Unlike my barely positive January, February proved to be a far better month. I can attribute that to better stock selections, patience on entries, management of position size, and cutting losses more quickly. I also adjusted to direct my attention at taking base hits on shorter term swing trades in order to book profits before they could be snatched away, particularly if a trade turned out to be a quick hit. Freeing up capital to avoid lost opportunity cost elsewhere made sense in some instances. I also noticed my trade execution seemed more systematic an unemotional. The combination of all of those elements worked.
February Net P/L: +9.96%
Year to Date Net P/L: +10.64%
- My star trades of February involve Cytori Therapeutics (CYTX). I suspected the catalysts were in place for a strong move and my patience was amply rewarded. I sold 1/2 of my position on a 76-day trade for +42%, then two days later sold 1/3 of my remaining shares for +125%. Ironically, the profit earned on each of those trades was nearly identical to the penny which is a reflection on my position sizing. I still have a nice core position playing with the house’s money.
- Xenon Pharmaceuticals (XENE) 15-day trade for +25.6%. I took my entry at 14.25 referencing the 61.8% Fibonacci level on the daily chart which went green from there. I targeted 18 for potential resistance and sold just short of that, and in doing so I missed some more of the move higher. I was satisfied though since XENE is a little difficult to trade due to volatility, and I’ve seen the bid / ask spread as wide as one dollar. Sheesh.
- 13-day trade in First Solar (FSLR) 47.88 to 57 for +16.9%. I planned to sell prior to earnings, so the YeildCo news bump a day ahead of time was a gift.
- Fannie Mae (FNMA) 7-day trade for +12%. Gave up a lot before stopping out.
- Vericel (VCEL) 6-day trade for +11.7%. Another short-term swing base hit.
- Control4 (CTRL) 21-day trade for +7.8%. Selling before the earnings debacle prevented this from being placed in the “Notable Losses” category.
- Civeo (CVEO) 10-day short position stopped for -10.2%. My stop saved me from much worse here.
- I gave up on my Leju Holdings (LEJU) long position just yesterday for a -9.5% loss. Under 9.55 was it for me.
- Dorian (LPG) 6-day short position went against me for an -8% loss before I exited.
- Actuant (ATU) 17-day short position exited for a -6.7% loss.
The majority of my shorts just haven’t been working for me; not surprising in a bull market, but there’s more to it than just that. I’m glad to be largely out until I figure out a better way.
Notice the overall theme though? Bigger winners and smaller losers works like magic. Monitoring my progress with a greater emphasis on tracking monthly performance in relation to annual performance is keeping me better tuned in to trade management which is translating to greater success.
Many times during February as I booked profits and cut losses I recognized the motivations behind my actions were based on advice I’ve learned from successful, experienced traders time and time again. I had some real “I get it” moments this month that were nice confidence boosters. More pieces of the puzzle are coming together. This was a great month of success in many aspects to build upon going forward.
Long – AAPL BCLI CJES CYTX ELMD GFI IPHI MNDO MUX PLNR PMCS RLGT SONC VIXY
Short – FXI