Regardless of which way the markets are trending, there are people out there doing well for themselves as day traders. Even in the midst of a recession, those who have learned the ins and outs of the market manage to make a tidy sum in their successful stock trading activities.
So what do these successful traders know that the average trader doesn’t know? How do they continue to keep their stock trading profitable, regardless of what the market is doing?
The following traits are things which those who have managed to learn successful trading techniques share:
Understanding Market Movements
Successful trading comes from understanding that the individual shares listed on the stock market never move as one single unit. Each individual stock represents a portion of a much larger, publicly listed company. Just because you might see the average NASDAQ index is moving up or down, this doesn’t automatically mean that every stock listed is going in the same direction.
Even when the index is trending downwards, there will be stocks which are on the rise; and by the same token, there are always individual stocks which are declining as the index rises.
What this means for traders is that someone who knows how successful day trading works can often determine which stocks are going against the tide. As a result, profitable trading is possible even when the market isn’t looking in the best shape.
Knowing how high of a degree of risk you’re willing to assume is important to being able to make a successful trading career. If you take your day trading cues from someone who is far less risk averse than you, it’s all too easy to wind up making trades which result in you taking on a lot more risk than you would like.
The same thing is true of listening to advice from well-meaning friends and family who have much lower risk tolerance levels to your own. While they may see what you’re doing with stock trading to be ‘too risky’ for their own preferences, you may be happy with the levels you’ve accepted. Always base your stock trading strategies within your own risk tolerance levels.
Picking stocks on the basis of someone else’s intuition isn’t something that generally leads to successful trading. Do your own research and rely on your own hunches – after getting all of the facts, that is. You should know at least a little about any company whose stock you’re interested in trading. Doing this research will help you develop the analytical skills which lead to successful day trading.
Don’t Be Greedy
Truly successful stock trading means not allowing greed to get in the way of your day trading strategy. If your chosen stocks have made their profit, sell up and realize the profits. You can always buy back into the market at a later point, but you can’t always guarantee a profit unless you lock it away with a sell-trade order.
A lot of new day traders tell themselves that once a stock reaches a target price that they’ll sell and make their profits; however, all too many stop listening if the stock continues to rise. They let their greed take over and many times lose money as they watch the stock rise and then plunge.
Knowing When To Cut Your Losses
When the price of a particular stock begins to trend downwards, an experienced or more successful day trader will cut their losses and get out of the market before those losses compound any further. In fact, many of them would have set an automated stop-loss order to sell out once the price begins to fall too far.
Stop-loss orders are something which new traders often forget to use. Instead of being able to cut their losses and move on, they watch in dismay as their stocks fall lower and lower, hoping that their value will rise. These traders often end up with a huge loss instead of a minor setback.
Don’t Let Your Trades be Dictated by Your Emotions
Making trades based on your emotions will not lead to successful trading. Always remember that this is business and you need to set logical trading strategies and stick with them. If you do not resolve to do this, it can be easy to let yourself be carried away and end up losing money on the market. Go with your head, not your gut and you’ll have a much better chance of making a successful day trading career for yourself.
Use A Quality Day Trading Program
The analysis software and trading platforms you use can also make the difference between successful day trading and failing to do well in the stock market. It’s entirely possible to do well without using anything but the trading platform supplied by your stockbroker, but you may want to look at automated trading software in order to make it easy to monitor many stocks simultaneously. Some of the more sophisticated trading software even allows you to use charts of stock movements to set buy and sell signals for the stocks you’re keeping an eye on or already trading.
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