Charlie: On Developing "A Feel"

“I wish I had the nuance…I absolutely don’t have it yet…but hoping that by following you and others that one day I do get there, the sooner the better…”


Yeah, whether it’s fishing, or investing, or anything else where outcomes are uncertain, experience matters, because no set of rules will ever cover every possible situation. That’s why AI is overhyped nonsense. For sure, when the outcomes are finite and path dependent, a computer program will come to the “correct” answer faster than a human, and it will do so every time without fail.

Markets aren’t equilibrium systems in which each action has a predictable reaction. But that’s the way one should bet. Over-sold//over-bought is likely to correct back to the mean. It doesn’t have to, nor does it have to do so quickly or in progressive steps. But that’s the smart way to bet. But the bet can’t be so big that, if it fails, you get thrown out of the game.

Here’s an example I’ve used before. If I have $10 bucks and you have $1 one dollar, we can flip for pennies all day long, and neither of us will walk away a significant winner. We might be up or down a few cents. But another round of play is as likely as not to correct that imbalance. However, if I switch the bet size to two bits, I could break you in as few a four flips. In fact, there’s a 6.25% likelihood of that event. That might seem like small odds. But the odds of me calling heads and being right three times out of four is 25%, which begins to get significant. More importantly, it ought to undermine your confidence that you could survive playing the game another round. Traders have a term for this situation. It’s called “trading with scared money”, and it’s a sure path to ruin.

So, what to do? Always assume that the opposite side of your trade is smarter, faster, and better capitalized. So, don’t trade against him. Trade with with him. Wait until he makes his move, and then shadow him. How do you know when he’s making his move? ‘Volume’ is one cue. Are prices rising/falling on increasing volume? How’s the tape in printing? Are the trends self-evident, or are they choppy? What’s market breadth like? Are lots of sectors moving up or down togther? Also, avoid trying to trade setups that aren’t drop-dead obvious or are likley to overwhelmed by exogenous factors, the chief of which is earnings announcements, economic reports, and Fed meetings. If the market is expecting big news --good or bad-- go to the sidelines and let the traders over-react as they always do. When the dust has settled, which might take as little as 90 seconds or it might take a day or two, then get back in the game.

Suggestion: If you want to develop “a feel”, then you’ve got a couple of choices. #1, Do lots and lots of small trades and score them, not by the money lost, but by the experience gained. That means keeping a trading journal and doing post mortems on every trade, trying to answer these three questions. “Did I follow my rules?” “Did I see in the chart or the financial statements everything that could have been known?” Lastly, “Why did the trade actually work (or fail)?” Lots of times, there will be no easy or obvious answer. If money was made, light a candle and thank the market goddess. If money was lost, decrease your bet size, but don’t walk away from the trade. Sometimes, it takes a several tries to get it right.

#2. Another way to develop “feel” is to narrow your investing universe to a limited number of contracts whose wiggles and waggles, ups and downs, you come to know as well as you know how a friend would react when he/he stubs a toe.



Excellent pearls of wisdom! Will try to follow it.

I think my biggest mistakes to date have been that I have been trading against the market, without even knowing that was exactly what I was doing! It is obvious now…like buying the dips in falling knives on stocks that were totally useless. I was buying more because I had bought the same stock at a much higher price, and couldn’t bear the thought of taking a loss, and was buying as it was going down…what a blasphemy…only exception would have been if those were excellent companies {like your Schwab trade}…Like you mentioned, I think I need to write down a set of rules of what I will and will not do, and stick to them.

Thanks again Arindam!


“Not everything that can be counted counts. Not everything that counts can be counted.”


That quote is often attributed to Einstein. But its first citation is more than 30 years after his death. Also, though he was a numbers guy, he wasn’t a stock trader. LOL

In performance sports – which includes investing and trading-- what can’t be counted can’t be measured. What can’t be measured can’t be improved. Therefore, a written investing/trading plan isn’t just A Good Idea. It is Tool Number One. An investor’s or trader’s Tool Number Two is keeping a journal, which can be as formal as a checklist --there are plenty of them to be found on the internet-- or as informal as an email sent to a friend in which how a trade went awry is explained to them. [Aside: My theory is this. If I can explain it someone else, I can explain it to me.]

Tool Number Three is a trading buddy, i.e., someone who can call bullsh*t on your ideas, and you on his, yet you both can remain friends and can continue to swap ideas. Or posting regularly in a forum like this could serve the same purpose. Tools Number Four --in no special order-- are a sensible diet, daily exercise, a strong network of family and friends, and a life apart from markets (otherwise, this investing/trading stuff becomes a destructive addiction).

Lastly, if you’re fortunate enough to live close to a Zen Center, I’d suggest you drop by and check them out. What you’ll take away from learning to sit zazen is centeredness, always a useful quality in the crazy world we otherwise live in. Or just a long daily walk or bike ride can achieve the same purpose.



I love this conversation! Thanks Charlie for being a newbie and asking questions. And, Arindam for being so generous. I have never been to a Zen Center but I do do meditation, sometimes–have done: Vipassana, Transcendental and now whatever Sam Harris teaches or the teachers on his app. Dzogchen? and many other things. Thanks for the nudge and reminder to be in the world and to meditate. :slight_smile: I love your suggestion “to get a feel” for things. :slight_smile:


Yes, totally agree with this. Awesome advice Arindam. It has been 2 years of unbelievable pain, wherein I have lost a lot…So much so that I had given up…My mistakes are SO obvious now…I failed miserably in things where I had no idea what I was doing, buying stuff touted by the Motely people without any idea what it’s worth was, only to see them get drowned and vanish away in unbelievable speed.

However, meeting so many generous people in this community has been the gain so far (and unfortunately, I knew this community existed only after I had lost a lot).

But I am firm believer in taking accountability…Me losing all my money was my mistake…and being totally ignorant of what investing, and risk management was my undoing…

I am also a firm believer in learning…and so taking all this in good stride and giving myself 10 years to try and see if I can make up what I lost. I think it is doable, if one has the right resources to learn from and willingness to work hard…the second part comes naturally to me…and so, I am working towards the learning part from right resources.

Learning the things that kind people like Arindam, Quill, and numerous other generous board members is helping me to stop brooding over what has happened and look forward…not there yet, but working towards that.

And will look around for a Zen center…What a wonderful advice that is!

Thanks again Arindam!


You need to distinguish between the “feel” for markets that Charlie is wishing he had and the reasons one might want to sit zazen.

The former is only going to come from participating in markets and from making hundreds of buy/sell decisions. A good example is this. How many cars, refrigerators, or houses are you likely to buy in your whole life, as opposed to heads of lettuce, pounds of potatoes, or baskets of strawberries? The latter kind of shopping is a weekly thing, and you quickly learn how prices vary seasonally and what’s "a bargain’, so much so, you can spot one immediately and execute unemotionally.

But for most people, they aren’t buying and selling dozens of stocks per week. So each purchase is A Big Creeping Deal. Worse, they have no idea how to vet that hot stock tip they are now trying to act on, nor how to size a position appropriate to their account size and tolerance for uncertainty, and --for sure-- they never put an escape plan in place for when --not if– things go south on them. Then, having screwed up one decision, they don’t try to learn from it, but repeat their mistakes with the next one.

What sitting can do is make one aware of the “monkey chatter” that afflicts all of us and how it can be set aside, as well the fact that this money stuff isn’t very important compared to family, friends, health, and an appreciation of the miracle it is of just being alive. But on a practical level, being able to center oneself helps to avoid making rushed decisions as well as helps one to be fluid when speed really is necessary. “Grace under pressure” is how Hemingway described ‘courage’, and investing takes courage, a lot of it, because nothing about investing is certain except that there will be losses, a lot of them. That’s why centeredness --or faith in oneself and one’s investing plan-- is necessary instead of the woulda/coulda/shoulda’s that plague all of us, even the most experienced, if we’re truly being honest.

So here’s a parable, if you would. A dear friend found himself being moved to Guam, because his trouble-shooting wife’s company wanted her there to clean up their inventory and accounting departments. Feeling at loose ends, but being a farm boy used to working with tools, he talked his way into a job at A cabinet shop. Clearly, they knew he wasn’t a journeyman cabinet maker. But he hustled and gradually could hold his own. One day, still troubled by his relative lack of experience, he asked the master craftsman in the shop what the difference was between a beginner like himself and the skill level of his boss. The reply? “The only difference is I can fix my mistakes faster.”




Thanks for your steadying examples.

I’m not exactly a newcomer to investing, but I didn’t really learn the basics and completely identify with Charlie, Inspired2Learn. Although I think he has much more humility than I have had.

Being a film person with no financial education, at all, I kind of lucked out. I met Buffett, bought some Berkshire, read the Intelligent Investor. I immediately understood Chapter 8, but nothing else. Almost completely innumerate, I acted on “tips,” and made little mistakes around the edges. 2009 came around and I finally got to use Chapter 8. But I basically coattailed. Bought BNSF, Wells Fargo, and American Express. BNSF turned into Berkshire but I didn’t understand American Express and Wells Fargo so I sold them because they didn’t go straight up like I expected.

Anyway, I did ok but in a very fearful way. Then covid hit, so I experienced the fall. I sold some inherited stock and bought some Berkshire. I read the Berkshire Board and Saul’s (!). I did not get Covid, I got FOMO. I made a few mistakes, not very big, and ended mostly even on Saul stuff. Then, I blindly coattailed Charlie into Alibaba. Whoops. I didn’t like that so I lost a little and figured maybe even Charlie makes mistakes. Xi was too much for me.

The good part is I learned that I did not like FOMO, even Charlie and Warren make mistakes, so, maybe I, too, could make mistakes and still learn more and get better at investing.

So, I’m starting at the beginning and doing treasuries and interest calculations. Even that is hard! But what I have to lose is very little and it’s better than nothing. A good place to start.

You mentioned the coin toss and it reminded me of something i read about parimutuel betting. Taking the other side of the bet. And I actually got what you were saying about scared money and being mindful of the amount you’re betting. Pennies versus quarters. Anyway, being parts of reality, these concepts all hang together. Some things like betting in proportion to your purse is pretty instinctual, but having it articulated helps.

As for meditation, I hope i act on what i think i know about it and do it more often. To quiet the monkey mind. Be centered and appreciative of what really matters. Learning about investing is another way for me to learn about reality. As I learn more about successful investing, that, hopefully, will make my life more secure and I will have more time and energy to give to what’s really important, as you say.

One more thing to add to what is already a long post. My husband I had a discussion this afternoon about the difference between learning and understanding. In Nichiren Buddhism, maybe in others, there is something called the Ten Worlds. I won’t go into the whole ten, but the first six states or paths are conditioned and uncertain. The last four, are basically, to my mind, decisions we make as we can: Learning, Realization, Bodhisattva and Buddhahood. I have been learning for a long time, at least, trying to. Yet, understanding what I have learned has taken as much time or more. Realization–the making of what I’ve learned into a reality, is harder than I thought and quite separate from the learning of it. It requires making real what I have learned.
Maybe I’ll realize I need to meditate more. :wink:

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Following this thread and want to echo sentiments of thanks for questions and answers. I really appreciate both Arindam and Quill…doc


Thank you so much for your thoughts and suggestions. I appreciate it very much.
Actually, I may have people I can schedule face to face time with. I learn better one on one, face to face, so I’ll try that.

Have a lovely Sunday.


For fun, name me three (3) stocks you currently own with a tyme stamp as to when you purchased them.

Ask your “People” what are their thoughts are on RIO and GE with respect to the EV vehicles and Lithium that are in big demand. If they own any of the mentioned, what was their time stamp of purchase.

Next, asked your peeps, what is their plan of attack when the Recession come full force and not lose a dyme trying. Tell me first and then, we will show you what a 9th grader can do during homeroom or during lunch time. My two nieces (9th graders now since 6th grader under their mother’s permission) Swing Trade via Simon Sez III.

Next, ask your peeps, do they understand the Tetter Totter Principle with respect to Swing Trading ( Arindam the GOAT has a kewl way of saying Tetter Totter in his own werds).

Remember Grasshoppers Charts don’t lie people.

Have fun and see ya around the campus.

Quill-- a poor church mouse scratching for a living as a Swing Trader for over 48 years and an Investor for over 60 +.
------------ Vision - Multi-Millionaire…Goal - earn 1.3% - 2.5% compounded Daily per the 2.5 percent theory.


Remember Grasshoppers Charts don’t lie, people do.


I also want to say thanks to you, Quill, and Arindam for the info you have provided on this board. I have been learning and dabbling in swing trading for a few months now. Only tip-toeing into it, but I have had success. I like the fact that “charts don’t lie!”

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Lisa, velcome back. We try out best for the students to be succesful and help protect there ASSets in this funny market.

Care to mention you best stock you are dabbling in. Perhaps we can make a fee extra bux as side bar action.
For fun I would like you to look at It is for women, run by women, managed by women only. Stay tuned I will be displaying the matrix for you to peruse at your leisure. I manage the matrix for my wife, and she makes more money in dividends than her measly monthly pension check. My wife does not use their services. Simon Sez III takes care of us.

I wish you the best,

Quill - a poor church mouse scratching for a living as a Swing Trader.

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I have traded SPY and TSLA more than anything else, but I am only in a couple of trades right now. I bought CRWD on 2/2 at 116.32 as it appeared to be breaking out of a long sideways pattern. I have 140 in mind as target price. (This was based on someone pointing out there is a gap to fill around that price. I can’t say I understand that 100% - learning on-the-job I guess.) But now I am seeing the lookback high arc on BC and thinking I may get out today.

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CRWD - you go gurl - freaking asome. But 140 is only a Target price out of fear. Let Simon tell you when to get and when to get out.
I guess you were sitting on ye thrown and lost money by not buying CRWD on or about 1/11/23. Doesn’t matter . You could have gotten out and then got back in 4 days later beating the T-2 rules via the SEC rules.

BC - No , let’s jamb the BC chart way to the left to only show the upper ARC (smily face). Now you have to at least two (2) ARC’s are all times to make an informed desision. You had a buy signal yesterday 3/20/23. Simon and Co is here to protect your ASSets. Have faith in Simon for he will make you a healthy wealthy happy camper. As President Reagon once said, “Trust but must verify”.
Please take your time in learning and let Simon help you succeed.

P.s You can trade SPY for life. Same for TSLA as part of your 6 pack portfolio.
I bought my Tesla 2014 model S 95 dark blue via my swing trading for Ca$H

Now look at all Simons successful trades since June of 2013. With Tesla alone, you would have retired and never have to work again.
If you hadn’t seen or used Simon Sez III two (2) simple rules, I will be posting them after I go shopping at COST another cash machine since 2007 when I got laid off and tried to get a job there as a greeter. The would hire me after trying 3 times. So as they say “I bought the company”. Not really, just swing traded the Stock. Nice quarterly divi’s as a reward for being such a nice person. Add COST to your pile of stocks in your portfolio. Hot dogs are still a buck fitty. Do not listen to anybody but person looking in the mirror mirrror on the wall. etc etc.

Look at how successful you will be. Ca-ching, Ca-ching.


Yes, I see the great results that can be achieved with Simon! Impressive! I am still trying to understand the buy and sell signals. I don’t think I have it exactly. When I look at CRWD chart, for a 2 month period with daily candles, I see the smiley face arc on 1/25/23. So then wait one for confirmation and buy the next day on 1/27. But you said I should have bought 1/11, so I have missed something. (well, a lot of profit, for one thing). Also, I was not using Simon when I bought this bc I still don’t understand it fully.

I was confusing in my wording about seeing a lookback high arc on BC today. I meant the barchart for CRWD. I abbreviated BC which sounded like I was talking about Brunswick Corp, which I have not traded. So for CRWD, a couple hours ago, the high arc was on 3/17. Now after close, the arc is on today. So does that mean I should look at it again tomorrow after close to see that the trend reversal was confirmed, and if it is, then sell Thursday morning?

I am definitely taking my time. My learning process is being extended anyway because I have a number of other priorities currently. Some days I can watch it throughout the day, but usually I can’t.


I bought CRWD on 2/2 at 116.32 as it appeared to be breaking out of a long sideways pattern. I have 140 in mind as target price. (This was based on someone pointing out there is a gap to fill around that price. I can’t say I understand that 100% - learning on-the-job I guess.) But now I am seeing the lookback high arc on BC and thinking I may get out today."

Hey LisaM,
Didn’t want to ignore your comment about the gap fill and using that as a target. So, in the spirit of learning, as much for me as anyone, let me make some comments about gaps. This is with hopes others may chime in.

I look at gaps as largely resistance and support levels. Like support/resistance, they reflect price levels where buyers and sellers are more willing to make a commitment or not. Gaps are usually due to significant events to a stock like earnings or down/upgrades. Like support and resistance levels, they are not absolute and are simply “road markers for potential slick areas or falling rocks”. They absolutely do not dictate what you should do, just that you should think about the options. I’m making an assumption that you are comfortable with support and resistance. Please ask questions if you don’t.

I’m guessing what your friend is sharing with you is that that price area may be an area of resistance. Therefore, you need to consider how to respond to such if needed. You have made a wonderful profit but it’s only unrealized until you sell. What they are telling you is that price rise may falter and drop against the gap area. It does NOT mean that it will, but it’s an area to consider it as possibly happening.

The gap you are referring to in CRWD is also almost 4 months old. While some folks look at gaps for even years, I start to put less weight on them as important resistance/support 4-6 months out. More recent gaps tend to reflect the current market sentiment and news. If triggered by a previous earnings report and no similar market reaction with the most recent ER a couple weeks ago, I don’t totally ignore, but it certainly would not force a move to me.

Looking quickly at CRWD, there are a couple minor support/resistance areas that I’ve mapped on this chart. It’s already broken above a critical level and, looks like it has just eked into the gap zone. Interestingly, it has a bit of a channel but not strong.

Let’s turn this around to help understand. Why did you pick CRWD? If purely technical, what are your rules? What I mean, do you have hard rules for your trades? You should have a plan in mind as to what you would do when you buy a stock. If you feel it’s a good fundamental play and want to hold for a month or 10 years, hold it. If you looked technically and feel it’s going to make a move up, then plan what you think will happen and how you will react. That most importantly includes planning when you would sell. You need to define your goal with the trade. I know folks who “pay” themselves anytime they hit 6% on a trade, regardless of the situation. Others always have targets (points that you would think of selling) in mind (which seems a component to your approach) and may even set limit orders to sell if and when they hit those hard numbers. Some folks will leg out. Maybe selling 1/3 of their position at the gap fill, 1/3 at the next resistance and letting the last 1/3 run with a trailing stop of some sort. Not telling you what to do, telling you that you have options and should consider what feels best for you and let’s you sleep at night. Even better, plan those spots before you make the trade. I have not listed stop limits, but those are something you could also consider in managing this trade.

So, not sure if I have confused you more, but understand, your friend was pointing out a spot where price increase might (that is might, not will) hesitate and you might want to be prepared to close. You have to decide what fits for you.

Finally, a comment. The arcs on Bar Chart simply tag the high and low on the chart. They are NOT signals and WILL move (repaint) if the next day’s prices are higher. But that’s for you and Quill to workout.

Happy hunting,



Like today (3/21/23), CRWD had an Arc sitting on the top. It can be an early warning signal. But could mean nothing but prices still continue rise.

Same for the bottom Arc if appears.

Have a mental note to watch the following day to see what happens.

You don’t have to watch stocks all day. Once at around 9:45am and again at 3:30pm.

As a suggestion, practice looking at other charts that you do not own but just observe patterns.

example: look at Brunswick (ticker BC). Put a 3x5 card over the last to bars from right ot left, leaving the RED bar with the bottom showing the RED arc.

Now notice I said situations like this is a warning signal. Okay, now the side the card to the right one day as the next day’s event. Look what happened.

Let’s do one more with Brunswick. Go back to 2/6/23. Cover that bar and just show 2/3/23 green bar with a top arc or smiley face. Now slide the card one bar to the right and what do you see and what do you do.

The more you practice the better off you will be well experienced in reading charts.

If you can look at the Stockcharts, repeat the same process. There is no argument of what to do. I like to do is assume at each label is 1000 shares at that price.

Every morning I have to peruse over 60 to 100 charts by click click click click.

Have fun and see ya around the campus.

Quill -

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Lakedog, Thanks! That has to be what was meant, that the gap area could possibly become an area of resistance. It really appears to me that it could be leveling off right now. I bought in based on someone showing a chart of this with it trading sideways and saying if the 9ema crossed over the 50ema it would be a entry point. Bought based on technicals, but I do think this one has good fundamentals too which just helps me feel better in case I should end up holding it longer than I wanted to. I am still in the process of determining what rules I want to set for myself. I am trying out various things. Right now, I plan to follow Quill’s rules for exiting this one. I’ll let you know how it turns out.


Quill, I see the signals on Brunswick. I think I get it. Could have seen the warning with the red arc, then waited a day to see if the trend did reverse, then on the 20th - I think the fact that the arc did not move to that day confirmed the trend reversal. Then I should have bought on the morning of the 21st, right? My hesitance is that the bulk of the candle on the 20th was lower, but the wick was a higher low, so I guess that’s what counts. Let me know if I’m wrong. Thanks so much!