Here’s The Game Plan

Editor’s note: I am
pleased to welcome Rob Hanna as a regular TradingMarkets contributor. Look for
his commentary every Monday and Wednesday at 6:00 PM ET.


Since this is my first column, I thought I would give you
little background on my trading, and then provide you an idea of the kind of
things I intend to discuss here twice a week.

Over the course of my trading career from part-time trader
to full-time trader to hedge fund manager, I have studied and practiced many
different styles of trading across many different time frames.
I’ve been a hyperactive daytrader, a swing trader, and an
intermediate-term investor. For
years I would make sure to trade separate accounts for separate time frames, so
as to keep things “cleaner.”

although I was successful in and enjoyed all three styles of trading, I also
experienced frustrations with all of them.
I would exit stocks in my short-term accounts that had solid fundamentals
and technicals because I’d gotten the sharp price spike that I sought.
Many of these stocks went on to huge gains without me, while I was busy
looking for the next stock that might move up $1-$2.

In my intermediate-term account I would spot many day and swing trade
setups in my positions that I could have taken advantage of but didn’t, for
fear of blowing my chance at huge gains by making a mistake or overtrading.

Eventually, I realized two very important things:

  1. Many of my most successful short-term trades were in stocks that would
    make excellent intermediate-term candidates.

  2. Intermediate-term setups
    would frequently lead to excellent short-term trading opportunities.

This led me to develop methodologies where I could safely mix time frames.
This is where my real epiphany occurred.
I began using short-term techniques to reduce risk and enhance the
returns of my intermediate-term positions — all in one account.

While there are many pitfalls involved in mixing time frames,
and I wouldn’t recommend my own style of trading for everyone, I do think it
is important to understand what is going on around you.Dave Landry and
Derrik Hobbs‘ techniques.

If you want to be a great swing trader, you should also know what
daytraders like Kevin Haggerty and
Dave Floyd are doing.
You should know how the intermediate-term players like
Mark Boucher,
Gary Kaltbaum, and
Tim Truebenbach are viewing your stocks.
The more ways you are able to view the situation, the better informed you
will be when trying to make that buy or sell decision.

Through this column I intend not only to give you my
thoughts on the market, but I will also share with you some of the methodologies
I use and the thought processes I go through when trading.

  • I will attempt to help you recognize when traders who are
    looking at longer or shorter- term charts may be active in certain stocks, and
    how that activity should affect your decision-making.

  • I will talk about how I evaluate and manage risks in
    different time frames, and how this factors into my decision-making.

  • I will discuss how to find opportunities in different time
    frames by looking in unusual places.

  • I will use examples and charts of stocks that are current
    or recent, and pertinent to the topic.

  • I will try and inspire my readers to come up with their own
    ideas and develop their own methods — for I think the best traders are the
    ones who have found their comfort zone by taking what they believe are the best
    ideas of other traders, gurus, and market wizards, and tweaking them to fit
    their own personality.

  • Lastly, I will try and answer any questions you send me.

But I can’t do it all tonight. As
I continue to write, and as the column evolves, I would welcome any feedback,
questions, or comments you may have along the way.Thank you,

Rob Hanna