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401(k) Day Trading: The Art of Cashing in on a Shaky Market in Minutes a Day Hardcover – October 4, 2011
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From the Inside Flap
401(k) day trading offers a groundbreaking way to get more out of retirement savings in a stock market chock-full of surprises. How can that be? Day traders buy and sell stocks continuously all day, whereas 401(k) accounts are generally valued but once a day at the market close. The best a 401(k) participant can do is to execute a single fund transfer each day. So that is what a 401(k) day trader does each day by making a simple daily fund exchange to set up and capture gains from the stock market's natural volatility.
Such a daily ritual taking only minutes a day could alternatively be described as "everyday trading." With this approach, you won't have to sit around at your computer to execute trades all day. Instead, you simply execute a single daily fund exchange in 401(k) and other types of retirement savings accounts on your way to a more secure retirement.
Based on years of experience consulting on retirement plans, author Richard Schmitt offers investors a clever way to enhance the returns on their retirement savings in 401(k) Day Trading. This book takes you on a backstage tour through the environment, rationale, and process for day trading a retirement portfolio. Its approach to buying low and selling high through quick daily fund exchanges draws on many of the fundamental principles of investment management to exploit daily market volatility. This day trading method uses basic arithmetic to set up and capture stock market gains in a wobbly market from once-a-day fund exchanges within the unique framework of retirement savings plans—where trades do not trigger immediate taxes or direct trading costs. Engaging and informative 401(k) Day Trading:
Offers the do-it-yourself investor, novice and pro alike, fresh direction on trading and managing 401(k) and other retirement savings accounts, such as IRAs, 403(b), and 457 accounts
Highlights real opportunities to earn better returns through retirement portfolio management in the current type of market environment of high volatility and no apparent direction
Provides a proven and accessible approach to navigating the road to retirement funding
And much more
In addition to describing the process and nuances of day trading retirement savings, this book also introduces you to some of the basic tenets of investment management that apply to this form of trading and touches on essential topics ranging from expense management to seriously saving for retirement.
Until now, day trading 401(k) accounts has been somewhat of a dirty little secret that plan administrators would rather you not know about. But the fact is that 401(k) and other retirement savings plans offer favorable conditions, which make it possible to derive value from each daily trade over the long term. Isn't it time you took control of your retirement destiny by following a strategy that works in the type of bumpy market environment that has put us back where we started over a decade ago?
From the Back Cover
Praise For 401(k) Day Trading
"During extended periods of sideways market returns and high volatility, investors need a strategy to preserve their retirement savings. Rick Schmitt's trading system combines systematic dollar cost averaging with contrarian investing to grow savings for those investors who have the willingness to opportunistically restructure their 401(k) accounts and the discipline to follow a long-term plan."
—Jim Koch, Founder and Principal, Koch Capital Management LLC
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Now, after carefully reading the book several times, and actually applying it in practice by managing my 401(k) portfolio, I need to say what might not be for everyone. I believe your IQ should be above average, you need to be able to work with spreadsheets, formulas, i.e you need to be mathematically savvy if you want to do it yourself. You might delegate to do the trading to somebody else, but you will miss a lot of fun doing so.
First, let me tell you that this book helped me to understand investing in general and retirement investing in particular. At the beginning, I thought this approach is too good to be true. Beating S&P 500 consistently over several years is not what I've done in the past. So I was kind of skeptical that this might be true. Then I took the S&P 500 historical data starting from 1995 and have done simulations as if I've applied Richard Schmitt's approach to 401K investing. You can find my simulations on the blog site I created (see my profile link). The only period I see where the Schmitt's approach did not work was the period of continuous growth of stocks: from 1995 to 2000. But this was not a period of a "shaky economy" that we are in right now.
Second, I am working with this system every day since the end of 2011. The only difficulty I see for those people who would try this system having only two retirement accounts. Due to 60-90 day redemption fee policy in major investment firms, it will be difficult to do a daily trading when one of the accounts reach its maximum in stocks, for example. You would need to wait to start trading again.
To summarize, 401(k) Day Trading is for those people who want
- to manage 401(k) by on a daily/weekly, or even monthly basis,
- to beat S&P 500 over at least a 5-year period,
- to learn more about retirement accounts, and minimize the fees (thus increase your profit),
- to diversity their retirement savings with risks they can tolerate.
July 2012 Update: Since I am using the system on a daily basis, I now see how you can actually use one retirement account for 401k day trading. There are funds that mimic S&P 500 so those funds could be used for trading as well. As of today, my 401k trading account beats S&P by 1.5-2%. I continue posting the results on my site that you can find in my Amazon's profile.
Growing any funds exponentially requires introducing additional Risk into the equation, there is no way around that. You either pay in the beginning by gaining education or you just follow the masses and hand over the funds to brokers who have little to no Fiduciary concern for your investment.
I found the book useful and a good starting point to learn how to grow my 401K account 23% in 4 months and if aggressive growth is your goal then it's worth the read. But you will need to get way more involved in learning if you want to have consistent success. I hope this write up prompts others to at least consider this as a viable alternative.
I bought this book to see whether there were some techniques I did not imagine. There weren't.
Bulk of book is palaver and useless story telling. Content is sparse.
Essence is a daily rebalancing scheme likened to dollar cost averaging.
Minor disclaimer that this scheme will work in trendless markets.
Under performs when market goes one way for a year or two.
Author notes the difficulties that funds and employers have raised to stop frequent trading. He recommends a convoluted two account approach. Might work if you have two retirement accounts of roughly equal size.
It just seems like a way to write a book with a provocative title and gather whatever royalties are available for little useful content.
Buy when the stock market is down, and sell when it goes up. It all sounds so logical, when you observe the market going up and down every day. The story gets even better when you consider that your gains won't cost you any more in current income taxes or direct trading costs. This book offers a fun read in explaining what, when, and how much stock to buy and sell in retirement savings accounts to come out way ahead of the game. Check it out now.