Day Trading Strategies – 1

The beginners do not understand the importance and vantages of having a good day trading strategy. Do bear in mind that you will need to work on your own to produce results. Avoid thinking that someone out there, is going to hand out some magical trading tip that will help you to make money. The best trading strategies will have certain interesting features. For a start, they will be robust. Secondly, the trading strategy will be simple to implement. Thirdly, good trading strategies will also come with elements that will reduce your draw downs.

Why should your trading strategy be robust? As mentioned in one of my other posts, the world markets are turning out to be tough to trade with the passage of time. The volatility levels are increasing thanks to all the high frequency trading programs competing with each other. It is important to have access to a trading strategy that is simply water tight and does not leave any room for chances.

Now, why should your trading strategy be simple? Please understand that you will have to implement the strategy everyday. Complicated trading strategies will only end up exhausting your mind and spirit after a couple of days. Follow a complicated trading strategy and you will spend more time trying to keep all the so-called rules in your head. By the time you analyze the rules and come up with a decision, the price would have moved away leaving you no chance to place the trade.

Likewise, good trading strategies should also take into account of the draw downs. You might have to win big in order to keep the spirits flowing. Quite often, I have noticed that large losses will end up shaking the confidence of the traders. They will begin to question their techniques which will eventually lead to their downfall.

Once you have a day trading strategy, take all measures to follow it rigidly. In the midst of the losses, traders will feel like jumping ships. As expected, you will only end up losing money at a rapid pace if you keep on changing the trading strategies every now and then.

Traders must take the time to evaluate their markets. Some of the best day trading strategies that has helped many people to make millions a couple of years back, does not simply work anymore. The market conditions will always keep on changing and you will also have to adapt with it in order to harness the profits.

Regardless of whether the price trends or consolidates, your trading strategy should be able to help. Rarely will you come across trading strategies that will allow someone to make money when the market trends / consolidates.

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Day Trading Lessons

This is an uncompleted work-in-progress article. I plan to add / subtract information from it as and when possible. I have given these points based on my experiences; readers may / may not agree with them. Furthermore, I encourage them to post their views over here as comments.

It is my intention to outline certain striking aspects regarding day trading in this section. It may remind me of my mistakes and it can also act as an effective guide to the novice traders who are prone to make mistakes.

A) Day Trading Is Not Meant For Everyone

Allow me to start this short discussion with this simple aspect. Many “try” day trading because they “think” they can “succeed” in this venture. They may have heard about “some day-trader” who owns a dozen of sports cars and a string of women. A fair share of the trading community comprises of such people – who aspire to lead a quality lifestyle.

The reality is far from it. You commit a certain percentage of your hard-earned cash, to play with a certain stock or index contract. You “hope” the market can move as you envisage. However, please do consider the fact that the market may start moving in the other direction too. This can result in huge losses. Sheer capital evaporation can (a) cause depression (b) make you lose faith in your system (c) make you stop day trading all together!

It is understandable that you may lose considerable amounts of money especially during the start of your day trading career. Please do not start the venture with loads of cash. Be conservative. For instance, if you plan to day trade the futures contract, begin trading the mini nifty. The losses (as well as the earnings) will be minimal. Still no one will pay you 500/- for sitting on your ass! Also, it is imperative to concentrate entirely on day trading if you wish to succeed. I know some people who have a regular day job yet they are interested in trading the markets. Unless your regular job gives you lots of time and freedom, I will not recommend day trading for such entities.

(B) Avoid Tip Based Day Trading

This is one of the most over-looked aspects of day trading. This is especially relevant for the Indian markets. A good number of the day traders try to trade off the “tips” provided by self-professed gurus or their respective brokers. Always remember “tips” = “pits”. If the tip provider has confidence in his tips, he would surely try to trade off them rather than trying to make money by “helping” others. No self-respecting day-trader should ever follow such tips.

(C) Have A Strategy and Follow That Strategy (i.e. plan the trade and trade the plan)

Plenty of people enter this arena because they see day trading as method to make money easily. They feel that they can earn something by gambling. However, a good share of the trading community consists of people who do not follow any strategy. They think it is tough to contemplate on such aspects and try to take the easy way out – gamble, until they loose their hard earned savings entirely. This is especially relevant for the Indian traders; but I cannot blame them since the Indian markets have become highly predictable these days. Yes, you may make money on certain days but on the majority of the days, you will be left scratching your head over what went wrong and where ..

Secondly, learn to stick with your day trading plan whenever required. Nothing works perfectly under all conditions. There is no need to search for that holy grail because it simply does not exist. However, there are precise strategies that could help you make money on most of the days. Just because your strategy caused you to lose money today does not necessarily mean that you should ditch it or tweak it. Concentrate on increasing your winning trades rather than the actual money made everyday. Yes, money comes; but you shouldn’t be day trading entirely for the money. Learn why the prices move around and find the relationship in between the price, the time and the volume.

(D) Keep Your Day Trading Strategy Simple

While day trading, you primarily need to know three things and those are (1) when to stay on the sidelines (2) when to enter the trade and (3) when to exit the trade. Although it may sound very simple, the reality is far from it. Whatever your approach may be, please try not to complicate it. Learn to keep day trading simple and fun filled. With the right set of strategies, day trading is one of the most proficient businesses around.

(E) Never Invent Any Day Trading Strategy

A wise trader once admitted – most traders take a good system and destroy it by trying to make it into a perfect system. This is a realistic statement. Please do not invent anything new. The chances of it working as envisaged are slim. Developing a trading system based on the historical data of one or two years is foolhardy. Forums catering to Indian traders such as traderji.com / mudraa.com / inditraders.com all comprises of members who try to come up with augmented trading strategies. I always wonder why they do so. Take it from me – stick to the basis. Just repeat what other successful traders have done before you. If they could earn substantially, then you too can. This is one prime reason why I am fond of W D Gann’s trading methodologies.

(F) Never Try To Predict The Future Movements Of The Price

Quite often I come across certain elite group of traders who have this bad habit of predicting future price movements. They claim absurdity such as – If nifty spot touches 5xxx, it will fly / fall to 5xxx. Here is an interesting aspect to this entire “prediction” niche – to predict is for the fools; to react is for the kings. Only the fools will try to assume the price movements when the experts will be busy studying the price action and reacting to it. This is one reason why I do not post any “tips” in this blog. I do not want to be seen as the next intraday trading genius. The best traders always try to stay below the radar; they try to make money for themselves instead of providing “tips”. They do not have the time and patience to post on online forums catering to Indian traders – especially during the trading hours. So beware of such entities and stay away from them!

to be continued ..

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