If you want to trade stocks, you need a system to tell you when to buy, what to buy, how much to buy, and when to sell. This article details some of the things to consider when choosing your day trading strategy system. When it comes to investing, we are all different. These differences come down to such things as our attitude to risk, our time horizon, our personality type, our financial goals, and our desired degree of involvement – hands-on or laid back.
Day Trading Strategy
Investopedia defines risk tolerance as ‘the degree of uncertainty that an investor can handle in regard to a negative change in the value of his or her portfolio’. Take any two investors at random, and it is extremely likely that the degree of uncertainty they can handle will be different. As investors, we must understand that there can be no reward from the markets without accepting some risk, and that the two are closely correlated, i.e. as our required reward increases, risk must necessarily rise. An example of this correlation can be seen in the placement of stop losses (‘stops’).
If we move our stops closer to our buying price risk will reduce, but in all likelihood so will reward, as we will be ‘stopped out’ of the trade more often. The best way to manage risk is to adjust the amount, as a percentage of our capital’ that we are willing to lose on each trade. The acid test for whether you are carrying an appropriate level of risk is whether you can sleep soundly at night!
Choose a Stock Trading Strategy That Fits You Like Your Favorite Shoes
Your time horizon is how long you have to reach your financial goals. It is closely related to risk, in that if you are in your 20’s you can afford to be more aggressive with your portfolio, whereas if you are nearing retirement age conventional wisdom suggests that you should reduce your exposure to equities and have a dominant percentage of fixed-income products, i.e. bonds, certificates of deposit, savings accounts.
What type of personality are you? If you tend to make decisions in the morning and then change your mind in the afternoon, or if you react to every twitch of the market, you may benefit from adopting a mechanical style of investing. A mechanical investor employs a back-tested system which has worked well in the past, and he follows the rules of the system without question, buying when the day trading strategy system says buy, and selling when the system says sell – this should remove the negative chatter from the equation.
However, if you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs, you may make an ideal candidate for a discretionary investing style. A discretionary investor still has a system of sorts, certain rules that suggest buys or sells, but he has the power to override them if, for instance, a major piece of economic data is imminent.
How much do you need to be active in your investing? If you’re the sort of person who needs to be ‘doing something’ when the market is open otherwise you feel you’re not ‘working’, you must be a trader! However, remember it really is OK to do nothing. Jessie Livermore, in Reminiscences of a Stock Operator, is quoted as saying, “It was never my thinking that made the big money for me. It was always my sitting.”Keep all of the above in mind in choosing your system, and choose wisely. Day trading strategy the wrong system is like wearing a badly fitting shoe – it’s uncomfortable.