This post was written back in November 2007. I thought it offers some food for thoughts to new traders. I have edited and rewritten part of the original post with what I have learned over the years.
Here is the blog post.
5 facts about day trading
I have been day trading for quite a while. I am not a pro yet. But I guess, I can share a little bit about day trading. Since my friend, Faith Lu, a young gentleman from China, is keen to learn all about trading, I guess this might be a little helpful to him. Remember, these are not the rules, just some observation from experience.
You are a day trader, not an analyst.
All you need to know is basic Technical Analysis, be cool, and trust your instinct. Bull shit? I don’t think so.
Our goal is to generate profit from trading. Very often, traders tend to spend too much time studying. While it is good to keep learning, all you need is to be well-versed in the tools that you use to trade.
For example, I rely heavily on volume profile in my trading, that’s what I focus on. I learn everything about volume profile, learn the best way to use the tool.
You don’t have to be a master technical analyst to day trade. Be good with the tools that matter to your trading, it might be drawing trend lines, Moving average, or reading market volume, etc.
Detailed market analysis is for gentlemen who get paid by writing reports, but not trading. Your job is to start the day with cash and end the day with more cash. Thinking too much is not helpful.
You need to know a little bit about mathematics
Hold on, don’t panic. I know you probably hate Math in the school.
One of the most important math concepts you need to understand as a trader is the concept of Probability.
You will never know what is going to happen on the right side of your chart. We are playing with probability. We stack the odds before taking a trade.
Most of the time, it is 50:50. In this case, bear in mind that we want to earn $1, but with the only potential loss of $0.5.
When the market is moving in our favor, let it run, otherwise, leave, please. You don’t need a degree in Mathematics to know, risk $1 to earn $0.5, with a 50% winning chance, it doesn’t work in the long run.
A day trader does not need to trade every day
This is for retail traders. There are days that you would be better off sitting on your hands. If you’ve just pocket $1000 today, do not expect to earn another $1000 tomorrow. Every day is a new day. There are days that you just can’t trade.
For example, If you are not into trading news, then do not try to trade during big announcements like Non-Farm payroll, or Interest rate statements.
A professional trader who plays the order book can and normally, trade day in and day out. For retail traders, some days are better to stay away from the market. Go for a walk or jog in the park.
Day trading as a retail trader is just like doing your own business. We do not need to sit in the office every day.
Day trading is a mind game, and a decision-making task
Make sure you are in good condition mentally before start trading. For example, it is a damn bad idea to trade right after fighting with your spouse. You’ve to make decisions when trading, you need a clear mind for this task.
So if you are not ready for the task today, then come back tomorrow.
You need energy and focus to day trade
This is particularly important to Asia Pacific traders who trade U.S or European markets. Trading in the late evening or even midnight puts you at a serious disadvantage.
Yes, it is possible to adjust your routine to trade in the evening. But the potential health issues are something you need to think about.
Secondly, day trading is a tedious task. You need to bring your 100% to the game. Can you focus and be energetic enough in the late evening? Don’t kid yourself, have a serious thought about this.
5 Facts About Day Trading: Wrap Up
Day trading is a business that allows you to earn a living. But choosing the right instruments, markets, and style is crucial.
There are skills that you need to acquire and there are facts such as your physical location or living environment you need to consider before starting to day trade.
Do you still have something to add on? Shoot me a comment.