Are you a SMART trader?

March 23rd, 2017 by VantagePoint Software

Smart Trader

Trading is difficult for many reasons. But, that does not mean you can’t do it well, especially if you trade intelligently. Trading intelligently is about the decisions you make before, during, and after your trade. But, being a SMART trader is about how you think and behave as a trader.  Traders should make it a goal to be both intelligent and SMART. Here are a few characteristics of a SMART trader and some tips to improve your own trading style.

Smooth

Trading has a way of getting under your skin if you let it. Don’t let it. A SMART trader always keeps their cool and do their best to not get ruffled feathers. Volatility in the market can pay off for a trader. But, it will never pay off if your volatility keeps you going up and down with your trade. Don’t be that trader who freaks out when the opposition scores; rather, be the smooth trader who remains calm under pressure and keeps both eyes on the ultimate prize.

Mechanical

Trade as if you are a mechanic – follow a process. There is room for creativity in trading, but not much. Being successful is all about keeping the machine running well. To do this, one needs to build and execute trades with the idea that every screw is important, and all the parts need to work together to make the engine hum. Define your strategy precisely and then stick to the plan.

Adaptable

Be disciplined in following a process. But when that process is failing, smart traders need to adapt. Maybe you need to research a new sector, acquire new information about your market, or find a new time to set up your trades. Or maybe it is just the market going screwy and it may be best to sit out for a time. But whatever your trading plan, if it is not working, you must adapt. You must change and be willing to try and new strategies with an open mind.

Risk Averse

The most important thing to always be thinking about when trading is avoiding risk. Now, there is always a risk when trading, you’ve seen the disclaimers. But, the goal of trading is to minimize that risk as much as possible. This way you can win more than you lose. Behave as if every trade is the only trade you will make, and you desperately want to win.

Tool Oriented

Trading is long past the days of hand-drawing charts, and it is well into the days of software-based trading, which means having the right tools is about software. But not any software will do. A SMART trader needs a smart software. VantagePoint, for example, uses artificial intelligence to sift through massive quantities of financial data, uncover the hidden patterns and relationships in that data, and use that information to predict market trend changes in advance.
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Market Perception: How traders can find a profitable reality

March 3rd, 2017 by VantagePoint Software

Market perception versus market truth

The status of the current market is a clear reminder there are times when market perception far exceeds market reality. The perception that President Trump will be good for the market spurred buying trends following the election. From election night on November 8 to Inauguration Day on January 20th the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial average jumped up 6.2% and 8.2% respectively.

We then saw a minor rollback after the first two weeks of the new Trump Administration. In the month following the inauguration, the indices have moved up just 2.0% for the S&P and 2.3% for the DJIA.

The above stats provide an implied assumption that the “Trump Rally” is fading. But is it? After all, the market continues to reach new highs. So, what is market perception and what is reality? What is fueling the market’s higher moves and where is the impetus coming from?

Is the data telling the whole truth?

The answer lies in that the market is trading on the perception that Trump is good for American commerce. This translates into the idea he’ll be a positive effect on the markets. But we still don’t know whether this is a perception or a reality?

The short answer is that at this point we still don’t know. One thing we do know is a market reality that can help determine Trump’s validity while giving us a clue to future market direction. The market is highly overbought based upon an overabundance of metrics. When the market is in this condition, a common market perception is to expect a bearish correction sooner rather than later.

Larry Fink, the CEO of the world’s largest asset manager BlackRock, said in a recent interview his market perception is “there are dark shadows that could impact the direction of the marketplace.” He goes on to explain this is due to the recent moves by President Trump. He adds that the markets “look ‘bi-polar’ and wouldn’t be surprised if there were setbacks for stocks.”

This suggests there truly is a change in market perception occurring, slight as it may be. His most vocal adversaries take these perceptions and run with them. They claim that he creates instability with world leaders, Congress, and wide segments of the American population. While the reality is that none of these things have had a negative effect on the market. Suggesting once again, market perception exceeds reality.

Market perception and the average trader

So what does this have to do with you, Joe Q. Trader? It suggests that politics have a limited effect on the markets compared to policy. So far, the initiated Trump policies have only had a slight effect on the market. Though they tend to be the driving force of many pundits that have the perception of Trump as a catalyst.

Don’t trade based on political ideals, instead find a reliable source of data. A source unmotivated by political happenings and can look at the important aspects of market movements. A source like VantagePoint that relies on identifying market trends and uses artificial intelligence to identify intermarket relationships affecting a given market and produces market forecasts that are up to 86% accurate. When you stop relying on talking heads and their market perceptions and start focusing on the realities you see in VantagePoint, be ready for the reality of a growing portfolio.

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Trading Under Trump: Uncertainty clouds financial markets

February 21st, 2017 by VantagePoint Software

Trading Under Trump

Earnings, the Fed, the fundamentals, and the President. This is what is facing those trading under Trump. Uncertainty is now the buzz word for traders, and how could it not be? A U.S. president can rattle world markets with the stroke of a pen or a misplaced word. The dollar fell against the yen following President Trump’s executive order attempting to place a 90-day travel ban to the U.S. by citizens of some Middle Eastern countries.

The reality of a U.S. president’s influence on world affairs and markets is not new, of course. But, we seemed to have entered unprecedented times. President Donald Trump’s short time in office has shown how unpredictable he can be compared to his predecessors. That volatility in politics easily transfers to volatility in the markets. Making an already difficult practice even harder for those trading under Trump.

This reality is also not new. As far back as the Great Recession, global markets have struggled through periods of uncertainty. The big question is: how do traders deal with an uncertain Presidential “trump card” hanging over the market?

Normally, one looks at all the factors currently affecting the market to arrive at an understanding. We recently discussed how winning more than losing is all about moving the odds in your favor.

So, in this time and place, we have the unknown in President Trump. We also have knowns in earnings and economic fundamentals. Looking at these two factors, one could assess the market as being in a fairly solid place, right?

The “knowns” are positive

Earnings have provided a very positive outlook recently. As of January 27, with 34% of the companies in the S&P 500 reporting actual results for Q4 2016, 65% of S&P 500 companies have beaten the mean EPS estimate and 52% of S&P 500 companies have beaten the mean sales estimate.

Economic fundamentals are also bullish. The January Dallas Fed manufacturing survey jumped to 22.1, beating the 15.0 expected and marking the highest level since early 2010. December’s report was also revised to 17.7 from 15.5. The report had spent most of the last two years providing negative figures.

The government may trump everything

Despite the reality of decent earnings and decent economic fundamentals, the market might well be trumped by Trump. It’s looking more at the President’s influence over the world, particularly as it relates to the Fed.

Who can forget the Fed? This group has created more uncertainty in the market in the last decade than any other entity. Change is coming, eventually. Fiscal policy, trade policy, and regulatory policies are all on the table and up for review in the Trump administration. In addition, we can’t rule out seeing significant changes for the Federal Reserve and how it conducts monetary policy.

Where does all this lead us? Why right back to the future of the market trying to determine how we turn the odds in our favor with all the uncertainty in play. One choice is to sit it out, watch, and wait. But, four years is a long time.

How traders can balance it all together

So, if trading under Trump is unavoidable, an alternative approach could be to become a smarter trader. Watch specific markets carefully and ask yourself a question – Which individual markets could flourish under President Trump?

Use trading software that can spot similarly trending markets and utilize artificial intelligence to identify trends before they take off. VantagePoint does just this. It utilizes artificial intelligence to forecast market movements 1-3 days in advance with up to 86% accuracy.

With an ever-uncertain presidential cloud looming over the markets, the more reliable tools you have in your corner, the better you position yourself to be profitable.

Become a smarter trader with VantagePoint

The best tools make you a better trader. Sign up today to receive a free demonstration of VantagePoint and see how our predictive technology uses artificial intelligence to forecast market movement with up to 86% accuracy.

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Market Risk – Moving the Odds to Your Favor

February 17th, 2017 by VantagePoint Software

Market Risk and Reward

There is an inherent market risk when trading. An obvious statement, we know. But why, then, do so many play the market as if risk does not exist? Why do so many traders lose more then they win and, eventually, lose it all?

The answer is just as obvious. Perhaps it is because many believe market risk can be overcome, when, in reality, it can only be reduced, mitigated, or otherwise tempered.

The market IS risk to varying degrees, nothing more, nothing less. It is people (and people programming computers) making bets. There is only one certainty. The market will go up or the market will go down. You can reduce the probability to an even bet. There is no overcoming market risk – it will either go up or down. Flip a coin.

Every trade has an element of risk, but you can lessen it while increasing your chances of picking which way it will go. If you understand this, you are ahead in the game.

There are those who think that there is no need to lessen your market risk. They believe they “know” which way a given market will go, or they believe someone else “knows” which way it will go and they can listen to that person. We say that blind faith is a coin toss. At best, you will win more than you lose. At worst, you will lose all you have playing with that strategy long enough. It is not even luck – it is the law of probability. It is guessing and putting you at the mercy of inherent market risk.

Try to mitigate your market risk instead. If you do, you can bend the law of probability in your favor. There are three easy steps you can take to start limiting your market risk:

3 Steps to reduce Market Risk

  1. Learn the market you want to trade. Identify past patterns that will repeat over time.  Study them and you will be better served to see repeatable patterns you can act upon.

If you study the market from May 2009 through the summer of 2016 you will see identifiable patterns attached to repeated events. For example, in 2009 there was a repeated event – the potential collapse of the euro. A market pattern developed as that event was repeated ad nauseum in the news. We have a current event that mirrors this in the Fed’s “will they or won’t they” discussion on raising interest rates. Study the movements around this event and you will begin to see a pattern.

  1. Understand the psychology of the market and The Market ‘R Us people making emotional decisions.

The psychology of the market is correlated to the above, but it is less specific and harder to pinpoint. Nevertheless, if you track global events, stay tuned into the global consumer. Understand economic fundamentals and you will soon learn to better “predict” emotional market responses from the greater population of traders. This will allow you to be in a better position to make moves for your own portfolio.

  1. Supply yourself with software that helps you reduce market risk and help you win more often and defy the law of probability.

Understanding that market analysis software is here and ready for you to use it as a solid way to mitigate market risk. The best way to capture these benefits is to find software that works, software that has a track record of helping users determine short-term market movement. VantagePoint uses artificial intelligence to predict market movement 1-3 days in advance with up to 86% accuracy. We eliminate the coin flip approach and help you focus on markets that are more likely to produce winners and reducing market risk and volatility.

If you learn nothing else regarding your trading in 2017, understand that market risk is always present. However, with the right education, market understanding, and analytical tool, you can manipulate it to be more in your favor.

Reduce your market risk with VantagePoint

Make sure you have all the best tools available to you that will reduce your market risk. Sign up today to receive a free demonstration of VantagePoint and see how our predictive technology can help you gain an advantage over the markets and make 2017 your most profitable year yet!

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Big Trends and Big Trades after ‘The Big Game’

February 13th, 2017 by VantagePoint Software

Big Game Big Trades

The financial world is full of big trends and trendy indicators, predictors of future market value. But, one would be hard-pressed to find one as wild as the Super Bowl indicator.

According to the “Super Bowl” indicator, a win by an American Football Conference team, like the New England Patriots, means stocks are more likely to see big bearish trends.  The indicator, which was first introduced in the 1970’s, has an 80% accuracy rate according to Investopedia.

LPL Financial crunched the numbers further and found that in the year an NFC team wins, the average return for the Dow Jones Industrial Average is just under 11%, compared to just a 4.3% average return in the years an AFC team wins.

Theoretically speaking, this is interesting, and it sparks thought about probability, randomness, and cosmic forces beyond our control. But on the practical side, traders should ask the question, “Is this an indicator that I should utilize to capture big trends and utilize to risk your money?”

Putting aside the 80% accuracy rate of the above, the odds are good the market will drop substantially this year. For no other reason than the Schiller P/E ratio for the S&P 500 is extremely high. Shiller P/E at 28.6 is 71.3% higher than the historical mean of 16.7

Factoring in the current U.S. and global economic fundamentals, one does not see the precipitous danger. But, they are also not pointing toward momentous growth, which brings us to the Fed.

Janet Yellen will disclose their thinking next week. It would not be surprising to hear her say (once again) that the Fed is considering raising rates. Why? Perhaps it would be the big trends that led to an escalation in jobs and the slow rise in wages.

Combine an interest rate hike announcement with a market that has ridden big trends to new highs that may be too good to be true, and add the geopolitical wobbliness, and you have the ingredients for a snowballing effect in the market. One thing the market deems “bad” and we see a push of the panic button. Once the stampede starts, the market could easily see big trends to the downside and see a 10-15% fall rather quickly. It is that far out of balance.

While this still falls into the “possible” category, one thing that is fairly certain. According to historical terms, the market is due for a correction. The DJIA has climbed approximately 11% since the election. The “President Donald Trump Rally” looks to be weakening. When you take Trump out of the equation, there is no substantive reason for the recent market run in place since November. Which then leads to every credible market analyst pointing towards any reason it would continue.

The Patriots came away from last weekend’s game as champions as an AFC team. You can decide how much merit you will place in the unrelated “Super Bowl” indicator.

Catch the big trends BEFORE they happen with the help of VantagePoint

If you want to find a more reliable way to analyze the markets, then look no further than VantagePoint Intermarket Software. It utilizes artificial intelligence to forecast market movements 1-3 days in advance with up to 86% accuracy. If you want a specific example, then check out the chart below of the E-mini S&P 500 that demonstrates how accurate VantagePoint can be.

VP blog -Big trends after The Big Game

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2017: Another Year of Buying Dips and Selling Rips

January 20th, 2017 by VantagePoint Software

Buying Dips with VP

This year promises to be, well, a bit wild. Volatility can be expected not just here in the U.S. market, but all over the globe. So when it comes to picking an investing strategy for 2017 “buying dips and selling rips” could prove to be a profitable one.

Already we’ve seen the pound fall, equities slide and gold climbing on concerns U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May is prepared to lead Britain out of the European Union’s single market and act as a guide for other countries that could break from the bloc. At least that’s what President-elect Donald Trump suggests as a possible outcome. Continue reading 2017: Another Year of Buying Dips and Selling Rips

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Five Trading Questions Every Trader Asks (and how we’d answer them)

January 12th, 2017 by VantagePoint Software

Trading Questions

As we ring in another new year it’s important to keep in mind that nothing changes as much as it remains the same. For example, political power has changed, but the themes remain. Republicans will continue to attack the usual topics including the Dodd-Frank regulations that curtail the healthy financial industry. Democrats will continue to attempt to outmaneuver Republicans in an attempt to stop them.

The turbulence from the political battle will no doubt affect the market (another yearly constant) and cause angst for everyone involved. But, more likely than not, the five trading questions we’ve listed below is what’s really going to keep Joe Q. Trader awake at night in 2017. These trite realities will wreak more havoc on you than politics will on the market. At least it will if you don’t learn one simple thing – you can do nothing about the external realities affecting the market. But, you can do much about the internal forces keeping you awake at night. Nothing changes as much as it remains the same. So without further ado, here are five trading questions traders commonly ask and useful mottos to remember when facing your most common trading angst.

5 Common Trading Questions

Did I make the right trade?

Second guessing your trade is useless. If you researched with forecasts that highlight trend changes and set the trade up properly, you have a high-probability trade with a well-defined in and out based on a reasonable profit/loss. Let it ride. Motto: The trade is made, move on.

How could I have been wrong?

Trades go south. Figuring out what went wrong is important. Beating yourself up over it after the fact is not. Learn from those mistakes and protect yourself with the proper tools. VantagePoint provides a clear crossover on its charts indicating trend changes that can be used to improve your timing on entries and exits.  Motto: The trade was made, move on.

Check out this video to see how VantagePoint identifies trend reversals before traditional traders even know what’s going on.

Why did I lose money?

Again, trades go south, which usually means a money loss. But, this is an integral and necessary part of the game. No one wins all the time. The trick is winning more than you lose. See your losses as learning opportunities, nothing more. Utilizing tools like VantagePoint’s Intelliscan will help find trades that are in a better position to move in a given direction. It can also help you identify markets with high volatility that you can avoid until the market becomes more favorable. The goal is to improve your win/loss ratio, not worry about your past losses. Motto: “Fogetta boud it …”

What will the market do tomorrow?

Truthfully, more pundits/analysts get this wrong than right. The market is the collective conscious of millions of humans, so consistently predicting with accuracy the daily behavior is unlikely. VantagePoint’s patented neural networks analyze intermarket relationships and predict market movements with up to 86% accuracy. Utilizing technology will help you sleep at night because it doesn’t have to. Motto: Technology is your friends, let it help you.

Should I even be trading?

For many beginner traders, this question will cause the most sleepless nights. Second guessing your trades, beating yourself up after a poor decision, fretting over losing trades, and betting on what others think the market will do tomorrow will all lead you here. Master the answers to trading questions 1-4 and you are less likely to end up contemplating this question. Something to also keep in mind; trading, like any other skill, takes time to learn. Stay calm and learn from your losses. Utilize the tools available to maximize your potential. Do these things and the answer to question five will more than likely be yes. Motto: Do it right, sleep at night.

Trade confidently with the help of VantagePoint

Don’t leave yourself unprotected and answering these trading questions on your own. Sign up today to receive a free market forecast from VantagePoint and see how VantagePoint can help make 2017 your most profitable year yet!

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Profit From Negative Market Reactions

January 4th, 2017 by VantagePoint Software

Neagitve market reactions to profit from

Here we are, another holiday season coming to an end and another end-of-the-year market with nowhere to go but down. Yes, it’s a gloomy way to look at generally bullish market reactions. The U.S. economy is picking up steam in all the right places – wages, inflation, jobs, manufacturing, and housing. U.S. homebuilders’ confidence soared this month to the highest level in 11 years, reflecting heightened expectations of better sales now and well into 2017.

So, why would the bullish U.S. economy market trends of 2016 turn bearish? Simple, the immediate market reactions to The Fed raising interest rates is wrong, all wrong, and there will be a correction coming. Continue reading Profit From Negative Market Reactions

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‘Tis the Season for Market Volatility

December 19th, 2016 by VantagePoint Software

Market Volatility Season

Holiday season is officially here. And with that comes holiday parties. Sweet treats, eggnog, fancy attire and of course that one guy or gal that shows up three-sheets to the wind and begins owning the room with loud talk. All eyes turn to that person and others start to wonder, “What will happen next?” Before you know it, the tipsy talker turns the room topsy-turvy with unleashed dance moves that leave a trail of broken lamps, knocked over wine glasses, and people jumping out of the way.

The scenario above is eerily similar to what happens when the stock market is just cruising along like a quiet holiday party – easy, predictable, fun – and then an “event” occurs – oil-price breakdown, Chinese economic downturn, interest-rate hike –the market is suddenly dancing wildly, solid indicators are getting knocked over, and investors are getting out of the way of the wayward drunk.

Hello, volatility.

Continue reading ‘Tis the Season for Market Volatility

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JACK OF ALL TRADES: Why Successful Traders Trade Everything

November 16th, 2016 by VantagePoint Software

Jack of all trades

We all have that relative, we’ll call him Uncle Joe, that claims he “made a killing” trading FANG stocks early in the year. Meanwhile, the talking heads on financial TV programs say all the “smart money” has been doubling down on the banking sector for its next big run up in the 3rd quarter with no mention of the FANG stocks. Successful traders, however, know that when it comes to identifying specific sectors or stocks that can yield a quick, profitable return, it can be difficult to know what direction to go.

The reality is that these specific “can’t miss” strategies are not only limiting but often ill-fated. If you want to be a successful trader, aim to become a “Jack of All Trades” instead of a master who focuses on one.

This is because the majority of Wall Street, like the guy that gave the tip to Uncle Joe, have their own agendas. They are hyping a specific stock or sector for their own gains. Research shows the so-called “gurus” don’t fare much better than the individual investor. The CXO Advisory Group has a section on their website titled Guru Grades. They go through years of data they have compiled to tabulate how many times each guru “got it right” on their forecasts. With dozens of gurus on their site, their accuracy ranges from 68% to 20% over a multi-year period.

While no one is expected to be right all the time, it leaves us to wonder how “guru” status is achieved when one’s accuracy shows a failure rating of more than 50%.

The lesson we should take from this is that it’s not about what you trade, but how you trade. If you feel compelled to find the next “vehicle” for your success, here’s a better idea: Find the success first and then trade any vehicle. Traders tend to spend too much time focusing on what’s hot. However, it isn’t the vehicle or the potential that is going to make you successful. Success comes from having the right technical tools and applying that knowledge to the markets.

Instead of listening to someone with a 65% failure rating, how about using a tool that can forecast trends across a variety of markets with up to 86% accuracy?

VantagePoint Trading Software utilizes artificial intelligence to create high-probability forecasts of market trend direction. This helps traders anticipate changes in price direction, rather than identifying trends after the fact, and gives traders confidence to find profitable opportunities in any market, no matter if they are trading stocks, futures, ETFs of Forex.

Sound technical tools should work largely the same in any market. As a trader, just because you aren’t familiar with a particular stock or market, doesn’t mean you should miss out on an opportunity to profit. But how does a trader find new opportunities if they are used to only trading one asset class?

In addition to helping traders be on the right side of trends, VantagePoint’s trading technology it can help find profitable opportunities in other markets. The IntelliScan® feature in VantagePoint can identify potential trades using criteria chosen from more than 70 filters. It then combines the data with its predictive indicators to identify trend direction, trend strength, market momentum, potential trend changes, along with next day highs and lows and possible points for trade entry and exit.

So stop using Uncle Joe as your source for identifying hot new trends, stop relying on talking heads who are right as often as they are wrong, and start utilizing a tool that has a proven record of making the right call across hundreds of markets and become a jack of all trading.

To learn more about how to use VantagePoint and see firsthand how our patented, predictive forecasts can help you be successful in any market, request a free demo.

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