Resources, Routines and Rules

(Updated on January 10, 2020)

I’ll keep this page updated with resources I’ve found as well as the set of routines and rules I’ve gathered for myself. It’s important that you do your own research and come up with your own routines and rules that work with your investment style.

Resources and Tools     

  • – My trading platform, also good research tools
  • – Research and news. Each of these require a subscription:
    • IBD Digital – Access to timely news and articles on Investors Business Daily, including The Big Picture which gives heads up on market corrections and follow thru days.
    • Leaderboard – Top stocks to add to your watch list, good research tool with the composite rating to rank stocks.
    • IDB Live – A daily live broadcast at market open, where you can hear analyst reactions to the market open and look at how individual stocks are preforming.
    • MarketSmith – Great charting, research and analysis. I’ve found the information density on the chart and the underlying data and research to be well-worth the investment. The RS Line Blue Dot screen on MarketSmith is one of my favorite stock lists.
  • – Charting and analysis. Free version available, but a subscription required for some features.
  • – Great market and stock information, dense page of up to date news and a really good stock screener. Screens:
  • FinTwits on – A list of traders to follow on Twitter for advice and stock alerts.
  • – Social sentiment and discussion about stocks. Entertainment mostly.

Daily Routine

  1. I live in Japan so, my day starts about 1 to 2 hours before the US markets close (around 4am for me!)
  2. Check Fidelity to see how my current holdings are doing before close. I usually do not make any changes unless something significant occurred. If things are frothy, I may buy a hedge going into close or after hours.
  3. After market close, spend about 45-60 minutes looking at the market and what occurred that day. I like to look at the Nasdaq chart closely, then include the context of the other major indexes, sectors, bonds, US dollar, and the market leaders. I write this up in a post you can read here or on TradingView.
  4. Check the The Big Picture
  5. Write up brief notes for each of the stocks I’m holding. The detail includes gain/loss %, volume up/down, Higher/Lower highs and lows, closing range and any milestone (ie. new all-time high) or patterns (ie. breakout from VCP).
  6. Update a spread sheet that tracks my trading goals month-by-month. I call this the budget. I run this like a business.
  7. Look through 25-50 charts a day sourced from my watch list, the FinViz screens and the RS Line Blue Dot screen on MarketSmith.
  8. Finally, put in new orders and update all stop loss orders.
    • Stop Sell: I have a spreadsheet that tells me where to set current stops based on the Average True Range and a set of rules for minimum stops listed below in “Rules”. This takes a bit of time (I’ve got it down to 20 mins), but allows me to sleep through the night in Japan while markets are open in the US.  
    • Buy Orders: I use a One-Triggers-the-Other (OTO) order that my broker supports. This allows me to enter a Buy Order with a Stop or Stop Limit price. Then if the Buy Order executes, it immediately sets a Stop Loss Sell order. This allows me to sleep at night (in Japan) not worrying that the market will reverse in afternoon trading after a buy order executed in the morning.
  9. With extra time, I’ll catch up on one or two annual or quarterly reports in my reading list.

Weekly Routine

  • I write a weekly review of the market that helps me evaluate the observations I made through out the week and put my perspective back on the big picture vs the daily action.
  • Read IBD Weekly (eIBD)
  • Review weekly and daily charts. Refine the watch list. Weekly charts should reaffirm the choice to hold or watch stocks, or they get sold or deleted from the list.
  • Deeper analysis on a few companies, read 10ks, write up a TradingView Idea.


I’ve learned it’s important to have a set of rules that work for you. This is my evolving list that I update as I learn more.

  • Market first – Watch the market for trading environment. I use the Nasdaq Composite and S&P 500 primarily, but also look at the Russell 2000 given the focus on small-caps recently.
    • Go into defensive mode (raise cash position, protect profits, sell off losses, no new positions)
      • 10w MA crosses under 40w MA, get into defensive mode
      • 50d MA crosses under the 200d MA, get into defensive mode
      • Sudden gap down below 40w, get into defensive mode
    • Gradually return to offensive mode (adding new positions at right buy points):
      • Follow-Through Day as defined in CAN-SLIM
      • After FTD, Index closes above it’s 21d EMA (thanks Mike Webster)
      • 10w MA crosses above 40w MA, confirming the move back to offensive mode
  • Stock trading
    • Always research to make sure a stock fits in portfolio
      • Don’t buy anything off of just media recommendations
      • Understand the basics of the underlying business strategy (Annual Report, Corp website)
      • Culture and mission is most important (CEO communications, Glassdoor ratings)
      • Earnings growth, free cash flow, industry
      • Does it fit into the portfolio?
    • Wait for the right time to purchase (proper base, within 5% of buy point)
    • Enter position at half of intended position size and then pyramid up, adding a few shares at a time as the stock proves itself.
    • Use the Average True Range (x2.7) to determine stop loss. More detail here.
    • Set a minimum stop loss based on the first ATR stop value or a technical chart price (pivot low, bottom of a base, etc)
    • Update the minimum stop loss:
      • Cost basis once ATR stop passes the cost basis
      • 10% profit once ATR stop passes the 10% above cost basis
      • 20% profit once ATR stop passes the 20% above cost basis
      • Continue moving up minimum stop loss at 20% increments
    • The “minimum stop loss” never moves down, but the ATR stop loss (if above minimum) can move up and down.
    • Other sell rules:
      • Climax run
      • A long unexpected stall. For example, less than 5-10% growth in a month after a breakout.
      • Market indicates correction
  • Chart reading
    • Look at both Weekly and Daily
    • Always consider volume into the picture
    • Closing range on both weekly and daily charts can be very meaningful, especially during distribution days
    • Mark notes, trends and ideas on the chart to remember
    • Good article on chart reading here.