Monday, March 3, 2014

Thing 21 Free-for-All

Daily Stocks: Perhaps for the "hobby" or "personal enrichment" category of apps, Daily Stocks is extremely useful for the active trader, but can also provide useful information for DYI investors. Since my own style is a hybrid of the two, I found this app really appealing, especially since it pulls together several different kinds of information that might otherwise be found on a variety of financial/investing/trading Web sites. (A site that performs some of the same functions is finviz, (which assumes intermediate to advanced knowledge in trading). Daily Stocks does not offer advice. To me, that enhances its credibility.

It opens to a menu that includes the following headings: (1) Stock Scans, (2) Japanese Candlesticks, (3) Reversals, (4) Watchlist, (5) Market Pulse, and (6) Candles vs. Candles.

(1) Stock Scans: This feature creates lists of stock tickers based on several categories, such as performance, overextended, crossovers, volume events, and gaps. (Current stories and reports help provide context for the stock performance, but overall it is heavily dependent on technical (vs. fundamental) analysis. As has already been demonstrated and will continue to be an issue in the following headings, this app requires a fair amount of background knowledge and understanding of terminology.

(2) Japanese Candlesticks: If you've never heard of Japanese Candlesticks, first, they have nothing to do with setting the mood for an Asian dinner, and second, a fuller understanding of them can be found in such books as How Technical Analysis Works. This heading is all technical analysis and indicates via a stock's chart whether it is in a bullish, bearish, or indecisive trend. Clicking on a symbol will lead you to short-, intermediate-, and long-term charts, which are all useful for establishing the strength of a stock's trends. In the process, you will also have to learn some very strange terms that all center on technical analysis: dark cloud cover, evening stars, morning stars, 3 black crows, engulfing patterns, haramis, dojis, and many others.

(3) Reversals: This heading is a little more straightforward than Japanese Candlesticks, and it illustrates what you might assume it does--when stocks reverse direction, either in a bullish or in a bearish way. But it also includes how the reversal compares to the SMA50 or SMA100 or SMA200 because those also need to be factored in. You'll also need to know that SMA means simple moving average, and you'll also need to know the implications of the simple moving average, along with the relationship between moving averages. (This is why financial advisers and mutual funds may now look very appealing to the investor quickly becoming overwhelmed; but if you put in the time, the terms become second-nature.)

(4) Watchlist: The Watchlist is also straightforward and requires your participation. It simply allows you to create a list of stocks--from those that appear under the other headings or from those you can find by using the search tool-- that you might be interested in but want to watch their performance for any clear indications of a compelling pattern. Watchlists are important to develop, if for no other reason than to avoid just investing on a whim without having some sense of the stock's direction (although a somewhat different strategy, scheduled investing, or dollar cost averaging does seem to disregard this advice because it doesn't trust technical analysis).

(5) Market Pulse: This feature provides a snapshot of the major market indices, along with a list of up-to-the-minute stories that have an impact on the market. For example, in light of the Russia action, both oil and gold are up today, so if you invested in these sectors, you can thank Putin. That's the other thing you'll learn from this app and from other investing research, not everything tends to go down at the same time: Even when there's terrible news, there are opportunities to make money in the market.

(6) Candles vs. Candles: This is not a feature but an opportunity to receive even more finely tuned information. It costs about $50 and is more comprehensive and responsive than the free version. I wouldn't recommend buying it unless my previous discussion bored you because you already knew it all, and then some, and you're a very active trader--and my guess is that most folks in education don't have the opportunity to do so--until summer rolls around.

As I noted above, I really like this app, but that's with the understanding that it is only one tool that I would use in making investing decisions; it's also obvious that this tool doesn't include the ever popular ETFs or mutual funds or commodities or closed end funds or bonds or bond funds, so information in those areas would have to be found elsewhere. But, on the whole, as a free app, it offers at a glance a great deal of useful information--to people who have the knowledge and experience to use it appropriately.

No comments:

Post a Comment