Saturday, April 2, 2011

Using Foliofn Trade Window for Short Term Trading

Foliofn is an online broker that allows commission free trades during 2 daily trade windows. One window is at 11:00 and the other at 2:00.

I have found these window very useful for keeping transaction fees in check in conjunction with a swing trading system. I'm using a 2 period RSI pullback system that is discussed in Larry Connors Short Term Trading Strategies that work. I'll give the details on how I'm using this in another post. You can open many positions, add to them in multiple steps all for zero transaction costs. Doing this without a window would require a very substantial account to overcome the transaction costs since you may hold 15+ open positions each of which can be added to 4 times before they are sold.

This is how I use the trade window. I check my stock and etf screens nightly. I make a list of the potential buys I would like to make and put them on my watch list. I enter the trades on foliofn that night. If the stocks or etfs are trading below the previous day's close or no more than .25 percent higher I will allow the trades to be executed in the window. Any stocks that moved higher than .25 percent of the previous day's close I will cancel that order.

Trades will be exited according to rules on the next day's trade window. If I have been in a trade for more than one day the 2:00 window can be used to exit a profitable trade. This is useful since the trade window is at 11:00 not at the market open. I will sometimes exit a trade at the 2:00 window.

You cannot use stops with foliofn trade windows. The Larry Connors system does not use stops which opens your position to risk against unusual events.

There are 3 ways to deal with this risk. As you know stops do not protect you from overnight events that drive the stock market down. Therefore stops do not offer full protection. The only way to get full protection is to buy out of the money puts to protect against those rare events. The other way to protect your portfolio is set a mental stop for execution in the next trade window should the stock close below that "mental stop". This requires considerable discipline and since the orders are not executed instantly you are open to more risk than a standard stop. The 3rd way is to attach a stop after the window order has executed. You won't be able to attach the stop until the end of the trade window so there is a brief period of time you will be exposed with no stop and it requires you to put the stop in during the day which may not be possible.