#IPOs – A Great Year For “Dummies”

In the fervor of an initial public offering — an IPO — investors can easily get carried away.

After all, they are being pummeled with positive publicity by underwriters and brokers that this is it – the chance finally to buy into a latest, hot new company! But, in fact, unless one is some kind of insider or maybe a politician being bribed the first day of trading – the stock’s IPO day – is a crap shoot.

Take CRWD (Crowd Strike Holdings), which went public yesterday, as an example. The stock opened at 63.50, rose to 67, dropped to a low of 56, and closed at 58. A gambler might have a strategy to buy in during the day but at what point in that nine point chop does an investor make a safe investment? At no point.

The key to investing in IPOs is the first day’s price range but the buy comes after the first day as suggested in this post here: Buying IPOs for Dummies.

Following a “buying IPOs for dummies” strategy, CRWD is a buy on a close above 67.00 and at no other time. That’s when the initial fervor is over and there may be a worthwhile chance to profit going forward. Otherwise, the stock could drop through the low like LYFT did this year and keep on falling. Everyone who bought LYFT on its first day is losing money but those who did not buy are not.

How has this strategy worked this year so far?

With several companies, just great! SOLY is up 217%, SWAV is up 90%, BYND is up 86%, ZM is up 45% (see the charts below).

PINS is included here as an example of how defense can be played by both the long-term investors and swing traders. PINS rose 29% before falling back below the high of its IPO day for a loss of .9%. Disappointing for the investor, yes, but not catastrophic. Along the way, a trader might pay closer attention – at the bottom of the first big down blue bar on the chart at the right of the chart panel below PINS still had a profit of 17.2%. That would have been a good spot to take some, if not all, off the table.

(click on chart panel for a larger view)

#IPOs for “Dummies” – $GOSS $ALEC $HARP UPDATED

This an update of this post below: IPOs on buys.

As outline in that post, all three of these recent stock IPOs were crossing the highs of their first day of trading (the “IPO Day”).

Once in the trade, stops, at the individual trader’s discretion, can be on a close below the IPO-Day high (which is what I would use), or if one has the patience and risk tolerance as far down as the low of that day.

The numbers in the white flags on the charts below are the gains per $10K invested in each stock. The numbers, at 10K, also correspond to the percentage gains (for instance GOSS is on today’s close up 12%).

(click on the chart panel for a larger view)

$RACE – Ferrari racing up the Darvas stairs…

At the risk of oversimplification, the most effective ways to trade stocks is to keep it simple.

One of the best ever at this was Nicholas Darvas.

His method was to put a simple box around a stock’s price consolidation and buy it as the stock came out of the top of the box and either put a stop loss below his trade price (which would be a tight stop if the stock came back into the box) or below the bottom of the box (depending on anyone’s individual risk parameters).

Darvas said he never shorted a stock dropping below the bottom of a box only because he felt he was not psychologically suited to selling short. Still that would be, especially in a bear market, as simple of buying the top of one of his boxes in a bull market.

Darvas’ book “How I Made $2,000,000 In The Stock Market” (this was the 1950s) describes his “Box System”. It is a classic. And timeless – see the chart of RACE below.

I have said before the easiest way to buy or not buy an IPO is to put a box on the high and low of its first day of trading and buy above the top of the box and short below the box. While an IPO’s first day is itself a Darvas box (blue on the chart below) as one can see here there are others also very worthwhile for the trader as well as a longer-term investor.

(Click on chart for a larger view)

RACE2017-07-18_0928