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Browse Topics:    Trading Strategies    Research & Analyze    

A Day in the Life of a Trader: Kevin Horner

Find out which tools and resources this bullish, trend-trading Schwab specialist uses the most for his own personal trading.

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Lou Mercer: Let's move on to Kevin. Kevin, you've been with Schwab for just about 20 years. You're a senior education specialist with our trader side, and you're also a trader yourself. How do you approach your typical day?

Kevin Horner: Well, I start the day by checking out my existing positions and referencing my profit/loss scenario. I'm going to take a look at my notes, make sure that I'm paying attention to what I've said in the past about the positions that I maintain. It's a big deal for me to reference those notes, particularly the notes in StreetSmart Edge, where I reside and do the majority of my trading, of course. I kind of treat the notes page for myself as a bit of a – like a trade journal, if you will.

But the other thing that I find myself using more and more, once I move past the positions I'm in already, I'm looking for new opportunities, new ideas, new strategies that are going to work for me. And so I'm going to delve into Screener Plus and StreetSmart Edge.

And more specifically, of late what I've found—because I'm such a trend trader, that's what I'm looking for—are those upward trending securities, and I tend to lean on the bullish side of the market. That's just my personality. So I'm looking for uptrending securities, and I'm doing that with Screener Plus, utilizing a combination of both fundamental and technical information.

So the great thing about Screener Plus is that it can allow you to screen through all that noise, and pay attention to trending stocks based on moving average detail, perhaps, maybe finding that stock who’s 20-day simple moving average is above its 50. Another stock – in the same vein, a 50-day simple moving average above the 200, as we've talked about. Additionally, I'm looking for increases to volume, near term, five day volume increase over 20-day average volume. That's a big deal, if I'm a trend trader, and that's what I'm looking for. So I'm going to rely on Screener Plus pretty consistently when I'm looking to establish a new position.

Lou Mercer: Yeah, Lee, why would a trader focus so much on volume?

Lee Bohl: Well, you need fuel to keep a fire going, especially on the upside. It's interesting. If you look at the history of breakouts one way or another, there is definitely a correlation between how a breakout behaves up with either no increase in average volume or increase in average volume. The ones that have increase in average volume do better.

Interestingly enough, that does not seem to be true when stocks break down. They seem to have the same efficacy breaking down, whether there's a volume spike or not. There's an old saying that stocks can fall under their own weight, just for lack of interest.

So I think at least for a bullish trade, I do want to see that increase in volume. And there's a lot of – Kevin was talking about Screener Plus. There are a couple of pre-built screens in there that do that for you, stocks that are breaking out with increasing volume. I always look at that one, too, especially on a risk on day, as I talked about before. So that's just right there. You do one click and you've got candidates you can take a look at.

And then what I do, the ones that look okay on the chart, I'm just going to quickly right in the chart right click and get the Schwab equity rating, just to make sure the fundamentals are okay.

Lou Mercer: Great. Kevin, is there anything else that you do day to day that really makes your life easier?

Kevin Horner: Absolutely. The other thing that I would absolutely want to touch on here is Trade Source, and more specifically, the Stay Connected hub in Trade Source. This is a relatively new tool developed for Trade Source exclusively. We've actually moved this into mobile as well. And what it does is it combines fundamental and technical detail, reports on the companies, bottom lines, things that are changing, upgrades, downgrades, etcetera. And it references all of these positions in your own portfolio.

So you can go to the Trade Source Stay Connected hub and get a quick glance, flipping through four, five, six pages of stuff, on the equities that you own and maintain. And I think that would be a wonderful way – it certainly works for me – to stay abreast of what's happening. Like Lee said, as good as I like to think I am, there's no way that I can be on top of everything. And on more than one occasion, the Stay Connected hub has actually saved me from liquidating a position on ex-dividend day. So – because I happen to own a stock that maybe pays a dividend. That doesn't mean I'm owning it for the dividend. I might be trading it. But I want to be aware of that, if I have an opportunity to capture that dividend on that final day of investment. So it's definitely saved me in that regard. So I do utilize the Stay Connected hub pretty consistently, actually.

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