JACKSONVILLE - There are no stock wizards. That's what Hank Swiencinski emphasizes over and over in his UNF continuing education class, "The Professor's One Minute Guide to Stock Management." Swiencinski claims in one minute you can size up any stock to decide whether to buy, sell or short it. "People seem to love it because of its simplicity. I just show them a couple of indicators that will keep them out of trouble," says Swiencinski.
Swiencinski started the course two years ago. Recently, he's seen an increase in the number of students, mostly baby boomers, who are concerned about their retirement nest egg. "I'm worried about people in retirement, their retirement incomes, their 401ks, money that they saved for their children's education. I don't want to see that just go by the wayside," says Swiencinski.
Swiencinski says some brokers and financial planners aren't giving their clients enough advice. He took a class survey when the Dow dropped 675 points in two days last week. Out of 150 students, only one person said she received a call from her broker.
Swiencinski is a retired Navy engineer who worked in submarine warfare and at the Pentagon where he developed algorithms. He also developed algorithms for his personal stock trading. He teaches patterns. The big emphasis is on the 50-day and 100-day moving averages, the directional movement indicator and what he calls hockey sticks. A hockey stick is formed when a stock price has a sharp increase or decrease (the stick) and then flattens out (the blade).
Harvey Slentz is a boomer student taking the class. He signed up to help with his family investing. "The family is a business. It has income, expenses and investments. This class helps me do a better job in the third leg, the investments," says Slentz.
Nancy Quinn is also a student. In a few weeks she's retiring after 20-years as a nurse with Community Hospice. She says she's taking the class to take more responsibility managing her investments. "I really didn't have the time or expertise to manage it well. So I've had other people manage it for me which hasn't worked out too well," says Quinn.
Swiencinski says the course is all about protecting yourself financially. "Remember, it's your retirement, it's your kid's education. You worked your whole life, start thinking about how you are going to protect yourself." The UNF course is a total of six hours. Two hours a week for three weeks. The cost is $79. Swiencinski also teaches a more advanced trading class called "Position Trading." It's two hours and costs $139. For more information on both courses call the University of North Florida at 620-4255. Hank Swiencinski also has a website at www.themarket101.com.