains and my guess is that those gains will continue during February.

As of the close of the year, 71.4% of the market consisted of positive efficiency stocks.  As of February 2nd, it was 77.3% positive efficiency, which is the strongest Iíve seen it since its prior peak in February 2005. 

Part III: Our Four Star Inflation-Deflation Model

I strongly believe that we are in an inflationary bear market and that our inflation rate is simply masked by government statistics. 

So far our models have been telling us, that inflation/deflation is pretty steady, with a slight inflationary bias, and thatís where secular bear markets tend to start. 

So whatís our new indicator telling us about inflation?  Iíve described the inflation model Iím using in these updates for over six months now, so instead of continuing to list the criteria here each month, click here to read more if it is new to you or you donít understand it.

Okay, so now letís look at the results for the last six months. 

Date

CRB

XLB

Gold

XLF

December 30  2005

347.89

30.28

513.00

31.67

June 30 2006

385.63

32.10

613.50

32.34

July 3  2006

391.49

30.90

632.50

33.08

August 31 2006

390.95

32.19

623.50

33.52

September 30 2006

379.10

31.82

599.25

34.62

October 31 2006

383.92

33.33

603.75

35.43

November 30  2006

408.79

35.00

646.70

35.68

December 29 2006

394.89

34.84

635.70

36.74

January 31 2007

393.89

36.25

650.50

37.08

Weíll now look at the two-month and six-month changes during the last six months to see what our readings have been.

Date CRB2 CRB6 XLB2 XLB6 Gold2 Gold6 XLF2 XLF6 Total Score
October Lower Higher Higher Higher Higher Higher Higher Higher  

 

 

+1/2

 

+1

 

+1

 

-1

+1.5

The results of this model are much more sensitive (I believe) than the model I presented in Safe Strategies for Financial Freedom.  The model once again shows that inflation is winning slightly.

However, letís compare real inflation as measured by the CRB versus the governmentís measure of inflation as measured by the CPI.  These are shown for 2005 through 2006 in the next chart.  Notice that the CPI has hardly moved, while the CRB has gone up about 33% over the two years.   

Part IV: Tracking the Dollar

The U.S. dollar is still looking weak.  It was relatively flat for about six months and then it started a major fall against the Euro, which is still going on.  This is another reason why the Federal Reserve needs to keep rates high. When interest rates are high, people are attracted to the dollar.  But when rates are falling, they will dump it quickly.  The IMF has already said that the dollar, at current rates, is 35% overvalued.  Can you imagine the impact of the dollar falling another 35%?  Incidentally, I get my data from a government website.  And to my surprise, the numbers had totally changed from the last time I looked at it.  All I can do is assume that the government decided to change their measure in some way.  Iíve changed the chart below to reflect the governmentís updated figures.  Perhaps the government was worried about critical support levels and did some statistical changes in the index. 

The Dollar Index

Month

Dollar Index

Jan 05 81.06
Jan 06 84.29
Feb 06 85.05
Mar 06 85.01
Apr 06 83.88
May 06 80.63
June 06 81.51
July 06 81.94
Aug 06 81.18
Sep 06 81.59
Oct 06 82.36
Nov 06 81.49
Dec 06 80.89
Jan 07 82.37

Earlier, I pointed out that the falling dollar had attracted the Economist magazine to feature it on the cover.  Covers tend to make good contrary indicators and the market is now higher than it was when that cover came out in November. 

Right now there is no currency around to replace the dollar.  Itís not going to be the Euro and I donít think any major Asian currency is close to becoming the worldís reserve.  However, my guess is that the Yen is a good candidate for becoming strong in the near future.

Until the March update, this is Van Tharp. 

About Van Tharp: Trading coach, and author Dr. Van K. Tharp, is widely recognized for his best-selling book Trade Your Way to Financial Fre-edom and his outstanding Peak Performance Home Study program - a highly regarded classic that is suitable for all levels of traders and investors. You can learn more about Van Tharp at www.iitm.com.

Workshop

New Professional E-Mini Futures Tactics Workshop

March 3-5, 2007

Raleigh, NC

Presented by D.R. Barton, Jr.

Register Now for a $500 Discount... Hurry offer expires soon.

  • Learn how pro traders take consistent profits from the e-mini markets.
  • Don't become one of those traders who tries futures trading and loses a bundle by trading like the herd.
  • Discover the tools and tactics that top traders use to gain a huge edge in these volatile and profitable markets.

Learn More ...

Updates from Van

Trading Portfolio Update

Today we were stopped out of our new short position in the efficiency portfolio.  Since the market is becoming extremely efficient right now, Iím going to replace it with a very hot positive efficiency stock PLRO, which we will take at the closing price today.  Iíll give you a full report in two weeks.  However, all of our positive efficiency stocks are doing very well right now.  Hopefully, with this change we will have no losers when I next cover the portfolio.

Software Update

I appreciate all of your offers to review software having to do with position sizing.  So far I havenít had anyone mention Trading Recipes (so I assume it is no longer being used).  I also havenít had anyone mention Trading Blox or Wealth Lab, although a lot of you have mentioned those on the Van Tharp Forum.  Thus, if anyone is using these products and would like to review them, Iíd appreciate it.  Iím no longer looking for a 1000 word review.  Instead, I want you to simply fill out a questionnaire that consists mostly of checkmarks. Explanations are required in only a few instances.

So far Iíve had responses on the following software:

  • MTPredictor

  • TradeSim

  • AmbiBroker

  • McSim

  • Excel

  • Omni Trader

Thus, if you are using something else for your position sizing, and would like to fill out the questionnaire for us, please let me know by emailing book@iitm.com

Lastly, thank you to all of the people who have offered to create a position sizing product for me. We obviously have a lot of computer programmer/traders out there. However, I would like to re-iterate that the Van Tharp Institute is NOT in the software business.

Iíve already gone down the route of developing software and we have NO intention or interest in doing it again. Nor do I have the time to be involved in software development, testing or reviewing.

My staff is NOT equipped to deal with the technical problems that come up with software or even to answer questions on software.  That is just not what we do.  Our focus is on helping you through education, modeling, and psychology to become the best trader you can be.

 

Trading Tip 

Donít Underestimate the Effect of Overnight Gaps 

By D.R. Barton

ďIf history repeats itself, and the unexpected always happens, how incapable must Man be of learning from experience.Ē ó George Bernard Shaw

Many traders fail to see the allure of day trading.

I understand that well.  ďSitting in front of a computerĒ is not the way most people would describe their fondest of times.  But when day trading is structured properly, it can be a much different experience than a daily grind in front of a screen.

And for serious traders and serious students of trading there is one over-riding factor that makes day trading particularly attractive -- the lack of overnight risk.  Big news can and does happen when the markets arenít trading.  And one of the dirty little secrets of trading is that most traders and investors underestimate the immense impact of unexpectedly large losses.

Over the years Iíve heard many stories of accounts that have been blown out.  And almost every story revolves around one or two trades that went bad Ė moves much bigger than anticipated with position sizing that was too big and didnít account for the huge move.

Very few traders properly account for the impact that overnight gaps can have in their trading results.  News that sends price flying away from your direction can happen in any number of ways.  Macro events, like war, civil unrest or weather disasters can have big impacts.  As can micro events like earnings preannouncements, SEC investigations, management turnover and negative product news.

And if any of these things happen when the markets are closed, thereís really nothing a trader can do but wait until the open and take their medicine.

Which brings me back to why day trading is so appealing to me and many others:  It virtually eliminates the impact of event risk.  A bad fill may happen in a fast market, and there is even an occasional trade stoppage on individual stock because of intraday news.  But in reality, 95%+ of the risk of big moves against you is eliminated when you exit trades at the end of the day.

This characteristic of reducing the risk from big events gives several advantages to day traders:

  • More aggressive position sizing.  Day traders can use this reduction of inherent risk to use larger positions and grow their capital more quickly.  This is, of course, a double edged sword that cuts both ways.  But given a positive expectancy system, traders can use their edge to a greater advantage when day trading,

  • Greater leverage.  In both equities and futures trading, brokerages give their customers more leverage on their account assets to reflect the reduced risk that is associated with intraday trading.

  • Reduced stress.  Very few people consider the fact that day traders donít have to worry what happens overnight or over the weekend Ė because their positions are flat.

Statisticians have been trying to characterize markets for decades with theories like ďfat tails on distributions.Ē  Next time weíll look at a couple of the prevalent theories and which one make the most practical sense for traders.  Until then,

Great Trading! 

D.R.

D. R. Barton, Jr. will be teaching our New Professional E-Mini Futures Tactics Workshop, March 3-5, Raleigh NC.  He will be joined by ace trader Christopher Castroviejo. To see what D.R. said about Christopher last week, click here.

A passion for the systematic approach to the markets and lifelong love of teaching and learning have propelled D.R. Barton, Jr. to the top of the investment and trading arena where he is one of the most widely read and followed traders and analysts in the world. 

He is a regularly featured guest analyst on both Report on Business TV,  and WTOP News Radio in Washington, D. C., and has been a guest analyst on Bloomberg Radio.  His articles have appeared on SmartMoney.com and Financial Advisor magazine.

 

Melitaís Inspirational Corner

Itís All in the Way You Phrase It

by Melita Hunt

When I awoke Monday morning, I felt exhausted. It was my first day back at work after a ten- day whirlwind tour of the US. I had returned to Raleigh on Friday, went from the airport straight to a meeting and then hosted and finished organizing the 3rd Annual Bachelor Bid for Charity which was held on Saturday night. 

It was an awesome event with over 350 people attending (mostly women of course) and we raised a ton of money for the homeless women and children in our community. I was running around like a maniac, but was amazed that we pulled it off in the manner that we did. The night was a huge success!

So now I am going to change the word that I wrote in the first sentence from ďexhaustedĒ to ďexhilaratedĒ because that is how I really felt. 

When I awoke Monday morning, I felt exhilarated. Yes I was tired, yes it had been hectic, but I felt great and I was filled with a level of satisfaction that I havenít experienced for quite some time. 

It is because the last two weeks have been about focusing on other people. They have been filled with laughter, love, memories and friendship as I traveled and experienced the USA with a childhood friend and it all culminated in a team of over 50 wonderful people (bachelors and divaís) working together for the homeless. Because of this team effort, many children wonít be sleeping in cars or on the streets this winter. 

So who has time to be exhausted when itís just as easy to be exhilarated?

Itís all in the way that you phrase it!

You can contact Melita at mel@iitm.com

Join in the discussions on our blog and forum

www.smarttraderblog.com and MasterMind Trader Forum

 

Do Not Reply to this email using the reply button as the email address is not monitored, your email will not be seen. Please click this link to contact us:  suggestions@iitm.com

The Van Tharp Institute does not support spamming in any way, shape or form. This is a subscription based newsletter. 

If you no longer wish to subscribe, Unsubscribe Here 

Or, paste this address in your browser: http://www.iitm.com/privacy_policy.htm

 

The Van Tharp Institute
102-A Commonwealth Court, Cary, NC 27511 USA
800-385-4486 * 919-466-0043 *  Fax 919-466-0408

Back to top

Copyright 2006 the International Institute of Trading Mastery, Inc.

.

.

.

.

.

Click here to see our Workshop Schedule

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

.

Quote

"The cyclone derives its powers from a calm center. So does a person." ~Norman Vincent Peale

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Back to top

.

.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

.

Free Trading Simulation Game

A computerized version of Van's famous "marble game." 

It is designed to teach you the important principles of proper position sizing. 

Download the 1st three levels of the game for free. Register now. 

 

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

 

.

Tharp Concepts 
Explained...

Psychology of Trading 

System Development 

Risk and R-Multiples 

Money Management / Position Sizing 

Expectancy 

Business Planning 

Learn the concepts...

 

.

Back to top

 

.

.

.

.

.

 

.

.

.

.

Back to top

.

 

.

.

.

.

 

Back to top

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Free Downloads.

Handbook for Traders and Investors

Workshop Syllabus

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Share this newsletter with a friend!