Advice on Tools

Discussion in 'Trading' started by murdog, Nov 19, 2005.

  1. murdog


    Here's the scoop, I've tried to read through a lot of the old posts for tips, but a lot of the advice can be good or bad depending on how you are trading. It makes it tough to weed through the things that won't work for my specific situation.

    My mom made me buy stocks when I was eight. I'm now 37 years old and have been trading for almost 30 years. I have some good concepts regarding the market, but I am completely untrained beyond reading a few articles here and there and trial and error.

    A couple years ago I sold my Internet business and have been dabbling more and more in the market, meaning trading more frequently. The dollar amount invested has remained consistant. Currently I have two different accounts with around $100K in each of them. I'm making around $2M - $3M in trades every month.

    At this point my trading style is to go long in companies that I would also invest in for the long haul, but try hard to time the swings in those stocks. This is actually why I started day trading again. I was getting very sick of seeing 90% of my positions waffling in a trading range. My theory, which is starting to change, is that my stop loss is time (75% of the time - if I'm in a stock that I'm less thrilled about I will bail), meaning I'll sit on it waiting for a recovery. I know many of you are going to call me out on that one, but it's something I'm comfortable with, so it's still the foundation of most of my trades. I'm getting better at riding a stock up to a change without bailing too soon and missing extra profit. I've been doing well so far, at least in my own mind, ranging from $100 to $2000 a day with most days being around $500 in profit. I've taken a couple hits that I've choosen to ride out, and currently I'm sitting on two positions that are well below my entry point for a total unrealized loss of around $4K. The rest have come back and have been sold for a profit.

    Most of my trades are for 1000 to 5000 shares. I also trade options.

    Here's what I would like to know:

    1) Is there a great tool that will help me track my trades for both tax and personal trading use?

    2) What brokers would you suggest? I looked at IB, but from my math it's cheaper to go with $7 trades from Ameritrade or Harrisdirect.

    3) I've been using level II since the early 90's from regular brokers that I have accounts with. Are there better sources of real-time and historical data?

    4) Given my situation of $200K and willing to margin what would be the expected ROI for a successful trader? If 95% of traders fail, how much are the other 5% making?!

    5) Any other helpful advice would be appreciated.

    I know that my current style isn't the way most people on this board trade. I have no problem hearing criticism regarding that if it accompanies some advice as well, but my main objective for this post is to get advice on how to become more organized and efficient.

    Thank you!