Updated from 9:07 a.m. EST

Predicting the future is virtually impossible; however, if one takes an hourly, daily and even weekly no-nonsense approach to the stock market, profits may soon follow.

What do I mean by a "no-nonsense" approach?

1. Every trade you place should represent no more than 1% of your total capital or assets under management. Keep your losers/losses under control and the winners/profits will take care of the rest.

2. Every trade must have a specific catalyst that you attempt to "game." After the catalyst has occurred, you dump the position. No matter what.

3. Do not buy something just because you think it is cheap. There are tons of cheap stocks currently in the market, but they all have the potential to fall another 50% or more. A cheap stock can get cheaper, and cheaper, and cheaper as it painfully eats away at your capital. The ideal long trade is a cheap stock, but one with a catalyst that may propel it higher.

4. Keep very tight

stop orders

on all positions. There are dozens of academic papers regarding what is the ideal stop order might be; personally I use 5% to 7%.

5. Keep a close eye on the CBOE Volatility Index, commonly known as

the VIX

. There is no better gauge of raw fear in the market than this index.

With this in mind, here's my weekly

Rocket Stocks portfolio

of stocks ideas that could surge higher -- or, in some cases, lower -- on specific positive or negative catalysts (including

Century Aluminum

(CENX) - Get Report

) .

TheStreet Recommends

To read more,

visit Stockpickr.com


In Monday trading, shares of Century Aluminum closed at $3.70 (up 4.23% for the day).

At the time of publication, Altucher and/or his fund had no positions in the stocks mentioned, although positions may change at any time.

James Altucher is president of


LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of TheStreet.com and part of its network of Web properties, and a managing partner at Formula Capital, an alternative asset management firm that runs a fund of hedge funds. He is also a weekly columnist for the

Financial Times

and the author of

Trade Like a Hedge Fund


Trade Like Warren Buffett



. Under no circumstances does the information in this column represent a recommendation to buy or sell stocks. Altucher appreciates your feedback;

click here

to send him an email.

TheStreet.com has a revenue-sharing relationship with Trader's Library under which it receives a portion of the revenue from purchases by customers directed there from TheStreet.com.