What use are retrospective share tips?

Few serious trading authors like me would ever presume to give out “share tips”. For one thing, we’re not regulated and authorised to do so.

Some of us — but not nearly enough of us, in my opinion — document our key trades retrospectively so that you (and we) can hopefully learn something about why those trades went well… or not.

When trying to promote my Trade of The Week feature on a trading forum recently, an advisably sceptical but rather mean-spirited reader said something like:

“Why can’t you call these trades in advance? A child of four can spot successful trades in retrospect.”

I’d like to meet this precocious market-savvy child, but anyway…

I think that the poster of this comment was missing the point about what we can learn from past trades, and perhaps he didn’t realise that all of my Trade of The Week features are real-money trades that I did spot in advance, even if I could not tell you in advance.

Now, here’s an interesting thing…

I follow the retrospectively-documented trades of one of the well-known trading authors that contributed some advice to the final chapter of my Better Spread Betting book. I even try to replicate his trades, which you might think is impossible after-the-event, but it turns out that it’s not always impossible on longer-term position trades. If he documents the fact that he bought a particular stock at a particular price, then I buy the same stock — providing I can do so at the same or better price (so that I’m assured to do at least as well as him). If I can’t match his price, I simply pass on that particular trade, or I place an opening order that will enter the trade sometime in the future if the price ever moves back to the price at which he entered.

So you see, retrospective share tips can be useful. But for the record, I don’t give out share tips!

Disclaimer: this posting is for general education only; it is not trading advice.