Comic Will Rogers famously observed in the 1920s:  “The stock market is easy.  Buy stocks that go up.  If they don’t go up, don’t buy them.”

The old line of a character played by W. C. Fields, when he was asked if poker was a game of chance – “Not the way I play it,” Fields replied.

Here’s the key:  I’m a very fickle guy.  As long as a company keeps performing, I’m happy.  When things start to look iffy, I cut and run.  If you like home runs, here are my personal favourite criteria for picking stocks:

If you’re a day trader, an EPS – ‘earnings-per-share’ – ranking of over 90 is a must.  You can check the Investor’s Business Daily newspaper, or online, for EPS coverage.  It’s all laid out for you quite nicely, and is easy to read.  The EPS rankings are well presented.  Your target stocks should trade in excess of 100,000 shares a day to get the action you want.  After all, you want volatility.

Keep in mind that the U. S. market is larger and more liquid, and has more shares available at more volatile prices than the Canadian markets.

If you’re a position trader, a stock should be in a clear uptrend above the 200-day moving average.  Otherwise, say “No thanks!”  If your stock falls below this moving average, it’s time to sell.  This strategy is 90% to 95% accurate.  It will never get you in at the bottom, or out at the top.  But, at least it will get you in for at least 80% of the move, and keep you away from disasters.

STICK WITH THE RULES AND GET ORGANIZED
THE GREATEST SECRET OF THE STOCK MARKET
ONE SIMPLE NUMBER SMASHES MEASLY RETURNS!
DOW DOGS – BEAT THE DOW OR ANY INDEX
THE JANUARY EFFECT
RULES TO PICK STOCKS BY
I'LL LET YOU IN ON A LITTLE SECRET...
RULES TO PICK BONDS BY
LOOK OUT BELOW
THE 10 PERCENT RULES
THE BUY, SELL ADAGE... BUY THE SNOW, SELL THE SUN
JUST CALL ME BABE RUTH
DAY TRIPPER
HEAD AND SHOULDERS
VOLUME
MORE ON VOLUME
AND, EVEN MORE ON VOLUME, PLUS 'THE BIG CLUE'
HORSEBACK RIDING
DOUBLE TOPS AND BOTTOMS
TRIANGLES
THE THREE-DAY CYCLE
THE THREE-DAY RALLY
WATCH THE OPEN
INSIDE BARS
KEY REVERSAL BARS
OUTSIDE BARS
CONSOLIDATION OR CONTINUATION OUTSIDE BAR
TWO-BAR REVERSAL (RAILWAY TRACKS)
'TD DIFF'
TRADING A BOTTOM
ALL-IN-ONE BUY SIGNAL, TREND INDICATOR AND RALLY CONFIRMATION
MOVING AVERAGES
IMPORTANCE OF PRICE
SUPPORT AND RESISTANCE
MONEY FLOW
POSITION TRIPPER
STOPS
TRADING RANGES
LOSSES – 'PROFITUS INTERRUPTUS'
BUY THE SUN, SELL THE RAIN

If you have any suggestions for content for this section, please let us know through the contact feature at TradingSmarts