Editor's note: This is a bonus column from James "Rev Shark" De Porre, who writes a daily trading diary featured only on RealMoney . We're offering this excerpt, which was published on RealMoney at 8:25 this morning, to TheStreet.com readers. To read Rev's commentary every day, please click here for information about a free trial to RealMoney.


"Man was born to be rich, or grow rich by use of his faculties, by the union of thought with nature. Property is an intellectual production. The game requires coolness, right reasoning, promptness, and patience in the players."

-- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Mr. Emerson's succulent guide to financial success is also a very good summary of ingredients needed for success in the stock market. Cool, calm logic, timely action and patience are the keys. Many traders possess great reasoning skills and are very adept at moving aggressively but have a difficult time when it comes to patience, especially in the current market environment.

To many market participants, patience seems contrary to what successful traders do. The perception is that successful traders are in constant motion: They are actively buying and selling and if they aren't it means they have failed. Good traders should be finding a constant supply of opportunities and making big bold moves on a regular basis.

Maybe to some extent, but it depends a great deal on your particular style. An intraday trader with a very short time frame obviously shouldn't cultivate the same level of patience as someone with a time frame of days or weeks. Those with a short bias need to wait out market rallies while those with a long bias need to wait out market pullbacks.

What makes the market particularly difficult is that effective trading requires both quick, decisive action as well as patience. We have to be prepared to sit and wait for long stretches and then act quickly and aggressively when the time is right. It can be a very hard transition to make. Those who are adept at staying patient often have a hard time acting boldly, and vice versa.

In this market, many of us have a hard time resisting the itch for action. We anxiously anticipate what will happen in the future and find ourselves implementing our battle plans before the time is right. We use up our ammunition and then when Mr. Market is most vulnerable we are incapable of taking advantage.

Even if you consider yourself an active trader, patience is a virtue you need to cultivate. That doesn't mean you do nothing; it means you make plans, plot strategy, stay vigilant and prepare to attack when the time is right. You might test the trading waters now and then, but if you conserve your cash ammunition wisely you will profit when the battle begins in earnest.

The big question this morning is how much further the market has to correct. The bad news is that we are still in a downtrend and exhibiting few signs of making a major trend change. The good news is that many stocks have already pulled back substantially. Of the Nasdaq 100 stocks, 56 are below their 200-day moving average, which is about where we were when the market bottomed out a year ago. Of course, the prices are a lot higher now but that is not an insubstantial correction.

Futures have been slowly improving so far this morning but investors remain wary, especially after another disappointing close yesterday afternoon. The hard work of patient preparation awaits us. Don't get lazy and act before the time is right.
James "Rev Shark" De Porre is a self-taught trader who primarily trades for his own account from his home on Anna Maria Island, Fla. He is a member of the Michigan Bar Association and a former tax attorney and CPA. De Porre holds business and law degrees from the University of Michigan. He was formerly the host of America Online's The Shark Attack and presently operates SuperTraders.com. At the time of publication, he did not have any positions in any of the stocks mentioned in this column, although holdings can change at any time. Under no circumstances does the information in this column represent a recommendation to buy or sell stocks. He appreciates your feedback and invites you to send your comments to RevShark@aol.com.