Hey guys. I finally found some time to work on this in depth review.
In my quick video review, I started off saying what is it as traders we need each day.. We need to know what is moving, why, and with what volume. Black Box Stocks (BBS) more than answers these questions through the various features it provides.
In this post I’m going to review
- Tips for using BBS to trade
So there are 3 main sources of information and I’m going to break down the key features and benefits for each one. From my conversations with various users, I’ve discovered that some people use all 3 sources, while others use only 1 of the 3 sources and find the monthly/annual fee worth it.
Main website (members.blackboxstocks.com)
Real time charts and data
The site includes realtime charting and data feed as part of the subscription. There are a lot of studies one can add but I don’t really use it since I’m use to charting in ThinkOrSwim.
The biggest shortcoming with the chart feature is not being able to save chart settings and having to reset it each day or on a page refresh. UPDATE: Turns out you can save your chart settings under views but do need to reselect that view each day. Thanks @BBS_Bassmaster for pointing that out.
The charting library and studies available are extensive. For quick looks on chart action range and volume based on alerts it works great. I have heard others trade off the price action and charting tools in black box alone.
Starting in pre-market, based on a number of criteria developed by BBS, you get an alert stream of what is moving and meeting that criteria.
The alert system watches for a number of criteria including, volume, price spikes, new 52 week highs and lows, intra-day multi-highs, retracements, and more.
Here is quick pic from their help system.
The alerts are amazing for keeping aware of what is moving and also to look at the history of alerts in the course of a day. For example if you see a stock repeatedly making 52 week lows, you might want to join it for a short or watch for an exhaustion dump for a scalp up.
Another alert that I find useful is trade halts. So BBS will let you know when a stock has been halted and why. This saves time having to go search for it. Below is a snap shot of the alert stream I took the the other day.
Bottom line, with this alert system, I don’t need another service for idea generation. The alert system does an amazing job of telling me what is moving.
If you’ve ever wanted a list of what has moved, by what percentage and with what volume in pre-market, BBS has this covered. I use this list every day to come up with early ideas.
Post market scanner
During earnings season, there are just so many companies that report, so its helpful to have a post market scanner to see what has moved with volume. I regularly check this about 15m-45m after the close on each earnings day.
This scanner is amazing, especially when dealing with low float small caps. I’ll put a video / post together on how I use it but when used right when volume is coming into a ticker, one can get ahead of stocks that may double or more that day / coming days. I don’t use this every day, but when I do see a small cap alert with a catalyst, I’ll give it attention.
Its nice having a news feed that can also quickly filter on a ticker that you are looking at. BBS has a feed from TheFlyOnTheWall which is a paid subscription and included in the BBS membership. The Fly is a fantastic aggregator of timely relevant stock news.
Have you ever wonder what big money was doing with regards to options? Blackbox has developed their own criteria and weighting system to recognize what might be happening with the option flow. For example if you see a non stop call sweeps coming in on a stock through the day and they are paying more for them, there is usually a high probability the stock is going to go higher. That is just one of many patterns one can observe through the option flow. I haven’t used an option flow service before in my trading but I now regularly check the flow prior to taking a trade that is more than a fast scalp whether I’m trading options or common shares.
Option heat map
I don’t want to repeat what BBS has better explained so here is a screen shot from their built-in help. Basically its a quick why of identify strike and expirations that are hot.
So there is quite a lot of features and there is usually an in information icon that one can hover over to get more details on a feature. I’m not sure how to bring more attention to these help icons because they are likely underutilized.
To be completely honest, I need to spend more time going over the help on the various features. There are so many features and nuances the platform’s capabilities that I know I’m missing golden trade opportunities.
There are more features than what I just listed but I think I’ve hit the high notes. One thing I have to add is that blackbox continues to add more features and improve the service regularly.
Twitter feed (@BlackBox_Team)
Once you become a member of the service, you can be added to a private twitter feed where what I call the best of the best in option flow is alerted. Its like having a friend that monitors option flow and then lets you know what the good ones might be. That doesn’t mean just because an alert is tweeted that one should follow it, but it does mean its worth pulling up the chart, looking at the price action, and then making an education decision. I’ve seen many of these alerts yield 50%-300% gains. I’ve also seen some of these expire worthless if one doesn’t manage the trade properly. That said, I do think the quality of the ideas from this feed alone is easily worth the monthly membership fee. I’ll be putting together a post to talk about I how approach trading the twitter feed.
Discord (by invitation)
Discord is a communication platform inspired to serve the gaming community. Turns out its also a great tool for traders. BBS has adopted this platform for realtime messaging as well having multiple group voice chatrooms.
I can usually be found on discord posting ideas and my read on various charts as a day progresses. The community here is very supportive of new members and is very focused on helping each other get better.
PROS: very supportive community with live discussions with experienced traders. Frequent and daily updates to trade ideas. There is a lot to learn for new and experienced traders.
CONS: at times the banter can be lively but distracting.
There is a single membership level that grants access to everything.
As of this posting, the service costs $99.97 a month or $959/year.
Additional savings. Fly on the wall news alone is $65/month so nice to have that bundled it.
If you trade with TD AMERITRADE, Black Box has a deal worked out that may significantly reduce your trading fees. If you’re making more than 5 roundtrip trades a day this discount program should more than pay for the subscription.
*** Full disclosure — I am an affiliate and do receive compensation if you sign up through the link above. (Thank you to those that sign up through the link). I would still recommend Blackbox regardless of the affiliation — after all I joined Blackbox as a paying subscriber over a year ago.
Tips for trading using Black Box Stocks
TODO – How I profit using Trading Black Box Stocks Volume Ratio
TODO – How I profit using Trading Black Box Stocks Twitter Feed
TODO – How I profit using Trading Black Box Stocks Option Flow
TODO – How I profit using Trading Black Box Stocks Discord Alerts