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#1 Old 05-12-2010, 03:00 PM
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I'm a "day trader". Sometimes I keep stocks a lot longer because they go the wrong direction (at first) but it usually works out pretty well.



Yesterday I bought ADBE at 33.80. Still own it.

Today I bought GS at 144. Still own it.

Today I sold BIDU at 78.25. Up $15 from where I bought it last week.



Anyone else play in the market? It's fun.
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#2 Old 05-12-2010, 04:15 PM
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You have tougher nerves than I do! 20 years ago, I was a stockbroker. I only lasted about 2 years. I didn't make enough money and decided that the sales end of finance was not for me - too much pressure! I went into client services and financial planning instead. Good luck! Do you stay in front to the computer all day long?

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#3 Old 05-12-2010, 04:46 PM
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You have tougher nerves than I do! 20 years ago, I was a stockbroker. I only lasted about 2 years. I didn't make enough money and decided that the sales end of finance was not for me - too much pressure! I went into client services and financial planning instead. Good luck! Do you stay in front to the computer all day long?



Just when I feel like it. If I start to get stressed, I quit for a few days, or weeks. It's funny, but for some reason I have to force myself to buy stocks, but I love to sell them. It's not my actual job, just a hobby.
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#4 Old 05-12-2010, 04:51 PM
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I still have my stock day trading account, but I raided most of what was in it when I started up a currency trading account. Which I enjoy even more for some reason, though I can get just as seasick with either one.
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#5 Old 05-12-2010, 05:00 PM
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Hmm. I've never traded currency. How does it work?
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#6 Old 05-12-2010, 05:14 PM
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The user interface is pretty simple. There are many, many paired currencies available to trade, but the ones people trade the most are the biggest ones: euro/dollar, dollar/yen, euro/yen. They are the ones that have the volatility and liquidity to keep the spreads fairly tight, the difference between the asking and the bidding price. Unlike with stocks, it's a big deal for a currency like this to go up or down by a penny in even several hours, so the leverage is much greater than with trading stocks (more like 100 to 1). If the trend charts on a currency pair, like EUR/USD, make it look like the dollar is gaining on the euro, you might follow that trend by clicking "sell EUR." Which sounds like selling something you hadn't even bought yet, but it's just shorthand for "I'm going long on the dollar against the euro." Just like in stock day trading, recent past performance (like in the past hour) is weakly but positively correlated with near-future performance. All the forex trading sites offer practice accounts to learn their interface and get the hang of it. One thing to be careful of: in the practice account, you'll start out with maybe $50,000 practice dollars. But to get the nice, tight spreads of the practice account in your real account if you start one, you would maybe need to put $50,000 into the account you start. If you can get them to, get them to give you a practice account with the same spread as you'd get in a real account with the actual amount you want to use to start it up. That would be a much more realistic practice, which is important because tighter spreads are the equivalent of lower commissions.
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#7 Old 05-12-2010, 06:51 PM
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are there practice sites for day trading too? I'm curious about this...

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#8 Old 05-13-2010, 08:37 AM
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are there practice sites for day trading too? I'm curious about this...



Before getting into online stock trading, you could visit the three or four most popular online stock trading sites to see how their platforms are set up and what they offer: TDAmeritrade, E-Trade, Scottrade, maybe buyandhold.com and I'm sure I'm missing a few good ones. I don't think any of these have practice accounts like the forex sites do, but more important is the minimum initial deposit requirement, and what size commissions they charge.



People tend to call any online stock trading "day trading," and I fall into that too, but the strict definition of day trading means frequent (more than 3 times a week) "round trips," namely selling a stock the same day you bought it. These days you have to keep a portfolio worth at least $25,000 (cash, stocks, or combination) in your online account to be able to do that. Best to start with a much smaller account size and see what kind of risk appetite you have. Losing a lot, quickly, can be a truly sickening experience.
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#9 Old 05-13-2010, 03:39 PM
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I have one account with Schwab that I started about a year ago with only 10 K. It's a retirement account, but I trade in it a lot more than 3 times a week. They recently reduced their trading fee to $8.99, which is important to me because sometimes I don't make that much per trade.



The more traders trade, the more the brokerage houses make, so I don't know why they would limit it. I also have accounts with etrade. I like them both equally.



If you want to practice, why not just pretend you bought a stock at a certain price, write it down and keep score.

I will say this though, it's different when you have real $ on the line. It's hard to stay totally unemotional about thousands of dollars.
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#10 Old 05-13-2010, 03:47 PM
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Oh, you can trade more than three times a week, any number of times really. But do you sell a stock the same day you bought it more than three times a week? My account doesn't let me do that unless my holdings are at least $25,000 and it's to comply with SEC regulations regarding "pattern day traders." Day trading accounts also have different margin limits than regular online trading accounts. I haven't day traded stocks in awhile, but when I did I could buy on a 4-to-1 margin if I wanted to go that far out on a limb. So for every $25,000 in the account, I could "buy" $100,000 worth of stock, but had to settle up by the end of the after-hours closing time if the trade went bad.
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#11 Old 05-13-2010, 06:41 PM
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I am very interested in stocks. I have a retirement fund through my work, and I chose to do the stocks option instead of the steady-low-interest rate option. I had no clue what I was doing when I did it, as my company made it mandatory for us to accept their money and put it into this account with stocks or whatever ( I still don't understand it very well.) But anyway, they have been mailing my information to me monthly and I am shocked to see that in 6 months, my original $200 has more than doubled!! Woo hoo I love making money so fast!! I quit my job already, so I'll be getting that money soon enough!



Once I graduate school this summer, get a new fulltime job and start to build up some savings, I plan to dabble in stocks for fun. I have so much to learn!

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#12 Old 05-15-2010, 11:36 AM
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Oh, you can trade more than three times a week, any number of times really. But do you sell a stock the same day you bought it more than three times a week? My account doesn't let me do that unless my holdings are at least $25,000 and it's to comply with SEC regulations regarding "pattern day traders." Day trading accounts also have different margin limits than regular online trading accounts. I haven't day traded stocks in awhile, but when I did I could buy on a 4-to-1 margin if I wanted to go that far out on a limb. So for every $25,000 in the account, I could "buy" $100,000 worth of stock, but had to settle up by the end of the after-hours closing time if the trade went bad.



I just buy what I have cash for, the other stuff scares me. I guess I haven't traded the same stock 3 times in a week, but I didn't realize I couldn't.
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#13 Old 05-18-2010, 06:35 PM
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i am all in cash at this time in the 401k. i think we're going to see a major correction. i do buy funds and sell them the next day, since you cannot buy individual stocks in the 401k, but only after a major downswing. in my past day trading life, i've made quite a lot on several trades, then lost almost all of it on a few bad trades. i don't daytrade because by the time you factor in what i could be making working, it makes a lot more sense just to work that extra shift and pick up another 700 bucks, and i'm not tense all the time worried about the market, etc. and even if you do make substantial money day trading, all of it is taxed at your highest marginal rate. in other words, it just ain't worth the grief.



instead, my plan is to be completely out of all debt, work 3 days a week and travel, etc. . the 6 day on, 8 day off plan .
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#14 Old 05-19-2010, 12:12 PM
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Sounds like a plan, Papayamom! And everything you wrote about day trading applies just as much to forex trading, or can. People trade for fun or profit, but the fun ends when the money runs out. People can get addicted to the risk/thrill of trying for big payoffs, and it takes a lot of study and practice to develop sound trading strategies. But I also wanted to say, any forex profits I make are taxed at a 60/40 split between long- and short-term capital gains, which is lower than my highest marginal tax rate.
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#15 Old 05-30-2010, 02:29 AM
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still having a hard time understanding the market. can you recommend books for the dummy? hehehe
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#16 Old 06-01-2010, 01:39 AM
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I'm going to give a try at forex but not with real money, at least not yet. Any advice on strategies?
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#17 Old 06-01-2010, 10:14 AM
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Three books that were helpful to me:



the little book that beats the market

the complete turtle trader

rich dad poor dad



If you pick them up and look at them at a bookstore, you'll get a better idea if you'd find them helpful. And maybe something else at the store will look better to you that way. And of course there's always something along the lines of "Stock trading for dummies."
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#18 Old 06-04-2010, 05:05 AM
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Buffet says that the market always comes back and bad news is an investors best friend.
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#19 Old 06-05-2010, 02:21 PM
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I'm going to give a try at forex but not with real money, at least not yet. Any advice on strategies?



Druk, it would help for you to practice on several forex sites before committing actual money to any of them. I'm with the first one I ever tried out, which is forex.com, and it's okay I guess. I'm too used to it now to switch comfortably. My basic trading strategy is to kind of bet that whichever way a strong trend is heading, it will keep heading that way for a least a little while longer. I look at the actual up-and-down trendline, which is very craggy, and at the two smoothed-out lines that show a slower and faster moving average. On forex.com, the faster one is green and the slower one is blue. When the green line crosses down under the blue one, that's a signal that the short-term trend might be changing, and that might be seen as a "sell" signal. And vice-versa. If the green line crosses up over the blue one, that might be seen as a "buy" signal. Not reliably like clockwork, or else everyone who tried it would be rich. But something to keep in mind while you're practice-trading. And a big part of your strategy will be figuring out the best place to have your stops at. A stop is where you get kicked out of a losing trade, which you'll usually pre-set so that if the trade goes against you you'll be out of it before you've lost more than you're willing to lose. Sometimes it feels right to get out, sometimes it feel right to set the stop further away and wait for the direction of the trade to come back to where you thought it would go when you first placed it. Usually, it'll come back in your direction eventually, but sometimes before that happens it will go so far wrong that you can't stay with it in the meantime. This can be nerve-wracking, not to mention expensive.



But if you want to ignore all that and come up with your own best way, that's probably better yet. If you run out of money in your practice account, just call up your adviser and ask them to put in more. And if you run out again, ask them to put in more again. As many times as it takes until you feel like you really know what you're doing. Oh, and going long on dollars against euros has worked pretty well ever since Greece started tanking. But on any given day you might find yourself trading in both directions (though not at the same time) if your trades are short-term ones.
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#20 Old 06-16-2010, 09:31 AM
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i'm a lot more of an advocate of trading funds, as opposed to individual stocks. and the reason behind this is when you're short term trading, you're looking to make small quick gains. the problem, of course, is when your trade goes south so quickly that you undo 40 good trades with one bad one, the end result meaning that all those hours spent agonizing at the computer were for naught. with a fund, however, you don't get those wild swings like you would with an individual stock. it's easier to play those general market swings for small percentages. i do this with my 401k money. i only go in for 7k to 10k on a trade, so if it really tanks, i can buy more and average down. it is true that if we had a sustained long term drop in stocks, i could get all my money trapped, but how is that worse than just leaving my money in stocks all the time anyway? if the drop does occur, at least i got to average down, where the vast majority of folks in the plan had their entire investment suffer a huge % drop.



so far this year, i'm up 7%, and i'm sitting in all cash at the moment, waiting for the next major beatdown to hop back in for a few days. it is true if we had a sustained market rise, i'd get left behind. however, i don't see that happening in the foreseeable future. this is anything but a long term bull market.



this is the only way i've really found to consistantly beat the returns of the general market, yet avoid most of the stress. if you were in the s&p 500 for the past 10 years, you've made a zero% return. the idea that the market always gives you an average compounded return of 7 to 10% doesn't hold in today's world.
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#21 Old 06-16-2010, 11:10 AM
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I'm up 50% this year. I just bought gs for 133.50 and sold it for 138. I am going to buy bby, but not quite yet.

Still holding goog, aapl, and sndk.
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#22 Old 06-16-2010, 11:49 AM
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Originally Posted by delicious' date='16 June 2010 - 01:10 PM' timestamp='1276708217' post='2659203 View Post


I'm up 50% this year. I just bought gs for 133.50 and sold it for 138. I am going to buy bby, but not quite yet.

Still holding goog, aapl, and sndk.



that may be, but the problem (and why i'm so skeptical of day trading, not you) is that you'd have to consistantly do this year in and year out with quite a lot of money ( and then pay tax on your gains, further reducing them) to make it worthwhile. and it takes the income of your job away from you. at my regular job, i've made right at 80k so far this year. and this is like shooting fish in a barrel. i want to work, and i can work. very simple, nothing out of my control like a market crash. if i decide i want to make less, i work less, if i decide i want to make more, i work more. while my job is stressful, i've found day trading to be a lot more stressful.



i'm happy with a 7% to 10% (or hell, even a break even return in a truly bad market year), relatively lower risk tax deferred return in my 401k, and putting 15k more a year (saving me almost 5k in taxes), which my employer matches with 3% of my earnings for another 4 to 5k a year. otherwise i am paying off my debts completely to zero and investing in my video production business (still in startup), where i've got more control and at least a very nice building in the event of total failure. when i do draw my money out in another 25 years, it will be at a low marginal rate, assuming that the world hasn't gone to hell. and if it has, it was all for nothing. which is why you've got to enjoy today .



i always caution people about thinking they can day trade for a living. i've seen many, many lose their shirt doing this and i've never personally known one who made a living a good living at it. but if you can do this, that's great. i truly wish you the best of success here.



right now, i am sitting on the sidelines with cash in this market. unless there's a very substantial down movement, i'll sit in cash for the rest of this year. which means i won't think about the market at all, nor will i be glued to a computer screen. instead, i'll be checking the market every few days .



what i am doing is certainly small peanuts to big traders who make millions. the thing about it is they aren't sitting at home doing it on a computer, they're doing it at work with intimate heads up info on the market. i can't match that, and i'm just not going to worry about it.



playing with stocks as a hobby is just fine, as the original poster is doing. for the small investor, doing it for a living is quite another matter.
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#23 Old 06-24-2010, 10:41 AM
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Today I bought gs for 133.50 again and will buy bby tomorrow if the price continues to drop.
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#24 Old 06-24-2010, 11:15 AM
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i'm becoming interested in dxd, which is a dow 2x bear fund. you can effectively short the market even in an ira account. i like those etf's
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#25 Old 06-30-2010, 10:22 AM
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You clearly understand the market better than I do, but my system works really well for me. I'm up 47% since January. I made a good bit on gs over the past couple of weeks (no longer own it, except for keeping the profit in the stock) and yesterday I bought bby and tivo. Already sold tivo. Thinking about buying aapl again. It's come down pretty good.
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#26 Old 07-01-2010, 11:50 AM
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i'm afraid we'll be looking at dow 8,500 in a few more weeks, at most. possibly 7,500. at some point, i'm going to start buying back in. there's nothing wrong with going long, just not at current prices. we are clearly in a deflationary environment. the evaporation of liquidity because of the stock and housing markets has vastly more deflationary pressure than the government can possibly offset with low rates. we are certainly still in one hell of a mess. i am happy to be sitting in cash.
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#27 Old 07-04-2010, 06:21 AM
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Originally Posted by delicious' date='30 June 2010 - 12:22 PM' timestamp='1277914935' post='2666866 View Post


You clearly understand the market better than I do, but my system works really well for me. I'm up 47% since January. I made a good bit on gs over the past couple of weeks (no longer own it, except for keeping the profit in the stock) and yesterday I bought bby and tivo. Already sold tivo. Thinking about buying aapl again. It's come down pretty good.



i would be looking to short. in a normal environment that's dangerous, but at this time surprises are going to be to the downside. this is the perfect storm for going short.
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#28 Old 07-15-2010, 11:13 AM
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What I've done lately:

Bought more goog at 452, sold it for 490.

Bought bby at 35, still waiting...(it dropped on me, but it's recovered pretty well).

Bought aapl at 250, sold at 255.



I'm glad I wasn't sitting on the sidelines this past week papayamon.
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#29 Old 07-27-2010, 03:28 AM
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heh. i missed this major up move, for the most part. i did go long 10k in europe last week, since i figured the stress tests would be constructed to give confidence. i'm hopping out either friday or monday with a few hundred in profit, or so i hope. we could be in a trading range for a while, which makes it good for small traders. all i shoot for is 10% in my 401k, while staying mostly in cash. that's my mantra. i don't see how there can be fast growth given all the headwind with credit markets, etc. the "growth" we had that was financed by loose banks making loans on inflated assets will not return, and the era of cheap energy is done. these 2 factors make me very conservative. the old maxim that you just invest in stocks and get a 10% return is gone, imo. those who don't make an effort to manage their own assets (i spend about 5 -10 minutes a day on this) will not be getting the retirement that they thought they'd get. when i read about people planning retirement funding and assuming that they'll get a strong compounded return on stocks, i shake my head in amazement. look at the s&p over the last 10 years.



good going this last week . i am still a scared chicken, and think there will be a major downside by the end of the year. in all honestly, i'd love to be dead wrong.
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#30 Old 08-05-2010, 11:42 AM
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well, i hopped out of europe and made 446 dollars on my 10k in 8 days. not great, but now my return is up to 7.4% for the year . and now, like the true chicken that i've become, i am going to sit out till the great dip happens, which is coming this fall, according to my crystal ball. note that if you'd have shorted when i said so above, you'd be losing now .

the best part of this is now i can limit my financial tracking time to less than a couple of minutes a day, since i don't have a horse in the race. it does irk me a bit that you get absolutely no return on the cash fund in my company's 401k. you'd maybe make $100 a year with 40k invested. the rest is eaten up with management fees. the only good thing about it is you cannot go backwards.
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