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Trading in the Big Leagues


The mechanics of the swing are more important than the results of the at bat.

Editor's Note: The following was posted in real time on our premium Buzz & Banter (click for a free trial). It's being shared here for the benefit of the Minyanville community. See also What's Your Price Target?

"Hit me again Ike, and this time put some STANK on it! --Fletcher Reede, Liar Liar

Old school Minyans know I'm nothing if not honest--in good times and bad, hot streaks and cold, up tapes and down, our process is constant. Win, lose or draw, we toss the ball back on the mound, jog back to the dugout and get ready for the next inning.

I share this as a context for this discussion, which is the "half step slow" I've felt since early March, after publicly opining that a "monster move" was coming to the upside (potentially to S&P 1000) and that I would add 25% of my long-term bucket at S&P 600. We never got there, of course, but my stylistic approach (buy dips to sell blips) allowed me to participate in spates and I've learned never to lament when the bottom line is green.

Of course, the travails of life and death put everything on hold in mid-March when I traveled to Orlando. I have no regrets about that--none--as I pride myself on certain tenets and being a true friend during a time of need is at the top of the list. That did, however, coincide with a meaty leg higher for the market and one that I didn't participate in. Again, always honest.

More recently, I've been balancing a hectic travel schedule with a few massive Minyan initiatives, all of which are consistent with the long-term growth of our community. I learned long ago that if you're not 100% focused on your risk, you're at a natural disadvantage as your counter-party surely is. I'm not making excuses--that's never been my bag--I'm simply sharing what's happening on this side of the screen.

Of course, as shared last week, I had a game plan in place that would have been one of the snazzier trades in recent memory but I got wagon wheeled by Wells Fargo (WFC). Not only did its positive pre-announcement preclude me from setting up long exposure consistent with the reverse dandruff we've been focused on (in the BKX), it caught me with a small short position in Apple (AAPL) (although I clawed back some of those seeds yesterday).

Finally, late yesterday as I noodled the Intel (INTC) chart and the "low ball" expectations, I purchased some lottery tickets in the Mother Chip. It was a "throwaway" position but that doesn't excuse the blind bet, particularly when I shared it for the benefit of ye faithful. I take my name and word quite seriously in these parts as I know others monitor my process.

What's the point of all this? Simple--the importance of "know thyself." There have been times I've seen the seams on the ball as it approached the plate (Old School Minyans will remember a particularly long roll of the dice in 2000-2001) and others when my swing seems to have a serious hitch.

When that latter matter comes to bear--and it does for all traders, at times--it's incumbent on us not to press and let it pass. Trying to make up for lost ground and bad trades with a big swing is a recipe for disaster. It's entirely alright to admit it's hard out there but completely inexcusable to pretend it's not.

That's why we continue to preach the importance of financial staying power and why I share this tale. Nobody is smarter than the market but if we're disciplined, aware and continually operate through the lens of risk management, we'll find our way to easier days and better trades.

As always, I hope this finds you well.


In memory of our fallen friend and trusted colleague, Bennet Sedacca, 100% of the donations made to the RP Foundation through April will be channeled to philanthropic endeavors consistent with the RP mission, working closely with the Sedacca clan in the distribution of those funds. We thank you kindly for your support as we strive to effect positive change in the lives of children.
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Position in INTC

Todd Harrison is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Minyanville. Prior to his current role, Mr. Harrison was President and head trader at a $400 million dollar New York-based hedge fund. Todd welcomes your comments and/or feedback at

The information on this website solely reflects the analysis of or opinion about the performance of securities and financial markets by the writers whose articles appear on the site. The views expressed by the writers are not necessarily the views of Minyanville Media, Inc. or members of its management. Nothing contained on the website is intended to constitute a recommendation or advice addressed to an individual investor or category of investors to purchase, sell or hold any security, or to take any action with respect to the prospective movement of the securities markets or to solicit the purchase or sale of any security. Any investment decisions must be made by the reader either individually or in consultation with his or her investment professional. Minyanville writers and staff may trade or hold positions in securities that are discussed in articles appearing on the website. Writers of articles are required to disclose whether they have a position in any stock or fund discussed in an article, but are not permitted to disclose the size or direction of the position. Nothing on this website is intended to solicit business of any kind for a writer's business or fund. Minyanville management and staff as well as contributing writers will not respond to emails or other communications requesting investment advice.

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