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The Traders Wheel
7/18/98 by Alan Farley

Surviving The Game

Are you ready for the truth about your current obsession with the markets? While exact figures remain closely guarded by the industry, the failure rate for day traders is well over 75%. So chances are very good that you’ll eventually lose all or part of your equity account and move on to a less stressful hobby. To avoid this fate, you need to quickly find and execute a trading strategy that takes full advantage of the unique characteristics of the intraday markets.

The fascination with short-term positions lies in the more favorable time/profit curve. Volatile intraday movement produces sharp price swings that will "average out" over the time frame of the traditional buy and hold strategy. As a result, effective time management becomes extremely important in day trading.

Learn the distinctive traits of each part of the market day. Intraday time segments contain repeating cycles that must be considered before trade execution. For example, don’t chase opening hour excitement without understanding the specific risks. Early opportunities often disappear as soon as you see them. And avoid buying weakness in the last hour if price is below key support. Time of day favors painful declines for issues near their lows near market close.

Watch the clock and become a market survivor. You’ll develop an intuitive sense of how your positions will react as time responds to intraday cycles.

Successful day traders recognize high probability positions that exploit individual quirks of market behavior. Trader and educator Linda Bradford Raschke mentions a friend that makes a good living by selling 5-min ledge breaks on the S&P500 contract. If you can give up the excitement of chasing parabolic stocks, "quiet" day trades may produce a higher percentage of profitable positions with far less stress.

Focus on optimizing entry and exit. Play single direct thrusts and manage your position size to control risk. Only enter part of your position when the signals don’t line up perfectly. Use discretion, execute wisely and apply this golden rule of swing trading: over time, excellent entries on mediocre positions make more money than lousy entries on good ones.

Always use cross-verification in your trading decisions. When identical entry price converges in several discontinuous forms of technical analysis, your odds for success are greatly enhanced. When Fibonacci retracements, moving averages and trendlines all work together, load your trading gun and get ready to take quick profits with confidence and ease.

When PMCS reported excellent earnings, market makers ramped the stock without providing many opportunities to get on board. They relied on time of day sentiment when good fills could be avoided or major players were filling their stomachs. Notice how the first move was completed only 15-min into market opening and the quiet lunch hour printed the day’s biggest rally.

 

 
Article contributed by The HARD Right Edge, which presents highly original workshops, tutorials, strategies and resources on multi-trend technical analysis and and short term trading. Article reprinted here with permission, which presents highly original workshops, tutorials, strategies and resources on multi-trend technical analysis and and short term trading. Article reprinted here with permission.
 

 

 
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Last modified: April 02, 2001

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