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Starting Off
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Starting Off

  #1 (permalink)
Trading Apprentice
Atlanta, GA
 
Futures Experience: Beginner
Platform: ninjatrader
Favorite Futures: Stocks
 
Posts: 8 since Nov 2011
Thanks: 4 given, 0 received

Starting Off

Hello Everyone I am new to this forum and to day trading.
I had a question about the $25k minimum. Is there not a way for someone like me to take say $2k and day trade a little just for practice and observation??

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  #2 (permalink)
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  #3 (permalink)
Site Administrator
Manta, Ecuador
 
Futures Experience: Advanced
Platform: My own custom solution
Favorite Futures: E-mini ES S&P 500
 
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bearring1 View Post
Hello Everyone I am new to this forum and to day trading.
I had a question about the $25k minimum. Is there not a way for someone like me to take say $2k and day trade a little just for practice and observation??

Stocks:
25k minimum to avoid pattern day trader rule. This means with less than 25k you have to hold your position overnight, more or less. Most firms let you fund an equities account with 5k, maybe less I am not sure. Some require 10k (Interactive Brokers).

Futures:
Most firms require 10k to fund, some require 5k to fund. Futures are advanced instruments, not well suited for beginners with zero experience. Futures are for traders who have experience trading equities and/or forex.

Forex:
Reputable firms like FXCM or MB Trading require as little as $500 to 2K to fund the account. You should focus on micro's only, meaning $0.10 cents a pip (or less) until you have been trading for a year or so profitably.

Mike

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  #4 (permalink)
Trading Apprentice
Atlanta, GA
 
Futures Experience: Beginner
Platform: ninjatrader
Favorite Futures: Stocks
 
Posts: 8 since Nov 2011
Thanks: 4 given, 0 received


Big Mike View Post
Stocks:
25k minimum to avoid pattern day trader rule. This means with less than 25k you have to hold your position overnight, more or less. Most firms let you fund an equities account with 5k, maybe less I am not sure. Some require 10k (Interactive Brokers).

Futures:
Most firms require 10k to fund, some require 5k to fund. Futures are advanced instruments, not well suited for beginners with zero experience. Futures are for traders who have experience trading equities and/or forex.

Forex:
Reputable firms like FXCM or MB Trading require as little as $500 to 2K to fund the account. You should focus on micro's only, meaning $0.10 cents a pip (or less) until you have been trading for a year or so profitably.

Mike

Thanks for the info and thanks for this great forum.. I have so many questions and im trying to do all the research on here before asking. Thanks again

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  #5 (permalink)
Trading Apprentice
leeds, UK
 
Futures Experience: Advanced
Platform: Market Delta, trade station
Favorite Futures: ES
 
Posts: 9 since Aug 2011
Thanks: 0 given, 1 received

try this

Trading is some thing you need to be comfortable with, be comfortable trading the account size you have,, but more importantly be comfortable losing,, not every trade will be a winner and its the losing trades that give put doubt in our mind,,


once a trader is comfortable with how much he/she is risking then it becomes simpler to take the next trade,, after all its the one you don't take that goes your way so if you are frustrated with a small losing trade and this stops you taking the next trade then its only you and your emotions that are stopping you from making money.


It took me a while to understand that my attachment to the money was in fact stopping me from taking the next trade,, once I became happy with the amount of risk I was putting on a trade then losing trades did not effect me like they used to.
How to do this, simply do not trade to many contracts,, if you have a $5000 account then trading 10 contracts will effect you every time you have a losing trade,, start with small size become comfortable with taking small losses.


Then once you feel uncomfortable with the losing trades then reduce the amount you trade. If you trade a 10k account a $1000 lose may effect you but if that $1000 was on a 100k account then this may nit effect you as much.


Then of course you need a method to get in the market but thatís the simple bit...LOL managing your self is the hardest

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  #6 (permalink)
Trading Apprentice
Atlanta, GA
 
Futures Experience: Beginner
Platform: ninjatrader
Favorite Futures: Stocks
 
Posts: 8 since Nov 2011
Thanks: 4 given, 0 received

Ok I figured out that the $25k minimum is on a margin account not on cash accounts to daytrade

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  #7 (permalink)
Elite Member
desert CA
 
Futures Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NT7, TOS
Broker/Data: AMP/wCQG, TDA
Favorite Futures: CL,YM
 
Posts: 2,027 since Jul 2011
Thanks: 2,211 given, 1,551 received

I want to share this so it may help as a warning. On less than 10k I've been margin called at least 3 times. It sucks that more often than not the market recovered to my entry point, but my broker had already liquidated my loss practically halving my account each time. Which then compounded the danger problem of falling into a margin call trap exponentially. But the still even worse problem was I was not psychologically ready to honor my stoplosses even at two contracts. i.e. the big problem of letting the losers run on HOPE it will turn around, or even worse adding contracts to a losing trade as a primary strategy.

So if you are starting out, you could try 5k which I think some brokers will let you start out as a minimum. Then start out with 1 contract and see if you can adhere to your system's stop losses, and then if you can to see if your system is sound enough to be profitable, and then if that also goes well, see if you can manage your winners i.e. know how to let them run or when to cut short, all skills of which one needs experience and screen time on a live account to attain. If you can do all that already, more power to you as you are a better starting out trader than most already. If you are learning some third party systems try to find those that emphasize stop loss strategies and money management with the system rather than just a few indicators and nothing else.

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  #8 (permalink)
Big game hunter
NY
 
Futures Experience: Advanced
Platform: Esignal, MBT navigator
Favorite Futures: Currencies
 
Posts: 2,526 since Jun 2009
Thanks: 1,397 given, 2,570 received


bearring1 View Post
Hello Everyone I am new to this forum and to day trading.
I had a question about the $25k minimum. Is there not a way for someone like me to take say $2k and day trade a little just for practice and observation??

For practice you should be using a simulated account . No need to risk real $s straight out the gate and NO reason to ever risk real $s until you've proven you can extract real $s from the market(s) .

Before you even get rolling maybe you should have a perspective of what your goals should look like . Take a look at what the average hedge fund returns ... Barron's Top 100 Hedge Funds In 2010 , 2011 , 2012 ......... | iStockAnalyst.com .... Just beating the indexes is a major achievement so shoot for that first , after you can do better than break even .

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  #9 (permalink)
Trading Apprentice
Atlanta, GA
 
Futures Experience: Beginner
Platform: ninjatrader
Favorite Futures: Stocks
 
Posts: 8 since Nov 2011
Thanks: 4 given, 0 received


Eric j View Post
For practice you should be using a simulated account . No need to risk real $s straight out the gate and NO reason to ever risk real $s until you've proven you can extract real $s from the market(s) .

Before you even get rolling maybe you should have a perspective of what your goals should look like . Take a look at what the average hedge fund returns ... Barron's Top 100 Hedge Funds In 2010 , 2011 , 2012 ......... | iStockAnalyst.com .... Just beating the indexes is a major achievement so shoot for that first , after you can do better than break even .

i do agree with the simulated advice.. i have been self directing my 401k for the past 4 years and have very high annual return rate

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  #10 (permalink)
Elite, not Elitist :)
San Diego
 
Futures Experience: Beginner
Platform: NinjaTrader
Broker/Data: AMP / CQG
Favorite Futures: CL, ES, NQ
 
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Posts: 339 since Nov 2011
Thanks: 153 given, 401 received


I started with a $5000 account with Mirus Futures. I sim traded for over 2 months before I placed my first live trade. As BigMike says, Futures is not for everyone. I started trading small in my live futures account and it seems to work for me. But sim trading for a while at first was the key!

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