Newbie seeks new Porsche via day trading. See what happens.
I've decided to journal my adventure.
I'm new to trading. Not RAW brand new, never ever held a stock in my life new, but new enough.
My adventure will be to start with a VERY limited fund and day trade my way up with it.
I'm starting with a mere 1700 dollars in real money.
I use market games to practice strategies and (hopefully) learn to avoid all the worst mistakes before putting real money into the market.
I trade via Vanguard (for now) and use TC2000 for stock screening and charting.
I schedule just one trading session per week as I have only one free day during the work week, and for now that's
Friday even though I know that Friday is not the optimal day to trade. Until I can change around my off day, that's
just something I have to live with.
I've traded on two days so far, and split my 1700 dollars to do those two trades on two separate days. Those were
last week and were my first experiments.
In summary, here's what happened.
First trade: 7/10/14
Bought 213 shares of NVAX at $4.41/share
Sold 213 shares of NVAX at $4.6043/share
After paying fees and commissions, my profit was $27.16, 2.89 percent.
Second trade: 7/11/14
Bought 94 ACHN @ 7.80
Sold 94 ACHN @ 7.68 (not going to hold overnight!)
Net loss $-25.30 including fees and commissions
The funds settled on Tuesday and Wednesday and I trade again on Friday.
I will be trading a single stock with 1700 dollars (roughly) and not trying to split up and buy two stocks this time,
or ever again for a long time to come.
I have to make 0.82 percent to cover the 14 dollars commissions (7 in, 7 out) and anything above that is profit.
I'm hoping to clear 2 percent after paying the commissions and fees.
Friday will be my next trade day. (Tomorrow.)
I'm as curious to see what I can do with 1700 dollars as anybody.
Since I'm new at this, my "strategy", so to speak, is likely to be subject to refinement. A lot of it, over time, I suspect,
but hopefully I won't have any major setbacks by being very careful about my buying choices.
I'm looking for quick movers in stocks that normally trade in fairly highly daily volume (a million shares or better per day)
and are moving for an identifiable reason that I can quickly find, such as news of a split, earnings report, upgrade, downgrade,
or other form of news.
The real challenge is to get into a big mover while it's still got lots of room left to move. Obviously. And that part will
no doubt cause me to question my decision many times on many days.
The riskiest part of my plan is simply that I'll be playing "all in" with this limited amount of money and what it grows into,
for a fair amount of time. My profits (if there are any) will be rolled back into the market at the earliest opportunity until
such time as the fund has grown to the point where it can generate some income for me while leaving the fund large enough
to still make meaningful profits. (If that happens.)
I don't dare to hope that I can do something like consistently boost my trade fund by 2 percent or better every time I trade.
While that would be wonderful, I can't count on that.
Last edited by Carrerain4; July 17th, 2014 at 11:05 PM.
It was quite successful. I met my goals, and then some.
I bought 369 shares of NQ at 4.61 and sold them at 4.81 for a gain of 20 cents/share.
Gain before paying commisions: $73.80
Commissions: 14 dollars (7 in, 7 out)
Net profit: $59.80
Percentage profit: 4.3 percent before accounting for commissions, 3.5 percent accounting for commissions.
The stock peaked at 5.01 within 10 minutes of the time I sold out. Which would have doubled my profits if I'd hung
on but the truth is that I'm not greedy and will always be happy to walk away from any trade with a 3.5 percent net
profit. In fact, I'd be happy with less than that. I need 0.82 percent gross profit to cover my commissions and
as long as I beat that, I can't say I'm unhappy.
I'll take 4 percent for sure, now, rather than speculate on 5 percent or 3 percent a minute from now.
Sure, it's small change, but with good trading choices on a consistent basis, it will (hopefully) become larger.
Some day it might bring me a good income AND keep growing. That's a goal.
Last edited by Carrerain4; July 18th, 2014 at 11:20 AM.
I chose it. Though it's not REALLY my goal to do it, I'm setting a tongue-in-cheek goal of making enough money to buy a new Porsche 911 within four years. Not that I really expect to cash out and buy a car UNLESS the cost of the car is a minor component of the money I've made.
It's good to have goals. You actually won't make any progress toward a goal if you don't set those goals first,
and that is the honest truth about how life works.
You get nothing worthwhile unless you plan and work for it. (Or are very lucky, which is unlikely.)
The following 2 users say Thank You to Carrerain4 for this post:
What online brokerages allow you to place sell orders with trailing stops?
I'd use that option EVERY time if I had it available to me. But I realize that they're not perfect,
and a stock can drop in price by more than the stop amount in a single tick, causing you to miss your limit and bleed cash.
Using Friday's trade as an example, and referring to the minute-by-minute chart, (I have the exact times of my trades written down), a 3 cent trailing stop would have increased my yield by 9 cents per share, possibly more.
I made 20 cents per share. I was happy with that. Making 29 just by setting a trailing stop would have been nicer still.
I'm looking to make SMALL gains, but KEEP them. I see a trailing stop as a way to improve my gains often enough to be worthwhile.
I'd use them if they were available to me but that option doesn't appear in the Vanguard buy/sell page.
I would only engage a sell order with a trailing stop once I've reached the point where my profit level is adequate,
which in my case would mean anything over 2 percent IF the stop kicks in the moment I set it.
I'm only asking for 2 percent. Anything more than that is welcome but I am going to do all I can to avoid letting greed cloud my judgement.
No, I just watched and screened stocks for an hour after the market opened before I made my move.
It took me that long to find something that I believed had what I was looking for. Something with room to move up
still, showing consistent upward movement, relatively high trade volume, and based on a stock that seems likely
to gain value in the near future. Based on this stock's long-term history, I think it will go back up in the future
and is probably undervalued at this time. Not a bad choice for the long term investor.
I realize there's often a drop in prices that happens any time between 11 and 12 and I was actually thinking about
waiting to see if that was going to happen, and actually that DID happen, but I believed it would peak before 11 and
my plan was to get in and out and be done before the peak and drop.