Your Ad Here

Saturday, April 19, 2008

How to Deal With Idel Time as a Trader

Many people think of full-time trading as a super exciting career and never a dull moment. This is certainly not always the case if you’re trading for a living! Perhaps new traders swing for the fences day after day, but they won’t be able to for very long.

To trade successfully, you must learn that there are some very slow and quiet times when trading the market. Whether you are waiting for the right conditions to establish new trades or if you’re waiting for trades you are in to develop, dealing with the idle times in an effective way will put you miles ahead of others on the road to profitability.

Markets and stocks spend time in uptrends, downtrends, and consolidation modes. Your method as a trader will dictate which of these market conditions are best, and when it’s best to sit on your hands or get away from your screens completely.

If you trade continuation chart patterns, the trending markets are your time to be active. Recognizing a trendless market will help you to avoid getting chopped up by initiating trades in narrow trading ranges. If you prefer reversal chart patterns, then the slower market days lacking a trend will be the times when you will be more active, and you’ll want to avoid the trend days which can be costly to a fade trade approach.

Once you have established your trading positions, you absolutely must allow them to develop according to your original trading plan. Many traders fight the urge to micro-manage positions, and it’s easy to with direct access brokers which provide hotkey orders and dirt cheap commissions.

What ends up happening when you over-manage your trades is that you either don’t give a stock enough room to move and you get stopped out too early, or you are afraid of any pullback which may temporarily erase some open profits, so you sell too early and lose your position in a good trade.

How does a trader avoid micro-managing trades?

For some, it might mean setting conditional alerts and walking away completely to tend to other matters. Maybe you go play golf or head to the bookstore. One of the best traders I have ever been around used to sit in the row behind me on our trading floor.

He had a big account and would patiently wait for his favorite conditions to develop so that he could establish some large trading positions. I can recall several occasions when he was up 6 figures for the day and you would have thought he was asleep in his chair, rocked back with his hands behind his head and eyes closed.

He forced himself to relax and think about something other than the giant profits on his screen which he may have been tempted to take had he been watching every tick.

Regardless of whether you are day trading or swing trading, there will be idle times as a trader which you must learn to deal with properly. Wait for the right conditions, enter your trades, set your exit parameters, and find a way to let the trades develop without interfering.

No comments:

My Headlines

Loading...
 
html code for hit counter
hit counter code