Trade Stocks for Real

I read a comment by a forum member on another site earlier today that suggested that every investor should back test their system for at least twenty years. I disagree and will now tell you why. Back testing and paper trading seem to be the most over emphasized techniques offered by market theorists, educational elite, market novices and/or market fakes. While learning the pure basics, I can see why a novice investor may want to paper trade; to see the results of the developing system but I will warn that these results are completely false. The results will not contain the emotional decisions that go along with risking your own cash. Anyone and I mean anyone can paper trade successfully. It's simple, place a trade and hope it goes up and if it doesn't, you have no worries because you can't lose. The emotional imbalance that occurs when you really start to lose money is not present. Don't fool yourself by believing the results of your paper trading or virtual simulation portfolio. These things may give you some confidence in your system but they don't prove a damn thing in the real world. The real world, specifically the stock market, is run by emotional human beings. People make decisions that are irrational and base their trading decisions on fear and greed. Paper trading lacks fear and greed because there is no gain and no loss; therefore there is no consequence to deal with.

Don't worry about back testing for 20 years because historical back testing is never very accurate. The most accurate testing is real time. If you can back test real trades (actual trades that you have made in the past), then this would be just as good as real time testing (or forward testing). Back testing can get you somewhat of an idea of how your system will perform but there is no emotional attachments to this type of testing so it is not realistically accurate. We all know emotions are tied to our decisions in the markets so we can only get accurate results through real testing. Learn to ignore the talking heads and the people on TV and that internet chat room that claim they are up over 1000% trading a fake account. What really makes me laugh is the person that sets up a virtual trading scenario and then allows each participant to trade $500,000 or more in their account. If you are going to trade a fake account, at least keep it real so you try to learn something, maybe money management.

I setup one virtual trading competition a few years back and I only allowed each participant to start with $10,000, a reasonable amount, an amount that most people start trading with. The competition was fun but it was not real for me or the others. I didn't care what risks I took and I never had a problem pulling the trigger which does happen in real life. I did try to keep my trades in line with my real life account but it varied slightly. I witnessed other traders making 20 trades per day or 20-50 trades per week. This is not real because the commissions alone, even with a discount broker will wipe you out. I did allow margin because I use margin in my account but I saw other investors abusing the fake power of margin in their virtual account, again, playing the game for fun instead of learning something valuable. As a fellow investor, keep testing your system in real time and you will know what works and what doesn't based on real trades, not simulations. Professors and the like teach theories while investors actually do the trading! Back testing may convince some people but I am only convinced with what works now, in real time. Besides, why would I waste my time playing for fake money when I can learn and do for real? Back testing may be good for some people but I have been testing my systems in real time since the day I started investing seriously. Currently, I am testing the $60-$100 theory using options in my newest account. I will not have concrete data on this system for another year or two, most likely two years down the road. I could back test the system but how will that help me realistically going forward? It won't, it may show me some probabilities and the possible expectancy of the system but it won't guarantee anything until I place a position for real.

If you want to test a system, open an account with real money, even a minimal amount and give it a try. Make sure you use enough money to allow emotions to be attached to your decisions. Without the emotional attachment, you are cheating yourself and your potential system.

Chris Perruna - http://www.marketstockwatch.com

Chris is the founder and president of MarketStockWatch.com, an internet community that teaches you how to invest your money with solid rules. We don't stop at just showing you our daily and weekly screens, we teach you how to make you own screens through education. Through our philosophy, you will be able to create your own methods and styles to become successful.

In The News:

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Is your mutual fund buying or selling stocks too much?  LivemintHere are equity mutual fund schemes with the highest turnover.
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IDFC Tax Advantage (ELSS) Fund - Regular Plan NAV: IDFC Tax Advantage (ELSS) Fund - Regular Plan-Growth Equity Factsheet  Economic TimesObjective: The scheme seeks to build a diversified portfolio comprising of stocks of companies with strong fundamentals that are available at reasonable ...
An early retiree who interviewed 100 millionaires found many of them built their fortunes using a simple investment strategy championed by Warren Buffett  Business Insider South AfricaJohn of ESI Money spent the past few years interviewing millionaires only to find they use the same investing strategy: low-cost-stock index funds.
With the economy looking shakier, take these 5 financial steps  USA TODAYMany prognosticators see the economy slowing next year. If that happens, it could change your financial focus. Here are some tips to consider.
Fund managers ready to go shopping after sharp correction in stocks  Moneycontrol.comMutual funds that were holding around 8-10 percent cash level in their equity portfolio are likely to purchase shares of companies in banking and financial ...
Why stopping mutual fund SIPs when stock market falls can jeopardise your financial goals  Economic TimesFear has returned to Dalal Street. Caught in a perfect storm of weak macroeconomic numbers, the IL&FS crisis and fear of more defaults, equity markets have ...
New stock ideas boost equity mutual fund portfolios  LivemintIt is imperative for mutual fund houses to beef up their research capabilities, to be able to identify more winning new ideas.
Five stocks that mutual funds think can outperform  Economic TimesA volatile month gave fund managers a chance to cherry-pick stocks.
Mutual funds' exposure to banks hits 3-month low of Rs 1.88 lakh crore in Sept  Economic TimesMutual funds' holding of banking stocks declined by over Rs 21,600 crore to Rs 1.88 lakh crore in September, driven by the correction in equity markets.
Are mid and small-cap mutual funds holding too many illiquid stocks?  Economic TimesLiquidity has been scarce in Indian capital markets in recent weeks. Mutual funds have also not been spared the pain, with liquid and money market funds ...
Small- and mid-cap mutual funds open doors again, but should you invest?  LivemintL&T Emerging Businesses Fund and DSP Small Cap Fund have allowed *fresh* mutual fund investments, taking advantage of a continued correction in small- ...
Shall I buy the HDFC AMC stock or mutual fund?  LivemintThe risk of putting all our money in a few stocks is much higher than investing in mutual funds.
How stocks picked by mutual funds over 2014 to 2017 have performed  Economic TimesWhile the most wanted stocks of 2014 and 2015 have done well, the recent picks have disappointed.
Experts see a slowing economy in 2019; here are 5 things you should do to adjust  AZCentralMany prognosticators see the economy slowing next year. If that happens, it could change your financial focus. Here are some tips to consider.
Value focussed MF are cutting their exposure to Indian stocks. What about you?  Moneycontrol.comAs valuations climb, the funds have chosen to stay light on Indian stocks and exposure to bonds and arbitrage has gone up.
Investing in equity mutual funds versus investing in shares: Which is better?  Economic TimesBy Dhirendra Kumar Hopefully, by now my columns have convinced you that most of your long-term investments should be in equity. The next question to be ...
Check out what top five mutual funds bought & sold during October selloff  Economic TimesNEW DELHI: Mutual funds stood resilient as industry's asset base increased to Rs 22.23 lakh crore in October in spite of a heavy correction in the domestic ...
Mutual funds that destroyed most investor wealth in the September selloff  Economic TimesThe recent selloff in the stock market has raised fears of a rush for redemption in mutual funds.​
Hot and Cold Stocks of Mutual Funds in October 2018  MoneylifeIn October 2018, Axis Bank and ICICI Bank were the most preferred stocks of Indian mutual funds. The net purchases of Axis Bank were Rs1,504 crore, of which ...
Mutual fund holdings in IT stocks touch all-time high  Economic TimesMumbai: Fund managers are betting big on the IT sector, on the back of an improving global macro environment, depreciating rupee and rise in IT spends.
Why your mutual fund earned you less than Nifty in recent market rally  Economic TimesThe more the number of stocks in an index, the weaker is its performance.
These 18 consistent mutual funds may help you to beat stock market volatility  Economic TimesMany equity mutual fund advisors abhor volatility in the stock market. They are always searching for ways to tackle this beast which gives them sleepless nights.
Do not make these 7 mistakes while investing in mutual funds  Moneycontrol.comNever forget that you are investing because you have to achieve your financial goals. Investing without a goal is akin to travelling without a destination.
Is it a good time to invest in small-cap mutual fund schemes?  Economic TimesDespite the slide in the Nifty Smallcap100 index, fund houses seem to be placing faith in small-cap funds again. Should investors take the cue?
Mutual fund managers bought & sold these 20 stocks in May  Moneycontrol.comRelative valuations are attractive and around average, but midcap valuations are still looking stretched despite the recent drawdown, Morgan Stanley said in a ...
List of best mutual fund portfolios as per your risk appetite  Moneycontrol.comYou can build a portfolio of mutual fund schemes based on your risk profile.
Some international funds are giving around 40% returns. Should you invest?  Economic TimesInternational mutual funds are topping the return charts. The category has returned around 20 per cent in one year. Should retail investors bet on these schemes ...
Bleeding mutual funds: Should you go back to good old fixed deposits?  Moneycontrol.comAre you worried about the losses on your investments in mutual fund schemes? You are not alone. There are many investors who dumped their good old fixed ...
Here are top buys and sells by mutual funds in August when Sensex, Nifty hit record highs  Moneycontrol.comAmong largecaps, HDFC AMC, Sun TV Network, TVS Motor, Vedanta and Tech Mahindra topped the August buying list of top 10 mutual fund houses which ...
Top stocks bought and sold by mutual funds in June 2018  IndiainfolineInvestors should focus on longevity to create wealth. We advise investors to stay invested in those stocks whose growth story is still intact.
How much do mutual fund managers invest in their own schemes?  Moneycontrol.comEver since SEBI mandated mutual fund houses to disclose how much fund managers, directors of the asset management company and other key employees ...
Top 10 mutual funds which can double your wealth in long term  The Financial ExpressMutual funds are one of the most popular and smart ways for investors to build wealth over the long term. One can also double one's money, if planned properly.
Investing in stocks needs deep understanding of markets  LivemintDirect investing into individual stocks requires deep understanding of the markets and continuous involvement into investing.
10 mutual fund options that could be good bets as markets trend higher  Moneycontrol.comInvestment advisors feel this is time for caution and that investors should veer more towards funds with exposure towards large-caps or those that are multi-cap ...
How to Invest in Mutual Funds  The Motley FoolIf you want to understand how to pick the right mutual fund for you, you've come to the right place. In the guide below, I've put together all the major pieces of ...
Mutual Funds Four Strategies For Managing A Portfolio Of Mutual Funds  InvestopediaNow that you've built your portfolio of mutual funds, you need to know how to maintain it. Let's talk about how to manage a mutual-fund portfolio by reviewing four ...
HDFC AMC, Reliance Nippon stocks fall over 9% after Sebi caps expense ratio of mutual funds  Business TodayThe stocks of asset management companies (AMCs) fell in trade today on fears of lower revenues after market regulator Sebi capped expense ratio for mutual ...
5 strategies for investing in mutual fund in the current market to get good returns  Moneycontrol.comMutual fund investing is all about ascertaining your goals and setting out to reach them.
Sebi may tighten liquid MF rules  Economic TimesBy Pavan Burugula & Reena Zachariah The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) is considering a proposal to tighten rules for liquid mutual funds ...
Fund managers' bets: Top 10 large, mid and small-cap stocks that MFs bought in October  Moneycontrol.comMF industry assets grew to Rs 22.2 lakh crore on the back of improved inflows into equity-oriented and liquid funds.
These 10 stocks make up over one-third of entire mutual fund portfolio in India; check full list  The Financial ExpressEven as Sensex and Nifty continue their strong rally driven by a cheer in blue chip stocks, just 10 top names make up a whopping 34% of the entire mutual fund ...
Domestic mutual funds are selling these smallcaps and midcaps in hordes. Check out why  Economic TimesNEW DELHI: And you thought midcaps and smallcaps have been under pressure over the past three months because of the Sebi reclassification, requiring ...
How to build your mutual fund portfolio from scratch  Moneycontrol.comYou need to know that there is no such thing as a "perfect mutual fund portfolio". There can be numerous reasonably good portfolios, and there's no ...
Top 10 large, mid and smallcap stocks which fund managers bought & sold in September  Moneycontrol.comFears of a liquidity crunch following the IL&FS crisis hit the mutual fund industry in September. Cash plans, or liquid funds, were the worst hit.
IL&FS downgrade to hit 35 MF schemes as well  Economic TimesMUMBAI: ICRA has downgraded the debt of IL&FS to a level below that considered investment-grade for mutual funds, putting the spotlight on asset managers ...
What Is a Mutual Fund? Pros, Cons, Types and How to Invest  TheStreet.comKeep hearing about mutual funds but don't really know what they are? No sweat! TheStreet breaks down what a mutual fund is, the different kinds, and how to ...
Benefits of asset allocation in mutual funds  Economic TimesWith macros looking weak and stock market indices at a new high, financial planners believe it is important for investors to follow the principle of asset allocation.
Want to invest in ‘value’ stocks like Buffett? Look at these funds  Economic TimesValue investing is a strategy to spot stocks trading below their intrinsic values.
Should you invest in the new mutual funds categories introduced by SEBI?  Moneycontrol.comWhich of these categories are an option they should explore further and which one of them is good to give a miss?
Choose your mobile app wisely to invest in direct mutual funds  Moneycontrol.comSome mobile apps are not updated on regular basis. Often there may be errors in the stocks portfolio of several schemes.
Why liquidity offered by mutual funds is good for you  Moneycontrol.comYou may come across emergencies which warrant sudden requirement of cash. In such a situation, mutual funds come in handy.
Top stocks bought and sold by mutual funds in April 2018  IndiainfolineMutual funds received record-breaking inflows of Rs6,690cr into the mutual fund industry via SIP in April 2018. During FY18, the mutual funds received Rs67 ...
These 24 MF schemes have highest exposure to NBFC stocks. Are you invested in any?  Moneycontrol.comThe higher yield for the commercial papers is due to tight liquidity into the system. Investors raised concerns over the money market tightness amid continuing ...
6 mistakes that small investors make when stock market is doing well, interest rates are rising  Economic TimesThe biggest mistakes happen when markets are doing well. In many cases, the SIP returns are in the red.
Best value-oriented equity mutual funds to invest in 2018  Economic TimesEven as the stock market stumbles along nervously, many investors are looking for tools to navigate the volatile times in the market. And suddenly everybody is ...
Are you worried about fall in stock markets? 5 do's while reviewing your stock portfolio  Moneycontrol.comKeep aside the seasoned investors, most investors do lose track of their portfolios, especially when the market is in a bull run.

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