Spike Picks

To help you learn from more advanced traders and develop your own skills, SpikeTrade runs a transparent trading competition with bonuses and prizes. Each round lasts one week, from Monday through Friday. Participation is mandatory for the elite-level traders (called Spikers), and voluntary for all other Members. In the beginning, you probably want to be a spectator, but as you become more familiar with the system, start to participate in the competition.

Spectators benefit by seeing how trades are selected and managed.
Participants develop habits of discipline, clear thinking, and record-keeping. 

How to Participate

To submit your own pick for the competition, go to the Spike Picks tab and click on "New Pick" in the menu on the left (in the "My Spike Pick" section). Fill out the form with the ticker, trade direction (long or short), position size, entry, target, stop, and more. The time window for entering picks is between 5 pm ET on Friday and 3 pm ET on Sunday.

You may enter only one pick per week in the competition, although you’re welcome to mention other ideas in the narrative portion of your submission form. Only US listed stocks (including ADRs) and ETFs are eligible. No longs under $3 or shorts under $5 are allowed. Please see SpikeTrade Rules for more details.
Once you've made your new pick, you’re welcome to manage it throughout the week, changing your entry, target, and stop. The only two items you may not change are the ticker and the direction (long or short).

Bonuses and Awards

Our competition runs like a brokerage trade, only on paper. We encourage participants to also trade their picks in their private accounts. Depending on the performance of your trade, you can earn bonuses and awards.
  • Participation Bonuses: If your pick trades in our system, you earn a $3 Participation bonus (for example, 'buy AAPL at $1' will not trigger a trade, but 'buy AAPL at the market' will). 
  • Performance Bonuses: If your pick outperforms the third best Spiker trade for the week, you earn a $17 Performance bonus. 
  • Bank Robbery Award: We publicly recognize Members who win three or more Performance bonuses in a month.
  • Spiker Status: Members with a good performance record over time may earn a spot in our group of elite-level members called Spikers.

Participation and Performance Bonuses accumulate and are deducted from your next membership renewal. Please see our How to Earn Credits document for more details.

How to Spectate

Following our competition is a great way to learn, but the number of picks can be overwhelming. There are a hundred or more of them each weekend; you probably want to sort them and choose a more manageable number to watch.
Take a look at the top five Spikers (click "Top Five Spikers" in the Spike Picks menu on the left, in the "Honor Roll" section) to determine which Spikers you might want to follow. Evaluate their equity curves: are they steady, with low drawdowns, or volatile?
Click on Spikers' Picks in the menu on the left (in the "Spike Performance" section). This lists all the picks of the elite-level Spikers, who are obligated to submit weekly picks (participation for regular Members is voluntary). Click on the "GS" column at the top of the table to sort by members with Gold Stars; these are top performers.
You can sort the Spikers' table by clicking the headings at the top of the table:
  • GS: Gold Stars: top performers
  • TP: Total Lifetime Spiker points (Spikers earn 3 points for a weekly Gold, 2 for Silver, and 1 for Bronze)
  • Avg: Average points per quarter during their tenure
  • Member: the Member's first name and last initial are displayed. Click on the Member's name to view their public profile.
  • Symbol: the ticker symbol picked by the Member. Click the ticker symbol to view the full trade plan for that pick.
  • D: Direction (long or short)
  • Planned Entry
  • Order Type
  • Stop
  • Target
  • Actual Entry
  • Actual Exit
  • P/L: profit or loss for this week’s trade
  • Watch list: is this pick in your Watch List for the week
  • Q: have any questions been asked and answered about this pick
  • W: how many Members are watching this pick
Click on Members' Picks in the menu to view the picks of regular members (on this list, it makes even more sense to sort by Gold Stars).
Read trade plans for any picks you consider following - are they clear and logical, and do they fit your mode of thinking? If you have questions for the member about their pick, there is a link at the top of each pick's trade plan which allows you to send a message to the member making that pick. They are not obligated to answer, but 99% of the time they do.
To add a pick to your Watch List, click on the box next to the pick. Click on My Watch List in the menu on the left (in the "Spike Performance" section), to go to your Watch List. If you want to be notified whenever a Member changes any detail of their pick (adjusting a stop, etc.), click the second box next to that pick on your Watch List.
Note: Watch Lists are automatically cleared at the end of every week.

SpikeTrade values transparency and accountability. We allow you to view everyone's trade plans and performance during the competition week. You can also view the picks and results for any previous week for the entire history of SpikeTrade. If you'd like to view the picks for previous weeks, click Archive Picks in the menu on the left (in the "Spike Performance" section).

Our Honor Roll in the menu on the left salutes our top members. Check out the Weekly and Quarterly reports of Spikers' performance, recipients of the Bank Robbery Award, and the equity curves of the Top Five Spikers.

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