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Thomas Bulkowski’s successful investment activities allowed him to retire at age 36. He is an internationally known author and trader with 30+ years of stock market experience and widely regarded as a leading expert on chart patterns. He may be reached at

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Chart Patterns: After the Buy
Getting Started in Chart Patterns, Second Edition book.
Trading Basics: Evolution of a Trader book.
Fundamental Analysis and Position Trading: Evolution of a Trader book.
Swing and Day Trading: Evolution of a Trader book.
Visual Guide to Chart Patterns book.
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Busted
Patterns
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Market
Industrials (^DJI):
Transports (^DJT):
Utilities (^DJU):
Nasdaq (^IXIC):
S&P500 (^GSPC):
As of 09/21/2017
22,359 -53.36 -0.2%
9,669 14.62 0.2%
731 -0.83 -0.1%
6,423 -33.35 -0.5%
2,501 -7.64 -0.3%
YTD
13.1%
6.9%
10.8%
19.3%
11.7%
Tom's Targets    Overview: 09/14/2017
22,450 or 21,500 by 10/01/2017
9,750 or 9,200 by 10/01/2017
775 or 730 by 10/01/2017
6,650 or 6,200 by 10/01/2017
2,600 or 2,425 by 10/01/2017

Written by and copyright © 2005-2017 by Thomas N. Bulkowski. All rights reserved. Disclaimer: You alone are responsible for your investment decisions. See Privacy/Disclaimer for more information.

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Thursday, 1/29/2009. CPI Update

The chart pattern indicator

Shown is the chart pattern indicator, the status of which I show as an arrow on the upper right of this page, updated daily. It has flipped to green, meaning it is bullish.

Today (Wednesday), the indicator said that you should have bought four days ago. Thus, the signal may be correct but it is not timely. That is why it is best interpreted as a weekly indicator of market direction, and not as a daily trading signal.

Of course, even if the indicator is late, it has still make some great calls, as the chart shows, mostly when warning of a downturn.

Due to the way the indicator works, the buy signal can be erased if the market tumbles in the next few days. Thus, before trading on any signal, wait about a week for it to settle down. Having said that, the bullish signal is one I have been hoping for. It may not last long, given the 200 point advance today. Large moves are often followed by a retrace. This up move might have some staying power, though. Why? Obama will probably announce a new bank bailout plan next week which I believe the market will love. That should boost stocks even as earnings season continues to pull stocks in the other direction. I am told that the banking sector has yet to report, and that is due next week. Perhaps the two will cancel each other out.

If the indicator is correct, it could mean that price will return to the January 2009 high, and not turn as I had predicted earlier.

-- Thomas Bulkowski

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Wednesday, 1/28/2009. Patterns Fail. What Now?

Kurt asked the following questions in an email, following the disclosure yesterday that chart patterns fail more often than they used to.

If failure rates are high among chart patterns should a trader consider them obsolete? and Should a trader stop studying chart patterns all together?

If you are working on your car and the chisel you’re using on a screw is not working, then look for another tool. Perhaps a screw driver would work better. Each tool has its application. So it is with chart patterns. Failure rates have increased to the point where I would not recommend trading them by themselves. In other words, just because you get a breakout above the top of the neckline of a head-and-shoulders bottom is not a good enough reason to buy the stock. You need to confirm the purchase with other indicators.

I have been working for over a month on testing indicators with chart patterns and am finding success. It is premature to give you the exact details because the research is incomplete and I have veered onto other projects. If the research pans out, I will discuss it here and will release the details in the research portion of this website, just as I do all of my findings.

I used a screw driver to remove the remains of a valve cover gasket from my car’s engine this summer. Clearly, the screw driver was not meant to act as steel wool or a razor blade, but it did the trick and worked best. Like the screw driver, chart patterns can be beneficial to your trading. Chart patterns appear when the stock moves sideways -- consolidates after a trend. They give indications as to which direction price may move. Just because you trade a false breakout upward and price collapses back into the pattern does not mean price is destined to drop. It may mean that it will take more time before the stock is ready to move up.

You may want to investigate busted patterns. In my paperback book, Getting Started in Chart Patterns, pictured on the right, I devote an entire chapter to busted patterns. Using the Search feature of this website shows 24 mentions of busted patterns but I have not had the time to post my findings on them. You will have to read the book. In short, look for patterns that break out in one direction before reversing and then breaking out in the opposite direction. The new direction often, but not always, leads to a strong move.

You can also score your chart pattern. Those pages are adapted from my book, Trading Classic Chart Patterns, pictured on the left. The method looks at price, volume, and fundamentals (market cap) for hints that often indicate a profitable chart pattern. You add up the scores for those indications and if the result is above 0, then it suggests a more profitable move than do those with scores below 0.

These two methods also may not work as well now as they have in the past, so do your own research. Try combining indicators that you like with chart patterns. They may help filter out the duds from the ones that will soar. That is what I am doing in my testing.

-- Thomas Bulkowski

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Tuesday, 1/27/2009. Tutorial Tuesday: Do Chart Patterns Still Work?

Error rates for upward breakouts since 1991

I spent the afternoons of last week clicking on hundreds of triangle chart patterns, doing research on what works and what has ceased to work. The above chart shows the results of that effort.

Displayed are three error rates for chart patterns with upward breakouts: 10%, 20%, and 40%. Those are arbitrary limits chosen to show how chart patterns perform over time. I used almost 14,000 chart patterns from 1991 to 2008 and measured the rise from the close the day before the breakout to the ultimate high, which is the highest peak before price tumbled at least 20% or before price closed below the bottom of the chart pattern. The error rates show how often price fails to rise by at least 10%, 20%, or 40% after the breakout before a trend change.

The chart shows a lot of information for just three lines. First, look at the trend. In all cases, the lines climb over time. That means chart patterns that used to work in 1991 now fail three times as often. For example, the 1991 ten percent error rate was 11%. That means 11% of breakouts had rises of less than 10%. By 2007, the rate had peaked at 44%. On one dollar invested in 1991, it is now four times as difficult to make the same 10%. The 20% line shows a near triple over the same time, from 22% to 64%.

Look at the bear market in 2000 to 2002. In those years, chart patterns with upward breakouts showed higher failure rates. That makes sense since the general market was tumbling. The price rise after an upward breakout could be expected to carry less far and that’s what the chart shows.

Look at the height of the three lines. This shows how often you can expect a chart pattern to post a rise of 10%, 20% or 40% after the breakout. For example, in 2007, 84% of chart patterns failed to show post breakout rises of at least 40%.

Instead of taking discrete points, let’s look at the average of the numbers. Comparing the 1990s bull market shows an average failure rate of 14%. In the bull market years of 2003 to 2007, the failure rate had climbed to 28% -- a double of what it used to be.

If you think it is more difficult to make money in today’s markets using chart patterns, you’re not dreaming.

For a complete review of this study, including the results for downward breakouts, click on the link.

-- Thomas Bulkowski

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Monday, 1/26/2009. Mental Monday: Do You Have What it Takes?

This posting is now located here.

-- Thomas Bulkowski

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Thursday, 1/22/2009. Downtrend Over? Not So Fast!

The three Fibonacci retrace values in the S and P 500 (^GSPC).

Today (Wednesday), the Dow Jones industrial average climbed by 279 points, erasing much of yesterday’s loss. Does that mean the recent downtrend is over? Maybe. Maybe not.

I show a chart of the S&P 500 index on the daily scale. Three Fibonacci values appears as a 38%, 50%, and 62% retrace of the drop from A to B. After a straight-line run down like we have seen since January start, it is common for the market to rebound. That rebound often climbs between 38% and 62% of the prior drop. My guess is the market will hit the 50% level and then struggle, probably depending on economic events. By that time, perhaps the government will have a new bailout for whomever is in trouble.

However, just because the index climbed today is no reason to expect it to continue the move up in the coming days. Only more good earnings reports can help with that. And since we are in the middle of earnings announcements, we will have to see what happens. My guess, though, is that we will turn the corner and do the Fib retrace as I show on the chart. The rise may not continue on Thursday, but I expect that there will be one. If not, then the index will eventually hit 0, leaving only the shorts to dance in the street.

-- Thomas Bulkowski

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Wednesday, 1/21/2009. Ascending Triangle in Medical Devices!

An ascending triangle in IHI on the daily scale.

I was hoping that the market would give Obama and my IRA portfolio a break, but such was not the case. The numbers at the top of this page shows the results. I am confident that the indexes will bounce, it is just a question of when and how much our portfolios will tumble before then. My March 1 targets are in doubt and I will probably make some adjustments.

The chart shows the iShares Dow Jones US medical devices (IHI) exchange traded fund on the daily scale. According to Yahoo!finance, the ETF "seeks investment results that correspond generally to the price and yield performance of the Dow Jones U.S. Select Medical Equipment index."

An ascending triangle appears in the fund, one I like because it is tight. By that, I mean price bounces up and down in a relatively small range, obeying the top and bottom trendline boundaries as turning points.

Although ascending triangles breakout upward 70% of the time this one could show a downward plunge. The drop may be because of the current earnings season takes it down followed by a rally when the indexes stage their long-overdue retrace. Thus, the upside might be interesting because busted patterns tend to outperform regular ones. My Getting Started in Chart Patterns book (pictured on the left) devotes an entire chapter to busted patterns.

If the breakout is upward, my feeling is it will not zoom up much before throwing back and perhaps continuing down from there. Ascending triangles have a tendency to do that, which is why I prefer to trade descending triangles. I will remain in cash until the market direction turns bullish. We will see that in the chart pattern indicator, which still reads bearish.

-- Thomas Bulkowski

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Tuesday, 1/20/2009. Tutorial Tuesday: Stock Downgrade Event Patterns.

An ideal chart of a stock rating downgrade pattern.

Last Tuesday, I wrote about event patterns that occur after stock rating upgrades. This time, I focus on the pattern that occurs when a broker downgrades a stock.

The chart of the ideal situation shows the pattern after upward and downward breakouts. A breakout is a close either above the top of the announcement day’s price range or below the bottom of it.

After an upward breakout, price rises but only for a time (typically 1 to 3 weeks) before it rounds over and heads down. After a downward breakout, price drops but then pulls back almost half the time. A frequency distribution of the days to the ultimate low shows that within 2 weeks, 55% of the patterns in a bear market are beginning to rise again (meaning they found the ultimate low). In three weeks, almost two-thirds (64%) of the stocks have bottomed.

Performance of the pattern is such that it is not a good candidate to either go long or to go short. If you own the stock and a broker downgrades it but price rises, watch it carefully. You may want to take profits when it peaks. If price drops and breaks out downward, the decline is likely to be shallow. Sometimes, brokers have the misfortune to downgrade a stock just before it bottoms.

There is, of course, much more to this event pattern and you can find some of that here.

-- Thomas Bulkowski

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Thursday, 1/15/2009. Transports: More Down!

The Dow transports (^DJT) on the daily scale

After I posted yesterday’s blog entry, I reviewed the 648 securities in my database and noticed a number of them standing on a cliff, ready to jump. I felt as if they would tumble off Wednesday, which they did.

I was tempted to pen an addendum to my entry but forgot that notion in the haze of trading and research. The futures, at -22, pointed to a lower open and I knew the blood would not be a pretty sight. I sold one holding (DDM) for a quick loss. Such is life these days.

The chart shows the transports and I figure that one of these days I am going to be right. It shows that the tranys have pierced a support zone and the next stop is the November low. The other indexes could follow suit, so this is a cautionary tale. Clearly, the plunge of nearly 250 points in the Dow Industrials pierces the support zone I highlighted on Tuesday. Will the industrials follow the transports lower? That remains to be seen.

I show my guess as to what i think will happen in blue. I expect the index to drop to tie the old low before a recovery takes place. Since the index has been making a straight line run downward for 6 days now, I expect a retrace to occur soon, perhaps on Thursday. Keep your fingers crossed. I had another stock missing its stop price by 2 cents today (Wednesday), and I would like to see it rise from here on out. If all of you big spenders could help me out and push the markets higher, I would appreciate it.

-- Thomas Bulkowski

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Wednesday,1/14/2009. Dow Ready for Up?

The Dow industrials (^DJI) on the daily scale

One week ago, I opened my post with "Dow weakness but no worries."

I am worried.

The Dow dropped as I expected but overshot the target. I thought if would stop at a 62% Fibonacci retrace of the recent move up from the low shown in the chart as point A. It kept dropping to what I now hope is a support line.

I show the line in red by connecting the prior valleys. Since the average dropped to that point and bounced upward in the past, why not again?

If it keeps dropping down to the lows that I predicted for Tom’s Targets last year, then that will mean the stocks I bought this year will likely be stopped out. To add to this worry, the chart pattern indicator is still bearish and earnings are again in season.

-- Thomas Bulkowski

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1/13/2009. Tutorial Tuesday: Stock Upgrade Event Patterns.

Event patterns are ones that occur after a significant event, and price makes a repeatable pattern. My book, Encyclopedia of Chart Patterns (pictured on the right) discusses a variety of event patterns, including stock upgrades and downgrades. ThePatternSite.com also has a delicious review of event patterns for your viewing pleasure.

An ideal chart of a stock rating upgrade pattern.

The chart on the left shows how a typical broker rating upgrade unfolds in a stock.

A broker upgrades the stock and price moves up 65% of the time, to stage an upward breakout, which is a close above the announcement day’s high. That is the good news. In the majority of the cases I looked at, the upgrade is a premature sell signal. If you wait a few weeks, price will top out and then begin dropping, just as the figure shows.

A drop does not always happen, of course, but 43% of the stocks with upward breakouts will peak within 7 days of the upgrade. Within 2 weeks, 53% will have peaked and inside of 3 weeks, 65% will have topped out and started their decline.

Stock rating upgrades event pattern example

If the breakout is downward, meaning price closes below the announcement day’s low, price drops, but bottoms 66% of the time within 2 weeks in a bear market. That might spell a buying opportunity if you think the general market is turning bullish. Otherwise, buying it would probably be a mistake.

The chart of BJ Services on the right is an actual example taken from the markets. In August 2000, a broker upgraded the stock and price climbed -- for a time. Then the stock slowly rounded over and headed down, bottoming over 20% lower than the close on the day of the announcement.

# # #

Since earnings season is upon us, buying anything before the earnings announcement is a risky endeavor. I usually avoid buying a stock within 3 weeks of an announcement, so consider adding it to your buying checklist. Yahoo!finance has an easy way to check on upcoming announcements. Go to their website and type in the stock symbol where it says "Enter Symbol." Then click the "Get Earnings Date" button.

-- Thomas Bulkowski

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Thursday, 1/8/2009. Year in Review.

A chart of the Dow industrials (^DJI), on the weekly scale.

For those of you keeping track, the chart pattern indicator, which helps predict turns in the market, has turned bearish again. Since signals can change for up to a week, this could flop back into buy mode...or not.

Since I was born in New York State, I was a walking ice cube for the formative years of my life. Now that I live in a warmer climate, I do not use the air conditioning much. I am still thawing out.

In the hot summer, I toss ice cubes to my dog to help her keep cool. Now that it is winter, she still enjoys the cubes. Why? I can only speculate that she thinks it’s food or a treat of some kind. Maybe I should feed her dog food...

The chart shows the Dow Jones industrials on the weekly scale to highlight the market trend. In mid to late 2007, a head-and-shoulders top chart pattern appeared (LS is the left shoulder, H is the head, and RS is the right shoulder). The green neckline connects the two shoulder lows. A close below the neckline is a sell signal and what a signal it was.

Prices dropped for about a month and then formed an Adam & Eve double bottom chart pattern (marked A and E on the chart...and whoever said I wasn’t clever?). This was a bullish sign and price climbed for a time before rounding over and tumbling. During September, the drop got nasty. Since then, the index has found a bottom in a symmetrical triangle (the two converging red lines), base building some call it. I believe that the market bottomed in November 2008 but I could be wrong.

Let’s talk numbers. The following table shows the indexes from best performance to worst during 2008.

Dow Transports-22.6%
Dow Utilities-30.4%
Dow Industrials-33.8%
Russell 2000-34.8%
S&P 500-38.5%
Wilshire 5000-38.7%
Nasdaq Composite-40.5%

The table shows lots of blood, especially in the tech heavy Nasdaq composite, down a hefty 40.5%. The transports held up best, dropping only22.6% followed by the utilities, off a mere 30.4%. I had most of my core portfolio in utility stocks. Gotta love those dividends!

For the coming year, I see oil prices rising, so the transports may not be the place to park your cash (a rising cost of oil and gas hurts the airlines and truckers unless they can pass on the costs quickly). I expect the markets to recover and post gains (meaning they will end higher than they began), so the stodgy utilities are not the place for money unless you need the current income. I will certainly hold onto my utility stocks unless they soar far enough to be worth a sale.

My feeling is the oil and energy stocks will do well along with healthcare, and for a longer term play, the infrastructure stocks (Obama Cement comes to mind).

-- Thomas Bulkowski

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Wednesday, 1/7/2009. Dow Weakness But No Worries.

Rob S. found an error in my book Encyclopedia of Chart Patterns. On page 532, third line down from the top. Change "about a week shorter" to "about a week longer". You can find the complete set of book corrections at the bottom of the books page. Thanks for finding and telling me about the error, Rob.

In case you haven’t noticed, I changed from bearish to bullish over the weekend based on several factors. I believe that Obama will do his best to instill confidence in the electorate and the markets, perhaps dribbling out new plans for spending our money. This will help support the Dow and other indexes. Also, I have noticed that the markets have been shrugging off bad news and moving higher in the face of it, or dropping but recovering quickly. I believe that we are moving up out of the congestion region, so I have been buying stocks or adding to existing positions.

A chart of the Dow industrials (^DJI), on the daily scale.

Friday is a big day because the employment report comes out. It may be a volatile day, but if the market shrugs off any bad news or drops but recovers on Monday, then that will reinforce my bullish stance.

If you want 10 ways to find the market bottom, then read my page discussing them.

The chart shows a picture of the Dow Jones industrials on the daily scale. I show this to highlight overhead resistance that I see coming. The red trendline connects peaks in October and November and carries downward to A. Already we are seeing price run into some reluctance to move higher.

If you draw the same trendline in the other indexes, you will see that some of them have already pushed through the line. Thus, overhead resistance is probably not strong. I expect price to hesitate here, perhaps retrace a bit, but then continue higher. A close above the trendline would be bullish. I show my guess as to the coming price action in green. If I am right, then there is money to be made by buying on weakness in the coming days.

-- Thomas Bulkowski

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Tuesday, 1/6/2009. Tutorial Tuesday: Theft and a Website Tour

I received word today that my book, Encyclopedia of Candlestick Charts will be translated into German (the English version is shown on the right).

I told you a story back in March and it is time to retell it, with an addendum.

After I wrote my first book, Encyclopedia of Chart Patterns (first edition), I used to read the customer reviews posted on Amazon.com. At the time, I had over 30 (long since erased by them and replaced with new ones). One person said that the book was worthless because it did not include channels. Another said that the only thing good about my book was the five page visual index at the back. Now, the book is widely regarded as a classic and has achieved best selling status.

After 13 months of hard work writing the book, I had done something remarkable. I had researched over 15,000 chart patterns manually, clicked over a million times to catalogue them, and produced statistics on how well they worked. No one had ever done that before, creating a work of art that was as easy to use as it was informative.

And those bad reviews were my reward.

In the early stages of this website, before the quizzes were posted here, I used to send them out to almost 250 people daily -- for free. I found out that Hotmail has a limit on the number of emails that can be sent daily, and I had reached it. So, I decided to stop sending them and posted the quizzes on my website instead. After that decision, someone flamed at me for stopping the service, said that I was cheap, and accused me of profiting from it.

I do not charge for anything on my website and never have, nor did I charge for those quizzes. I do have ads and a link to Amazon from which I derive a bit of money (when you click on an ad, I receive a small fee. When you click on a book on this website that takes you to amazon.com and buy something there -- anything -- I receive a small referral fee). Both help pay for the cost of this site, but the choice to click on an ad or spend money at Amazon.com through this website is yours.

After publication of my book, Trading Classic Chart Patterns, pictured on the left, I received a phone call from someone that claimed the art work on the dust cover matched one of his secret chart patterns. The call put me on the defensive because it sounded as if he was going to sue me, even though I have almost no control over cover art (they ask for my opinion, but it is one vote among many).

I was looking at websites that link to mine and found one in Norway that had taken several of my book reviews, slapped their name on it, and posted it on their website in violation of international copyright treaties. They stole content from me and now claim it as their own.

I have a new book out, Encyclopedia of Candlestick Charts, and it is remarkable. I researched over 100 candlesticks and used approximately 5 million candle lines to create a book nearly 1,000 pages long that tells almost everything I could think of about how candles behave and how to trade them.

What is my reward? A person wrote to me today and told me that the book was on sale for $15. Was this cheap version complete? My publisher says it is an illegal copy of an electronic version of the book. A check of the internet reports 47 websites offering illegal copies.

I’m disappointed in humanity.

# # #

I started this blog almost a year ago, but it is now pulling in over 40,000 visits a month. But I do not consider this blog the main draw. I use the site as a reference source. If you are new to this blog, then consider what ThePatternSite.com has to offer, all for free....

  • Home This is the main nerve center of the website. From here, you can access over 400 pages of content on the site.
  • Candlestick patterns. I have over 100 candlestick patterns described, including identification guidelines and performance statistics.
  • Chart patterns. I have almost 100 chart pattern pages which show ID guidelines, statistics, and trading tactics.
  • Event patterns. Never heard of an event pattern? Click on the link to learn about a dozen of them, including the dead-cat bounce and the earnings flag.
  • Elliott waves. The link shows 20 pages of Elliott wave patterns.
  • Quizzes. Download a practice taking over 150 quizzes on chart patterns featuring many actual trades of mine.
  • Studies. Here are over 35 studies on price patterns, giving full details on how I did them and what they mean.
  • Trading setups. I discuss 15 trading studies for options player, day traders, and stock traders.
  • Trading help/other. Have a trading problem? Perhaps you can find the answer at this link.
  • Subscribe to RSS feeds Bulkowski Blog via RSS. Located near the top left of many website pages, this is an easy and quick way to discover if the website has new content to view. Messages include new blog postings, but also alerts on changes to my watch list, chart pattern indicator status, and test portfolios. The What’s New page also lists major content changes to the site.
  • My watch list. Here is where you will find the stocks that I may or may not add to my personal portfolio. If I do buy a stock, it will come from this list.
  • FAQ. This is a list of frequently asked questions. Look here before contacting me. Want to know how little I make on my books? Pull out your calculator and read the FAQ.
  • Visual index. Don’t know what a chart pattern is called? Visit this page or the one on candlesticks for a visual feast!
  • Blog archives. Here is where the old blog posts go to die.
  • Search. Located on the upper left of most pages is a search link. Click on that to conduct a site search or internet search.
  • Site map. This page shows the website layout by category, making it easy to find things like a glossary.
  • Patternz. This is my free software pattern recognition program and free quote downloader.

Most of these pages can be accessed through the buttons at the top of this page or along the top left. Web pages with a blue background are the old format which I am converting to the new (white background) format. Since I have over 400 pages to convert and it can take up to an hour for each page, the transition is a work in progress. With so many stealing my work, they will probably have it converted before I do.

-- Thomas Bulkowski


Monday, 1/5/2009. The CHG Trades.

A chart of CH Energy Group (CHG), on the daily scale.

I got lucky in 2008. My largest holding, CH Energy Group (CHG), decided to make a run for the all-time high toward the end of the year. It didn’t make it, but the run up was a delicious one for my wallet.

According to Yahoo!Finance, the company is an electric and natural gas utility with operations in New York State, serving 372,000 customers in the Mid-Hudson Valley region with a subsidiary tending to the installation and maintenance of HVAC equipment primarily in the Eastern states.

I first bought this stock back in 2004 four times in the 40s and sold it for $51.60 in March 2007 just after price peaked. During that time, I collected the dividend which was high compared to the yield of other utilities and banks deposits.

Being overloaded with cash, I jumped in again and bought the stock seven more times since March 2007, the most recent buy was on October 10, at $34.80. The chart shows the date and approximate price.

I disclosed ownership in any company whenever I discuss it (see April 3 and again in October 13), so by reading this blog and (website), you can sometimes figure out what I am trading.

Let’s turn back to the chart. As a long time owner of the stock, you become accustomed to its personality. You instinctively know when it is cheap and when it is not. When the stock took a pounding along with the rest of the market on October 10, I snapped up more shares. On that date, the stock reached a low for the year, and I didn’t want to miss the chance to buy the company at fire-sale prices.

With a long-term holding, I am not afraid to average down (buy at lower and lower prices, dropping the average cost of the shares). If this were a short-term trade, then I do not average down. Often, short term trades do not give the stock enough time to recover, so you take a larger loss when you do sell. Remember that the only way you make money by averaging down is if the stock recovers. Keep the word Enron in mind.

The stock made tall daily swings, following in the footsteps of a volatile market but generally moved higher. When it approached the price of the mid September peak, I knew that the stock would probably turn, based on overhead resistance. I decided to sell, but not all of my holdings, and not all at once either.

A stock making a rounded bottom often (but not always) forms a cup-with-handle chart pattern. Sometimes the stock just keeps on climbing, going almost vertical. I did not want to sell my entire position only to see the stock continue higher. Thus, as price climbed, I sold the stock six times on or after December 24 (see the red line) but still own it. Even though I dumped more than half of my position, it is still my largest holding. That tells you how overweight I was in this one holding and that is why I beat the market handsomely this year. It also suggests what a concentrated portfolio can do for you when things work out properly. I have been wanting to cut my position size for months now, and this was the perfect opportunity.

I am not recommending that you buy only one stock and put your net worth into it. But I viewed the dividend as safe and it was much better than holding cash (higher yield than the money market funds). I chose the stock to collect the large (at the time of purchase) dividend and also for possible capital gains.

I plan to sell more of the stock in the coming days but still retain a position. I believe this will retrace and form a handle. I do not believe there is much more upside left, but I will collect the dividends while I wait for its next step.

-- Thomas Bulkowski

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Written by and copyright © 2005-2017 by Thomas N. Bulkowski. All rights reserved. Disclaimer: You alone are responsible for your investment decisions. See Privacy/Disclaimer for more information. Use the best: Linux for servers, Mac for graphics, and Windows for Solitaire.