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Day Trading for Newbies
Our Goal is not to make predictions -it’s to make money.
Ok so you want to learn to day trade FX?
Here are three things I think you should do.
Trade the 0.01 lot.
It doesn’t matter if you have 1,000 or 1M in your account. Trade the 0.01 lot for at least 500 trades. Yes I know it sounds ridiculous, but trust me you’ll thank me after. The 0.01 lot is a perfect size for the beginning trader because it’s real money without any serious consequence. There is nearly a 100% chance that you will blow up your first account. (One way you will do it is by blithely ignoring this advice) But at least if you trade the 0.01 lot you will have a chance to hang in the market much longer. You will have an opportunity to make many, many, many more stupid trades -- which is actually very important because that is how learn. Trading is the art of learning what NOT to do, so making mistakes is a crucial part of your education. The more 0.01 lots you trade the more you will learn.
Use a System
It really doesn’t matter if the system you use is profitable or not. It helps if the system has a definite edge, but that’s not really the point. When you start out trading you need structure. Most newbies start out wallowing in the sea of randomness and only after a year or so, develop some kind of structure. It’s much easier to do the reverse. It’s much easier to start with a structure and then experiment with its constraints.
As my friend Robbie Booker says there are literally hundreds of intelligent systems floating on the web. You can use his missed pivot system, you can use my Boomerang approach -- it really doesn’t matter. You’ll never follow the rules exactly anyway. You’ll always make adaptations. I, make adaptations all the time -- and it’s my own system! So do most of the traders in my chat room, who by the way, trade it much more profitably than I ever can.
That’s all fine. The purpose of a system is to teach you to do the same thing every day. To observe the market through an intelligent structure that will in time reveal to you the basic behavior of the market. I’ve noticed that since I’ve focused on the Boomerang to the exclusion of all else, my market analysis has actually improved as I am able to see the change in sentiment with much clearer eyes.
Here is one thing to remember about any system you trade. Feel free to improvise with take profits, but never, ever pull your stops. Most newbies of course do the exact opposite. They remain adamant about hitting their take profit targets and then compound their errors by moving their stops when the trades go against them. I call this the Savonarola school of trading -- the idiotic notion that you MUST adhere to your take profit targets otherwise your system won’t be profitable. In real life of course your trading will look nothing like the backtest, so adhering to whatever orthodoxy you’ve been taught is a sure way to end up at an auto-da-fe.
In any case, taking profits early but sticking to your stops is will keep you in the game for as long as possible. Doing the opposite is a guarantee of a blow up. It’s just a matter of time.
Trade 3-5 times a day
One of the hardest questions about day trading is also the most obvious and I only wish that someone revealed the answer to me years ago.
How many times should you trade per day?
Answer: Three to five.
If you are doing ten trades or more you doing too much. There will be days when you do twenty. There will be months when you do fifty everyday. But when you finally settle down and focus on making money rather than seeking an rush high you will realize that three to five is just right. You can argue with me. You can flame me. You can troll me. I couldn’t care less. When you actually decide to become profitable -- this is the number you’ll settle on.