Cover Page

Contents

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Title Page

Preface

Between January 1, 2008 and February 28, 2008, Bear Stearns (BSC) shares traded in a range between $68.18 and $93.09.

On March 3, 2008, Bear Stearns closed at $77.32 (see ). At around this time most commentators (famously including those on CNBC) were suggesting that BSC could be a takeover target and, as such, were bullish on the stock's prospects.

BSC March 3, 2008 Chart

Source: OVI Charts. Courtesy of . Go to for more information.

At the same time, an unknown new indicator plummeted to its lowest possible reading for BSC. In itself that wasn't the key factor. It's the fact that for the next two weeks the indicator remained at its most negative reading for all but two days.

Exactly two weeks after the unknown indicator plummeted, BSC went into free-fall, reaching a low of $2.84. Bear Stearns was indeed taken over, but at $10 per share, a far cry from the heady heights of $77.32 (see ).

BSC March 17, 2008 Chart

Source: OVI Charts. Courtesy of . Go to for more information.

This was one of the most dramatic declines in the history of the stock market, and yet not one commentator saw it coming.

And yet, there were people who DID see it coming—and they made a fortune from it, too.

How do we know this? Well, the “unknown indicator” measures options transactions for individual stocks. And in the case of BSC, the indicator went crazy to the downside two weeks before BSC collapsed!

Someone, somewhere knew something …

In this book you're going to learn how to spot another Bear Stearns, or, more positively, how to spot a meteoric rise in a stock before it happens. The unknown indicator is now unveiled.

Whatever your trading experience or proficiency may be, this book is for you, provided you want to make money in the markets.

That's a pretty bold statement, but the reason this book is for you, regardless of your prior experience, is because the method within is effective, simple, and easy to apply.

This is music to the ears of anyone who just wants to make money from the markets. It doesn't matter what your proficiency is; we all want a time-efficient way to make money from the markets, and this book delivers exactly that.

I should also emphasize that this is not a book on options! We will refer to options because part of our method relies on following what the savvy options traders are doing, but this is specifically not an options book.

The way we do this is by following a simple indicator that is derived from options transaction data. See the diagram in . If you can identify where this line is positive (above the horizontal line) or negative (below the horizontal line), then you qualify. It's that simple!

OVI Simple Line

The basic premise of this book is as follows:

What you'll discover during the book is what chart pattern, what indicator, and how to implement the trading plan.

The uniqueness of this book resides with the special indicator (the OVI), which is derived from options transactions data. We're basically going to follow what the savviest traders in the market are doing. We stick to a simple chart pattern to improve our odds further, and we implement a safe trading plan that enables us to make windfall profits if a trend develops.

So, what exactly is the OVI?

Well, it's an indicator that oscillates between −1 and +1. When it's positive (and there's a corresponding chart pattern) then we focus on buying opportunities. When it's negative (and there's a corresponding chart pattern) we focus on shorting opportunities.

The OVI is derived from options transaction data, but again, this is not a book about options! I think that's clear now, isn't it?! The premise is that the savviest traders will congregate in the options markets, and the OVI is effectively spying on them.

Later on we'll go into the reasons why the smart money trades options, but for now it's worth considering that the smart money likes to accumulate positions quickly and quietly. Options are a vehicle for doing just this, and the OVI's job is to help us observe what's happening.

Imagine having a bird's-eye view of what the smart money is doing . . . well that's just part of the story.

As you'll read many times in this book, we only ever use the OVI in conjunction with a tradeable chart pattern, and we observe the OVI only in the context of a price chart.

In the first example (shown in ) you can see how the indicator was positive before Apple Inc. (AAPL) broke out to the upside twice in a month. This led to a profit of over 50 points and 30 points, respectively.

AAPL Breakouts Chart

Source: OVI Charts. Courtesy of . Go to for more information.

In the next example (shown in ), you can see how the OVI was negative preceding BAC's several breakouts to the downside. Within four months of the first obvious breakout, the stock had halved in price.

BAC Breakouts Chart

Source: OVI Charts. Courtesy of . Go to for more information.

So now that you've had a teaser of what's to come, here's a summary of what you'll learn in this book.

In Chapter 1 we're going to review the most popular chart patterns. Not too many, just the most important and relevant ones for our purposes. This will serve as a useful refresher for advanced traders and a good introduction for novices. (In Chapter 3 we'll focus exclusively on a couple of patterns that will become your obsession in the years to come.)

Chapter 2 is all about the OVI and how we can use our guided discretion to legitimately follow the insiders. We combine this indicator with our favored chart pattern in order to make high-probability trades. I'll also explain what the OVI is, why it works, and also why it should be used in combination with our favored chart patterns.

In Chapter 3 we're going focus in detail on my favorite chart patterns. This sets the scene for creating our trading plans in Chapter 4. In Chapter 5 we wrap up and summarize everything for you to make your practical next steps.

The greatest traders make use of surprisingly simple processes. I accept that the OVI is derived from specialized and complex algorithms, but as you'll discover, to your delight, interpreting it is wonderfully simple.

As you may have already realized by now, we're going straight into the meat of the subject. I hope you like this approach; it means this is a book you can read and understand in quick time.

Plus I'm giving you tools to use for free so you can get started immediately. As such, I believe this will be one of the best investments you'll make.

Please now read the Introduction, where I'll set the scene for you in full.

Good luck, and enjoy!

Acknowledgments

First, I want to say a big thank you to my colleagues at the OVI Traders Club and FlagTrader.

And to my inquisitive students: Your challenging questions help me create solutions more than you could imagine. Without you, there would be no OVI, and without the OVI this book could never have been conceived.

Introduction

In the preface I made a bold statement that whatever your trading experience, this book is for you.

Here's another bold statement—or series of statements:

(i) More fortunes have been created from the stock market than any other financial instrument. Sure, there are folks who've made their fortunes from Forex, commodities, futures, options, and other instruments. But many more fortunes have been made from stocks. Why? Because they're more accessible and because stocks, like no other instrument, give certain people at certain times an edge that no other instrument can give. And that edge is what I call “privileged” information.
It's a fact that some folks are going to know what's going on with certain companies at certain times. Sometimes this information is intuitive because they have proximity to the business—for example, a supplier or customer to the business has no inside information, per se, but has a general feel for how things are going for that corporation. Sometimes the information is more intimate—for example, information held only by the company's officers and close advisors.
Whatever the case, I'm certainly not advocating illegal insider trading, but whether we like it or not it's always going to happen to some extent. Sometimes it will be legal and sometimes it will be illegal. We'll focus on the legal side of it, because in our method, we're going to follow what looks like informed trading. This “informed” trading may be completely innocent, and all we're going to do is follow it.
You don't need to be an insider or even have any information per se to make use of privileged information. Besides, even those with supposed inside information often get it wrong because the market may have already factored in certain information beforehand. As such, insider trading doesn't necessarily translate to profitable trading.
Suffice it to say for our purposes, being able to observe transactions in the financial markets is far more important than the specific information on which they may be based.
In this book I'm going to show you how to follow the traders who appear to have privileged information, and how to translate that into profitable trading for you.
(ii) There is one type of chart pattern that is responsible for more success than any other pattern or indicator. The pattern is easy to find and, crucially, easy to use in order to create a robust trading plan.
In this book I'm going to focus on the chart pattern (and its close relations) that will massively increase your odds of success.
(iii) Combining (i) and (ii) together to create a robust and simple trading plan will give you a phenomenal edge in the markets.
In this book I'll show you how to combine (i) and (ii) to create a safe trading plan that will also give you the ability to trade for windfall profits.

Remember: Successful trading is all about having an “Edge.” By focusing on the easiest market to trade in, the most reliable chart patterns, by following the insiders, and by constructing a solid trading plan, you will have a serious edge.

Trading is a deeply psychological game. Many would-be traders make the mistake of overcomplicating things and taking the more-is-more approach. It may seem counterintuitive at first, but take my word for it that the less-is-more approach is the most productive and profitable way.

By sticking to a simple trading plan we can have certainty as to what we do, and our job then is to ensure our trading plan (no matter how repetitive it may be), which puts the odds of success firmly in our favor.

Sounds simple, doesn't it? Yes. But it's apparently not that easy—especially for those who are looking for the Holy Grail…and be honest, you've thought about that too, haven't you?

Well, if you haven't, I certainly have…but I never found it. The OVI is pretty good compensation, though.

Over the last few years my students have come to rely on some of my rather bold statements regarding the markets. Remember: It's easy to look like a fool in the markets. Fortunately I've been on the money the vast majority of the time, but even if I hadn't been, my students would have come to little or no harm. In this book, you're going to discover how I make my statements and why my students (including you) are protected even if we get things wrong.

This book is all about making money when circumstances allow and about not losing (much or anything) when we get things wrong.

Although I've made a rather nice habit of getting things right, a good trader doesn't have a catastrophe when he or she gets it wrong. In fact, the best traders sometimes don't lose a bean when they get it wrong; how's that for improving your odds? If you can be wrong and yet not lose money, you're already on your way.

This is what this book is all about. It sure does help, though, if you have a way of being right more often than being wrong—then you really do have some good odds of making money.

We have a way of getting things right and protecting ourselves at the same time, just in case we're wrong. And that's what you're going to learn in this book. The process is quite simple, as are the tools we use to make our decisions. Of course, there is sophistication behind the method, but you'll be relieved to know the sophistication is all behind the scenes, specifically behind the tools we use.

Just to get you revved up, I'm going to name just a handful of simple examples where I communicated with my private traders in advance of something happening in the markets.

MARCH 8, 2008

On March 8, 2008, I emailed and blogged my subscribers of impending volatility to come in the markets.…

“I think this year will be a bumpy ride. The charts and my contacts on Wall Street are extremely bearish…in particular watch out for late summer / early autumn (you heard it here first!). All traders are going to have to be very prudent with the selection of trades, and that means you're going to have to be patient, and vigilant…”

As you can see in , the market duly crashed in late summer of 2008. Yet people on Wall Street were privately predicting it back in February/March of that year, almost with a casual certainty. And my OVI indicator was showing negativity from May 2008, over three months before the crash started.

S&P 2008 Chart

Source: OVI Charts. Courtesy of . Go to for more information.

The heaviest stock market crash since 1929 followed that autumn. In this book you're going to learn how you could have anticipated the bearishness well in advance. More importantly, you're going to learn how to anticipate the market in the future, and how you can play the market safely each and every time.

Here are a few more keynote examples, just to whet your appetite.

MARCH 2008

As you saw in the preface, at the beginning of March 2008, Bear Sterns (BSC) had been trading in a range between $68.18 and $93.09 for the previous two months (). Nothing extraordinary in that, though there were rumors circulating about Bear and other potentially vulnerable banks.

Despite the innuendos, most commentators, including famously CNBC and Jim Kramer, considered Bear Stearns to be a relatively safe proposition. In this book I will show you what was going on behind the scenes. Instantly you'll see that if they had had access to just one indicator, they would never have been so blasé about Bear Sterns.

BSC March 2008 Chart

Source: OVI Charts. Courtesy of FlagTrader.com. Go to www.theinsideredge.com for more information.

MARCH 2009

On March 8, 2009, I contacted my students (coincidentally an exact year after March 8, 2008) with this missive:

“Remember, a change of direction may well follow such a nice trend, but as I wrote some weeks ago, I believed that the post Jan-Feb earnings season would be lucrative and that has proved to be the case…”

Friday, March 6, 2008, turned out to be the market low from the 2008 crash (see ).

S&P 2009 Chart

Source: OVI Charts. Courtesy of . Go to for more information.

APRIL 26, 2010

On April 26, 2010, the S&P reached a peak of 1219.80. On that day I e-mailed and blogged my students to warn them of impending volatility and the likelihood of a downturn (see ). April 26 happened to be the high of the market until November that year.

S&P April 2010 Chart

Source: OVI Charts. Courtesy of FlagTrader.com. Go to www.theinsideredge.com for more information.

MARCH 2011

In March 2011, at a live trading summit, I suggested the prospects for Research in Motion (RIMM) were bleak at the time. In June 2011, RIMM was down over 50 percent. By October 2011 RIMM was down 67 percent from the breakout point in March (see )!

RIMM 2011 Chart

Source: OVI Charts. Courtesy of . Go to for more information.

SUMMER 2011

Through the summer of 2011, I continuously e-mailed and blogged my members of increasing volatility to come and that 2011 was looking increasingly like 2008 all over again. By the fall, all major commentators were making the same statements—that 2011 resembled 2008—yet we were months ahead of them (see ).

SPY Summer 2011 Chart

Source: OVI Charts. Courtesy of . Go to for more information.

SEPTEMBER 7, 2011

On September 7, 2011, I highlighted Amazon.com, Inc. (AMZN) as a classic breakout opportunity. On September 16 AMZN broke out for 12.52 points and continued the next day (see ). I went on to suggest taking profits immediately. In the following days AMZN reversed back down to its breakout point!

AMZN September 2011 Chart

Source: OVI Charts. Courtesy of . Go to for more information.

On these and many other occasions, my students have increased their accounts significantly, with some actually multiplying their accounts many times over. They have achieved these stellar results by using the specific strategy contained in this book.

“INFORMED TRADING” AND THE OVI

In this book I'm lifting the lid off a method of trading that has, up until now, only been seen by my inner circle of private traders. In terms of breakout trading, much of what we're doing is actually known, but with me there is a special twist.

You see, this book contains something that is not referenced in my other books, nor is referenced anywhere else. It contains the “OVI” (Options Volatility Indicator).

The OVI is a proprietary indicator that is derived from options transaction data. However, please note, this is not a book on options. This is a book about stock trading, but the special twist is that we are utilizing the OVI to help refine our decision-making.

By revealing this rather special indicator in a book, inevitably eyebrows will be raised by those concerned that this is simply a ruse to promote membership. In order to counter that suggestion from the outset, any reader of this book may go to www.theinsideredge.com and view my top-12 OVI charts for free. Considering the OVI is unique and extremely expensive to put together, I think that's a pretty good deal, don't you?!

So, just by having this book, you have access to the OVI charts for the three main indices: the Dow, the Nasdaq, and the S&P. You'll also have access to my commentaries and blogs.

Once you log onto this book's web site you'll receive video tutorials on how to use the OVI. You'll also receive regular communications from me, and you'll be under no obligation to take things further. The value you'll receive just by observing the OVI for the “OVI Express12” stocks and reading my ongoing commentaries will reward you for this book many times over. I'm confident of that.

I think it's important to mention from the outset that the most important thing about this book is that it helps you make money. It should make your trading life easier, more efficient, more enjoyable, and certainly more profitable, even if you're just using the simple OVI charts for the top-12 stocks and reading my commentaries.

If nothing else, just look again at the S&P OVI chart for the summer and fall of 2011 (shown in ). As you can see, the indicator went bearish in May, the market trended downward, and the OVI stayed negative throughout the summer.

SPY Summer 2011 Chart

Source: OVI Charts. Courtesy of . Go to for more information.

The most powerful application for the OVI is with certain individual stocks (as I'll detail in Chapter 2) and with a breakout chart pattern (as I'll explain in Chapter 3). It's worth noting that, despite the line looking so simple, hundreds of millions of rows of data are being processed every night to create it.

The idea is to create a way of trading that can literally take just minutes of your time to trade on any given day. We achieve this by monitoring a small basket of stocks. If there's an opportunity, we take it; if there's not, we wait to play another day.

THE INSIDER'S RATIONALE

Imagine you are an “informed” trader. You have information on a stock you consider to be valuable, information from which you can make money.

So if you see the stock at a great price you're going to want to:

Informed traders can achieve all these things in the options market. What the OVI does is spy on their activities, giving us a chance to get in on the action. This is what gives us the Edge.

When it comes to hidden trading activities, there are sometimes references to “dark pools” of volume that don't appear on the Level II screens. This is simply because a dark pool occurs when an institutional buyer and seller match their positions directly. There's not much more to it, and not much we can gain from it.

The OVI is derived from options transaction data. Even on a daily basis this data is massive. When you look at an option chain it can resemble the grids of numbers from the movie The Matrix. As such, this data can be overwhelming to the uninitiated.

However, deep within options transaction data resides some very powerful information as to what the smart money is up to. As such I sometimes refer to it as the “hidden money.” The OVI translates the “matrix” of numbers into a simple line that gives us a clue as to hidden money activity.

When we align the OVI with a consolidating chart pattern, we can have a remarkable edge, as the indicator will often precede a price breakout.

This is the Insider Edge!

TRADING BREAKOUTS

Even without the OVI, this book contains a powerful and safe trading method that is used by some of the world's greatest traders, including William O'Neill and Dan Zanger.

Breakout trading is a safe method that also allows you to make windfall gains. Windfall gains will increase your batting average over time. It's not enough to simply have a decent ratio of small to medium wins. That's not going to get you very far without excessive leverage.

The biggest trading fortunes have been made from trends. The best way to ride a trend is to catch it on a breakout. When you find yourself on a trend it can be like a rocket ride, and when you're on one of those you certainly don't want to be knocked off it.

The trading plan I teach you allows for a combination of a conservative first profit and then a windfall if the trend continues in your favor. This gives us the best of both worlds.

When the markets are not trending, trading can be more difficult or frustrating, but a good trend is always worth the wait.

When the markets are choppy, we often find that my method isn't finding the opportunities. This is great because the method is protecting us.

Part of being a great trader is knowing when not to trade as well as knowing when to trade.

Remember the premise for this book:

Let's now go to Chapter 1, where we'll review the most important chart patterns for our purposes.