Question from Newbie

Discussion in 'Professional Trading' started by dayglolotus, Jan 5, 2011.

  1. Hi guys,

    I was wondering whether $500-$1000 profits per day were a reasonable amount to set as a target for someone with six months experience and an account of $32,000? I know that the learning curve is different for everybody, but I would appreciate your take on this.

  2. BwPirt


    That's aiming pretty high. Always reachable depending on your lot sizes, etc.. Are you using back-tested strategies? Or playing off the cuff?
  3. Trading index futures? A piece of quiche!
  4. lindq


    Sure, why not. That's only 1000% a year. Easy stuff.


    Start with a target of breaking even. You'll find that a big enough challenge for the next few years.
  5. jokepie


    Explain your EXPERIENCE first then may be we can give you better advice.
  6. 1) Is it possible?....Yes. Likely?....maybe. :cool:
    2) How long will your average trading day be? 4 hours?, 6?, 8? 10? 12? 15? 18? :confused: :eek:
    3) The arithmetic difference between $500 and $1000 is $500. The geometric difference is 100%. Vetty vetty wide. :p
    4) Your goal is doable but it remains to be seen how consistent you can be in hitting it. :)
    5) You have to have a method that always generates trades each day. You can't be reliant upon something that requires too much time nor too many inputs to generate signals. :D
  7. Hey guys,

    Thanks for the replies.

    I started trading in July, hoping to make a career out of day trading. But, I was treating it more like gambling than anything else. The only thing that I had going for me was a minor in Economics and having passed the Series 3 (I have, however, never traded equities, forex, futures, etc.). The concepts of hedging and arbitrage have been useful to a degree. However, my lack of focus, discipline, paperwork, and a plan have all stumped me.

    I trade sporadically like any good gambler. although my original intention was to trade every day from pre-market to the close. And I wasn't using charts or anything else, just seeing patterns in real time quotes. Basically, I was making plays on earnings, news, speculation, etc.

    For my New Year's resolution, I decided to buckle down and go through my paperwork and focus on the facts: It's been six months and I realized that I have made $66000 in gains last year only to give it all back. I am basically up $2000.

    1. Every three days out of the week, I was making gains of $600-$1200 a day, only to give it back because I was chasing a high of sorts and wanting more money. For example, if I would sell a stock at a good profit and saw it rise again, I would immediately buy it back with the "hope" that it would go higher and of course, it would reverse. Greed is a killer.

    2. I was often trading when I just didn't feel up to it or was too tired and would hit the wrong keys. Sometimes, I'd often fall asleep during trading hours with position open hoping that losses would go away.

    3. I was often leaving positions open overnight and would sleep through the pre market and the morning, despite knowing a stock's pattern was to gap up in the morning.

    4. And I didn't do any sort of analysis. The biggest mistake!

    It's kind of embarassing to write this, but I have decided to share because I have to admit what a dumbass I've been so that I can come up with a new strategy: consistency, research, being awake, knowing when enough is enough, patience, and not being too greedy.

    Thanks again. Please don't crucify me. :)