Hey everyone. A while back I made the decision to moderate this subreddit because I was once in your shoes. I honestly did not know where to begin. I would type in “daytrading” in google and come up with so many companies trying to sell me the dream. “Make $$$ while you sleep!” “Look at how much I made today!!” etc. I wanted to make this post to first give new people a place where to start and to even offer some resources that can get you started in the right direction. If I have anything else to add I will add it here.
Open up a papertrading account with Think or Swim. It is free and you can get live data just by requesting it from support. All you have to do is ask them to add live data to your papertrading account. Do not pay monthly for any papertrading account. There are a lot of free videos out there that can help you get started with Think or Swim. The program looks complicated at first but it is very powerful. I spent a few days with the program and at the end of the week I was fairly comfortable with understanding where everything was. I have never had a 60-day limit with my papertrading account by the way. https://www.thinkorswim.com/t/pm-registration.html Start here and start taking trades! It is all fake money and will give you some insight into how the program works as well as how the markets move.
One other tip for setting up your papertrading account is to only set it up with a reasonable amount of money. I know a lot of papertrading accounts give you 100k right off the bat but realistically, how many of us are going to have that much money to start out with? Set it to something more reasonable like 10-20k if you are trading forex (or even less if all you have is 1-5k to trade with) or 25k+ if you are going to daytrade stocks only because the regulations require you to have at least 25k in your account at all times to daytrade (In this case, I would probably give yourself 30k just to be safe). If you are looking for a stock screener, ThinkorSwim has a pretty good one. A personal favorite of mine is www.FINVIZ.com which has an awesome screener for finding different chart patterns and conditions (such as prices crossing above 20 bar EMA, trending up, etc) Think or Swim has stocks, forex, futures, and options. Options are an entirely different beast all together but stocks, forex, and futures are all "yes-no" type of trading while options give you a little more leeway with your mistakes. If you are interested in learning about options, message me and I can help guide you with the right direction and best resources I used to learn options. EDIT: Due to the amount of PM's I was getting, I have decided to post the options course I started with here https://www.udemy.com/learn-options-trading-courses/ You shouldn't pay more than 10 bucks for it as Udemy does a ton of sales throughout the year. You can also just do a "Udemy coupon" search on google and see what you pull up. Its about 10 hours worth of content and in my opinion it is worth every penny if you are wanting to learn more about options. There are a ton of other great classes on Udemy as well for learning just about anything. Just make sure to read the reviews! Stocks is kind of the well known market for new comers but I would argue that Forex can also just as easily be traded by a newcomer. Also the benefit of trading Forex is that there is no commission off the bat. Most brokers will charge what is called a spread of some number of pips that you are essentially paying back. Futures trade in ticks and each tick nets you a gain of some amount or a loss of some amount so I do not suggest any new person to jump into futures until you understand the way markets work. Futures charge commission on each contract you buy or sell. It can be sort of related to Forex since a tick and a pip are essentially the same. The huge benefit to trading Futures and Forex is that there is NO pattern day trading rule. This means you can buy and sell as many times as you want without being flagged for not having 25k in your account.
Tradimo is a great resource for getting your feet wet with technical analysis. It is free and shows you the ropes with how you can start looking at prices and charts: https://learn.tradimo.com/courses
If there is ever a company you want to pay to help you learn, please do your research first. Type in the company’s name along with “review” at the end of your search and make your educated decision off of that. A lot of these companies have amazing advertising but will never teach you the right way to trade. A lot of them are scams too. I read that there was one trading system which the guy had the secrets of the “code of trading” and only he knew the code but would sell it to you for hundreds of dollars. So many people come into trading with high expectations that if I just pay this company to teach me, I can be like them when in reality that may never happen. Always look at their testimonials with a grain of salt. Read the reviews just like you would on amazon for buying a product. I also like to type in the company's name and add "scam" at the end to see if I get any hits on that. Read the good reviews but also the bad to understand the bigger picture here. Very few will actually teach you how to trade. Also, Reddit is a great place to read up on things like this too. Just add "Reddit" at the end of your search and read up on other users reviews.
Investimonials is also a good place to use as well (but do not use it as your only review source!!! Fake reviews are everywhere) http://www.investimonials.com So before you drop that 1-2k on a course, make sure you do your homework. Don't be fooled by smooth advertising.
A high probability indicator or a holy grail strategy is not out there. If it was, everyone would be using it and making money. And if there does happen to be one, do you really think anyone will want to share it? The only way to get good at trading is to be able to read the charts and read where prices are going. This is through support and resistance and understanding channels. I cannot recommend Mack’s price action YouTube channel enough. https://www.youtube.com/usePATsTrading I am a firm believer that price action is the basis for understanding price movement. Reading an indicator may help but you should not rely on solely indicators to guide you with trading as they may give you a signal to buy when you are at a major resistance level or sell when you are at a major support, both of which could burn you.
My only other advice is to look into markets that let you maximize profits. For some, it is not possible to buy 1000 shares of Apple. While trading low priced stocks lets you buy hundreds and maybe even thousands of shares at once, those stocks are too unpredictable because they can be influenced by individuals who do what is called a "pump and dump" schemes. Plus they can be difficult to read as far as what they are going to be doing next (going up or going down). My recommendation (and it is only my recommendation so only use this as guidance to make your own decision) would be to look into trading forex if you do not have a lot to start out with as some brokers (like FXCM) allow you to buy "micro" lots which let you invest as little as 100 dollars in some cases and have a much better chance of working in your favor due to the amount of people trading the same instrument. Note: There are some discussions about forex market makers adjusting the markets so you get stopped out prematurely. While I have not experienced this, it could theoretically happen? So if you do decide to trade Forex make sure you pick your broker carefully and again read the reviews!
EDIT: I have read that what I mentioned above about Forex is outdated and the brokers are under stricter regulations. Do your own investigation and do not let what I said steer you away from trading forex if you really want to. The big Forex brokers you are able to open an account with in the US are FXCM, Oanda, and Forex.com. You have a lot more options if you are in another country. EDIT 2: Well it looks like FXCM may get banned from having clients in the US. Apparently they took some trades against their clients to profit on their end and have been using clients accounts to fund their extra expenses. Tread on your own risk.
Above all, do not invest money that you are not willing to lose. I cannot emphasize this enough. Work on a simulator until you feel that your strategy works. This means putting in the time to sit down and analyze every trade you took which worked as well as the ones that didn't work. You need to go back over your mistakes and review why your trade did not work the way you thought it would. Was it because you bought at a high and sold at a low? Was it because you bought at a major resistance level thinking the stock would still go up? Was it because you were impulsive and entered in too early? Was it because you were too slow and entered in too late? This is the most important part about learning how to trade. Putting in the time and work to analyze what you did right and what you did wrong. You will never get better if you do not do this.
Consider subscribing to a free daily financial newsletter such as The Morning Brew. It’s a free subscription that is delivered Monday through Friday to your email before the markets open around 5-6 am central time. It summarizes the big financial topics of the morning in short easy to read sections that you can read over a cup of brew.
I wouldn’t say this is essential for daytrading but it’s nice to read if you are wanting to stay up to date on the financial markets as they will write about companies and stocks to look out for. It’s also not spammy or filled with ads though there are one or two that are listed as “sponsored”. They don’t typically put out a weekend read but instead send it M-F. https://www.morningbrew.com/?kid=08944ba0 I want to make this subreddit not only as a resource for newcomers but also for those who wish to improve their skills with learning how to day trade. I do not want this subreddit to become spam and companies trying to sell dreams. We all need to keep a realistic vision on what learning the market entails because this is a journey. No one becomes a doctor in a day or even a week and you should expect the same becoming a trader. Making consistent money in the markets can be very challenging and most wont ever make it, but it can be very satisfying once things start to click and you can live a very different life if this ever happens.
To be successful, money must be both a medium of exchange and a reasonably stable store of value. And it remains completely unclear why BitCoin should be a stable store of value.
No one will deny that Bitcoin is currently extremely volatile. This is not an examination of that point. This is focused purely on the question of whether, historically, Bitcoin has proven to be a good store of value. No one can predict the future, so the best we have is historical data. This is particularly of interest to me, give the recent tumble in Bitcoin price, as well as recent reports of the third worst collapse of the dollar in the past decade. Methodology To examine the quality of Store of Value, I examined the historical prices of seven different assets. I envisioned a buyer of the asset purchasing it on a given day, and holding it for some length of time (X), ranging between one day and about 3.5 years (which is all the data we have for Bitcoin). The measurement is this: if you choose a random day to buy the asset, and you buy it at the mid-point price that day, and hold it for X days, what is the probability that it will still have 100% of its value after X days. It seems like a reasonable assumption is that an asset that is a good store of value would perform well in this scenario, and retain 100% of its value a high percentage of the time. The seven assets were:
Bitcoin Freely Exchangeable: For this measurement, I used Mt. Gox prices as mentioned above, until May 13, 2013 (the day before the US Government seized funds), and Bitstamp prices since then. This is an attempt to eliminate the odd pricing on Mt. Gox due to the withdrawal challenges.
The Dow Jones FXCM Dollar Index, data provided by Google Finance. The data for this index was available going back to 4/18/2011. It's an index of the dollar, presumably comparing to other currencies. (This may be mislabeled, calling it a fund. Not sure.)
Spider Gold Shares GLD, an ETF for Gold. Data provided by Yahoo Finance. This data goes back to 11/18/2004.
Spider Gold Shares GLD, for the period that Bitcoin has been traded. Same data source as #5, but a subset of the data.
In all cases, I used the average of the daily high and the daily low, when available. In the case of the Dollar (1914-2013), I used monthly inflation rates. In all cases, I set the purchase date to one of the days that the asset was traded. In the case of the Dollar (1914-2013), I utilized the first of the month. And I set the ending valuation date as the next time the asset traded, after X days elapsed. In the case of the Dollar (1914-2013), this would be the first of some future month, after X days had passed. Results Here's the Graph. The best performing asset was buying Bitcoins on Bitstamp. In all cases historically, if you held the asset for 274 days, the asset was still worth 100% of your original investment. Mt. Gox and the Freely Exchangeable Bitcoin measurements were similar: After 622 days, 100% of the time, your original invested value was retained. The Dollar fund (index, actually) underperformed all Bitcoin options, when measuring periods less than 243 days. But for periods of between 471 days and 1033 days, 100% of the time, the dollar fund retained its complete value. (No data for periods longer than 1033 days). The Gold ETF underperformed Bitcoin, whether you looked at the period of Bitcoin being on the market, or the life of the ETF. And, no surprise, the dollar as measured by inflation, came in dead last. In the past 100 years, it has only retained its value month-over-month about 15% of the time. And the longer you held it, generally, the worse off you were. All data is available at the sources above, and the computations are available. The graph of the results is licensed for you to use widely with attribution. I hope this helps when you are talking to the Krugmans of the world. (Edit: it's -> its)
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