A Daytraders Fate

Discussion in 'Trading' started by flipflopper, Mar 28, 2007.

  1. ok... I know that asking for advice on message board is not the smartest thing in the world but here's my story.

    Yesterday I got laid off with a good severance package. I'm 28 years old and I have been trading stocks on and off for about 4 years. I took a long break and invested most of my money for the long term (in SONS which is finally paying off). In August I started trading again. I took some money that I had saved up apart from my investments and 401K (12 Grand) and turned it to 25 by February by swing trading stocks. I then got my day trading power and two weeks ago hit 37. I am back down to 31 but I feel like I am losing my touch since at one point I couldn't lose.

    I have been interested in trading futures but was unable to since my companies firewall blocked most brokerage software and I was using Fidelities ATP to trade. I have opened up an Interactive Brokers account and am funding it tomorrow with an initial 20K.

    It looks like IB is a good broker but does anyone recommend a separate charting software. What else do I need to get started? I already have two 24inch screens. I always try to keep costs low but not if the price is too high price!! Right now I'm getting paid and full benefits till August so this is a good time to try my hand at full time trading. Would anyone recommend day trading as a long term career? I have biz-econ degree from UCLA and feel like I would be putting it to waste if I started trading.

    Any thoughts/pointers/suggestions/recommendations are appreciated.
  2. That sounds like a pretty good achievement to start out. Hard to say how much was luck and planned. But, looking at your history, I would guess that you were trading less frequently due to pattern day trade restrictions, which helped you get there.

    Speeding up your frequency after getting your license to pattern day trade is what started to hurt your performance IMHO.

    See if this makes sense, and if you agree then slow down and trade the way you were performing before. Jumping into futures will compound that problem IMHO.
  3. Ensign is the most cost effective charting software if you use IB. You can also practice in a simulation mode using their playback function.

    Since you only have 31K, I suggest you deposit only 10K initially, since you are more likely to be losing in the beginning. And only when you lose you will really learn sth.

    Try to trade only one contract in the beginning, and only trade once or twice each day. When you can double your money then double your lot size.

    Education / degree really doesn't matter in trading. Market doesn't care about these things. Psychology is everything.
  4. Lots of charting software works off IB data. Quotetracker, Sierra Charts and Ensign to name three. They are very inexpensive and work pretty good. You will get lots of different advice here but if I were you I would look around the net and find a simple strategy and trade it with 1 YM contract for a few weeks. I think this will give you a good idea of what you are getting into without costing you too much money.
  5. Mvic


    If you have swing trading skills then why not get a decent job and swing trade EOD until you have enough capital to trade and live off of. You are giving yourself about 0 room for error the way you plan to proceed. You will be scared money and that is fatal. Realistically the chances of you making enough to live on the next two years on the small stake you have to start with are slim to none especially as you haven't even ever day traded and have no edge. If you are serious about trading and really love it then get a job, raise your stake to at least $50-100K, put enough on top of that aside to pay for living expenses for 1 year, and in the mean time spend you free time working on your swing trading and paper day tarding afterhours with a replay software like esignal and when you have your edge down such that you are making money consistently each week and you have all your financial ducks in a row then take the plunge IF you really love the idea of day trading.

    Trading is no different than any other business and if you don't do the above you will be giving yourself even less of a chance to succeed than the still SMALL chance you would have if you followed my advice.

    FWIW I have been trading for 20+ years and have made a good deal of money from the markets but I have never been scared money and I have NEVER seen scared money succeed.
  6. Very True. I traded only 3 times per week due to account restrictions. I was doing fine day trading (2-3 time per day) and half of my 6K draw down was based on 1 trade where I stubbornly pulled mt stop and got killed.

    My biggest problem has been trading in choppy stocks/markets. My strategy is based on trends. When I don't have a trend I get whipped hard.

    I try to use ADX for trend confirmantion but doesn't always work well. Still expiremneting trying new things all the time.
  7. If you can put in 26K or 27K in your IB account you can daytrade the ETF's - SPY, QQQQ... without running into the PDT...

    The <b>Spy shares track the ES futures at 98.7% correlation since they are arbed to it too... </b> so anyting that happens in the futures happens in the SPY

    This way <b>You can prove you have an edge for only pennies on the dollar</b> by starting with this progression and moving forward when you have a successful week... and moving backward on unsuccessful weeks...

    Start with...
    Week One: 50 spy...
    Week Two: 100 spy
    Week Three: 150 spy
    Week Four: 200 spy
    Week Five: 300 spy
    Week Six: 500 spy (500 Spy = about 1 ES futures contract)
    Week Seven: 750 spy
    Week Eight: 2 ES =1000 SPY's
    Week Nine: 3 ES
    Week Ten: 4 ES
    Week Eleven: 5 ES
    Week Twelve: 7 ES
    Week Thirteen: 10 ES
    Week Fourteen: 12 ES
    Week 15: 15 ES
    Week 16 (Only 4 Months) 20 ES...

    So this is how you can prove an edge in the futures and with risking only pennies...

    Chart the SPY against the ES you will see its correllated...

    4 months... a drop in the bucket...

    if you have a losing week move backwards a step until a winning week and then move forwards...

  8. john99


    I would get another job, and continue to swing trade. Trading futures intraday is very hard and takes time to learn. If you do decide to try out futures, see how successful you are with 1 contract after 1 month on the simulator. Most new futures traders don't even try the simulator or have a strategy to trade, and most futures traders fail and blow out there account. Do yourself a favor and try out the simulator. You will gain knowledge and if you truly do know how to trade, then you can make the money later.
  9. I have about 90K liquid to eventually trade with if I feel this is the path I should take. The point about my degree is that in life you should always try to take advantage of any edge you have. In the corporate world that degree is my edge... in the market I have no edge!! :confused:
  10. john99


    I'm not critisizing, but is that how you started?
    #10     Mar 28, 2007