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by Aleksandre Natchkebia on July 15th, 2018

Important things to keep in mind when day trading

Trading is something that occurs around us all the time. People do it to get hold of the products they need at the moment. In the financial markets, it is a tool to either invest funds for long-term or make money. Those who invest with the prospect of cashing out after a few years are, of course, looking for gains, but do not use trading as a primary tool to earn profits. Day trading, on the other hand, refers to the activity of making quick gains by buying and selling financial instruments within the day, or even several times during a day. The prices of these assets will fluctuate during the day, and those who are able to predict the movements can buy assets before they gain in value and sell them before they lose value. This way it is possible to make gains even during a day. In the long term these movements will cancel out and there will be a general trend that, usually, does not allow for as large gains.

With the possibility of large gains, come the risks. Day trading is much riskier when compared to long-term investments. In fact, many experts actively discourage it. Still, people often can’t resist the temptation of overnight riches and try their hand at day trading. There are some things that they should consider before getting involved with the activities in order to be better equipped to handle the risk.

Important things to keep in mind when day trading

Choose a strategy and stick to it.

A big mistake that many new traders make is that they get nervous on the slightest sight of trouble and change up their whole plan. This usually gets them into a bigger trouble. If you choose a strategy that you think could lead to profits, don’t be discouraged by losses. Day trading is very risky and has variable gains. No strategy can be profitable all the time. Switching it is usually a bad idea as the new plan won’t be planned as meticulously and will be rushed. This does not mean that you should stick to a plan that is obviously unsuccessful. If you observe over a period of time that the rule you have chosen constantly leads to losses, change it before you suffer large losses. There needs to be a certain mix of being careful and calm at the same time. Day trading is not for people who get anxious easily.

Don’t start with large funds.

It is inevitable that a new trader will make some mistakes. There are some technical aspects of the websites and trading platforms that they will have to learn about. In this period, it is not wise to put large funds at risk. Instead, start with a small amount. Many platforms will offer no Deposit Bonuses as well. This is a small amount of money credited to a new user’s account to allow them to get to know the services offered by the platform better. In addition, some offer demo versions that allow the customers to trade with virtual funds. Make use of these offers and do not put at risk your own funds in the period that is necessary to learn the basics of day trading.

Look into the different types of orders.

Most trading platforms nowadays will offer a variety of order types to choose from. Some of them can be used to mitigate the risks of large losses. It is important to understand these options before getting into day trading. For example, stop orders can be used to minimize the losses. If you own a share that currently trades at $10, and you think there is a risk that it will fall by a lot in the nearest future, you can place a stop order on it to sell it at $7. The share will be automatically sold when it reaches that price, so you won’t have to suffer huge losses if, say, the shares were to drop to $3. This tool can be used to guarantee profits as well. If the price of the share appreciates soon after you buy it, you can place a stop order on a price that’s a little higher than the price you bought the share at, but lower than the current trading price. This way, the share won’t be allowed to drop to the original buying price and a certain profit will be guaranteed.

Stop orders are not the only type of orders used by day traders. Limit orders are another very helpful tool. If there is an asset that you think you would like to purchase, but the price of it is currently too high, you could set a limit order to buy it at a lower price. Once the asset reaches that price, your order will be executed. There are many other details about these types of orders that the trader needs to understand very well. Consequently, it is important to get this information before actually putting your money at risk.

Important things to keep in mind when day trading

Get training before starting to trade.

With the popularity of day trading, many providers have emerged that offer special courses tailored to people with no previous trading experience. It is definitely a good idea to check out a few of these offers and sign up for at least one. While nobody can teach you a strategy that guarantees profits, these courses will help you avoid basic mistakes that the new traders often make. They will also teach you the technicalities of the trading platform that will help you navigate the websites better. Some of these courses will not be free. While you would be able to find free tutorials as well on some websites, it is not always a bad idea to spend a few dollars to get the best instructors. Many videos that people upload on these topics are not recorded by professionals and could lead the customers into an even bigger confusion. Find a reputable and experienced source of information.

Dedicate enough time to trading.

Many people day trade in parallel to their usual occupations. While this is understandable as people need a stable source of income. you shouldn’t look at day trading as something you can just do in your spare time and still make a profit. It needs dedication as well as a lot of time. Most traders will be done during the working hours and since the job of day traders is to monitor the price fluctuations, you should have access to this information at all times. Otherwise, you could miss out on great opportunities. So if your day job does not give you the freedom to day trade at the same time, then maybe you should look for other ways to earn money. Alternatively, you could entrust someone else with more experience and dedication to trading with your funds.

Be prepared to lose.

Day trading is inherently risky and there are many people who will lose money while being involved with it. The pressure from losing can affect some people deeply and cause health problems. If you decide to start trading actively, you should be psychologically prepared for the worst outcome. Although it is imperative to keep a positive outlook in order to enjoy the process, it is also important to keep in mind that there is the possibility that you will lose your funds. This way it will be easier to make the decisions in the trading process as well. It also means that people who can’t afford day trading will not do so. If you don’t think you can survive without the funds you use for trading, maybe you should look for another occupation.

Know when to exit.

If you had set a goal of how much profit you wanted to make before getting into trading, and now you have reached that goal, the temptation to keep trading could be very high. While there is nothing wrong with wanting to continue being involved with day trading, the markets are very volatile. The gains you have accumulated over time could be wiped out entirely in a matter of seconds. If you were raising funds for some project, it is probably better to take the money out. You can always come back to trading later.

Alternatively, after losing funds, people stay in the market to gain back what they have lost. This sometimes leads to success, but often it leads to even bigger losses. If you had wiped out the budget you set aside for trading, don’t rush to pump more money into it. Sometimes the luck is just not on your side, so it is better to exit the market. Later, if you accumulate enough extra funds you can use for day trading, you can always come back and try your luck once more.

By Aleksandre Natchkebia

Aleksandre Natchkebia is a graduate of Cornell University with a degree in economics. He has been actively writing articles on global economic issues on various online platforms and print media since 2011. Aleksandre joined the Forexnewsnow team in 2018 as a writer on business and financial markets.

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