How Do I Use Slope?

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On Friday afternoon, I received an email from a premium member which read, in part:

I’ve been a diamond member for a short while (less than a year). I’m trying to better understand the best way to use your services. I get the impression that it’s not necessarily a trade recommendation service since it can be difficult to see your entries/exits unless you state your stops. I think it’s a service to promote the learning and usage of charts to enhance trading but I’m not sure about that since there doesn’t seem to be much instruction (unless I missed it). So I thought I’d go straight to the source to get your elevator pitch on how I should be using it.

This is a good question, because Slope doesn’t fit into one neat little category. I’m not one of those guys on YouTube, posing in front of cars I supposedly own and mansions I supposedly live in, trying to convince you to pay me to follow my trades so that you, too, can get rich (if you can’t pick it up from my tone, those guys are almost all frauds). And I’m not some guy desperate to get onto CNBC or stand in front of audiences at trade shows, trying to make some kind of name for myself.

Instead, Slope’s purpose and content has developed largely based on its history. That history, which began in March 2005, can be broken into three general epochs:

Personal Journal: I had just sold Prophet and needed a creative outlet of some sort. So, at the behest of my beloved wife, I began writing posts. I had just a few dozen followers at first, but over the first few years, I built up a following of a few thousand readers. Some of my posts would be social commentary, others anecdotes, and others trading ideas and musings. This was from about 2005 to 2007.

Trading Blog: From 2007 through 2015, the Slope of Hope was very much a trading blog. Obviously the financial crisis of 2007-2009 were the glory days of Slope, with traffic making the servers burst at the seams. In spite of its reputation as a “bear blog”, Slope still kept its loyal readers during the central bank equity bubble. I also attracted quite a few other writers, and there were times I was a fairly minor character on the Slope scene, since there were so many other writers here.

Tools and Ideas: Spurred on by Ameritrade’s decision to eliminate my charting platform, ProphetCharts (for which they had paid me $8 million back in early 2005), I decided it was time to create a new platform from scratch. Hence, SlopeCharts was born. In my opinion, SlopeCharts surpassed ProphetChart’s functionality many month sago, and we simply keep making it better and better. Alongside that, we also have added a bevy of exciting tools to Slope, making it a veritable treasure chest of tools for traders. At the same time, the writing on Slope (its old incarnation, as a blog) continues at the same pace as before, with tens of thousands of posts in the archives. Importantly, I also eliminated all advertisements from the site, focusing on building premium memberships and dispensing with the hideous looking ads that were cluttering up my beloved digital home.

To more directly answer the gentleman’s question, I would say that the best ways to use Slope probably fall into three areas:

  1. A source of actionable ideas, particularly for Gold and Diamond premium members, who received a lot more trading ideas than other Slopers;
  2. A charting platform, since I consider SlopeCharts the most easy-to-use and effective window into the world of trading, particularly for organization freaks like myself who value well-managed watchlists;
  3. A community, since the comments section on Slope is one of the oldest, most active, and most intelligent places for trading conversation on the web

I’d like to suggest a few specific links:

SlopeCharts premium memberships have never been stronger, and this is very gratifying to me as a person who has worked for almost fifteen years now, building up this little corner of the Internet. I hope the above is helpful not only to the gentleman who wrote me, but to some of the rest of you as well.

I’ll be doing plenty more posts this weekend. See you later.