Trend is your friend. You will keep on hearing this from the trading gurus. Trend trading is indeed one of the most profitable trading strategies. So when you are trading a trend, you want to know how fast the trend is moving so that you can get ahead of the trend. When the rate of change of a trend goes up, it means that the prices are also going to follow and rise soon!
What we have been talking about is Momentum! Just like high school physics, momentum is the rate of change and is calculated by dividing the closing price today by the closing price ten days back and multiplying it by hundred.
This is your shockingly simple momentum indicator that you can use profitably in your trading. Now, if the price did not change, the momentum indicator will obviously will be 100. If the price went down, the momentum indicator will be less than 100 and if the price went up, the momentum indicator will be more than 100. Now, when the momentum indicator is greater than 100, the trend is expected to continue in the future.
This momentum indicator tells you what is most likely to happen in the future not what happened in the past. So it is a leading indicator. You must have heard about momentum investing or you can even call it momentum trading. In momentum investing , you buy a security at a high price and sell it even at a more higher price unlike ordinary investing where you buy low and sell high. The trick is to know that the price will continue to rise when you do momentum investing. How do you know that the security prices will continue to rise in the future? By looking at the business fundamentals like the sales or profits, if you find them to be rising and accelerating at the same time the security price is rising,there is momentum behind this move!
As said before, instead of investing in a security or a stock you can do momentum investing. When you are doing ordinary investing, you are waiting for its price to appreciate to give you a capital gain. This price appreciation might take from a few months to even years tying down your capital in that investing. However, in momentum investing, you search for stocks that have rising prices that are expected to continue for sometime. So you buy high and sell even higher within a few weeks making a decent profit. You can use that profit to do more investing.
So when you are doing momentum investing, you are looking for a security or a stock that has a potential to move big. How long this big move might take to materialize? Well, the expectation is for the big move to happen in a few weeks to a few months. Just like in ordinary physics, when a ball is set in motion, it will continue moving unless stopped. This is what the Newton's First Law says. You can expect a security price to keep on rising as long as something drastic doesn't happen to stop that rise. So what can be that something drastic? It can be a sudden breaking news about the misdoings of the management that have not been known to the public before. I am just giving you one example. There can be more. So before you do your momentum investing, it is always better to do some fundamental research on the company. Remember the Dot Com Bubble that burst and hurt many people a decade back. Lot of people were doing momentum investing without doing fundamental research on the stocks that they were investing in. So you need to do some fundamental research as well to ascertain that the rise in prices of a stock are sustainable over the long haul or not.
Now just like price momentum that we have been talking about above, we can calculate the earnings momentum. Earning momentum is the province of the investors. The investor looks at the quarterly earnings of the company to see if it is going up at a faster pace say from a steady pace of 10% a year to 12% or 15% and so on. If the earnings growth rate is going up what this means is that the underlying price is also going to accelerate.
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