Managing Your Watchlists

August 23, 2023

Duru has posted another video, this time showing how he cleans up (manages) his SwingTradeBot Watchlists.  



I was glad to hear him talk about keeping his lists focused.  He said (at the 6:00 mark):

You may ask "why don't you give the stocks a chance to rebound?".  Well it's because there are so many stocks.  Why bother with the weaker ones when there are so many other strong candidates.  So I have to have very tight rules because I don't have a lot of time and capital is limited & I don't want to spread it across all sorts of different hopes.  So I have to be very rigorous & basically merciless about getting rid of stocks that don't meet the criteria.  

One of the reasons SwingTradeBot has limits on the number of stocks in a list is because of a best practice I picked up from William O'Neil / Investors Business Daily many years ago.  They suggest:

  1. Don't add too many stocks.  Especially for your "Ready" list of stocks near a buy point.  Keep it focused on the strongest stocks so you can actively track each one and be ready to act on a breakout or pullback to the 10-week (AKA the 50 day) moving average line after a breakout
  2. Regularly "weed out" your lists.  If something changes with a stock on your list (e.g., it breaks down or breaks out and becomes too extended, etc.) remove it.  Your watch list should be actionable -- and to keep it that way, you need to actively manage it.
  3. Create a watchlist routine -- and stick to it!  Whether it's early mornings, late evenings or the weekend, find a time that works for you to regularly review and refresh your watchlist. Even just one hour a weekend can lead to good gains -- if you do it consistently.  (SwingTradeBot's routine functionality was also inspired by IBD.  And this is why there's an item on the default weekend routine to "prune watchlists")
  4. Note potential buy points and make a plan of action.  For stocks on your "Ready" list, make note of the ideal buy point.  Then make your plan of action BEFORE the market opens. For example: Determine how many shares you'll buy if the stock breaks out.  Set alerts on your quote service or use buy-stops if you'll be away during trading hours.

Back to the video... I love that Duru started using his browser tabs! ๐ŸŽ‰  While I'm obviously a big fan of the "All Charts" view, watchlist pruning is something I usually do on the normal list/table view.  In this case I personally find it faster to just stay on that table view.  Here are a few things I do:

  • Sort by the "Total Change" column to quickly see which stocks have moved too far (see point 2 from IBD above).   
  • Sort by the "Date Added" column and mark stocks that have been on the list too long without triggering an entry.
  • Take quick glances at the charts using the hover / pop-up charts.  

During each of those steps I can quickly check the checkbox in the left column to mark stocks for deletion.  Then I just click the "removed checked" button to prune the list (as Duru shows in the video)

Another thing I wanted to point out is that Duru wanted to remove a stock from his "to buy" watchlist and put it on a "to short" list.  He did that by deleting the stock and then he was going to add it to the other watchlist.  One could also move a stock between watchlists by clicking the edit button on that stock's row.  Then you can choose the watchlist you want to move it to.