Ask Colin

How do you finds stocks entering an up trend, rather then go through say 500 charts every week.

I use a whole range of methods:

1. I scan stocks for undervaluation and mark levels on the charts where I would find them interesting, if there is such a level.

2. I visually scan all charts about once a month and mark on the charts where I would find them interesting, if there is such a level. I look at about 2000 charts a month (500 a week), so I guess I am answering you by saying that I do not use a way of solving your problem.

3. I read widely news and comment on stocks in the Australian Financial Review, magazines and elsewhere. I do this with the chart open for the stock I am reading about. If there is a level on the chart where I would get interested if the price went there, I mark that level.

Insight Trader charting software allows me to mark these levels on the charts and every day when I update the data base for the previous day's trading, it spits out a list of stocks that have traded at these levels. These are my daily hot list to review immediately after I have attended to my existing portfolio.

Probably the best way to deal with your problem is to work with a smaller list. Many professionals invest 80% of their money in the top 20 to 50 stocks. If going through these is a problem each week, see my last paragraph.

The other possibility is that the way you are doing it is not the best or easiest way. Most people grow out of Internet charting fairly quickly if they are serious. Charting software packages like Insight Trader have so many more productivity tools that enable you to set alarms, and scan the data base.

By the way, some people ask this because they find it irksome to go through charts all the time. Each of us is different. I have a passion for the sharemarket. It is not work for me. For those who find it work, or boring or uninteresting, I suggest another occupation. Each of us should try to find an occupation or hobby that is our passion in life. If we try to force ourselves to do things we dislike, we usually muck it up. Managing money is too important to let this happen. Many people should let professionals manage their money for them and get on with building a meaningful life.