High Heeled Traders
  • Contact email: charmel@highheeledtraders.com

Girl Power Trading

Just had a wet and wonderful weekend – no I didn’t go a waterpark, I was in fact with a few million people who attended the events celebrated by Pope Francis who was in Manila, Philippines. I felt I need to share my reflections that help in this world of investing and making money in the financial markets.

Before that, I say here again that Pope Francis makes a good point about “Women have much to tell us in today’s society. Sometimes we’re too macho, and we don’t leave enough room for women. Women are able to see things with different eyes than us. Women are able to ask questions that men can’t understand…” especially so in the world of finance, so I invite all women to share what we see and what we question :) .

The Pope talked about having mercy and compassion for the poor. BUT let us not be confused here. It does not mean we should be one of them. We are to help them. Many investors I have spoken to, (and even myself at the start felt) that I should just have “enough” or desire a “simple life”. Many call themselves “conservative investors”, and some in my workshops I have invited to rethink why. Those who have been investing for years, check your performance ( ie. your portfolio or bank account), if this has been your thinking all along, what results have you got? Have you reached your targets? Did your capital grow to the level you wanted to be when you set out to invest? Were you able to buy that house or saved up for retirement already, or replaced your income or whatever goal it was you had when you started to invest? I found that with this thought, this limiting belief about a “simple life” STOPS us from achieving our goals. It seems to be a teeny weeny belief but with it you are closing your eyes to the opportunities, allowing yourself to take only a little and that is the cause of the struggle. We should instead be open to the blessings and graces all around us (like all the opportunities the stockmarket offers!), do our utmost to become rich and have more to share. Not just to care for ourselves or own immediate family. As Pope Francis put it, to not just have “worldly compassions” that only provide the poor with temporary relief. “If Christ had that kind of compassion, he would have walked, just greeted three people, gave them something and moved on. So let us make the best of ourselves, build our skills, and do our very best in how we do this business. That means, we should strive to become prosperous and become responsible channels of God’s blessings.

In another event, he talks about many of us becoming mere repositories of information, he says that we should act so that information will bear fruit, I like to think that he is inviting us, that it is necessary to go, in financial terms, to take RISKS. If you don’t risk, you don’t get anything back. Pope Francis says, “It’s like real love. Real love is being open to the love that comes to you.”

I have another favourite message from Pope Francis, when he celebrated a mass for the victims of the strongest typhoon in history – Typhoon Haiyan (or locally named Yolanda). Many people lost their family members, their house, their livelihood, he invites us to be consoled and listen to what God tells us in our hearts. And importantly, to become like children, calling and clinging to our mother. Many of you are mothers like me, I am sure you are familiar with being the one who has to, and know, how to get past pain. That ability is so crucial in financial markets. Those losses that we have to take and get over with. Mothers are very well suited to be traders in the stockmarket because we can get past the pain and do the right thing. (And I know Paul Tudor Jones said something about young mothers unable to become good traders, but maybe try the ones past child-bearing age :) ). Anyway, I admit, being a “tradermom” is tough, I get asked how I manage — the children, the household and the investing activities. My answer, is, the mother will find a way, because the mother will do everything for love. I will share many strategies and thoughts on this in an upcoming book.

However, mothers are also human beings. I get overwhelmed too in life’s situations. I worry too and cry, weep, I have done. Yes it’s allowed. :) It’s actually recommended for traders to do that kind of release. Mothers must also take care of themselves physically, mentally, spiritually, emotionally etc. One thing that gives me great comfort and strength is to think that “I am a child of God”, and I believe that the universe is good, whatever happens good or bad, you have to make it a part of your beautiful life. And so, we keep going. Pope Francis says, “Let God surprise you”.

Last night, the US markets had a weak start even with positive lead from Europe, China GDP wasn’t all that bad and the Housing report was a little bit weak but still has a positive (means Fed won’t hurry to raise rates), oil dived again following the IMF’s weakened global forecast. The market volatility is therefore a given. I try not get rattled and just see how my systems (and my personal mental state could allow) a profitable trade. First I noticed that AAPL, FB and BABA were green even when the major Indices were all red. Delta reported good earnings so it was green too. It seemed oil stocks were down following the commodity taking a dive after that weak global outlook. Now tech stocks were defying the downturn for a good few minutes at the open, I reckon a down move will occur on these tech stocks soon after within that morning — we have to understand such is the nature of the markets – there is an ebb and flow, within an hour, the prices then dropped. How do we win if this keep happening? Traders need to follow the market but it’s easier said than done. The way to win, either choosing up or down, is to limit your risk, have a position sizing strategy that will let you participate in the opportunities that will deliver the most gains. One particular position might lose, while the other wins, so yes, the golden rule — keep the losses small and let your profits run. I say time and again, that’s what mothers do — if you do the wrong thing, you will be stopped, if you are doing a good job, you get rewarded with more :) .

AAPL was +2.00 after the open but mid morning dropped +.80 but maintained a gain of +1, I reckon it will hold its gains, at the close, AAPL rose +2.73 yesterday. I’m hanging on to it but keeping a tight trailing stop. So I hope you picked up some tips here… Up or Down you can win.

Related reads:

Pope Francis’ Speeches and Homilies with thanks to ABS-CBN News
Dr Van Tharp’s Peak Performance workshops and courses for Investment Psychology.
Paul Tudor Jones remarks on female traders.

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Timing Ups and Downs

January 12, 2015

Even the AAPL of my eye, was up and down last week. First, the stock slid in the first two days from 114 to 105,,, then, it staged a recovery to over 113. Before I give a run-down on these profitable moves — I suggest doing small positions on “test-mode” which you can then increase as you become successful. We’ll be getting a new batch of quarterly economic reports and earnings, while oil continues to slide and ECB stimulus is expected this month along with Greek elections, so be prepared for more skittishness in the market!

Timing is everything ,,, almost!
a) Opening times saw the best, most profitable and low-risk moves. If you follow the market, for example, starting off as positive, it will be following that trend for a good part of the hour.
b) Reports released as per schedule needs attention. Most of the reports are released 830, 10:00 in the morning. Those are your profitable timings and anticipation can be profitable, but again, make it within your position sizing. Beware that reversals or retracements can follow those reports too.
c) Earnings Reports — get a good look at the companies reporting, know whether they release their report before the market opens or after. I’d look at their Earnings history, particularly at the same quarter (like this December) to see if the company has been on the Nice list all along, chances are, the results can continue.

There are of course many other items to consider to lower your risk and maximize your success. I discuss them all in my workshops and show them in exclusive live-trading demos. So register your interest for the next workshops at charmel@highheeledtraders.com

It has been said that the FED will be patient and not make any moves on the interest rate until April, so make the most of this quarter. And if you’re an oil watcher (note I’m not an investor right now !) I’m sure you will be entertained as we have gone past the crazy $50 oil level and even I think $40 is not far along… things could get really interesting.
Enjoy this video…

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(Apple) Watch For It

January 6, 2015

Heyyyy,,, Holidays are over and first work week, what do you know, we are greeted by 331 points plunge in the Dow Jones, courtesy of oil at a crazy $50. This year will be a fantastic year with a lot of opportunities I tell you. Just get out there and keep tabs with the market. Maybe a smartwatch can help eh?

Didn’t really pay much attention to the Apple Watch but now that it’s being talked about more, I’m kinda warming up to it. I’d confess not being a “watch wearer” for decades,,, yes you heard it,,, I don’t want to bother with it when I carry my babies, I just use my phone to check on the time hehehe But well now, with some “health” features and apps like perhaps Apple Pay (such that I don’t have to hunt for credit card or cash) it could be worth it. I think it’s a good product on a virgin market, so, I am excited with the recent price moves making AAPL cheaper to get in. But of course watch out because 106 is not looking like a “bottom price”. With that Greece issue coming into play apart from the hysterical lows in oil, there’s going to be a lot of volatility or downward gyrations. Still we are looking at a January that follows the strongest economic year in the US, and low oil prices so, we have to plan for the upside risk as well. So from here, my strategy is to trade short-term trends and take my profits as the market moves with profit-trailing stops. If there’s bargain hunting to be done, it’s those who benefitted from the low oil prices which we discussed in my workshops. The last session saw a fairly steep drop, the next session might also move lower at the open before bargain hunters step in in time for the economic reports and earnings rolling in this week. So those who have attended my workshops ,,, your investment would pay off this year, get ready with your systems and market-driven strategies.

Register for my upcoming events this year -
> The Low Risk High-Reward Investing Workshop,
> US Stockmarket Investing Workshop
> Investing Success Bootcamp

They will be towards end of Feb, March and April. Email me your interest at charmel@highheeledtraders.com.

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My Best and Worst of 2014

December 30, 2014

Seriously, we have one day left for 2014 and the market shows little sign of slowing down.  Not everyone it seems is on vacation mode with the S&P 500 managing to eke out a record high once again, and a possible move to 2100 in the next few days.  This year, my best and worst is all about discipline.   Trading requires discipline and much of it involves focus and timing / time management, and this year my performance was hugely affected by my body and mind conditioning.  You think it hasn’t happened to you… maybe it did… read on.


Nope it’s not BHP, the oil and iron ore pricing since that’s caused by the market, the tragedy is how I manage my investments given the market conditions. I did suffer losses on this investment but it is not the worst thing for me because of the size of the investment.

It was more about the change of my active / daily trading to the US Market which starts at 9:30pm local time.  I really needed to adjust because I got the kids to monitor / help for assignments plus the bedtime storytelling and at the onset I was rushed in my preparations and nervous all the time.  I knew striking a balance was necessary … but definitely not easy, since primarily, I am a mommy and I enjoy giving them the cuddles and giving  massages to the children … but also makes me fall asleep !  I  really had to change a lot of my routine schedules,  my exercise, even taking a bath!  It’s because I found that my body is not conditioned to “work” at the trading session opening times, because  I  was feeling refreshed and ready for bed after a long day.  That also seemed to signal to my brain to  also slow down, so my sharpness in decision making dulled and even absorbing what’s happening.  I found that even with a reliable system,  an overwhelmed, stressed up body and consequently confused mind is NOT up to the task — won’t follow the rules.   There was one night  that my 1R loss  ballooned to a 5R loss!  Yep, I was disappointed at myself,  loss  felt very painful and  I had to cry.


At the start of the year I was expecting that my new life goals and  situation (we moved to a new house, new environment) would need me to update my business plan so I set about doing that.    The beautiful thing about having a written business plan, is that you have a reference point to where you are, where you’ve been and it is easier to assimilate what you are now.   I definitely find it is easier to pinpoint what does not work and needs changing / improving.   And the easiest way to improve your investing / trading results is to zero in on the following components of the BUSINESS PLAN :

1. YOU

I was active in forum once and one of the members said he wants to be the best investor / rock star traders  in the likes of Warren Buffett, George Soros.  To which, many in effect, said   “dream on”.  Yes, it’s true, in this day and age, there are “well-meaning people” who feel they must give a “reality check” to others, but, they are NOT helping that person and even more importantly, THEMSELVES with such a thinking!    One person put it this way — “I just want the money, I don’t care about being the best.”   Lots of people agree… Certainly nothing wrong with that?  WRONG!!!    How can a person with so so skills get paid more?   Or put it this way, is it right, is it fair, if your colleague gets paid more than you, when you know you are far more competent?  Something’s definitely wrong.  To be paid the best, you must be the best.  Period.

How to be the best –

a. Having clear  Goals

b. Develop appropriate mental capability (decision-making strategies, mental processes etc)

c. Being aware of your competencies and improve on weaknesses

Going back to my essence as a person, right now I am a mother first and foremost. True, I love the cuddling and looking after them is a full-time job. However, part of that job is to secure the well-being of ourselves and our family, so we need to stay connected to our finances, to invest wisely to improve our life now and for the future.

2.   POSITION SIZING — definitely a biggie.  For those who are new to this blog, “position sizing” is how much you are willing to Risk in a given position.  In short, how much you can afford to lose as a percentage or your capital  or in money terms  $1 for out of $10 stock.   The best thing is of course to maintain discipline in following your position sizing.  The other important thing is,  making sure that position-sizing satisfies your goals. Like for me, I have twin goals for  having a monthly income, and also to grow my capital.  For example,  I would have a 2%  Risk  and I check that this is within the  15-day ATR  or average true range of your stock so that it is beyond the noise or volatility of the market. This worked well for these stocks that worked well for me – FB, AAPL, MA, CVS – technologly, finance and healthcare sectors. Strong stocks that have been moving well with the bull market.


I mentioned about the “worst” thing that happened to me given the sad state of my “body and mind conditioning”.   This happened because of my new life situation,  new house, new school for my kids and I drive and pick-them up.  I am a new driver so I didn’t realize it at first but it seemed that the driving is wearing me down.  So I really have to pay attention to my time spent for these errands,  plan the best window of opportunity and taking rests and of course exercise and eating heathy food.  I also have to identify my other stresses and so far I’ve been able to manage and protect myself after doing a thorough evaluation.   It is not easy, I have to limit things I like to do like always updating my blog (from 4-5 times a week down to 1x a week),  dinners with my friends / family,  intermittent errands to the mall, now I have to really schedule when I go there because I  need to reserve time to nap in the afternoon so I wouldn’t be bogged down by night.   I make it a point though that I do not ”sacrifice” and give up pleasures entirely,  I just have to reschedule them – weekends are all for fun and relaxation.  And looking forward to it for the  New Year holidays….

So definitely, the best investment for me for 2014 is having my updated Business Plan — taking the time to write it down, update it to the challenges of my new life, and having long-decided to be a tradermom, to protect myself so that I can follow the business plan.

So here’s to a fantastic 2015  … The Mommy Returns


To learn more about developing your Business Plan,  attend our workshops :

1. Low-Risk High-Reward Investing Workshop for creating systems and market understanding

2. Investing in the United States stockmarket – for active and income investors

3. Investing Success Bootcamp – business plan and investment psychology

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High Heeled Traders

So which stocks give the highest reward? The least risky stocks. Found this article with the research debunking the myth that taking on “higher risk can get you higher reward”. Now that’s welcome support to my most cherished belief that low-risk ideas actually gives you high returns. “What the researchers found is surprising: The riskiest 25 percent of stocks—those most vulnerable to swings of the broad market—logged an average annual return of just over 7 percent per year. The least-risky 25 percent of stocks returned 10.6 percent per year. On a $10,000 investment over those four decades, the lower-risk stocks would have yielded more than $450,000.” That’s a whole lot of difference. My book “High Heeled Traders” gives the reader a fun and easy way to understand how to do low-risk high-reward investing. Get it with discount in Amazon.com here. Perfect gift for the ladies out there!

Meanwhile, oil prices, what a ride! I still have an oil stock and that is definitely giving me a challenge. I haven’t gotten out of it because it is just part of my overall portfolio, and I’ve been amiss in getting out early. Nevertheless, is it time to look for “bargains” and is the worst over?

Let’s look at some signs.
1. Stimulus – this is an iffy and disappointing one with the European Union, there is a standing one for corporate bonds most people want more, BUT Japan and China the 2nd and 3rd biggest economies have adopted stimulus measures like QE and rate cuts and may continue to do so to prop up their weakening economies. When it comes to political will, China has lots of it and they have proven wise to use it. Not to mention having a fair interest in the commodity market (Chinese investors were buying up mines and oil remember?).

2. Economic Growth – the US is certainly on strongest footing in this regard coming off their years of recession. Only this week,
>> the Oil inventories report showed an increased demand, with the price of oil at this level it has been reported people are driving more
>> Employment is steadily growing and most importantly, wages are increasing, from .01 at the previous report to .04. ( Wow!)
“a jump in wages as well as the biggest hiring surge in almost three years suggests the world’s largest economy is putting aside doubts about the strength of the expansion”. In the last 12 months, wage growth was 2.1 percent, and that’s very encouraging. Article here.
>> Motor vehicle sales rose to a 17.1 million annualized rate in November. And guess what these run around with… certainly not water! Oil is certainly cheap right now, but I doubt it’s going to go down much more with this kind of demand.

That said, I know now where the wise men of OPEC is coming from!

3. Geopolitics, Weather and What not — I mean what else! Russia is still out in the cold with the rest of the world, ISIS fighting, Syria and those mean weather cycles and oil prices is going to be in an interesting tango. IF oil prices continue to fall, trust that there will be feeding frenzy by the big players for the smaller players (who still have their productive mines/oil wells as assets), and that “M & A” or mergers and acquisitions activity will boost up sentiment on the companies. Survival of the fittest is still the name of the game.

So in the wise words of Warren Buffett, “be greedy when the others are fearful”… yes he said that. We all just need to be patient just like him.

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It’s happening. Manny Pacquiao’s video with FOOT LOCKER (FL) busted out last night giving a dose of fun. Already, FL is my pet trade for Friday’s session with its earnings. I’ve positioned prior session on the back of solid track record on beating earnings estimates but this new .22 quarterly dividend further sweetens the deal! Can’t wait for opening bell!
With the fab “Week of Greatness” campaign being unveiled with the Thanksgiving Holiday next week. as well as the Christmas season on the way, it’s definitely a stock worth getting excited about.

QUICK UPDATE : Foot Locker soared at pre-market but declined steadily during the session. At first I thought it is just normal volatility but it just went badly. This is why position sizing should always be a part of your game plan. When the Stop is hit, get out quick!

My fun book on stocktrading “High Heeled Traders” with explained with shopping, fashion and shoes is available with discount at Amazon.com HERE


Foot Locker, Inc. (NYSE: FL), the New York-based specialty athletic retailer, announced today that its Board of Directors declared a quarterly cash dividend on the Company’s common stock of $0.22 per share, which will be payable on January 30, 2015 to shareholders of record on January 16, 2015.

Foot Locker, Inc. is a specialty athletic retailer that as of November 1, 2014 operated 3,474 stores in 23 countries in North America, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. Through its Foot Locker, Footaction, Lady Foot Locker, Kids Foot Locker, Champs Sports, SIX:02, Runners Point, and Sidestep retail stores, as well as its direct-to-customer channels, including footlocker.com, Eastbay.com, and SIX02.com, the Company is a leading provider of athletic footwear and apparel.

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Where’s the Next Rally?

November 18, 2014


I read a very interesting article today that investors should sell US stocks and buy EU stocks instead, because…. wait for it,,, it is cheap! They cited that at the time the US was at the same “cheap” levels in the depths of the Global Financial Crisis, it has rallied strongly and predicted the same at the EU, “ECB’s stimulus package includes targeted loans, record-low interest rates, and the purchase of securitized debt. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg News predict the central bank will eventually embark on sovereign-bond purchases”. While the US-style QE of “bond purchases” apparently did it’s work of stimulating the economy, I am not very sure that the EU will be a good buy right now. That’s going to be extremely contrarian in my view, and if you are going with this idea, just be careful and be very patient! US growth stalled for a good 4 years before it started growing well enough to be taken off life support …last year….

OK, so where does this lead us? Another rally in US, haven’t we seen record highs already? I think it’s going to be tricky and volatile but we’re still on our way up baby! What with these mega-deals happening (oil companies, pharamaceutical companies, tech companies) that are very good for sentiment, and of course, the US staying in that “sweet spot” of not-too-hot-growth in low inflation environment and increasing jobs. And don’t forget that Christmas is around the corner and the “Santa Claus rally” and “January Effect” will be upon us. My hot tip – stay with the strong sector that benefit from the merry season’s retail upsurge, those that benefit from weak oil prices and the ones that actually beat earnings and reported rise in revenues for 4Q and reasonable valuations. Plus of course, my thoughts is that a volatility-based system will make the most money,,,

Last weekend I had the pleasure of conducting the workshop for “Investing in the US Stockmarket” and I have to say we had some very lively Q and A and very committed participants, some who had attended my past workshops and a few flying in from very far places like Kuwait, Davao (in Southern Philippines), and Bicol Region. One even had sweets for me, and it is much appreciated! More more more :)

The tools and resources, slides and Live Trading link was sent out today by Learning Curve, if you don’t have it, check on SPAM folder or let me know! Email at charmel@highheeledtraders.com

HOT OFF THE PRESS! S&P 500 hits another record high on Nov 18.



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US Markets reaching record-highs again, don’t be left behind! I will be sharing my insights and experience in this webinar in 2 sessions

SATURDAY Nov 8, 2014 5:30 AM SGT at:


This webinar will give a backgrounder for Investing in the US Market. Beginners and seasoned investors would greatly benefit from this webinar as we will discuss the current market situation, why the major US Indices are reaching records, and opportunities for the short-medium term.

Register even if you can’t attend the session to receive slides of the presentation. There will be a repeat of this webinar on Tuesday Nov. 11 9pm Singapore / KL / Manila
REGISTER at this link:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.
Please use earphones for best audio quality. The workshop for Investing in US Market is on
November 15, 2014 | 9:00am-12:00nn,
AIM Conference Center, Makati City

Brought to you by GoToWebinar®
Webinars Made Easy®

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Bottom Fishing

October 17, 2014

I’m sure in many people’s minds, the question is “are we there yet”? Are we at the bottom of the sell-off, is it safe to go and get into stocks? Looking at last night – Dow is down but the S&P and NASDAQ were mostly green for the afternoon and reports at jobless and industrial production both coming in strong, this is another opportunity you could take for a ride up on most stocks on the strong sectors (like a distant love — MMM in Materials sector breaking loose from its downtrend), also note those that benefit from the weak oil prices. Looks like those airlines are finally flying.

GOOG disappointed, I wanted them to keep their winning streak, I really do, but their advertising business is getting away from them, it seems like by the other internet darling “Facebook”. Mobile ads served by Facebook are more palatable also because of the strength of their engagement. I’m going to be watching the FB earnings very closely and if it grows in the same fashion as last quarter I think GOOG has to admit their advantage is gone.

Here are some videos I devoured early today wanting to see how the sentiment is faring out there. I think with EU slow to respond on growth concerns that US will continue to attract investors, but with the “tapering” ending soon, volatility could still be in the market, so get ready for the ride. And I’m delighted to offer an “Introduction to US Investing” event on November 15, in Manila, Philippines. So for you guys who want to strengthen your US Dollar assets (which is going to be the strongest currency by the way) this is an unmissable event. Watch out for the free webinar at my Facebook page. Check it out here.

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Following yesterday’s market action, I noticed that FB had a mostly up day while the wider market was wallowing in the red, it was a tricky situation, I had to control my “fear” as I watched the price march higher and higher while all 3 major indices was red (as it had done the previous days of high volatility and selloff). Please click the chart to show full picture.

What is happening is the D word “divergence” which, if you’ve been studying a stock for long is a good indicator of the market – usually of a reversal of a trend. Divergence is simply monitoring what the market is doing and seeing if the asset / stock is performing in sync with the market – if not, it is diverging. I did say last Friday that it was the BEST time for bargain-hunting didn’t I! I teach this in my workshops, and the next ones are here.

So following my post early Friday and Monday opened strongly and you could have gotten good profits with volatility-based exit strategies, and I also pointed out the Tuesday Earnings Extravaganza that could push up the market from its lows and I can see FB at pre-market pushing up more than $1 already and US futures rallying on the strong earnings growth from Citibank and Johnson and Johnson. Other banks JPM and WFC both reported good earnings, so, what are we selling about again?

Well, FB with its fast-growth and earnings record dares to be different.

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