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How Many Hours a Day do You Trade?
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How Many Hours a Day do You Trade?

  #51 (permalink)
Trading Apprentice
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GaryD View Post
After many years of most of my time awake in front of screens, I just recently started trading for 2-3 hours, then leaving. There are certain times of the day that are better for certain setups. Faster directional moves are what I have decided I prefer, and I burn out in "sideways" markets.

I watch charts from around 8:30am until I am done with the morning, maybe 9:30, maybe noon. Then sometimes back in for the 1:30-2:30 move, depending on how the morning went. Then 7-9pm forex news moves, if I am in.

I have shifted to the "less is more" camp, and find the open is most often rubber-to-the-road type of motion that can make your day in a few hours or less, if read correctly. And if not, there is another good time slot ahead.

Urgency is not real, and there is always another trade, but, when I can get my head in the game quickly and react to the morning surge, I find that best for life in general.

Absolutely, I trade a couple hrs only, sometimes it feels very hard to walk away thinking money is being left on the table, but if i get back in, i slowly erase my gains.

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  #52 (permalink)
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Roystunna View Post
Absolutely, I trade a couple hrs only, sometimes it feels very hard to walk away thinking money is being left on the table, but if i get back in, i slowly erase my gains.

That's definitely a flawed way to think of the market. I've been there before! I like to think of it as a video game. You get in, you play your games and then you move onto other things. While you're doing other things you're not thinking, "oh man, I could be playing my game right now and winning more games!" That market is no different. You can't catch every move. You just simply catch the moves that are present when you are participating. If that means no trading that day, then there's nothing you can do. You must wait to play the game made for your strategy.

Psychology > Strategy ≥ Money
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  #53 (permalink)
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Massive l View Post
That's definitely a flawed way to think of the market. I've been there before! I like to think of it as a video game. You get in, you play your games and then you move onto other things. While you're doing other things you're not thinking, "oh man, I could be playing my game right now and winning more games!" That market is no different. You can't catch every move. You just simply catch the moves that are present when you are participating. If that means no trading that day, then there's nothing you can do. You must wait to play the game made for your strategy.

Assuming we are talking about trading as career rather than as a pastime or hobby I couldn't disagree more.
I don't think many people approach a 9-5 job with that attitude never mind something as difficult and cut-throat as trading.

@tigertrader wrote an amazing post a few weeks back which I agree with (almost) in it's entirety.
I think it's the opposite sentiment to what you said.

Interestingly (and slightly off topic) if you reread tigertrader's post I think he explains why most traders fail and in fact why most traders are doomed to failure before they even start.
Reading it the first time I found it very sardonic. It was if he was explaining to everybody why they would better off reading something else rather than wasting their time trying to trade.
But maybe I just interpreted it differently than most.



"Well, in my book you either do it right or you get eliminated."
Gordon Gekko, Wall Street.

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  #54 (permalink)
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As a long term trader, I spend very little time actually making trades. In a month I might place 10 orders maximum and take only a few minutes to do so.

However, that does not mean I ignore the market and don't do a little research. I periodically monitor how well my portfolio is doing every day for about 10-15 minutes/3 or 4 times during the trading day. If I find a stock that concerns me, I will place a trailing limit stop-loss on it and raise it if it rises and wait til it is sold...which may be never if the stock rebounds strongly in a positive way.

In the meantime, I will look for an alternative stock to place the expected money from the sale. I maintain a watch list which I scour looking for a suitable candidate and if I find none on the list I will look at sectors that are doing well and try to source a good alternative there. This research on TA and Fundamentals might take 2-3 hours per day until that need is satisfied.

I also spend an hour or so testing new charting techniques and participating on websites such as this one.

So in summary, as a long term trader, I spend very little time placing orders, a few hours a week monitoring the state of the union of my portfolio and perhaps 10-15 hours a week researching TA approaches, maintaining a watch list and participating on stock websites such as this.


Last edited by Underexposed; December 24th, 2014 at 08:26 PM.
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  #55 (permalink)
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SMCJB View Post
Assuming we are talking about trading as career rather than as a pastime or hobby I couldn't disagree more.
I don't think many people approach a 9-5 job with that attitude never mind something as difficult and cut-throat as trading.

@tigertrader wrote an amazing post a few weeks back which I agree with (almost) in it's entirety.
I think it's the opposite sentiment to what you said.

Interestingly (and slightly off topic) if you reread tigertrader's post I think he explains why most traders fail and in fact why most traders are doomed to failure before they even start.
Reading it the first time I found it very sardonic. It was if he was explaining to everybody why they would better off reading something else rather than wasting their time trying to trade.
But maybe I just interpreted it differently than most.



"Well, in my book you either do it right or you get eliminated."


Gordon Gekko, Wall Street.

attitude is a small thing, but it's everything

you can't half-ass trading. anybody who thinks they can do this part-time or with minimal effort and knowledge, and still be successful, should re-examine their priorities. if i miss one day trading, it throws me off my game. i am instantly out of sync with the market and it can take me a while to get my rhythm and and feel back.

the best athletes are always the one's who practice the hardest and immerse themselves in the game. i've been around traders my entire adult life, and every successful one had this trait in common.

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  #56 (permalink)
Market Wizard
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+1

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  #57 (permalink)
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SMCJB View Post
Assuming we are talking about trading as career rather than as a pastime or hobby I couldn't disagree more.
I don't think many people approach a 9-5 job with that attitude never mind something as difficult and cut-throat as trading.

@tigertrader wrote an amazing post a few weeks back which I agree with (almost) in it's entirety.
I think it's the opposite sentiment to what you said.

Interestingly (and slightly off topic) if you reread tigertrader's post I think he explains why most traders fail and in fact why most traders are doomed to failure before they even start.
Reading it the first time I found it very sardonic. It was if he was explaining to everybody why they would better off reading something else rather than wasting their time trying to trade.
But maybe I just interpreted it differently than most.



"Well, in my book you either do it right or you get eliminated."
Gordon Gekko, Wall Street.

I read that post and it's great. However, over the past 6 years trading has been my life. I have completely immersed myself in it. I've watched charts during the day and have woken up 3-4 times throughout the night for 6 years to watch it during globex hours. Trading is my life. I did all of that to get to the point I'm at now. Of course, I'm always thinking and trying to get better and better but what I've been doing for the past 2-3 years is pretty straight forward and I've approached the markets as I described above. I have my favorite hours to watch and trade but I'm not worrying about missed opportunities when I'm not watching the markets, which was what my post was referencing to the OPs quote. This isn't a past time for me. This is my career.

Psychology > Strategy ≥ Money
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  #58 (permalink)
Market Wizard
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Dec 24th, Christmas Eve.
I worked over 6 hours today, but must admit to finishing an hour before Globex shut down so that I can go and get lunch with the wife & kids.
Wasn't anything going after the close though so I suspect I didn't miss anything.
Today was my 6th best day of the month (5 better, 12 worse) and accounted for 7.1% of my MTD PnL.
It ranked as my 58th best day of the year (57 better, 190 worse) and accounted for 0.54% of my YTD PnL.
I also spent almost 90 minutes on the phone with Trading Technologies trouble shooting a bug I have found. Would have probably been even better if it hadn't been for that.

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  #59 (permalink)
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Interesting guys, thanks. For my two cents I day trade about 7 hours but fit charting & backtesting etc. in during this.

I started live in August after 5 months study of the ES, I had a serious immobilising back injury early in the year and little else to do but study the action 20 hours a day as I first learned. I make between 2 and 20 trades daily depending on which if my three styles is best favoured or mix and match. I'm at GMT and I like to start charting etc. around 9.45am for the European session, ES opens at 14:30 here.

I trade to date for a charity I support which gives me some sense of duty to act responsibly. The most important duty to them and my good trading is to walk an hour a day even if its freezing. I have had likely embarrassing success and put a lot down to doing this for others so it seems like a normal job.

My most important 'chart' however is my USB pulse-oxymeter which (with some practice) tells me if I'm a. not breathing properly b. getting emotional c. fatigued... then time for that walk.

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  #60 (permalink)
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At 06:30 AM I look at the overnight session and how markets have evolved in Europe. I prepare my trading plan for the day.
I start trading from 08:30 until 16:15. If the market is very directional I might stay longer, but usually I do not.
Note that I do not stay if front of my screens, particularly when the markets are quiet. I set sound alerts and do something else.

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