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This Newbie needs good advise on

  1. entering the markets. I am a senior in college with a background in computer engr. and mathematics and I am very new to this, but I am very willing to learn a lot and become succesful as a trader and investor. I have started by opening up an account with Scottrade, but I want an unbiased opinion about starting with a broker like Scottrade. I am thinking of buying software (such as VectorVest) that can help me to search for good stocks to buy/trade, so I need advise on this as well. Lastly, I am also looking for sincere advise on how to make trades, what kind of markets I should start off with, what I should look-out for in the markets or focus on, how soon I should open a margin account, or start trading options, recommended books or websites to read. I will appreciate all your feedback.
     
  2. You might want to consider opening an IB (Interactive Brokers)account. commissions are much cheaper than Scott Trade. Pick a single method and let the education begin.

    Good Luck
     
  3. Good advice. Good luck fan27.

    nononsense
     
  4. I have never heard of IB, but I will do my research and hopefully it works in the US. Please if there's anyone with more valuable advise, I will also appreciate it. Fan27, any opinion on software like VectorVest? also daytrading vs swingtrading? thanking you all in advance.
     
  5. if i were starting out i would open an ib account and trade 100 share lots in low priced stocks that have nice trading ranges on a daily chart. watch them for a while to get a feel for the ranges and try to catch the waves.
    look at stuff like sunw jdsu cpn nt lu siri cien brcd tqnt rfmd. these are good learning stocks.
    forget about buying software. there is plenty of free stuff on the web. you can use medved quote tracker for free.
    forget about options. odds are aginst you there. once you get some idea how things work you can try new things. your number one goal at first should be to last long enough to learn how the game works.
     
  6. VectorVest is, but it does a good job at scanning for companies that have superior fundamentials. Their scanning engine is also good at finding market sector rotations. Also, their market timing techniques are good.

    One thing that I really like about VectorVest is the backtesting capability and the flexibility in changing various scanning parameters.

    I use their program and data to find the top stocks in the top market sectors, and then apply technical analysis and swing trading techniques to the top tier stocks.

    As you can tell, I am a short term trader rather than a long term investor. For the buy and hold type of investor, backtesting has shown good results over the long haul for the top 20 to 50 stocks in their scans.

    Charles
     
  7. The first sentence should say, "VectorVest is expensive..."

    Charles
     
  8. just another newb. im new to the game, and even newer to the board. i have been reading through some of everyones posts, llooking for suggestions and such. i have a couple questions, without starting a new thread. i've looked at a couple of online trading companies(is there a better name for these?) and i see the usual signup/membership fee. then most have additional services you can pay for, and different markets you can subscribe to for info and such..my question is do you usually find yourself needing these services or are they just flare? And, what is a minimum and reasonable dollar# you can get away with investing for a starting daytrader?
    thanks
    -james
     
  9. Do realize that, because of the SEC PDT rules, if you want to daytrade equities (stocks) as an individual, you must maintain an account balance of at least $25K (assuming you want to make more than 3 day-trades in a rolling 5-day period (or whatever the rule is)).

    Commodity and index futures, and single-stock futures have no such requirement.
     
  10. dont know about vectorvest, but i would recommend you to try WL-

    http://www.wealth-lab.com/cgi-bin/WealthLab.DLL/getpage?page=WLD3.htm

    they have trial, you will be able to download free EOD data from yahoo. you can open account in IB or MB

    http://www.interactivebrokers.com/index.html

    http://www.mbtrading.com

    comissions on stocks are same.
    Quotetracker for intraday data and charts-

    http://www.quotetracker.com/index.asp

    you can connect it to scottrade or IB/MB platforms.
    can pick some ideas from here-

    http://www.incrediblecharts.com/technical/pnf_chart_patterns.htm

    or here

    http://stockcharts.com/

    or from here-

    http://www.marketscreen.com/report/index.asp?chp=trend

    i would first observe markets,probably stick with nasdaq stocks(since you can trade any size there-let say 10 shares-just to get feeling unstead papertrading)
    and try longer timeframes(you will have more time then to think about what you just did wrong again)))))))
    yeah, and of course dont forget about PDT rules(been mentioned here already),but in MB-it doesn't looks like big problem.
    can't recommend any book,those that i read is useless(at least for me)
    good luck!
     
  11. sign up/ membership fee.. some are very good, some are worthless.. Realitytrader.com chat room has an excellent team with some truly top notch traders running the show.. its a great place to learn the basics.. other sites that i have been a member of (which shall remain nameless) were quite destructive because i learned bad habits/thinking while there that i later had to unlearn..

    some services which offer stock picking or "stock alerts to your pager" type offers are BS plain and simple.. thats not for traders, thats for sheep looking for a good place to get sheered..

    hmm.. ok, minimum.. however much you have, probably it wont be enough.. thats the bottom line.. most people dont make it in this biz.. the amount of money you start with has nothing to do with your success.. success is only available after you get humility.. humility is what you get when you have failed so many times that you realize that you, as you are, cannot be a trader.. then you will have the opportunity to change.. how much money will you burn before you come to this realization? thats how much is reasonable.. of course, as a newbie, this is mumbo jumbo..

    you will need a minimum of 25k to daytrade stocks without severe limitations on the number of trades per day.. you can trade futures with far less.. probably 5k is a minimum for a one contract dow daytrader.. this has much more to do with your strategy and its R/R ratio so that you arent risking too much on each trade.. you need to read Van Tharpes books for this info..

    there are probably 1000 newbie threads on ET.. do a search and you will have more advice than you can deal with.. good luck and welcome to trading :)


    -qwik
     


  12. I LOVE THIS QUOTE! Patton was a great man.
     
  13. thanks for all of that info. i've looked into some of those sites, and looks solid. my parents stock broker suggested www.sharebuilder.com
    anyone know anything about that site? or would anyone like to second that suggestion? it has no minimum account balance, but some of the commissions seem a little high, that could be because of the low trading requirements?
    thanks again,
    -james:cool:
     
  14. hmm.. if a stock broker recommends it, i dont like it already..

    if you want to invest, sharebuilder might not be bad.. but trading is not investing.. did you look at www.interactivebrokers.com like so many people suggested?

    -qwik
     
  15. yes i did actually and it looks like one of the better ones i've heard mentioned with only U.S. Dollars (USD) USD 2,000 required to open an account.
    its looks like me to do any active trading i will need a little more money. so would you suggest something like sharebuilder.com until i can save more money for trading, and this will also get me a little more familiar with the numbers and a feel for the traffic?
    thanks,
    -james
     
  16. imo, i would not attempt to invest with sharebuilder while saving to enter the trading arena.. nothing like watching your money dwindle away in some stock while you are trying to save.. maybe open a demo account and paper trade until you have the money.. this is an excellent learning tool and wont cost you anything.. good luck :)

    -qwik
     
  17. can you compare IB and sharebuilder right here and explain why sharebuilder is better? i did not see any single point, why i should go with sharebuilder(maybe i'm blind?)))))
    $20 dollars for limit order? suppose you open account with $2000, you want to trade something on all your money(which is crasy already)-you have to pay $40 in comm for round trip in sharebuilder which is 2% of all your money. that mean, if you stock did not move you will lost 2% of your money. or stock must move 2% in your way in order for you to get even. think about those numbers..5 flat trades-you will be down more than 10%.
    compare to $1 for 100 shares in IB no matter what type of order + solid realtime trading platform..