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

Girl Power Trading

1st of March… glad I made steady progress on my Peak Performance course and I want to share with you this snippet of learning, that I thought sums up what is important for success in investing / trading.

“I thought that by knowing the market you could be successful. I spent a long time learning about the market, the indicators and stuff, and even the psychology of traders” … I found that you really have to know yourself much more than you have to know the market. You have to believe in yourself and you have to do what you think is right”… “The market hands you opportunity. You don’t have to go looking for it. It stays there and it screams at you and it’s there for you to do. But you have to have the internal strength to pick up the ball and do it.”

As I always say, the Peak Performance Course by Dr. Van Tharp is brilliant! For months, I had been less than eager to do my trades, which is a step up to a whole new level of trading, I am now feeling more confident about this next phase, so grateful to have done this refresher! That is also one of the fine points in trading / investing – acknowledging your emotions. We are not robots. To say that you have no emotion when trading is wrong. You do, you have it all the time, it’s just for you to know and find out. One of the attendees of my “Investing in the US Stockmarket Workshop” shared that he is either afraid to lose money on his investment or afraid to lose his profits. Fear is stopping you to make a big mistake because the risk is too big or you don’t really know enough :) Fear is good. After all, when you know the risk is low and know what you are doing, the fear fades.

Just an alert that the greatest investor of all time – Warren Buffett has sent out his Golden Jubilee Newsletter. Enjoy!

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Yeah baby! Greece deal finally done. For 4 months. All the US Major Indices jumped to record highs as AAPL also did. (Article here). Hurray for those who have ridden this wave thus far! Me, I’m on track with my Peak Performance Course and just keeping tabs on the market.

With that Greece issue pretty much gone for now, we look forward to next week’s economic calendar. It’s going to be dominated by housing and consumer news, and add speeches by Federal Reserve officials (Ms Yellen semi-annual testimony at the Senate Banking Committee). For sure this will move the markets). Recent job gains could be a highlight but wage earnings and inflation not on target yet so we expect continued “accommodative” policy for a few more months. Central banks around the world either cutting rates or stimulating their economies is pushing the dollar higher. These are going to be supportive of stocks. And enough to help the markets to their record highs.


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Apple is High in Sugar

February 19, 2015

The Apple of my eye just went on to it’s record high as well, ending $128.75 . AAPL seems unstoppable, but I think it is due for a little rest. It’s taking some step back from its intra-day highs, it is getting more volatile. There is a divergence now among the major indices (only NASDAQ ended green today). See if not for the positive sentiment from FOMC minutes, AAPL was mostly in profit-taking situation pushing it into negative territory several times in the day. I’d be careful for any positions to the upside, to take profit with tight trailing stops. George Soros reported that they exited AAPL and moved out to Asian and European stocks (bargain hunting possibly). Nonetheless, with continuing innovative products, Apple Pay and Apple Watch, (I surely hope they make the Apple Car) … Also from reviewing Dr. Van Tharp’s Peak Performance course I’ve been finding out about the chemical balance that supports our investing / trading performance — get this, too much sugar gives a boost in energy but absorbed quickly by musles and liver and eventually leaving no energy source for the brain. Best to consume complex carbs found in whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables that provide steady flow that provides more stamina and mental energy. Apple is high in sugar, the good kind that lasts. BONUS : Rich and Generous companies – AAPL one of 10

US stocks flirting with record highs. Professional fund managers, including David Einhorn are saying prices are getting stretched. S&P500 which reached a record Tuesday (and ended just a bit shy from that at Wednesday’s session) is trading 18.5 times reported earnings. That’s a bit above the 17 number representing “fair” valuation already. (Article here)

I heed this “warning” for sure, but know that the earnings calendar is not yet done (with retailers still about to report), more dovish talk from US Federal Reserve would also serve more sugar. Last night’s FOMC Meeting Minutes had definitely given comfort that rates are on hold for a while yet — Globally – where else do we see growth ? Very few places, you could say the global climate even darkened than last year – with Japan, China, Australia, Canada, EU cutting rates or setting accommodative policies, but that means they are all nervous about growth. Oil prices, back up to $50 but still no promising demand growth. Wages are also far from being able to support more robust spending — all those wage increases can afford are donuts and not yet a whole cake. Article here.

It’s like New York Fashion Week got it all in one trend — it’s back to BLACK. As in dark, and foreboding! Check out the trends here. Nonetheless, you can’t say they are boring, with all those frilly add-ons and interesting angles perking up the eye, it’s the same in the financial market with those rate cut announcements and possibly on-hold rates for the US for longer. Enjoy the sugar…

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All Time Highs

February 15, 2015

More to come? AAPL reaching it’s all time high comes just when S&P 500 Index reaches it’s all time high too! Before we all get excited be aware that it’s not happening to all companies, so choose well. Here’s the recommendation from a Bloomberg article here.

> Majority of earnings in US
> Positive free cash flow (good cheap companies)
> Geared towards disinflationary global environment

Volatility feels high but it’s “back to normal”

They have a video that discusses the current market so be sure to catch that one. They talked about the volatility that we are having so it’s not a straight up march to more all time highs. I myself believe that AAPL will continue to grow (a fund manager even said it will be a Trillion dollar company) but it will not happen overnight. I’d keep watch on valuations and AAPL’s PE stands right now at 17.12 so it is fairly valued. Earnings season still on the way so we could likely see some boost on company earnings performance but I say the majority of the move had already happened, so be on alert, be sure you set your stops to take profit.

Meantime, I’m going back to reviewing Dr Van Tharp’s Peak Performance course … been doing self-tests relating to stress and I’m all perked up discovering where else I should improve! So everyday living got it’s stressors, but we all just have to protect ourselves more with focus on health and nutrition, exercise, recreation… I can’t wait to get back to the course. Just amazing,,, don’t stop me now!


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I’m Worth It!

February 9, 2015

Look away and it’s gone! Last week saw the major Indices reach month-high record highs, but it was not to last. The last few days saw strong gains so it looked like it was ripe for profit-taking. Still, I was one of those who thought that the prices could still go up because of the strong jobs data. We have to get used to this volatility, and take profits quick. I told you I was reviewing the Peak Performance Homestudy Course of Dr. Van Tharp and in the Tasks of Top Trading, he discusses that one of the tasks should be a daily debriefing — this is the task of determining whether one made a mistake in following one’s trading rules. I have made a habit of writing down on my trading diary what are my emotions on the trading day, and one of my biggest mistake is making a small loss balloon to a bigger loss, or not following proper position sizing. By now, we realize that we can not win in all our trades, my last performance review showed that I had a 50% win rate, the key is to control the loss to the the Initial Risk and ensure that the opportunities chosen would yield more than 3x your Initial Risk or Stop — if you do the math, it’s something like this

For 30 trades, where Initial Risk (R) is $100
15 losses of -1R ($100) = -1500

5 wins of 2xR (2 x 100) =1000
8 wins of 3xR (3 x 100) =2400
2 wins of 5xR (5×100) =1000

Gross Profit = 4400
Less cost of all trades = 3000 (if you use 100 for each of the 30 trades)
Balance = 1400 or 46% of the 3000

The above results are highly achievable, first you take only the opportunities that are sure to generate huge reward, that are worth at least 3x what you risk. Majority of your wins may just even be on target, and only need a couple of big winners to make your performance stellar. It matters greatly that you control your risk when you are wrong. I know it’s easy to get excited about an opportunity – - but we really have to be selective. Imagine if all your opportunities are only going to give you 2x your Risk — you won’t make money *even make losses because of all the fees, taxes etc.

So again, remember to take only the opportunity that says “I’m Worth It!”

(Reuters) – Asian shares wobbled on Monday after dismal Chinese trade data eclipsed a strong U.S. jobs report, raising concerns about a deepening slowdown in the world’s second-largest economy and sending the Australian dollar sliding.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS slipped 0.3 percent with Australian shares .AXJO down 0.5 percent in early trade. U.S. stock futures also shed 0.4 percent ESc1.

Japan’s Nikkei share average .N225 bucked the trend and rose 0.7 percent on the back of a weaker yen.

Data published on Sunday showed China’s trade performance slumped in January, with exports falling 3.3 percent from year-ago levels while imports tumbled 19.9 percent, far worse than analysts had expected. The data highlighted deepening weakness in the Chinese economy.

“Given that there were more business days in January this year than last year due to the difference in lunar new year dates, that was pretty dismal data,’ said Ayako Sera, market economist at Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank.

The Australian dollar, often seen as a proxy on bets on Chinese economy because of the country’s trade link to China, fell 0.4 percent in early trade to $0.7775 AUD=D4.

The poor China trade figures took some of the shine off robust U.S. jobs growth, with payroll gains of 257,000 in January. Hourly wages also rebounded, increasing 12 cents last month for a 2.2 percent increase from a year earlier, the largest such gain since August.

U.S. debt yields shot up, with the benchmark 10-year yield hitting a four-week high of 1.965 percent US10YT=RR. Money market futures <0#FF:> have fully priced in a rate increase by September with some chance of a move as early as June.

U.S. stocks, which initially cheered the solid jobs data, sold off in late trade, with S&P 500 .SPX ending down 0.3 percent after having hitting a five-week high earlier on Friday.

The prospects of an earlier U.S. rate hike could hit Asian shares and currencies even harder, as investors could bring some of their invested money back to the U.S. markets.

The euro remained vulnerable as the new Greek leader Alexis Tsipras rejected the bailout, setting himself on a collision course with his European partners.

In his first major speech to parliament since storming to power last month on Sunday, Tsipras rattled off a list of moves to reverse reforms imposed by European and International Monetary Fund lenders.

The euro traded at $1.1325 EUR=, little changed but near last week’s low of $1.1280.

The U.S. dollar’s index against a basket of six major currencies maintained its 1.1 percent gain on Friday and stood at 94.740 .DXY =USD, edging closer to an 11-year high of 95.481 hit last month.

The yen hit four-week lows of 119.23 to the dollar JPY= on Friday on the back of rising U.S. bond yields. It last stood at 118.96 in early Monday trade.

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Who would have thought those rolls of rice, beans, herbs, meat and vegetables called burritos would someday be worth $22 Billion dollar business? Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG) with around 1300 stores is just getting started (compared with 13,000 McDonalds stores). If you want your investment to give great profits PLUS health, environmental and ethical investing, this is a company that could serve you best!

Check out the article on CMG – they report today after market closes, and with low oil prices giving extra spending money, profits will keep rolling in.


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January is done and it seemed that it was 2014 all over again. Remember those sudden drops and volatile market? Article here. But ! Let us not dwell on that and instead focus on building strength, basing on the mother of all economic-reports – the GDP (Gross Domestic Product – Google it quick!). God is in the details so focus…

“According to the advance estimate, GDP increased 2.6% in Q4 2014 (Briefing.com consensus 3.2%), down from a 5.0% increase in the third quarter. Real final sales increased 1.8% in the fourth quarter after increasing 5.0% in the third quarterMuch of the GDP gain was the result of lower prices adding a boost to the “real” economy. Nominal GDP growth was anemic (2.5%), which was down by more than 50% from both second (6.8%) and third quarter (6.4%) growth levels. Consumption spending was a bright spot, increasing 4.3%, which was the largest jump since 2006. The Employment Cost index Increased 0.6% in Q4, down from a 0.7% increase in Q3. Wages and salaries decelerated, up 0.5% after increasing 0.8% in Q3 2014. Benefits spending growth increased 0.6% for a second consecutive quarter. The Chicago PMI for January increased to 59.4 from 58.8. Production levels accelerated as the related index increased to 64.1 in January from 62.7 in December. The University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index was virtually unchanged in January, ticking down to 98.1 from 98.2 (Briefing.com consensus 98.2). Lower gasoline prices and improvements in the labor market were key for overall sentiment growth in January”

So on your forward investments, strongly recommend consumer stocks and given the strength of the US Dollar stirring trouble at corporate earnings overseas, those that get the majority of revenue from the US. Last earnings report of Procter and Gamble and Microsoft proved this. In our workshops I tackle this in “intermarket analysis” help you understand the critical criteria for investing that are low-risk and gives high-reward. By the way, I am happy to announce I will be offering more webinars so stay tuned for the schedule!

On the other hand, you can also stick to the stock (like AAPL) that I know is a strong company and I only need to manage my capital, my risks as well as understanding the market and the appropriate strategies. Like AAPL shot up since their earnings report and I thought it could well extend a few days to $120, I was even half-asleep when I saw that it had reached that price and could already drift lower due to profit-taking, so I sold around 119.50. Lo and behold by closing time the stock had swung to around $2 loss. So I was out at a good price. That’s the value of understanding price dynamics (how volatile it can get, what’s the usual range per day) and being focused on what the market is doing so we can follow it.

So let’s stay alive and have fun in February!

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People say that diamonds are a girl’s best friend. That can’t be true, however, for a woman who is involved in the world of finance. For the high-heeled trader, gold is a woman’s best friend.

Unlike fiat money (the currency you have in your wallet), gold has maintained its value as legal tender for hundreds of years. Its price per ounce may change from time to time given its volatile nature in the global market, but it will certainly not lose its worth as a tradable material. Because of this, investors see the precious yellow metal as a way to preserve wealth for their future offspring.

Remember the 2008 financial crisis? That is one of the factors that increased gold prices to all-time highs. Before 2008, the precious yellow metal was only at around $650 – $700 an ounce. After 2008, gold prices had an upward trend and peaked at 2011 for around $1,800 per ounce. In times of crisis and decline of the U.S dollar, which the Philippine economy highly depends on, people look at gold in order to cover their assets. The precious yellow metal doesn’t move alongside other securities, making it a great hedge against a bad market.

You can invest in gold in several ways. First, you can get exposure to it traditionally by acquiring the physical metal. If you can’t afford to buy gold bars, you can always buy coins that are sold depending on their gold content. You can get coins with ¼, ½, or 1 full ounce of gold. If you decide to buy physical gold, you should have a storage area for it as well as shoulder its tax, shipping, and handling fees. If you don’t want to store the gold yourself, you can purchase gold certificates and let banks handle the storage for you. You may also buy gold via the Internet by choosing a reliable gold and silver online provider for investors. The good thing about buying gold at precious metal trading sites is that you don’t have to worry about middle-man costs since transactions are done directly by the traders. It’s like making a purchase on Ebay.

Here’s a lesson that all investors could learn from: In 2013, Germany decided to repatriate some of its gold from New York vaults. Some say that the reason for this is because the country is preparing for a financial crisis, and at that time gold costs around $1,600 per ounce. But whatever Germany’s reason for returning some of its gold back home, the act teaches investors one important thing: it’s vital to keep some of your gold investments near you so you can have something to liquidate in case emergency arises.

Stocks can’t give you money all the time and you need something to cover yourself in case markets go sour. Gold, in case of inflation, is a girl’s best friend, since it is widely accepted as legal tender – something that diamonds can’t deliver.

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An Apple A Day

January 28, 2015

What did I tell you?! AAPL is a pretty good investment and the Earnings reported last night was just phenomenal. $3.06 per share versus the median estimate of $2.59 blowing past by 46cents! Well I wish I can say I was cool, calm, and collected but after the big dip yesterday and all the “scary” articles about lofty expectations, US dollar affecting revenue of American companies I was in defense mode myself! I did however plan for that upside risk so the Covered Call I did still allowed some tidy profit and I will take more positions as the opportunity presents itself ! (Today could be a huge gain, already pre-market value is up 6%)

Anyway, just a side note, Netflix (NFLX) marched upward for the 7th straight session, so methinks AAPL is going to defy gravity for the next few days. Compare that NFLX has a PE of 105 compare that with AAPL’s 14.70 — I should tell you that’s super cheap compare it to the “normal” valuation of 18.

And…. and… and… you can read on about AAPL’s earnings in the news here

And not to be missed,,,, Apple Watch which has all these fitness features is shipping out in April, be sure to take a bite at AAPL at the next correction!


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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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