How do you prepare for the trading day?

Discussion in 'Professional Trading' started by WannabeTrader27, Apr 18, 2004.

  1. I've heard a lot of people say that trading is hard work. I'm relatively new to the industry but from my two years of trading experience I would have to agree.

    I was wondering what makes trading hard work. Is it the preparation before the market opens? If so what type of preparation do you traders undertake? Is it the research involved after the market closes?

    I just feel that I'm missing something. A piece to my own personal trading puzzle if you will. I guess I'm just looking to get better at what I do.

    Any input/opinions would be greatly appreciated.

  2. Hi WannabeTrader27,

    You've been trading for two years and haven't figure out where your main work load is at?

    Between the the morning and the time the market much time each morning (average) are you studying, researching, preparing for the market?

    Also, between the market Close and much time each night (average) are you studying, researching the market?

    Actually, there's been numerous threads here at ET about market preparation we traders do...along with how traders get away from the market (vacations, relaxation et cetera).

    As for my preparation before the Open...

    I eat breakfast (very small meal), 30-45mins playing with my son, 30mins worth of stretching (mainly used to think about a few trading strategies that I had reviewed the prior evening), print out my journal templates, chat online and I'm usually ready to go by 0815am est.

    If there's no key economic reports at 0830am est...I sleep in an extra hour and do the same above.

    After the close...I'm usually done with everything by 5pm stays on all evening in the office and I can quickly pop into the home office to post a few messages online at forums like ET.

    The key to the trading day in my opinion is not the work load...its how we relax from the work load.

    I get away from the markets during the trading day for a minimum of 1 1/2 hours for lunch and/or listening to music...sometimes I'll push it to 2 hours.

    On the weekends...I think I spend about 30mins researching and about 1 hour of chatting online to other traders (that includes posting online messages).

    Thus, the key for me in my trading is to have endurance. Therefore, the work load should be normal like any other business owner (trading is a business) that's been trading for a few years or more like you.

    After basically becomes a 8am to 5pm job.

    However, in the beginning for new may be like a 8am to 10pm job.

    I know one newbie trader here at ET that told me he's up at 6am est studying the markets and going to be at midnight...

    He's also a scalper putting on 50 trades per day on average.

    I hope he doesn't burn himself out before his next birthday.

    Eventhough you gave NO DETAILS about what you do...

    If your just looking to get better at what you do...

    Try enriching other areas of your personal life and treat the market like a normal job as much as possible in comparison to your prior jobs.

    It's just a job.

  3. my advice is for you if you are a system trader and not a intuitional trader because different rules apply. because im a system trader, the most important thing for me is to take the trade that the computer/system tells me to take. to do that i have to make sure my fear is in check and that im not doing ANYTHING that will influence that. one of the biggest things that throws my fear out of wack is to watch tv like cnbc cnn or bloomberg. ive talked myself out of many winning trades because i watched tv and listened to someone else instead of my computer system. So I don't watch tv before the open. if you can keep your fear in check, trading is really quite enjoyable.
    an hour before the open, i will usually do some exercise and get myself away from the screen.
  4. I have been a scalper (which has lead me to believe that no amount of preparation will be beneficial) but am currently switching to become an intra day positional trader. Since position trading is relatively new to me, what should I be looking for pre market, market hours and post market?

    Thanks for the replies.
  5. Cheese


    The trick is thorough data assembly (prices, timings, etc) for the market you choose. Best choice: where the profit potential is gigantic (ie the zero sum markets in index futures). Study and analyze; SPEND TIME doing this. This is lengthy, hard, devoted but absorbing and compelling work. You must know your market. Devise your system and test check by token trading.

    But most just want to get to the action .. and then can spend a lifetime puzzling, repairing, making do, one shoe on and one shoe off and at worst getting fu*ked-up-to-hell being washed about, back and forth by the ceaseless ebb and flow of the market place.
  6. When you talk about data assembly are you referring specifically to technical analysis? I guess I need to have a starting point specifically outlined for me.

    Sorry if this is annoying. Thanks for any and all help!!
  7. Wannabe,

    Thanks for more next question is this to fill in the rest of the gap...

    You sure are being quiet about your trading while seeking answers to your trading. :cool:

    What market are your trading...stocks, Eminis, Forex, Options...what?

    Just in case your trading the Eminis...

    Keep it simple...

    Know what time of day the key economic reports are released including FED stuff and when Greenspan is giving one of his so-called unimportant speeches.

    Reveiw your favorite strategies every morning prior to 0830am est...

    Always have a contingency plan...for example that correlates with stats in your trading...

    For example...maybe your stats shows your profitable in the morning but give back those profits in the afternoon.

    You'll be surprise how many traders don't see the obvious solution and figure it out after they've blown out their trading account...

    Don't trade the afternoons :cool:

    Maybe your stats shows your losing in the morning but hit your groove by the afternoon and finish the day profitable...

    This should tell that trader to reduce his/her size in the morning and then go back to normal size in the afternoon.

    Knowing the above will be a competitive edge to maximize profits and minimize losses.

    Also, get access to Breaking World News as it occurs...CNBC tv is not adequate enough for this.

    I've been long at least a dozen times and exited trades at breakeven or a tiny loss after getting wind of a bomb threat or terrorist activity prior to the market dropping several points or more after 911.

    Thus, any trader that tells you to ignore the news...either don't know what they are talking about or are just making a blanket statement.

    In addition, review your favorite strategies again during the trading day...set aside 30mins for this.

    Do something relaxing away from the markets besides just lunch...completely get away...

    Go for a brief walk...go into another room and listen to music, take a nap on the patio or front porch and get some fresh anything that takes you away from the market.

    For example...during the summer...3x times per week...I play Boogle with my spouse outside on either the front porch or back patio...during market hours as part of my lunch time routine.

    At end of the trading day...I usually stop trading at 3:30pm est and spend from 3:30pm till 4:15pm est updating my personal trading notes with commentary and printing out charts of each trade...

    By 5pm est...I've printed out charts of the entire trading day for review at a later day if needed.

    With all that's said above...I still think your being unclear...

    If your looking for what will tip you off to a good trade as an intraday position trader...

    Search the Technical Analysis forum for strategies along with reading dbphoenix journal thread on Price and Volume to give yourself a strong basic understanding of supply and demand during the intraday.

    It would be helpful for you to explain exactly what your currently doing (pre-market, during the trading day, post-market) so that others can add in their 2 cents.

    Good luck.

  8. Personally I do not like to prepare for the day the night before.

    Here is my routine:

    Get to bed early 10 hours sleep min. (especially if we have a 8:30 report)

    Wake up early 6:00 est usually.

    Prepare my charts

    Have breakfast (something very healthy this is very important)

    Watch any reactions to the 8:30 reports and maybe take a bond trade if a really good one is obvious to me.

    Read the headlines and news and prepare myself for the open.
  9. Depends on your trading style. Do you look at hundreds of stock charts at night and pick a hundred stocks to place in a watchlist. Then you set alerts on those one hundred stocks. That way, some will consider trading hard work. Or do you use a real-time scanner and pull up your criteria stocks live during trading hours. No home work needed there. But, which is better. Both ways work for those who have a viable trading strategy. You can also get to know five stocks well (stocks with good intraday range and move with the market), and trade them with the market - going long with market rallys and going short with market sell-offs. If you can anticipate the rallys and sell-offs most of the time, and keep tight stops when you are wrong, you'll make money.
  10. Cheese


    WannabeTrader27, I will answer your question very basically .. KISS.

    The data you need to assemble is the open, close, hi & lo prices (rows/columns) as a minimum for each day, say for the previous 12 months, for the market you choose. Simple seemingly. Start you analysis. Start sorting. This is not all the ingredients and it is not going to be an easy assignment; it is a problem solving quest.

    But it is the yellow brick road to follow. You can start upon your journey to unlock the secrets of .. yes .. the Holy Grail.
    #10     Apr 18, 2004