When I was about 10 years old, I started charting stocks: Ling-Temco-Vought (later LTV) , Polaroid, Levitz Furniture, Fairchild Camera and others. I would lay on the living room floor with the business section and a notebook. I noticed that these stocks would “channel” — go up and then down. Up and down. Somewhat predictably. I tried to get my father to give me a few hundred dollars to invest but he would pat me on the head and send me back to the newspaper. Jimmy Ling (1922-2004) became an idol for me when in 1956 he turned his electronics business into Ling-Temco-Vought. I still have articles about him which I cut out of magazines. I still have his biography on my bookshelf. I wanted to be Jimmy Ling.
These days, I still enjoy checking out the stock market. Morning. During lunch. And mid-afternoon. And there are new stocks that I watch: Pfizer, EMC, Xerox, Hillshire Brands, AES Corp., and so on. And you know what? These stocks “channel” as well. Often predictably during the course of the day. They are all “A” or “B” rated (with solid records or dividends) so risk is somewhat contained. I may jump in and jump out in the space of a few hours. And make a few bucks.
I’m reminded of the old Wall Street saw “pigs get fat and hogs get slaughtered.” Thus I am never greedy about trying to maximize a profit (I have rarely had a loss). Selecting blue chip stocks which may be dipping to a 6 month or 6 week or 6 hour low sometimes provides interesting opportunity.