Investing tips from SmarTrend CEO Chip Brian

Since pensions and the matching 401(k) are going the way of the dinosaurs, it's essential to get proactive about your retirement. But with stocks up one day and down the next, trying to get a handle on how to grow your nest egg can prove daunting. Chip Brian -- CEO and founder of SmarTrend, a trading system company -- offers four tips for first-time investors:

New strategies for new times
Not too long ago, when you bought a stock, it was usually with the intent to hold for some time, especially if it was a blue chip stock. Well, given the volatility of the market and the quick pace of information, that strategy just doesn't hold water anymore. One of the newer investment strategies is "trend trading," which uses mathematically-based, statistically sound trend analysis of the market to help you determine when to make a move.

"Most of these systems use 'moving averages' or 'channel breakouts' to determine the general direction of the market to generate trade signals on individual stocks," explained Brian. "By using this analysis platform, investors can avoid the mistakes inherent in often emotional and fundamentally flawed strategies being implemented by a large percentage of the trading community today."