Questions and Answers

Here are some of the most common questions that I get here at

How do you scan for stocks?

I use for scanning. You can find the exact scans that I use on this page. I do not scan specifically for individual chart patterns. I run a general scan and look for chart patterns in the results of the scan.

What are your favorite candlestick patterns?

My favorite candlestick patterns are bullish engulfing, hammers, and piercing. See the candlestick pattern page for more information.

What online broker do you use?

TradeKing. Update: TradeKing is now Ally Invest

What does TAZ stand for?

TAZ stands for Traders Action Zone. This is the area in between the 10 period simple moving average (SMA) and the 30 period exponential moving average (EMA). Stocks tend to reverse in this area which makes it great system for swing trading.

Do you trade for a living?

No, I trade part-time. See this page.

What type of trader are you?

I'm a discretionary swing trader. I have certain rules that I follow, but a lot of what I do is based on my own judgement. This makes trying to explain how I trade difficult because every trade is different. Looking for a mechanical trading system with buy and sell signals? Give MarketClub a try.

Do you trade ETFs?

Nope. ETFs don't make significant moves like stocks do. A stock can move 10% or more in one day. ETFs don't. Granted, there are more overnight risks with stocks (like earnings releases) but I think they are worth that risk. Also, I don't trade futures, forex, or commodities - just stocks.

Do you trade penny stocks?

Nope. They often don't have enough liquidity and are subject to scams and manipulation. I mostly trade stocks that are between $10 and $30. That seems to be a sweet spot for me.

Is swing trading easy?

It's simple, but it's not easy. It is simple to understand and learn how to do, but it is not easy to actually implement. This is because your emotions get involved and that screws things up. Ironically, it is the emotions from other traders that enable you to make a profit.

What is the biggest secret to trading stocks?

The biggest secret is that there is no secret. New traders think that there must be some kind of secret that no one is willing to tell them. There isn't. If I could sum up successful trading in one word it would be: management. You need to learn how to manage your trades, your money, and your emotions correctly to make money consistently.

Beginners: Learn the Basics

Intermediate: Trading Strategy

Advanced: Swing Trading Tactics