Hello, Real newbie. I just started a free paper account on Wealth Lab (http://www.wealth-lab.com/cgi-bin/WealthLab.DLL/home) and will use this journal to keep track of myself and, hopefully, get comments from other ET members with the time/inclination to do so. I have not yet developed a low risk trading plan so I won't be trading for real. However, I want to evaluate my psychology during trading and that's why I'm starting to paper trade right away. I'm doing Van Tharp's Peak Performance Course (PPC), I'm studying options, and I will be taking a Technical Analysis Course, and reading several other books as well (Market Wizards, Trade Your Way to Financial Freedom, Getting Started in Futures, etc...) I've been given a $100,000.00 account to start. I will use a 1% position size and risk 20% of my equity. I will try to be fully invested within 2 weeks. I will try to trade in 3 independant markets or sectors. I've got a lot to learn. Looking at the rough long term technicals (rough - since that's the extent of my knowledge of technicals so far), yesterday I bought to open: 500 shares Lucent (LU) at market, 18 shares Symantec (SYMC) at market. As per Van Tharp's PPC, I'll make notes on my thinking for each day's trades. I feel that the market is definitely in an uptrend now and want to ride this. My first mistake is that I didn't enter a stop limit at the time of my two orders. The stop limits will be: LU stop @ 1.80, SYMC stop @ 53. I basically set it at 10% below purchase by looking at the average volatility of the line. Both these are tech stocks. Lucent took a hammering and a lot of people still follow this stock. I'm sure a lot are still holding it even after losing about 90% (myself included) This would seem to me to indicate that it could be very volatile and I could ride it up or jump off if it comes down again. Symantec is the leader in the virus business and, like real life security firms, I believe that it will continue to uptrend. Today, 3 Sept, I put in after market order to buy 20 shares of Unilever N V (UN) at market with a stop at $50.00. It closed at 56.44 today. The intra-day high/lows are very tight but the daily/weekly has more up/downs with an overall up trend (must be a technical term for this behaviour). Unilever's "...principal activity is to supply consumer goods in foods, household care and personal product categories.", which diversifies my portfolio somewhat.