Andrew Anger, a junior at Saint Mary's University of Minnesota, was the October winner in Stockpickr's Wall Street Pros vs. Main Street Joes stock game. A $1,000 prize is awarded to the game's top percentage winner every month, in addition to weekly prizes.
Trading is similar to poker: You have to know when to hold 'em and and when to fold 'em. You have to be able to manage what you have, fiscally and successfully.
According to one of my favorite trading books, Mark Douglas'
Trading in the Zone
, trading is a psychological battle with yourself, and the challenge is not to allow your emotions to dictate your trades.
Trading is also a battle with everyone else in the market. What every individual trader, hedge fund manager and investor is thinking controls the direction of the market.
Since trading involves crowd psychology and moving with the flow of the market,
support and resistance lines
are useful. These tools, along with knowledge of stock patterns, are key to understanding crowd psychology. They are an insight into how the crowd has acted and may act in the future.
There are two ways I use support and resistance lines when looking at intraday charts. The first is to find and trade stocks trading in a range, simply buying at the bottom of the range and selling at the top (or shorting at the top and covering at the bottom).
The second way I use support and resistance lines is to wait for stocks to break out of them. Using this simple strategy, I was able to win $1,000 in the
Stockpickr Stock Game
, Wall Street Pros vs. Main Street Joes, during the month of October, sporting the top monthly gain of 45.5%.
Another essential aspect of my decision-making hinges on the general market direction. In order to determine this, I use a variety of ETFs within my daily trading watch lists. These ETFs give me an indication of how the markets are doing overall, and they work well with support and resistance lines to help determine an entry point to buy or short.
In real-life trading, these tips can get your portfolio headed in an excellent direction. But if you want to win a stock contest, you must be able to take high risks. My stock-contest trading style involves trading the most volatile issues, which are often penny stocks, with a value of $1 to $10.
As an example, during the October edition of the Stockpickr Stock Game, I had an explosive gain of 130% with my position in
Clean Diesel Technologies
, yielding me a gain of more than $83,000. A few other stocks that ran hard during the last two weeks of October were
China Shen Zhou Mining & Resources
, which I bought and held overnight for a monstrous 100% gain, and
, for a 50% gain. These stocks netted me over $92,000 collectively within the game.