New year, new skill.

Post Quality: D-

I’ll admit super busy day, this post could probably be summarized in a tweet, but committed to my goal of posting every day. Whether it be fitness, welding, carpentry, programming, plumbing, electrical, or other skills I’ve been committed to improving and getting better every year. Any human can accomplish amazing things in a year if focused.

This year my “side project” is to learn anything and everything I can about crypto currencies. From what I have seen so far all the standard trading methodologies and process’s apply, what I lack is understanding the underlying “fundamentals” and mechanics.

I’ve made this analogy many times, but I built an ISP from the ground up with 14.4K modems all the way up to GB fiber. IMHO we are in the 14.4K modem days of this run.

If you aren’t learning trading, programming or some other skilled trade, mental or physical use the post to redirect your energy. I will be dedicating a couple hours a day to get more in depth, and will blog here about my learning process.

Get strapped in, 2018 has amazing prospects.


Response to @ozarktrades “2017 trading review”

Link to original post:

I often rant about “overly biased loud mouth shorts on twitter” and because of these rants get a fair amount of guff in return from traders that seem to think “short and hold” is a viable strategy for new or small traders. I’ll be the first to admit my motivation can be very “white knight’ish” but at the same time the primary rational behind my defense of the small and/or new trader is we are talking about a public network, Fintwit. Am I anti short selling? Nothing can be further from the truth. Am I anti using a large twitter following to convince small traders that if they just “keep holding” the rewards will come? Yes.

There are typically two profiles that describe the “overly biased loud mouth shorts on twitter” the first is the trader that swings a big line and can short the front side and keep adding higher which creates the “you can’t squeeze me” bravado. Second is the fundamental short that will take a position early in the move and proceed to bash the stock 10,20,50 or even more times a day, offering constant justification and links to defend that this stock “cant possibly go higher”.

Phil aka “OzarkTrades” is NEITHER of these.

In this post I would like to address several great points that Phil makes and attempt to draw parallels to defend my point that shorting in today’s market is not very accessible to the new and/or small trader, and again while it is a viable strategy for new traders, should be avoided until the market changes. I have been actively day trading and short selling for close to ten years, the last 2 years have been unlike any market I have seen. So many low priced stocks go higher than you would have ever expected on Day 1, and so often continue over multiple days, weeks, and even MONTHS. If you are a new trader shorting small size or even worse shorting on margin, you CANNOT survive these moves no matter what the “overly biased loud mouth shorts on twitter” say.

My biggest month of the year was November with 1.3 million in gains thanks to the hype in crypto currencies. (No I do not trade cryptos but the equities that are tied to them) I was profitable every month in 2017 and again most of my money was made on the short side.

First off I would like to congratulate Phil on an incredible year! I have considered Phil a role model for several years and he is a great guy with honesty and integrity. Though him and I are are mostly “internet friends” we have met briefly several times and he is quick with a handshake and a smile and seems genuinely interested in conversations with any trader new or veteran. There is nothing I enjoy more than seeing people I look up to and my friends succeed. Since we have only met a few times, Phil may think the “friend” moniker is a little aggressive but oh well. 🙂

After trading for 11 years it is fairly easy to identify the top setups. The timing is obviously the difficult part.

This point can NEVER be stressed enough and I’m pleased Phil starts the post with this. All traders new, intermediate or advanced KNOW these stocks will ultimately fail. But what will happen between Point A – C and what will happen during Point B. That is the ultimate question in trading, particularly on the short side. It does not matter if Point C is ultimately a “zero” if your account becomes a “zero” during the B Phase. My perspective again to the new trader is, why not try and take a small part of the run up from A through part of B, take small gains, focus on wins and build your account, do not try to be a hero on the short side early.

Again, I’m a believer that the big money is in the big wins. Personally, I don’t try to hit it big every day or every week but I try to take full advantage of the 6-7-8 ect big setups a year.

This quote wraps up a GREAT paragraph on being aggressive and sizing into your favorite setups, which again is the golden rule of a advanced trader. But back to 99% of Fintwit, this 99% needs to focus on building an account and getting better at your process, trading 6 times a year it will be very difficult to build a small account. And of course I’ll get responses like “Don’t trade with a small account” But remember my point is we are talking about Twitter, the truth is 99.9999% of the traders on twitter are small and looking for ideas and help in getting better. I may be wrong but I don’t think many billion dollar hedge fund managers are coming to Twitter for trading ideas.

In 2017 I worked every single day even on vacation. Yes I bring a laptop even on vacation because you never know what could happen.

Sometimes it does suck to sit at the desk from 6am to 3pm (central time) waiting for that one stock to break but it usually always pays off, especially if you learn to take time off when things are not so hot.

Love both these points, if you are not 100% committed to trading your odds of success are exponentially lower. I read the opening line of this paragraph and chuckled thinking, “Been there, done what”. I also worked EVERY day of 2017. Including on vacation. Both Phil and I have young children and we both greatly value our time with them, but hey, nobody goes to the pool before noon anyway, and if you get up early before the family you can easily put in a solid day of work and improvement and still have 12 hours to spend with the family. Daddy’s got to pay the bills.

And it does suck to sit there all day every day, but as a trader you are “never done” and I’ve seen countless sniper analogies to the point of nauseam, and I’ve used them myself too many times. But if you are unwilling to train nonstop and wait for “the shot” consider another career. I NEVER get tired of studying stocks, studying other traders, studying myself.

There has been 1 big difference for short sellers in 2017 and that has been the dramatic increase in Htb fees and short interest.

Back to my opening statement, when I get asked “why do you bust short sellers chops all the time?” this statement by Phil may be one of the biggest reasons. Trading constantly evolves and changes, and I recognized a shift in 2016. I do not know the internal workings of brokerage firms, but I believe firms recognized the rampant demand of short sellers to get aggressive and “pay up” for borrows. I’m old enough to remember how difficult it was to borrow shares, particularly over multiple days and weeks. I think this seismic shift in short availability and willingness to pay these fees has created some of the multiple day and week squeezes. Therein lies my advice to the new trader, look to profit on the front side of these moves, recognize that “everyone” is short and you do not need a special brokerage account.

Again, the key is to cut those losses quickly and look for re-entry. Trust me I am the king of taking paper cut losses.

Always the “golden rule” of trading and it cannot be stressed enough. Although my point is, this is “easy to say” for a veteran. But if you are a newer trader on Fintwit and see “The fundamental short that will take a position early in the move and proceed to bash the stock 10,20,50 or even more times a day, offering constant justification and links to defend that this stock “cant possibly go higher”. I mentioned above, you will almost always form a bias, thinking “This trader with a large following knows his stuff, I’ll hold.” Be willing to trade your own ideas and stop out when your trade plan says you will stop out. I respect Phil for never going on twitter and bashing a stock no matter how positive he is in his thesis.

I still don’t understand why traders will start a short on the upside and say they will add higher. How did that methodology work on DRYS in 2016?

Ahh yes my favorite Twitter short seller quote “Will add higher.” Few things make me pound my desk in rage more than that saying. If you have a twitter account with a large following and are known for being a proficient short seller, posting this statement to twitter should get your fingers slammed in a door. What possible goal can be accomplished by stating this on PUBLIC NETWORK? In my humble opinion this phrase is only used in a malicious manner. We all know early shorts will get squeezed out and add fuel to the fire. Best I can figure the only justification for this statement is hoping to torch small traders to accelerate the upside move so that said large trader can create a greater trade opportunity for themselves. This may be the single biggest takeaway from my writeup, if you are following big name traders touting the willingness to “add higher” proceed with caution my friends.

If we have a low float that is being manipulated, then being stubborn will just get you run over.

As a new or aspiring short seller please avoid “float rotating” stocks. There are so many other stocks to short and so many better times, when the volume has dried up. Be patient, wait and you will be rewarded, but if you are shorting on days the float is rotating I wish you luck, you will need it.

Phil wraps up the post with some great advice on being diversified and having backup plans. I’ll let you refer to the linked post above, some very solid advice and I recommend reading and re-reading his post.

In the end my point is, be inspired by the amazing possibilities in trading, we are in a market unlike any I have ever seen in my 10 years. Use these posts by great traders like Phil to plan for the future. But in the end, perspective is everything. Many of the trades and techniques he employs on a daily basis, including using 6-7 high minimum brokerage accounts, boxing trades, hedging with options etc, are not yet accessible to you as a new trader.

Learn charting, learn how to process the news and fundamentals and focus on making small and consistent wins on the long side of these fast moving stocks. After you are a consistently profitable trader with a medium sized account and some consistency and success under your belt, then look to be a “big swinging dick” short seller. But when you make that step, please promise me you WILL follow in Phil’s steps and NOT blast twitter with the “this stock is a zero” or “will add higher” nonsense.

Thanks to Phil for a great post.




Write every day project – Day 1

Photo Credit: Zen Pencils

Post Quality Rating: C-

For a guy that has had “be a writer” on his to do list, I do an almost awe inspiring little amount of writing. I’ve read hundreds of articles and books on writing and let me save you some time, in the end they all basically boil down to “If you want to be a writer, write.”

I’ve come and gone in fits and spurts, and the new years “reboot” seems as a good a time as any to rekindle the routine.

I’ll commit to writing the first thing in the day, spending 15 minutes to an hour each at at 4:30-4:45AM. Topics will vary but of course be centered on my main passions and hobbies:

  • Finance / typically day trading focused
  • Fitness
  • General Productivity
  • Writing
  • Making – particularly focused on my current biggest interest, cabinet making

The thought is that by pushing “something” out every day it will be like a snowball rolling down hill and ideally a few weeks and months the quality and value will build.

Good news dear reader, I will “grade” each post at the beginning, while you may or may not agree in the end, you will at least be able to recognize if I perceive the post as having value.  Notice above this post garners a “C-“.

Had this post been longer I would probably give it an even lower grade, but since it takes only a few moments to read and introduces the project I think a middle of the road grade is appropriate.

Thank you for reading.




What I Learned from Living with a Navy SEAL via @the100MileMan

What I Learned from Living with a Navy SEAL

Do Something Hard Every Day:

Get up early EVERY day, it sucks for five minutes, then you instantly think, “I got a leg up on the competition”

Don’t Put Off the Little Things—Just Get Them Done:

So much about being happy and feeling productive is momentum, the more little things you get done, the more big things get done.


I eat the same stuff almost every day and wear almost the same sets of clothes every week. Focus on this that matters, ideas, health, family, not material bullshit.

Say No to Stuff:

I put my life into four buckets: I sleep seven hours a day. I take three hours for myself so I don’t resent the people I’m closest to. I work for about eight hours. And I set aside six hours for hygiene and all the other random stuff that comes up.

I had “sort of” done this, but by no means so structured, totally co-opting this. Plus it fits great into a Kanban/Trello board productivity method.

Have a Plan:

NOBODY does this, well except peak performers.  I try and fail constantly in making plans, but the process is what is important, before you do ANYTHING, ask yourself. “What is the plan?”

Living with a SEAL: 31 Days Training with the Toughest Man on the Planet by Jesse Itzler

Rich Roll Podcast #266 David Goggins

Review of #traderchecklist Instructional DVD by @timothysykes & @thehonestcroock Chapter 12

Click here to get Timothy Sykes Trader Checklist 100% for FREE.


Table of Contents for Review of TraderChecklist


GREAT chapter!! Mark is a solid trader and I think his “Pre Flight Checklist” was the inspiration for Sykes to finally put his system into the “Sykes Sliding Scale”. This two hour webinar by Mark takes you from beginning to end of detailing his system as well as its actual implementation. I really like the way he organized it and it was obviously well thought out.

Croock starts by detailing how diligent you have to be in following a system, then proceeds to actually building a watchlist using his “Pre Flight Checklist”. I really liked the metaphor of an airplane pilot double checking and triple checking criteria before actually taking off.

Reminded me of a very solid book: The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right

Something no one wants to hear but is very important, so much of being a trader is repeating the same process 5-10-50 times a day. It is not sexy but it’s that due diligence that creates consistently profitable traders. I didn’t count but I think Mark says “It’s just wash, rinse, repeat” several times during this chapter. It may not be alluring but it’s the truth. Whether it be the “Pre Flight Checklist” or the “Sykes Sliding Scale” you need to develop a system that works for you and stick with it and refine it ad nauseum.

This chapter is for sure a MUST re watch. I’ve seen less valuable content on $200-500 DVD’s and this chapter is just a portion of the FREE content in Trader Checklist.


Mark Croock Pre Flight Checklist
#1 Criteria to get started
     -Big % gainer
     -Former runner
     -StocksToTrade – Yahoo finance – Finfiz –
#2 Check stats
     -Shares outstanding
     -# of shares short
Good description of the behavior of low float stocks
Good discussion on repeating the due diligence EVERY time.
Finviz screener for big gainers. >10%
     -Sort by volume
Process of building list of tickers, quickly scan at first.
     -Start with big list, then whittle down
     -Check multiple sources, finviz, StocksToTrade, Yahoo finance, etc etc.
     -Ignore low volume
#3 Catalysts
          -earnings winner – Potential Buy
          -contract winner – Potential Buy
          -technical breakout – Potential Buy
          -Hot sector –  – Potential Buy – trends, Ebola,weed etc
          -Pump – Potential short
          -Buyout rumors – guessing game – no edge. IGNORE
          -Speculative and “potential” news, usually an Ignore
#4 Where is longer term and short term Support and resistance
     -Basic technical analysis
     -Multiple time frames.
     -Avoid long term “bag holder” charts, long kiss goodnight.
MOST CHARTS ARE NOT TRADEABLE, learn to recognize this through repetition.
Breakdown of NVCN – Rinse and repeat methods already mentioned.
Avoid beat down stocks
Watchlist building – good thinking through of potentials
     -writing out thoughts
Really like the idea of writing out plans/ideas
Good breakdown of balance sheet
Good example of my “ghetto fundamental analysis” quick cash check, burn rate etc.

Review of #traderchecklist Instructional DVD by @timothysykes Chapter 11

Click here to get Timothy Sykes Trader Checklist 100% for FREE.


Table of Contents for Review of TraderChecklist


Whoops I didn’t realize till finishing the last post that this segment was only five minutes long. Otherwise I would have just built them into one post, but oh well.

While short this chapter is very useful for new to intermediate traders. Basically it is centered around a mid day stock offering by EVOK. Many traders get confused about these offers and scream “PUMP AND DUMP” etc. Sykes does a very solid job of quickly explaining that while shady and disgusting these types of offerings happen every day in the land of shit penny stocks. Sooner you understand this and accept it the better. Always trade low priced stocks cautiously.

MUST WATCH chapter for new traders or current or former traders that have become “bagholders” at any time in their career.


EVOK Late date crack

3:15PM Friday afternoon ATM

Rodman and Renshaw

Good description of this type of financing.

Trade these stocks CAUTIOUSLY.

Review of #traderchecklist Instructional DVD by @timothysykes Chapter 10

Click here to get Timothy Sykes Trader Checklist 100% for FREE.


Table of Contents for Review of TraderChecklist


Nice quick chapter that summarizes the day after Chapter 9. Basically a recap of how the stocks ended up trading after the Trader Checklist analysis the day before. Some very useful trading psychology discussion is included as well. Its very general but nice to hear post mortem how Sykes was thinking and how he works through these types of trades.

I liked the points about avoiding pre market trading unless the setup is just too juicy to skip, as well as the difference between a “convincing” breakout and a “lame” breakout (with examples).

While quick this was a good chapter, I think it was a solid idea to go over the trades from the day before and Sykes sprinkled in enough Trading Psychology to make this chapter high in value.


Mid day recap – Daily review




User testimonials and trade recaps

TSRI Recap – Earnings winner

Avoid pre market trading when possible.

Discussion of when and how to buy morning dips

Good basic support/resistance technical analysis discussion

DELT – Dip buy

Convincing breakouts vs lame breakouts

DELT recap – trader checklist – hindsight

Discussion of “robot thinking” Trader Checklist is still just a guide. Not written in stone.

Good psychology discussion on DELT

Level 2 discussion

Review of #traderchecklist Instructional DVD by @timothysykes Chapter 9

Click here to get Timothy Sykes Trader Checklist 100% for FREE.


Table of Contents for Review of TraderChecklist


Very solid nitty gritty chapter here. And especially for those new to trading or new to actually preparing at night. One of the best overarching themes of Trader Checklist is spending the time and doing due diligence to locate the best trades. So many unsuccessful traders just show up at the market open with no plan or theme and just start putting on random trades. They then proceed to get frustrated and most likely chopped out of even good setups.

This chapter is an hour long insight into Sykes building his watchlist. Rating stocks for their potential and really thinking about how and why to trade them. Not only is this useful since you actually see him using the Trader Checklist real time. I think the greatest lesson is watching him work through his process of selection, at times agongizing over making a plan.

I truly and firmly believe in “No plan, no trade”. Especially as a newer or intermediate trader you have to “put in the reps” each night or early morning. Its boring, slow and at times annoying. But you will never find success or get to the next level without doing this work. NOBODY, no matter what they say on Twitter shows up at 9:29AM, makes a couple trades and calls it a day at 11AM WITHOUT doing the work of scanning and planning.

This chapter gives a good insight into Sykes putting in this effort each and every night. Great lesson on the process of the Trader Checklist, but even better lesson on work ethic. I’ve followed Sykes since about 2007 and he has literally NEVER missed a day building a watchlist in roughly 9 years.

Great overall chapter and for sure should be flagged for re-watching.


After hours STT

Building a watchlist


Discussion of penny stocks versus “real stocks” and price movement

Look at price/patterns/volume and catalyst not what the company is or does.

Percentage gainers – watchlist
-from today or the day before.

High volume can create choppiness

DELT breakdown

Good listening to though process through potential watches and trade plans.

Multiple timeframe breakdown – useful

TOPS – breakdown

Risk to reward discussion

Little bit of SEC digging

Lots of good Trader Checklist examples

Again a good use of the SSS is cutting down a watch list to a manageable number.

GRPN PEIX ALIM – earnings winners

PEIX basic technical analysis

Breakdown of earnings winners – checklist style

Breakdown of Supernovas – checklist

SPU trader checklist

Review of #traderchecklist Instructional DVD by @timothysykes Chapter 8

Click here to get Timothy Sykes Trader Checklist 100% for FREE.


Table of Contents for Review of TraderChecklist


Another shorter chapter, right around 30 minutes. I try and keep these reviews honest and not just “rose colored”. So this was probably my least favorite chapter. Though while it did not have much value for me, I think it would serve very new traders well. Most of chapter was reviewing and “hindsight trading” a couple trades that Sykes made that day. He retroactively completed the SSS sheet on trades after closing them out.

This has some value I think to kind of get in the mind of how to approach a trade setup, but for me it was not that engaging.

Best value was in reinforcing the idea of using the SSS to whittle down the number of stocks you watch. I really think that is one of the most powerful parts of this model, while obvoiusly not perfect it creates a framework to get you down to a manageable list of stocks.

Good thing is it was quick so you can pick up the solid tips without spending a ton of time on this chapter.


STT – SSS post market open.

SPU – GRPN recaps

MFT discussion

Detailed discussion of SPU, before, during and after trade.

Double back to SSS analysis on GRPN EVOK PEIX MDGS

SSS – Trader Checklist on SPU in hindsight

User testimonials

EVOK recap

Float rotation discussion

GRPN recap and breakdown

Lot of doubling back on setups.

SSS helps you refine down to less tickers to follow.

Tough to short earnings winners/delayed spikes

Review of #traderchecklist Instructional DVD by @timothysykes Chapter 7

Click here to get Timothy Sykes Trader Checklist 100% for FREE.


Table of Contents for Review of TraderChecklist


Quick but good chapter. Actually while I normally think more is better I think brevity in this case in a positive. Sykes goes into actually implementing the SSS in 4 different stocks. It is a capture from pre market back in July so the actually tickers do not really matter. What is valuable is hearing and seeing Sykes thought process and how he actually weights each criteria in the 7 categories.

The Sykes Sliding Scale is not an exact science but it is a solid method to help decide whether a stock is a solid trade setup for YOU. And what I really like is it helps rank all the potential trades of the day. I prefer to focus on as few stocks as possible and watching Sykes go through examples is very helpful to refine this process.


Pre market watchlist building with StocksToTrade

Use pre market as a guide

Earnings discussion and time based chart stamping in StocksToTrade


S13-G Filing

Bad sushi, beat down stocks
-not always worth buying just because they are cheap

Trader Checklist Demo with PEIX

7/28/2016 Examples

PEIX – 56 on the SSS nothing amazing setup wise


MDGS – 67

MDGS not ideal but good example of showing “weighting” of potential plays and which to focus on

Good example of thought process in flux.

GRPN – 61

Hypothetical on GRPN – 73