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Possible strategies for beginners
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Possible strategies for beginners

  #1 (permalink)
Elite Member
New York, New York, USA
Futures Experience: Intermediate
Platform: ThinkOrSwim
Favorite Futures: Stocks, Options, Futures
Posts: 5 since Jan 2015
Thanks: 2 given, 2 received

Possible strategies for beginners

I recently started day trading (about 6 months ago) and I've been utilizing opening range breakouts (30mins) to enter trades as well as the width of the opening range in either direction once it's outside of the range for additional entry points as well. I use atr percentages for stops and profit targets, and I mostly trade options for the the leverage (Weekly ITM usually). I also look for fib retracement setups. These methods have worked pretty well for me thus far, but there are times where I will only have one or two opportunities throughout the day to enter a trade. When this happens I usually end up making ill informed trades to make up for the lack of trades throughout the day.. sometimes they work in my favor, but most of the time they don't and I give up part of or my whole day with these trades. What are some good entry signals I should look into to add to my daily trading regimen?

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  #2 (permalink)
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  #3 (permalink)
Trading Apprentice
Flushing + NY/USA
Futures Experience: Beginner
Platform: Thinkorswim
Favorite Futures: Stock Options
Posts: 3 since Jan 2015
Thanks: 0 given, 1 received

It sounds to me like instead of trying to add more to your strategy, you should look to focus on what you have. Your problem, as I have taken it, is more of the fact that you allow yourself to take ill-informed trades that your strategy would not allow for regularly.

I am not suggesting that you cease your search to refine your strategy but rather that it would be a good idea to reflect on your emotional tendencies and prevent yourself from taking trades that you would not normally take if a proper setup according to the lines of your trading strategy was spotted.

As for incorporating more into your strategy, I have a few things in mind. I would be thankful if other members corrected me if what I am about to recommend is wrong.

The market has an affinity for inertia and betting on range breakouts is often leads to lower probability of success. I recommend fading moves to the top and bottom of the range.
If a move to the top or bottom does manage to break out of the range, you must take into account the odds of a failed breakout, which I am sure you must be familiar with by now.

Something that a lot of beginners or intermediates do not know, from my experience, is that the size of the opening range has an effect on the extent of the breakout. If the opening range is small in comparison to the average daily range, about 1/3 to 1/4, the odds of a more "juiced" breakout with follow through such as a spike and channel up to a measured move target are higher.

If the opening range is about 1/2 of the average daily range, the chances of a "stairs" day or "trending range" day are higher. If you are not familiar with the term, a stairs/trending range day is when the price action of the market is contained in a series of trading ranges connected by breakouts, giving the appearance of stairs.

I cannot draw anymore tidbits of knowledge from the top of my head regarding opening range behaviors but I have one more piece of information for you. This may or may not be true but I will leave it to you to make sure: time decay's effects on an option's value becomes more and more pronounced (a friend of mine told me exponential) as the expiration day gets closer. Trading the weekly option on Thursday or Friday may not be such a profitable idea; instead you could try trading the monthly option on these days.


Edit: Another piece of information for you as you trade opening ranges. If you are unsure of whether or not a breakout is likely to succeed, you can always let the move unfold and enter on a pullback to catch a measured move (that is if the breakout had enough momentum behind it to convince other traders that follow through is likely).

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