IBD’s SwingTrader Review

Investor’s Business Daily has a trade alert service called SwingTrader that uses a lot of the concepts from their CANSLIM methodology to do multi-day swing trades. I have had a lot of good experiences with IBD and their strategies in the past, and so I was excited to try their SwingTrader service, especially as it was only ~$70/month (and lower with an annual subscription) which is lower than most other alert services.

When I signed up for the free trial, the first thing I noticed was the straightforward and elegant interface. There were 3 tabs for current trades, past trades, and recent alerts. The strategy is relatively straightforward in that they look for stocks with good fundamentals and good price patterns that are breaking out on high volume. That is simliar to the criteria for the CANSLIM system that many people use. They use a relatively tight stop and have two targets at 5% and 10%. They also have a rule about exiting when the price goes below a short-term moving average. Sometimes they exit sooner based on the price action.

If you read my article about avoiding scammy trading rooms and services, one thing I mention is that you want to see a track record that looks legitimate. SwingTrader has a very clear track record on the ‘past trades’ tab that should allow you to see how profitable they are, and you should be able to easily compare your trades to theirs to see if they are accurately recording their system.

Many of the services I have tried do not have a very clear track record, or if they do it is recorded in such a way that it is easy to manipulate the data. So this was refreshing.

An important question is, ‘How easy is it to follow their trades?’. In your account you can sign up to recieve emails, texts, or notifications in your browser when there is any kind of alert. Many services offer email alerts, but I’ve never seen browser notifications before which is a really nice feature. When there is a new trade the interface is very clear and will include a chart as well a ‘buy zone’ range of prices and the price they entered the trade at.

The main problem with the service as I see it is that it is easy to miss trades if you’re not able to act on the alerts quickly. Some alert services are designed so that you can trade the system by putting in orders after the close, but with SwingTrader you often need to be able to enter trades intra-day, and because they often enter on strong breakouts you may sometimes miss the trade if you’re later.

Pros

+ The service is run by a well known and reputable company, Investor’s Business Daily

+ Very nice, simple, effective user interface

+ Clear trades and trade plan

+ Very nice alert system

+ Fairly frequent trades (several per month)

+ Easy to understand methodology

+ Low cost

+ Free Trial

Cons

  • Sometimes need to enter trades intra-day
  • Sometimes difficult to get the same trade prices as the service records

Overall it is one of the better services I’ve tried, and I did make some money. But I did get frustrated sometimes when I missed trades because I didn’t respond to the alerts quickly enough. If you currently trade the CANSLIM system or if this just looks interesting then you might as well do a free trial and see if it works for you.

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