Bob Lang

Bob Lang

Founder and Portfolio Manager — Bob has been trading options for himself and private clients for more than ten years. He uses a unique combination of technical indicators to find the best trending stocks that exhibit enormous velocity and ferocious movement. He often gets in front of these moves before they happen. Patience is Bob’s greatest trait — the chart pattern being the only reason to enter/exit a trade. Prior to this venture Bob managed portfolios for bigtrends.com, turning Grandslam and Extreme Options into the strongest performers in the company. Prior to Bigtrends, Bob worked with floor traders at Countrywide Capital, which came after Aztec Partners Limited Partnership. In the 90's he managed the Sunkist Growers 300 million dollar pension fund.

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Buying and Selling Waves

This market does not make life easy, does it? What we would all prefer is some predictability about the action and a few reliable patterns that show us exactly where markets are going (more on that later). It seems impossible to establish a rhythm to our trading/investing. We are unable to find the flow as markets [...]

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The Mental Part of Trading

One of the things option traders and stock traders struggle with is the mental part of the game.  There is NOBODY out there who trades each day that is unaffected by the emotions displayed by the markets.  That is because the market, price action and volume are a sea of emotions displayed on a chart.  [...]

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Listen to the Pundits or the Markets?

Not a bad first half of 2014 with the SPX 500 being the big winner, up a solid 6%, steady every month and with the old adage of a down January working against it, seemed to defy all the naysayers (remember hearing that old saw, ‘as January goes so goes the rest of the year’?).  [...]

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Can You Admit When You Are Wrong?

Admitting you are wrong is not admitting defeat.  But many traders and investors let their ego get in the way and that leads to a calamitous road.  I have seen more train wrecks by option and stock traders happen because a lack of focus, humility and the need to be right at all times.  Traders [...]

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Looking for a Summer Rally?

We all heard the cries of ‘sell in May and go away’, but that hasn’t materialized – at least for this month.  With only four trading days remaining it appears the SPX 500 and Dow Industrials may squeak out a gain (currently up a fraction in May) while the NASDAQ has been the leader and [...]

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Turn Down the Noise When it Gets Loud

Everyone has an opinion on the markets right now, especially around where they should (or will) go. I wish I had a dime for every reason or excuse the markets will go up or down, because I would have millions in the bank already. The pundits, experts, analysts and talking heads want to dazzle you [...]

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What (or Who) Are You Listening To?

With the increase in market volatility, we find ourselves reaching for and needing more certainty. Is our approach correct? Do we need to make adjustments? Is there better information out there?  This last question can lead us to listening to anyone with a viewpoint, and as the number of opinions and rhetoric rise, the more [...]

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Selling is a Liberating Experience

So, this (past) week and some of the prior weeks saw a bout of selling occur that has pretty much clobbered many high beta names that were huge winners in 2013.  Rotation is now on.  But the indices continue to flirt with new all time highs and some have tagged them – the Dow Industrials [...]

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Follow March Madness To Find High Probability Trades

Last week started my most favorite sports time of year – the NCAA Tourney, or March Madness. It’s the one time of year that has me fully excited about sports. The tournament is wonderfully balanced, any team can win on any occasion, and while a #1 seed has never lost in the first round I [...]

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Do You REALLY Want That 10% Correction?

Many have been calling or looking for that big drop as an opportunity to get on board.  But as we know, markets rarely accommodate, adding to the frustration of those who continue to miss out.  Of course, the longer term market trend has always been up (we’re talking since the beginning of time), but the [...]

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Trading the Trends

The best trends rarely give you a chance to get in.  Especially in a fast-moving market.  Witness these past couple of weeks, when markets seemed to crack below support but then do some heavy lifting to get back above short term resistance.   The affects of these deep moves would make anyone queasy.  Yet, our focus [...]

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Taking the Next Trade

Trading is not a game of perfect, you have heard me say that often over the years.  If your goal is to win every single time in this game then you are going to be very disappointed.  Stock traders can get away with being wrong for a long while before getting it right, because that [...]

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10 Options Trading Resolutions for 2014

Yes, we are already well into the new year, but there is really never a right or wrong time to start making improvements in your personal or professional life. Want to make resolutions in April? What about August or October? Why not? You just have to be in the right frame of mind. No matter [...]

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Twitter the Stock, Twitter the Brand

The “welcome to the club” party for Twitter this past year was nothing more than sensational. The hype (or, over-hype) of the company’s IPO as 2013 drew to a close was similar to Facebook’s in 2012. It’s rare for one great company to go public – it happens about once every 10 years -  so [...]

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How to Prepare for the New Year

Calendar markers are important reference points.  Some evaluate their trades monthly, weekly or even daily using a journal.  But, they do not define our actions rather they are a time to step back and evaluate ourselves, our actions and inaction.  The challenge is can we change our behavior to become better.  As traders, we are [...]

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Keep Swingin’

A good baseball player in a hitting slump never gives up, he keeps swinging.  No matter how hard it is or how much the pressure mounts he must keep trying to make contact.  There are stories galore about athletes who hit major slumps but keep at it until they break through.  Steve Cauthen, famed jockey [...]

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Kill the Noise Redux – Time To Turn it Down

Did you hear that?  Yeah, I heard it too…many times already.  Annoying market noise, and it’s getting louder.  Bubble this, bubble that.  Value, over-valued, and bullish/bearish sentiment.  Everyone’s a technician when the fundamentals can’t seem to explain anything.   It’s now time to turn down the volume, the noise is deafening.  One of the challenges [...]

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Dealing With Distractions

One of the many challenges in trading options or stocks are the many distractions that tend to get in the way of accomplishing our goals.  The best traders learn to deal with them, manage them and rise above so they have little impact on their profit/loss.   These distractions can be market-related or just something [...]

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I Have a Trading Loss, Am I a Loser?

The title is really descriptive of what traders think about themselves after posting a loss.  After all, the future is uncertain – will you ever post another winner again?  That is a rhetorical question of course, because we cannot predict the future.  But if you plan well, do your due diligence, study, focus and make [...]

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In Stock/Option Trading, Timing is Everything

Timing.  As hard as we try, we don’t always get it right.  This is especially true with trading, and I can tell you from personal experience the frustration mounts if I make a good call but the timing is off.  However, that frustration can be reversed by using time to my advantage.  There are several [...]

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Act on What you See, Not What you Believe

Technical analysis is an art and a science.  It is an art because we look at pictures and interpret what they represent – past action and activity around price and volume.  We also consider it a science because the math, statistics and analysis involved with creating indicators, oscillators and graphics.  The science part is black [...]

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Dealing With Scare Tactics

We’re in the ‘scariest’ month of the year — not only Halloween, but for markets as well – the month where crashes occur. Much of the recent disappointment from Washington about the budget showdown and upcoming debt ceiling battle seems to put traders/investors on the defensive.  It’s not hard to see why especially if you [...]

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Option Premium Selling in 2013 Has Been Great!

When volatility is up and rising in markets, would you rather be a buyer or seller of option premium?  Actually, you would rather be a buyer if you were a momentum player, especially when markets are trending up or down. Contrarily, when volatility is flat and low you might want to hedge when options are [...]

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Opinions Vary, But the Facts Don’t Change

“Every man has a right to his own opinion, but no man has a right to be wrong in his facts.” – Bernard Baruch Wow!  Such disappointment Wednesday after the Fed failed to deliver on the ‘promised’ taper.  Well, at least that was the hope or expectation from the gallery.  It seems the consensus opinion [...]

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Uncertainties to be Removed?

This week offers quite a bit in the way of potential resolution.  The Syrian issue may see some answers as Congress continues the debate but it is looking more and more as if a non-violent solution may be at hand.  That could be a huge trigger of relief and removing fear, especially the excessively high [...]

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Follow the Market, Not the Noise

We are always looking for something give us a leg up in trading;  some news article, pundit on TV or even a whisper from a friend.  But do they really know where the market is headed?  What I have always found is these tend to have little to no value as it relates to my [...]

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A Labor of Love

It’s Labor Day Weekend, and while it’s time to relax we should all remember the most important people in our lives:  Our  family and friends.  I wanted to share a little story and a bit about me and what is important in my life.  I hope you enjoy it. It’s the first day of soccer [...]

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Markets are In a Familiar Place

Here we are at the end of August, the one month of the year where we have no holidays here in the US and the heat rises.  For markets, this month marks the start of the stretch drive to the end of the year.  The report card for 2013 so far grades an A, but [...]

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Taking Smart Risk – Option Trading

The equity markets are a tricky game.  That being said, options are even trickier, considering you not only have to get the direction right but also the timing.  Some claim option trading is pure gambling, the type where degenerates who long for action cannot get away from the game until they go totally bust.  Well, [...]

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Fear of Loss or Letting a Profit Turn Into a Loss

In whatever areas of life we all fear loss.  We are afraid of losing our loved ones, our pets, valuables, money and even our job.  Yet most of us do not prominently think about those fears regularly, because if we did how would we ever progress?  Because every future outcome is completely unknown in the [...]

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The Fear of Being Wrong, Part II

Nobody likes to be wrong, but it is in these times when we learn so much and if we pay attention and recognize the errors of our ways, there is a good chance we won’t repeat the same mistakes.  But being wrong can really shake your confidence, I know this all too well.  We don’t [...]

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Options Trading During Earnings Season

Earnings season is one of the best times for options trading.  I know that may go against the conventional wisdom, but let me state my case and then you can be the judge.  I approach trading the same way everyday.  The charts/technicals guide me to the best trade setups, then it’s up to me to [...]

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Fear of Being Wrong – Trading

You made a trade that went against you and you’ve been sitting with a loss on the books.  This was not supposed to happen!  There was no way it could work against you.  Decision point: Time to cut bait and remove this albatross from your neck.  Should feel relieved, right?  Instead, you feel remorseful and [...]

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Summer Rally or Summer Meltdown?

This week starts the big deluge of earnings releases, time for companies to step to the confessional, tell us about results and prospects for the remainder of the year.  We’re all on pins/needles trying to figure out how the trend will unfold, but maybe the stock market has given us the best clue.  With the [...]

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It’s Halftime – Blow the Whistle!

Here we are starting the second half of the year and so much has transpired.  Markets are up strong, double digits or more through the end of June amid some recent turmoil.  When most were expecting a slew of selling after a scorching first few months all we had were some brief bouts of fear.  [...]

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Fear of Missing Out

One of the four fears of trading is the fear of missing out.  Oh, the regret we feel when a trade goes away from us.  I’ve felt it many times, so have you.  The pain from not participating seems worse than that of getting punished on a bad trade.  In options trading you can easily [...]

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Too Much to Worry About? Volatility is Back!

Chicken one day, feathers the next.  That’s what we saw past week, and really has been the case since May 22 when Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke first hinted about a potential scaling back of bond purchases, or QE.  The FOMC had a meeting this past week and in the followup press conference the Chairman did [...]

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Why I Don’t Fear Trading in Front of Earnings

One of the fears about trading options is being hit by an event and the stock moving against you.  A 5 contract trade opened at 2.00 can be vaporized in a day on some bad news.   $1,000 nearly wiped out.  Not easy to recover from that, either.   I’ve been there many times.  It [...]

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A Stockpicker’s Market

These last several months have made life much easier for me as a stockpicker.  Yes, I am an options trader but I prefer to buy options of individual names and not the indices, nor do I play the futures much.  My stock picking ability starts and ends with the charts and technicals.  My studying and [...]

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What is Everyone Worrying About?

Is there anything stock investors appreciate more than the ‘wall of worry’?  I mean, is there nothing out there to be worried about?  Of course not, but those ‘worry warts’ continue to throw everything negative at the markets and like teflon the indices seem to repel every shot.  Ben Bernanke and the Federal Reserve have [...]

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LISTEN and REACT to the Market Messages

If there are no ups and downs in your life, it means you’re dead (anonymous) ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS pay attention to what the market is telling you.  There are some out there who don’t believe this mantra but by being objective I can tell you that reacting to the evidence can certainly save you from [...]

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Cheap Doesn’t always Mean BUY

Many of us believe that when stocks fall that is our cue to start buying.  If you’re aware, observant and fortunate it’s not unlikely to pick up something that has sold down indiscriminately.  But there are stocks that fall and hardly ever recover – for a good reason.  How do you identify a legitimate drop [...]

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A Nightmare in Option Trading

Below is a frightening story of an options trader gone rogue.  It is scary because I saw this train wreck happen right in front of me with my own two eyes.  I’m sure you have heard stories like this, they are countless.  But I for one do not like to see people lose money, at [...]

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Beware the Ides of March

When I was younger I always wondered what this meant, then my dad once warned me – ‘watch your back’. It kinda makes sense, Caesar lost his life because he didn’t watch his own. As it relates to markets, we have seen March historically be rough sledding in recent times. In 2009, the SPX cascaded [...]

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The Correlation Index is Worth Watching

I’ve mentioned in the past about the relationship between stocks and the market by looking at the correlation index ($JCJ). This index tells more about the performance of individual stocks vs the market than any tool out there. With a low correlation to the stock market we see individual stocks move on their own merit [...]

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Economy is Showing Some Green Shoots

As we often talk about the stock market is a barometer of future economic activity. With amazing accuracy and precision this great indicator will generally tell us what is in store for us, almost like a crystal ball. The market sniffs out the good/bad of the economy far in advance, likely six to eight months [...]

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Big Earnings Season Coming Up (again!)

One thing I love about the beginning of the year is another round of earnings season, the time where companies show what ‘they got’ and we see big price jumps up and down (generally speaking). As an option trader this presents tremendous opportunities for gains whether playing in front of earnings or afterward. I will [...]

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Do You Believe?

I believe that we will win! (heard loud and often at SDSU Aztec basketball games).   The President believes, and even the Fed Chairman believes. I think most of the world reluctantly would agree with them. Santa Claus? No, we all know he’s real. The Aztecs? Of course, but we’re talking something a bit different. [...]

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Buy Insurance When It’s CHEAP

Insurance is great when you need to use it, right? You’re glad you have insurance against your car when an accident happens, and you’re grateful to have it if a big storm hit and wipes out your home. But paying for the insurance is often agonizing or annoying, knowing we are likely just throwing money [...]

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I’m a Believer in Ben

To me, there is no straighter shooter than Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke. For years he has been telling us his plans, contingent and real – and he has not deviated once. He tells the truth and although his tactics are unconventional, in 2008 we had certainly not been in a similar situation for nearly 70 [...]