December Can Be A Difficult Month For Trading

Well, here we are in December, the final trading month of 2016, and what a year it has been. After what can only be described as the most controversial, unorthodox and stressful presidential campaign in history I think the country just want to move on and into the holiday season.

For 2016 the major indexes have performed remarkably well. For the year the DOW has gained 10%, the S&P 500 7.24% and finally the NASDAQ is up almost 5%.

December has traditionally been a positive month for stocks and this December could well continue that trend. One word of warning about December, after about the second week of trading, liquidity begins to shrink dramatically as many traders and brokerage companies start to wind down operations for the year. Traditionally most market participants look forward to the holidays and a well deserved mental and physical break from the markets. This year is no different, in fact, I think it will be magnified as the equity markets have all performed well. Unless we see a "Black Swan" event in December, we expect to see stocks remain flat to positive month.

The reason I want to bring the month of December to attention is simply to alert you to this one fact. If you have not made your money for the year yet, the last two weeks of December is not the time to be taking big risks and swinging for the fences. Continue reading "December Can Be A Difficult Month For Trading"

Five ways to improve your trading during "Silly Season" (Poll)

About a year ago I wrote a blog on the "silly season," as I call it. The silly season starts on December 15 and extends through the first week of January. The silly season has nothing to do with telling jokes and laughing at funny things, but everything to do with trading.

Trading is a serious business. If you want to be successful you have to practice, just like an athlete would. I don't think there is an athlete out there who just woke up and said I'm going to be a world-class athlete and achieved that goal without practicing.

After December 15 most successful traders who made their money during the year are headed to either Florida, Palm Springs, or just taking a break to spend time with family.

What makes the silly season, silly?

Continue reading "Five ways to improve your trading during "Silly Season" (Poll)"

Good news, it's the end of "Silly Season!"

Good news, it's the end of "Silly Season!"

On the 10th of December we blogged that "Silly Season" was about to begin. This is the time of year when the markets can get a little weird and do all sorts of things that perhaps they wouldn't do in more normal times.

Liquidity is the lifeblood of the markets and without liquidity markets can be pushed around by just a few small orders that ordinarily would not make a blip on the radar screen.

Continue reading "Good news, it's the end of "Silly Season!""

I am officially ready for "Silly Season," are you?

On the 10th of December we posted on this blog about the "silly season" and what it means to the markets and to traders. We also put up a poll asking the following question:

How will you be spending this "silly season"?

  • Other - Please tell us in the comments (3%, 21 Votes)
  • Trading like any other day (27%, 212 Votes)
  • Re-evaluating my trading plan and getting ready for Q1 (51%, 395 Votes)
  • Taking a break or vacation (31%, 236 Votes)

I'm happy to say we had over 700 votes and lots of comments. It was gratifying to see that 51% of the folks elected to spend time on the sidelines and enjoy life during this time.

Continue reading "I am officially ready for "Silly Season," are you?"