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TheNegotiator

Considerations for a Wannabe Trader...

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I have been a lurker on these boards for sometime now; recently created an account and now this. To note I am 27 please take that into consideration.

 

1-Why.

I want to use it as income replacement; POS job I was at was draining the life out of me... I was always into the stock market; nagging those in "power" to make certain actions now that I have taken control of my portfolio (UGMA accounts) I can control my own destiny (hahaahahah)

or as best of my ability

 

2-Commitment.

Full time or until I find a stable job that I can get behind (I will always be a trader I feel like it's in my blood) Now I have time to go to these shareholder meetings what are they like? Are they like what they show in Happy Gilmore?

 

3-Timeframe and method.

I don't think there is one strategy that will be able to capture the full potential of the market I like to consider myself more of a swing trader then a "day trader". Swing maybe same day as little as a few hours to a few days. Something I could not do in my roth accounts that I did not like.

 

4-Account/investment size.

Since I have "free" (I honor and respect this money as it was earned with blood sweat and tears) money. The stocks that were invested for me were dividend paying stocks that were DRIPd. I know of atleast one stock that I will be sending right to the sell heap MO; PM stays though. Me likey dividends.

 

5-Money management.

For money management I use this rule am I willing to own this stock for the long term 6+ months. If yes then I trade it; no; then no trade. My plan is to use short margin to swing trade/day trade if necessary I have an order of liquidation that I am prepared to make. Limit to 100 shares/trade. Another part of my MM strategy is not to trade in too many products keep it simple master the trade first it is a lot different when you are doing this for a living then when you are doing the "monday morning" quarterbacking. My complete stopping point if I reach it is 20% at this point I really need to look for a secure job yesterday (PERIOD)

 

6-Product.

As I said earlier I do not trade products that I do not wish to hold for the long term. Mainly equities right now I am hot to trot on SOLR trading it since $5 (only so much you can do out of a roth). Mostly equities; only covered calls for long positions; I would not put it out of question to sell naked puts if it lives up to my #1 Philosophy

 

7-Broker.

IB is my broker; sometimes I wonder I setup an limit order at -.02 the stock falls to the stock level and my order never gets filled then proceeds to run up .25C

 

8-Platform.

I was planning on using Ninja trader via VM but it was not playing nice with TWS so I am using the TWS native on Mac

 

9-News source.

Could use some advice here?

 

10-Computer.

Top notch I keep my computer gear running spic and span (intel CPU) though the setup has some flaws. my VNC server that I use for my secondary displays likes to act up and freeze....

 

11-Internet Connection.

Have DSL connection with a 4G backup via Sprint

 

12 - Hurdles you see for yourself (added)

 

WOWOW this stuff is fast; one minute the stock is at 14.30 the next it's down to 13.85 and your trying to figure out if you should cover your *** or ride it out

 

Figuring out how to setup the workstation properly

 

13 - Philosophy

Never trade a stock you don't mind holding for a long time

Don't trade on hope

Take a break; live life;

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I like it! I definitely have some thoughts on your answers though. Firstly, you haven't traded for very long right? So the prerequisite of only trading a stock you would hold for at least 6 months is based on what precisely? Not saying it is wrong. But is it down to volatility, liquidity or what? Also, why does it matter that you would hold it for 6 months if you are a day/short term swing trader? A thought on this too is that have you considered at all trading fx or futures of any kind as you are so short term?

 

As far as news goes, I prefer to be aware of big stories and monitor any important releases inc eco figs such as the biggy we have this friday. I don't actually trade off the news though so I don't feel I need a newswire. So this really depends on how you use news.

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I like it! I definitely have some thoughts on your answers though. Firstly, you haven't traded for very long right? So the prerequisite of only trading a stock you would hold for at least 6 months is based on what precisely? Not saying it is wrong. But is it down to volatility, liquidity or what? Also, why does it matter that you would hold it for 6 months if you are a day/short term swing trader? A thought on this too is that have you considered at all trading fx or futures of any kind as you are so short term?

 

As far as news goes, I prefer to be aware of big stories and monitor any important releases inc eco figs such as the biggy we have this friday. I don't actually trade off the news though so I don't feel I need a newswire. So this really depends on how you use news.

 

Thank you Negotiator for your comments; BTW like your name is Shatner giving you grief?

 

I have been trading out of my Roth IRA account for the past 3 years (only so much you can do in it TD actually gave me some margin; optionshouse did not...); but this would be my first time doing day trading proper. Holdings would be one week or less; I promised the powers to be I could not sell the UGMA positions so all holdings have to bought on margin. If my position goes to shit I have prepared myself to hold on for dear life/cut losses. So I trade "good" stocks though you can still get burned by them such as ford(16)... But that is now a longer term play now i.e selling covered calls that won't get picked up hacking away at losses. My goal is trade a hand full of stocks for good returns right now I am working my way up with 100-500 share positions to 1000-1500 share positions once I become more seasoned.

 

I have never ventured into the FX or futures worlds I don't intend to do so in the near future too volatile and I do not understand how those markets work. I have tons of liquidity 6 figures so I can very my instruments of choice. You could say I don't have a solid plan on what type of trader I will be. I like the idea of jumping in and out but I see the potential of compounding from the very long term perspective.

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I guess I really don't know what I'm doing here. I started trading stock options because of the leverage and small trading capital about 6 months ago. Before opening an account with Trade station I read and read everything I could get my hands on about the markets, technical analysis, trends, breakouts, fundamentals, support and resistance, etc, etc & etc.

I started with long calls and puts because they are simple. This latest market decline has kept me on the sidelines. This amount of volatility is too much for me. (I also know options traders like it.)

 

I have lost about half of my trading capital and thinking about "cut and run". I haven't fallen victim to all the 1000's of news letters and trading system on the street, if they are so great why aren't the developers walking the beaches of the South Pacific. I would really like to find a mentor but the choices are many and expensive.

 

I do not have a clue as to who will see this post. Open for suggestions.

 

Thanks, Jim

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Hey everyone, I'm brand new to this forum and to trading.

Background: I'm 21 years old, going to get my bachelor's degree in Finance next year. I do have experience in business, I'm a co-founder of a non-profit helping orphans and I own a business with my family. Through this forum I hope to get some more insights and perhaps get ideas on how to succeed in this mess. Excuse my simple language and lack of knowledge, I'm still very new to this but I am a very fast learner!

I decided to post my answers on the considerations posted in this thread so that I could get some feedback from more experienced people here.

 

Motivation

I want to trade to make money in the long term. I want to start small and learn from my mistakes to be able to build it up oer the years.

Commitment

I spent the summer learning, reading, following the news and building a simulated portfolio to get to know how the market works. I continue learning every day, so I commit a a few hours every day to follow up. Once I get a real portfolio, I'll commit even more time to it. After reading the forum posts and all that time learning, I realise that trading takes most of your time, energy and psychological stability. I read that checking your portfolio too often can also be bad. ANy thoughts on that?

Timeframe and method

Plan on having more of a long-term focus, technical analysis. Focus on new High/lows and small market cap.

Account/investment size

5000k

Money management

When a stock decreases too much - sell and never buy it again... but I realise I will lose a lot of my money in the first years.

Product

Stock for starters, then bonds maybe. I keep my money in a savings account now.

Broker

IB or Questrade. Both have low commisions and the minimums to open an account are low (I'm 21). Questrade has a tax free trading account which would fit me, since it has a 5000$ contribution room. I heard that both are a nightmare when it comes to opening the account, but are ok once you have it started. Has anyone had that experience?

Platform

Questrade will not work on Mac which I use, so if chose that I will have to find a Windows PC.

News source

WSJ, Bloomberg platform, yahoo finance (for charts) are the ones I used so far. Anyone have others?

Computer

new mac

Internet Connection

stable

Practice Trading

A few months (this Summer) in simulated portfolio…so almost none at all!

Books to Read

Anyone can recommend a good one?

Order Size

100-500 shares

Disaster Planning

I always have other laptops/computers available be it at home, college, work. There's also people who can do it for me if I'm unable to.

Trading psychology

I believe that you don't win if you don't take risks. I'm not a dreamer and I always keep realistic goals. However I believe in myself enough to know that with work, focus and determination I can succees. (I don't mean to sound arrogant though, because I'm not that kind of person at all!)

Trading Discipline

I'm ready for losses, I believe it will (hopefully) get better with experience. Although I know that most people don't succeed as much as they hope to.

 

I'm ready to hear any of your comments, hopefully you guys don't discourage me too much... ;)

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I do not have a clue as to who will see this post. Open for suggestions.

 

Thanks, Jim

 

I would start by asking why are you trading in the first place? Learning? Income? Wealth? I believe once you figure that out you can answer some of your questions and you will probably have tons more. What is your business acumen?

 

 

I'm ready to hear any of your comments, hopefully you guys don't discourage me too much... ;)

 

Minimum for IB is 10k; to become a pattern day trader you need to have 25k in your accounts at all times. For me long terms means 1+ years meaning you would not sell through this downturn and be buying more once you feel comfortable. .

 

As far as books I like to learn from the masters I.E Warren Buffet look The Warren Buffett Way: Investment Strategies of the World's Greatest Investor

 

I yield to wiser powers

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A little about me- I'm Jerry a 53 year old military vet and owner of a bankrupt trucking company. I have been on ssdi for about 3 years.

I began trading with the spare time on my hands. 1st I played the CNBC stock market contest and enjoyed it. Finished in top 5% and at one point was in the top .1%. So I thought I had what it takes to trade. Shorty afterwards I opened a Scottrade account and began trading a couple of years ago with about $2500. I had a little success right off the bat and that is when things started to unravel. I got away from my fundamentals and lost all of my investment except about $500. I stopped trading until about 13 months ago.

I began trading again in July 2010 and have invested $4800, but not all at once as I am on a fixed income from my social security disability. At this time I now have $16500. I have stuck to my one strategy which has worked for me so far, That is trading on missed earning when the stock has plummeted 40-70% with 10 to 50 time 100 day vol avg. Only problem are these don't occur frequently enough. I am trying to supplement my ssdi for retirement. My wife still works and has a little 401k but would like to make our retirement years a little more enjoyable. Ok give it to me.

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Hello Jerry

 

Saw your post...As far as the military vet part, thats nice, I am former Navy (diver), and except for reunions, I haven't noticed that it matters one way or the other as regards trading.

The setups you describe seem reasonable and if you have the discipline to wait for them, I would keep trading them...to continue the theme I suggest you also look for continuation trades based on both upside and downside earnings surprises....research indicates that both types of setups display what you would call persistence...and that persistent behavior seems to "continue" for about 6 months from the origin of the "surprise" announcement. The setup on both sides is common sense. For the upside surprise you wait for the announcement and then buy the first dip down to an area of previous demand...and for the downside you sell the first retracement up to an area of previous supply. Before you decide on a candidate issue to trade, you might want to research back and see how it acted the last time it surprised on either side. That previous action can help you to time your entry and exit....

 

Good luck

Steve

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Hi Jerry, My story sounds much like yours. Started with 5K about 4 months ago and now down to 2K trading options. I am 68 and have time to spend on learning options. I started out making a little money and got side tracted and, well you know the rest. I am also on SS. l can't afford a trainer (would not know a good one from the worst). Who can you trust investing.

I am more of a Technical trader because I think the fundamentals, being public knowledge, are factored in the price. I know most of what the technical indicators are telling me but still no basic trading plan.

Two news letters say buy XYZ call options and another says buy puts or not trade XYZ at this time. I have never seen so many "perfect" strategies and get rick quick schemes as in this business. My goals are reasonable for my situation, not trying to get rick, just supplement my social security each month.

If you or anyone else knows a little stratagie that works and doesn't mind making some helpful suggestions, feel free.

 

Thanks, Jim

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A little about me- I'm Jerry a 53 year old military vet and owner of a bankrupt trucking company. I have been on ssdi for about 3 years.

I began trading with the spare time on my hands. 1st I played the CNBC stock market contest and enjoyed it. Finished in top 5% and at one point was in the top .1%. So I thought I had what it takes to trade. Shorty afterwards I opened a Scottrade account and began trading a couple of years ago with about $2500. I had a little success right off the bat and that is when things started to unravel. I got away from my fundamentals and lost all of my investment except about $500. I stopped trading until about 13 months ago.

I began trading again in July 2010 and have invested $4800, but not all at once as I am on a fixed income from my social security disability. At this time I now have $16500. I have stuck to my one strategy which has worked for me so far, That is trading on missed earning when the stock has plummeted 40-70% with 10 to 50 time 100 day vol avg. Only problem are these don't occur frequently enough. I am trying to supplement my ssdi for retirement. My wife still works and has a little 401k but would like to make our retirement years a little more enjoyable. Ok give it to me.

 

Jerry,

 

If you turned 2800 into 500 and then 4800 into 16500, your risk management might be askew. It's easy to look at the growth from 4800 to 16500 and say that you did something right; however, the practices that got your account to 16500 might be the same practices that takes your account back down to 4800 or less. I am not saying that you did something wrong, and I hope whatever you did continues for your sake, but it appears to me that a lot of things worked out in your favor and they didn't work out in your favor when your account lost 80% of its value.

 

 

MM

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Thanks Steve and MM

The reason I lost most of my investment the 1st go around was I got away from my setup and thought I could trade any style. I am a little more aware I need to stick with what works for me and will adhere to my setup and not deviate from that plan.

On another note- Can someone explain margin accounts to me. I called my Scottrade broker Friday on a couple of things. I told him it would be nice to trade and not have to wait 3 days for my funds to settle. He told me if I opened a margin acct, I would not need to wait and I could do 3 rounds in a 5 day period. Anything above the 3 and I'll need the $25,000. I think for the time being 3 trades in 5 days is ok and shouldn't be long until I cross the $25000 barrier. Does that sound about right, what the broker told me and how much would it cost me for the margin account. Is it by the trade or what.

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Hi Jerry,

 

First of all, welcome to TL. (welcome to Jim too!). You have definitely touched on an important point which transcends style and timeframe. Sticking to your plan. Doing what you know you must is something which is much easier said than done. People do suggest that a military background can help with that as you have to take orders. Well, your plan for trading, outside of the trading hours you work, are the orders you must take. You wouldn't go into a combat zone without a plan or randomly deviate from the plan. So the plan must be thorough and when you do trade, you must document it so you can account for your actions and debrief. If you do this, you are much better positioned to understand how the strategy worked or didn't without attaching hollow meaning to market action.

 

MM added another really important point which is overlooked by many and this is money management. You must have plans on how to deploy your funds effectively and how to protect them when things inevitably don't follow your expectations. Also, if you have a strategy which you have thoroughly researched and you trust, you can in most cases use money management to increase your stake gradually and safely. I think the important thing here is to see the money that you have in your account as trading resources and not money which you have in your pocket. They aren't the same. So to increase your position size enough to consistently be making enough money to pay yourself well, you'll have to not expect to draw any money out for a while.

 

You are going in the right direction if you have a strategy that you are confident works. Just remember that most of trading is not about the trade itself, but all the preparatory work you do to give yourself the best possible chance of being profitable in the long run.

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Hi Jerry and thanks for the info and time.

My problem is strategy. The only strategy I have is using others software programs to help me make a trade. Example, Vector Vest, Market Trend Signal, Reuters, Trade Station, etc.

I use these to pick an option-able stock and then look at RSI, MACD, Stoch., ADX, Volume, and others as to when best to enter & exit. I only trade with the trend using moving averages.

What am I doing wrong?

Thanks for all ideas,

Jim

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Jim-- I've found the simpler the strategy the better. Then spend more time focusing on detaching yourself mentally from the money associated with winning and losing. A simple strategy helps be extremely objective and focused. That was my experience anyways.

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Really nothing like simple strategy but if we consider the discipline aspect of any simple strategy we will see that is not simple. If you should be able to stick to a trading strategy for a period of time without any deviation rather than innovation you will be the one of the best trader.

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Simplicity is very important for most people. To have a fairly straight forward strategy makes it easier to stick to a plan, which is crucial. But I don't believe complexity on it's own is the real issue. Not having good underlying reasons for adding rules to your strategy and curve fitting your strategy are two of the other important considerations as to whether your strategy is too complex.

Edited by TheNegotiator

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I'll start the discussion off with a few core points which I would say any trader must consider(btw I consider anyone who is buying and selling products is a trader. So that includes longer term investors too).

 

1-Why.

Firstly I would consider why exactly it is I want to trade. Is it to make money, is it to prove I am the best, is it to learn to be the best? The markets are a great humbler and anyone who walks into them with their eyes shut is likely to get their arse handed to them on a plate.

 

2-Commitment.

How much time can I/will I commit to trading? Trading is not like riding a bike. You have to learn the basics and progress to the more advanced material and understanding. But it is ever evolving. So when you can't make heads nor tails of something, it's possibly because it has changed before you understood it in the first place. Commitment is key. If you don't provision for time, you'll likely lose money.

 

3-Timeframe and method.

Will I be a swingtrader or a scalper? A position trader or a news trader? How might that fit in with my account size and my other commitments? Will I trade fundamentals or technicals? What is a technical?(lol j/k).

 

4-Account/investment size.

How much can I realistically afford to start an account with and what are my expectations of potential return? Have I got enough savings or additional income to support me before I become profitable? There are those who say it takes at least 18 months of live trading before you become profitable.

 

5-Money management.

Have I got a firm and realistic plan of how to deal with profit and loss? Can I say that so long as I have a reasonable trading method I will make money. People often overlook this part of trading but it is critical. If I don't accept that I have to take losses as part of doing business, I won't plan properly for when things go wrong. Also, how will I know when I can or should increase my position sizing?

 

6-Product.

So which type of product would I like to get into? Stock, bonds, fx, metals, energy etc. Spot, futures, options, cfds (contract for difference), spread bets etc. etc. etc.. All of these products offer a multitude of different characteristics which must be understood. How volatile is the product, how much margin is required, how much are commissions, what affects the market, what are its trading hours.

 

7-Broker.

How do I find a good broker that is going to be genuine and well managed. This is my money after all. I know that brokers net all their clients off in some cases and I certainly don't want to have something go wrong. It shouldn't be a problem, but I must research any potential broker thoroughly. Low margin and great commissions are not the only consideration.

 

8-Platform.

Which platform is going to fit in best with my plan? Different platforms are generally employed for different product classes and so finding the one which is most appropriate is important. Also, how much is it going to cost and how stable and efficient is it?

 

9-News source.

Some people hardly even use news. Some people use it a lot. But which news source if any will I use? I know some TV channels are really not too great. There are so many websites and commentaries and even something called squawks which have people speaking relevant news. Newswires which banks and trading arcades have are probably uneconomical at least to start with. I think they run into the thousands of $$$. The absolute minimum I need to know is the times of economic and possibly earnings data.

 

10-Computer.

Is my PC up to scratch? Will it run the platform I selected? Is it clear from clutter and junk that bogs down even very decent computers?

 

11-Internet Connection.

Do I have a decent enough internet connection? If I want to trade through my pc, the data need to get through to it fast and reliably.

 

Just a few ideas to look over for you guys and comment on/question.

 

Cheers,

 

TheNegotiator.

 

I think you are looking at all the correct categories so far but you MUST address trading Psychology. I have been a trader for 11 years and this was my biggest hurdle to overcome. This is a very dynamic subject as well since it varies so much from trader to trader but just keep in mind that you will spend most of your time here.

 

When many traders first start trading they have a free spirit and open mind, this in-turn usually puts them into the money until there looseness strangles them and they incur losses. This is the start of the quest to find the grail. During the whole searching process the mind is still badly hurt and fearful of taking on risk/not sure things. Even when a trader finds there edge they still have this bad psychological baggage and it is very tough to push past it. One of the key things to do is to regain your faith by reducing to the smallest size possible until you are in a free state of mind with your trading once again. At this point you have a trading strategy and a relaxed show me the money spirit! If size is not reduced and faith is not restored a crippling state of mind will set in and your process will continue in one large circle. Have a great day and hope this helps.

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Well, this seems like as good a place to get started as any. I guess I'll use The Negotiator's template (thx;)) and hopefully some of you can point out any weaknesses in my position/strategy. Any advice would be appreciated, and please don't hold back. If I'm an idiot, I'd rather know it so I can fix the problem rather than feel all warm and fuzzy. Thanks in advance for any help.

 

1-Why.

I'm a disabled vet with a reliable dual-income that I have almost no use for. I have no children or wife, nor do I want them. I live a very spartan lifestyle, and have no desire to change it, and as such I have roughly 80% of my after-tax income just piling up. However, I do have two baby sisters that I'd like to leave a nice portfolio for, preferably with some solid DRIPs in there. Ultimately, I'd like to generate enough capital that they will have a decent dividend supplement to their income and/or a metric ton of solid equity in solid industries. For the record, I also intend to teach them about the benefits of wise investment, y'know, once I learn how to do it.

 

 

 

2-Commitment.

I work nights and am up for most of the US trading day. Even better, I love sitting in front of a computer or two and just reading everything I can find with relation to economics, politics, business, and science. I am prepared to devote at least 6 consecutive hours per day to this, and more on the weekends, which for me are Monday and Tuesday. I am also prepared to devote years to this effort, and I am very, very patient.

 

 

3-Timeframe and method.

I don't know exactly how to qualify what trading style I have. I guess I could be called a long-term momentum trader, mixed with some technical style and a readiness to scalp financials when I know that there will be a general upswing in investing.

 

I would very much like to become an adept bear trader, as I can always see a bear market coming, but I suck at shorting. It's the timing of it that I can't seem to nail down.

 

My timeframe is roughly two decades, with a goal of roughly 500% ROI, at least.

 

4-Account/investment size.

$18,000 in intial investment with $1200- $2000 in additional capital per month.

 

5-Money management.

I think I need some help with this one. As I said, I'm in this for the long haul with solid firms (like railroads or indispensible commodities) so temporary setbacks don't really concern me. Where I'm falling down is in obtaining the necessary data to differentiate a temporary setback with a major debt crisis within a firm. I don't know where the best place to look is, and most of the websites I find charge a premium for statements. I know this is a total noob question and I could probably develop an answer myself if I spent the time and really thought about it, but asking you guys is much easier and offers a broader perspective. Where's the best place to obtain a wide range of reported data?

 

6-Product.

Equities, preferably those which are tied directly to macroeconomic trends. Por ejemplo, the success of logistics industries, such as railroads or parcel service or freight trucks is directly tied to the amount of economic activity in the nation. Besides being indispensible industries, their business volume represents raw materials already exploited or products already made, which will take days, weeks, or months to deliver to retailers, which will in turn serve to indicate the future success or failure of resource exploitation or product manufacturing within a particular sector, and there is opportunity to profit from investing in every step of that process with the benefit of virtual foresight.

 

The other thing I like about this particular strategy is that so much of it can be predicted by what the governments of various nations do today. Good old solid, predictable, stupid governments. They loudly announce to the world whatever good they intend to do, boosting short-term invesment in the industry concerned, and then almost invariably end up screwing the pooch and creating the opposite of the intended effect. For instance, if the US government announced tomorrow that it would hedge us against the fallout of a European collapse by subsidizing US producers of finished products like, say, luxury automobiles, it would generate an immediate boost in US auto stocks followed by a slump as the reality of the fact that the demand for US autos hasn't really changed. By the time it finally does change, the companies concerned will have grown to accomodate the subsidies into their business model, and the end product remains an expensive US auto that nobody outside the US buys. Cue explosion of foreign auto market, along with the accompanying import quotas, which themselves can be useful in shorting when the legislation takes effect. That's an oversimplification, but you get the idea.

 

Or am I just a fool?

 

7-Broker.

Undecided. This is another noob question, but which brokerage offers the best service for long-term traders? I'd prefer one that charges only a per-trade fee, as I won't be making many trades. I'm willing to pay a bit more (like, $5 extra) per trade if the customer service is good, but there must be no load on the trade itself. With my current simulator portfolio, I'd like a broker that charges no more than $13 per trade. Any more than that becomes a burden with my shorter-term orders.

 

8-Platform.

Oops. I kind of explained my platform already. To elaborate, my platform at the moment consists of waiting for the Euro-debt crisis to raise it's ugly head again (and it will, because their "solution" is garbage) and then capitalize on undervalued financials and largely-unaffected US logistics industries, along with anything else I can find. I am concerned that I may not get another opportunity to buy before the 2012 elections if the Tea-Party or the Republicans in general get a stronger hold on the Congress, which will indubitably result in at least a significant market uptrend as fears of taxation and regulation dissipate. Then again, if the Dems somehow pull off a victory (and they may well), it's going to put the economy and the dollar (unless the Euro and the Yuan somehow drop the ball again) in the crapper for another two years at least, which presents a lot of opportunity in equities but casts doubt on the long-term prospects of US investments in an increasingly global market.

 

9-News source.

I simply look at as many online news sources as possible and use my common sense. Rarely is the truth ever conveniently encapsulated in one source.

 

 

10-Computer.

I have $3,500 set aside for a top-of-the-line iMac and a nice desk and chair with which to utilize it. The thing I like about Macs is that I can run two operating systems on one machine with duplicate files, so the failure of one (and it's always Windows) doesn't mean a loss of data. Supposedly, this is possible on a PC as well, though I don't know how to do it and I have a bad history of motherboard faults in PCs, from which no number of operating systems will save you.

 

I'm sure this offends some PC disciples, and I'm sorry (and I am sincere about that) for the fact that I'm such an idiot that I can't figure out what seems to you to be a superior GUI, but not all of us have the time or the will to learn what makes an OS tick. We just want it to work and not destroy itself all the time or require extensive registry repair or careful use. Tell you what, if you don't give me any crap about my inability to repair an OS, I won't give you any crap about your inability to fix a toaster or a gun or a house or a car or anything like that. We just have different areas of interest, peace?

 

11-Internet Connection.

 

Again, I need help. I'm currently located at the ass-end of the Earth (Glendive,MT) and about to move to a different part of the ass-end of the Earth (Aberdeen, SD). As far as I'm aware, Aberdeen has mostly cable internet connections junctioned with fiber-optics. Therefore, my connection speed is going to be dictated by the amount of traffic at the junction box. In itself, this isn't a problem because I'm not a day-trader, but I'd still like to know which brokerage offers the best deal on real-time updates. I'm still willing to pay a small premium for this. Suggestions?

 

 

This concludes my initial wannabe trader post. To reiterate, I'd really appreciate whatever you guys have to say about this general outlay of my investing premise. However convinced I may sound, the fact is that I'm basing most of my investment strategy upon an education that is not tailored towards investments, but rather towards economic trends as viewed by a particular economic philosophy. I've found that it works in simulations, but what I know about the technical aspects of the market itself could fit into a small pamphlet with very large print.

 

Thanks again,

 

-James

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3-Timeframe and method.

I would very much like to become an adept bear trader, as I can always see a bear market coming, but I suck at shorting. It's the timing of it that I can't seem to nail down.

 

Wanting something involves emotions. Emotions may influence your decision. It's important to determine what the best influences on your trading decisions are.

 

Going long or going short should not be perceived as somehow different, except for the direction of the price. Is there a fundamental difference between going long or going short? Other than the psychological or emotional perspective? Price goes up, price goes down. The only difference is the direction.

 

I don't think that you should want to become a bear trader. I think you should want to develop a perspective, and a personal discipline that sees the facts for what they are. I think you should try to see going short as really no different that going long.

 

I'm not discounting emotions, or possible benefits of emotions. But within the context of trading, you need to somehow be able to avoid the negative emotions. Don't confuse intuition with emotion. There may be the temptation to throw out emotion, and discard intuition at the same time. Intuition is a "feel" for what is going to happen, without a conscious ability to explain yourself. If you do well trading with intuition, that's fine.

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a goal of roughly 500% ROI, at least.

 

I'm not against goals. Goals help keep a person motivated and moving in the right direction. But I think the goal should always be to trade well, and let the numbers speak for themselves. Once you set a goal in numbers, then you automatically set a potential trap for yourself. What if you don't hit the numbers? What does that do to your state of mind? Is it a "Set Up" for feeling disappointed? Once you are disappointed, then a downward spiral can occur. The negative emotions set in, then that leads to trading mistakes, which leads to even worse numbers. The market doesn't owe you 500% ROI. It owes you nothing. If you traded well, and took whatever the market was willing to give you, then you did outstanding regardless of what the numbers are.

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I know I clicked the thanks button, but thanks for the heads-up TW. Now that I think about it, I probably would have been somewhat disillusioned if I didn't make my goal. I like your perspective much better. Similarly, I'll take your advice about developing a perspective. Why limit myself before I really know what I'm doing, right?

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10-Computer.

I have $3,500 set aside for a top-of-the-line iMac

 

Thinkorswim created their platform to be native to Macs. I don't know if they are the only broker that has done this, but I wouldn't be surprised if they are. If you aren't doing any major programing, then their free platform and no monthly fees might be a good option for you. They have gotten many good reviews, and their charting is considered to be some of the best in the business. They are heavily weighted towards options trading, but are constantly improving their overall market scope.

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