Some Sell Rules Don’t Require Charts

Here’s a key investing rule: Make buy decisions using sound fundamentals and technicals, such as IBD ratings and Chart patterns, and sell mainly on technicals.

But what exactly does it mean to sell on technicals?

Well, this rule is saying that in a few cases you can spot signals without checking out a stock’s chart.

Let’s examone of few of these signals:

Weakening Relative Strength. You probably bought your option on a stock when its IBD relative Strength Rating was 80 or higher. Consider selling when that rating slides. Think about exiting when the rating falls below 70.

Standing alone within the Industry. Another sell signal is when your underlying asset is a “Lone Soldier” within its industry as the only one with a rising price. Cyclical changes are no doubt on the horizon.

Consider Selling when profit growth slows sharply. When the percentage increase in quarterly earnings slow sharply for two straight quarters, such as by 2/3 the previous quarter’s growth rate.

Contrarian Signal- Lots of publicity, excitement. Yes, this is a sell signal. When everyone thinks it is a wonderful stock, there comes a point where there is no one else to jump on the bandwagon. One downgrade can add a sour note that will spoil the trend.

A market correction. If the market enters a downtrend, don’t depend on your underlying asset to be able to swim against the tide. This is essential to protect your portfolio against severe losses.

If the stock rebounds, you get another chance to enter the trade. Better to be safe than sorry.

Stop Orders Can Help When You Have to be Away

You can’t seem to find enough time to spend in front of the computer every day, keeping a close eye on your options, is a common problem. Life always gets in the way.

Don’t fret. By using a sound set of investing rules, you can still succeed at investing, even if you can’t follow stocks throughout the day.

Consider using buy-stop and sell-stop orders. These trades allow you to set a certain price at which you can buy or sell a certain number of options on any stock or ETF.

For instance, you’ve researched and done your DD on a hot bio company. It owns strong sales and earnings and tops a leading sector and industry. The broad market is in a clear uptrend.

You evaluate the stocks technical action now that it has passed your required fundamentals, and sure enough, the stock has formed a solid support area on light volume and now you see volume coming into the stock over the past few days as it begins to give signals of turning up.

You want to grab an at the money option as it breaks out. You can set a buy-stop limit order at the point that you would like to buy. If the break out point is 50.75 stock price you could set the buy order for the option at its premium of 3.90. That way, if the stock hits that point, your broker will automatically execute an order for you at that price.

The same can be done on the sell side. A sell-stop market order will prompt your broker to sell your shares at that price once the market hits a certain point. As sell- limit order (rather than market-sell order) will ensure it doesn’t get sold beyond a certain price level.

There is one notable disadvantage to this strategy. It doesn’t account for volume changes. If a stock crosses its optimal buy point (the point and price you set) but volume comes in below average, that’s not a strong breakout. On a break out buy strategy, volume should swell to 50% or more above normal levels during a bullish breakout.

If your buy-stop order gets triggered and you later see that volume was weak, you should sell at least a portion of your options. If volume picks up later, you can buy back in.