Archive for November, 2007

online trading: using the $TICK

November 5, 2007 Leave a comment

As an online stock trader,┬ápart of your responsibilities is understanding when to trade more actively and when to use more leverage. To have a long and rewarding carer as an equity trader you need to understand how to run your business on a daily basis. When my family owned a pizza parlor in NY it would have been great to be making pie after pie all day however that wasn’t reality. You only made a pizza when there was a request, you made many of them when the store was busy.

When you are sitting at your screen you need to understand when it is busy. To define this even deeper, you want to know when institutions are involved. Since we are seeking to jump on their backs we want to know when they are involved. The tool we use to determine this larger involvement is the NYSE TICK. There is also one for NASDAQ, but we feel the info from the NYSE TICK is sufficient.

The TICK represents the number of upticking stocks versus downticking stocks at any one particular moment in time. Reading the absolute number all day is not necessary but there are specific readings to pay attention to in order to make an informed decision regarding your activity level, trade expectation and leverage.

If the TICK has readings of +500 or -500 but no more than that, there is very little institutional order flow or activity. When I see this, I slow down my activity level, lighten up on my leverage and DECREASE my expectation for each trade (meaning I expect to make less per trade).

When I get consistent pushes of +1,000 or higher or -1,000 or lower I know the big boys are around and I will increase my leverage, activity level and my leverage. I am expecting FOLLOW THROUGH now.

This simple but effective tool will be a great gauge for your trading. Monitor it for a few days, I am sure you will be very happy to add this to your arsenal.