The margin between winning and losing can be razor thin. That holds true in both pro sports and the markets.
Saturday, Danica Patrick edged out Helio Castroneves to win the Indy Japan 300. The difference was 5.8594 seconds, and Patrick, who became the first woman ever to win an IndyCar race, overtook Castroneves on lap 198 of the 200-lap race.
However, to get there, Patrick had to take advantage of key factors that fell in her favor at important junctures of the race. Scott Dixon, who was leading the race at the time, had to take a pit stop with just five laps remaining. Then Dan Wheldon and Tony Kanaan pitted on lap 196 and Patrick took full advantage, climbing from fourth to second on lap 197. Wheldon and Kanaan finished fourth and fifth respectively, while Dixon came in third.
Those circumstances combined with Patrick's skill allowed her to grab her first victory in 50 races and permanently work her way into the record books.The lessons on the racetrack also apply to investing. You have to take full advantage when things turn in your favor because the opening may not last long. If you snooze, you lose. So far this season, I've been able to grab some quick wins by staying on top of my game and doing my homework. I have had four $1000 wins, including Sigma Designs (SIGM - Get Report), Garmin (GRMN - Get Report), Boeing (BA - Get Report) and Dow Chemical (DOW - Get Report). Some other solid companies that have done well since I picked them. For example, I selected United Technologies (UTX - Get Report) in a column I wrote on April 1. The company's stock price opened that day at $69.24 and closed at $72.51 this past Friday. It's definitely moving in the right direction, although I did not grab a win because I canceled my order after one week because it did not fill at the price I wanted. However, I followed the rules, identified a good company and took a shot at it. We'll get more turns at the bat. Today, I'm taking a cut at Frontier Oil (FTO). The company refines crude oil to make various grades of gasoline, diesel fuel, jet fuel, asphalt and chemicals. The stock is rated a strong buy according to ValuEngine with fair value at $36.61. The daily chart shows Frontier above its 52-week low of $24.73 with the five-day modified moving average at $26.69 and the 21-day simple moving average at $27.29 as stabilizing levels within last Friday's price range. On its weekly chart, Frontier has been above its 200-week simple moving average since early 2001, and this key support is $24.38 this week. Frontier is a monster company that has been in a slump recently. It has no debt and a price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio of 5.78. In late February, the company reported a sharp decline in its fourth-quarter earnings due to weakening demand and high oil prices. Last week, the stock hit a 52-week low of $24.73 and closed at $26.73 on Friday. It reached a 12-month high of $49.13 last July. It may not be the flashiest company, but is solid and should deliver a win. That's why I am placing a good till cancel (GTC) order for 10 October $20 (FTOJD) DITM calls for $8.00, or better. Don't forget to place a GTC sell order $1.00 above the price we get filled at ($8.00), which would be a sell order at $9.00. If both orders get filled, that will put $1,000 big ones in your pocket. Always Remember: Life is a journey, enjoy the ride!