“I’m going to make a $1.95 million bet.
“You see, over the next few minutes, I’m going to show you a simple pattern I believe will allow you to achieve two incredible feats…
“You could capture a series of 164.68% windfalls, and…
“You will, with 100% certainty, only buy stocks that are going up.
“At its core, all you have to do is just grab regular, ‘boring’ shares of stock when you see this X…
“And sell them when you see it again.”
That’s the lead-in to the pitch for Money Morning’s “X-Pattern” trading idea — Keith Fitz-Gerald says he has found a “simple pattern” that will let you capture a series of windfalls and “with 100% certainty” only buy stocks that are going up. Pretty strong words. And he’s using them to sell a trading service that he calls High Velocity Profits.
And I’m not going to explain the X-pattern in detail for you here — I’m not a chart-trading expert, it looks like he’s using (at least in part) something called the Aroon indicator, which is a trend indicator that you can see described here or here,it basically measures the days since a high (or low) price was hit and gives buy (or sell) indicators when the “days since a high” indicator crosses over (or under) the “days since a low” indicator.
If you see “AROON 25” it means they’re using 25 days as the timeframe — so a stock would be at 100 on that indicator if it just hit a 25-day high (or low) price, or at 0 if it has been below the 25-day high (or above the low) for 25 days. For a lot of stocks, these lines will cross frequently — for some that are consistently rising or falling, they might not cross in a year or more.
Trend-following has certainly led to lots of huge gains over the years, particularly for those who can buy on the way up and sell after it starts to go down and do so consistently over time, and there are hundreds of indicators and strategies that trend-following chartists use, and variations on all of them (what time period you use, what but it’s far from being my strength or area of interest. I don’t know whether the AROON indicator (or oscillator, which visualizes the data differently) will work better than any other charting indicators at measuring the strength or direction of a trend.
So why do I mention it today? Because today I saw an ad from Keith Fitz-Gerald that said he just had a new indicator triggered last week, a new “X-pattern” on a stock that you should buy. So that I can sniff out for you, and we therefore get an actual stock to talk about and, for those who want to test this “X-pattern”, an example to consider.
Here’s how he put it in the email:
“Below is a stock chart for a company based out of Rochester, NY.
“As you can see, over the past few weeks it has fluctuated wildly.
“However, I believe I know exactly where this stock is going next – and that you can make a whole lot of money from it.
“In fact, I’m so confident that I’m putting $1.95 million on the line.
“You may think I’m crazy for doing this.
“But I’m not. You see, my team has spent the last six months investigating a single pattern that has been appearing alongside two to three stocks a month… every month… going all the way back to the bursting of the dot-com bubble, through the recession, all the way up to today.
“And it was spotted with the company in this chart.
“This same pattern has been detected with some of the market’s most exceptional windfalls, like 7,476% on Monster Beverage, 2,941% on Terra Nitrogen, 2,566% on Kingold Jewelry, and 1,478% on Radcom.”
I didn’t copy the chart, but I did check it to confirm — the stock he’s talking about here is Paychex (PAYX). The stock chart is an exact match, and it is a Rochester company. The AROON indicator for PAYX may have crossed on the bullish side over the last couple days, but if so that would mean you’re using a very short-term version of the indicator (like 15 days or so) — and if that’s what you’re using, then the up/down “X” of the crossing indicator would have happened a dozen times or so in the last six months. If you’re using a longer-term AROON indicator, like 25 days (which most of the chart systems default to) or longer, then PAYX has been in a positive trend on AROON for a month or more after doing a bit of back-and-forth crossover in January and early February.
So what does that mean? I have no idea. PAYX is at a 10-year high — so it doesn’t take a wizard to note that the trend is positive, but it might take an expert technical trader to get you in and out of bumps up and down over the next couple years. PAYX is, like its larger rival ADP, quite expensive and priced at a stiff premium to its growth rate. This is an HR outsourcing company, in case the name is new to you — they handle benefits outsourcing, HR, and payroll processing, particularly for small to midsize businesses who might not have big HR/Personnel departments. What will drive PAYX is the same thing that will drive ADP, broadly speaking: Employment and job creation, labor-law complexity, and short-term interest rates.
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To simplify: If employment rises, they’ll collect more fee income for running payroll for their customers… if it becomes more complicated to deal with payroll laws and regulations (as with health insurance handling and tax law), they’ll get more new customers who want to outsource some of that headache… and if short-term interest rates rise, they’ll earn much more money on the brief window of “float” that they get to hold during the paycheck-generating process. (Like ADP, they collect money from the employer a day or two before it’s actually sent to the account of the employee or printed on a check, and earn some return on that money — or at least they did, when there was any money to be earned on very-short-term interest rates… even with low rates, though, that fund is more valuable than it might seem, because, like Warren Buffett’s famed insurance float, it refills itself every day with new employer money even as it disburses itself to the employees so you can, if you wish, consider it more of a steady asset to earn on than a liability to pay out. Like a dammed pond — it lets water out through the sluice every day and new water comes in every day, but the pond’s depth usually is pretty reliably within an expected range).
So with employment trends certainly improving (more people working), and with short-term interest rates widely expected to rise, there’s quite a bit of optimism baked into PAYX. Maybe that’s as it should be, I can’t claim to have have researched the company thoroughly — the twice-as-big ADP is similarly valued at about 30 times earnings (and is at all-time highs), but PAYX is generally more profitable (it’s a less complex company, they don’t offer as many different services even though both are huge in payroll processing)… and both are expected to grow earnings at a 8-10% annual clip, which is phenomenal for a $20-40 billion company but not that exciting for a company valued at 30 times earnings. They’re also both being bought as “dividend growth” stocks — PAYX has the somewhat higher yield (3% versus 2.25%) and the less-perfect record of dividend growth (PAYX has paused their growth a few times and is a younger company, ADP has raised the dividend every year for 40 years now).
And yes, Paychex (PAYX) and ADP (ADP) have been generally stronger bets for far longer than the “upstart” HR outsourcing/payroll companies that have come public more recently, particularly those who use the word “cloud” in every other paragraph like Paycom (PAYC) and Workday (WDAY). I don’t know if that will continue or not, but so far investors have generally been better-rewarded by the established firms that are actually profitable.
We’ll open the week with that — what do you think? Is PAYX a buy either because it’s in a strong and positive trend or because you like the business? Have any interest in or expertise with the AROON indicator or other charting tools Fitz-Gerald might be using to identify his “X-Pattern” stocks? Let us know with a comment below…
(Our readers had some discussion of this “X-Pattern” a few weeks ago when it was first touted by Money Map, so I’ve appended that discussion they had to the end of this article to get you started. Enjoy!)