Friday, February 10, 2012

Taking Profits

It is said that 95% of all day traders lose all their money and about 90% of all option contracts expire worthless. It is also known that a large number of future contract traders lose money consistently. From my experience most currency traders also have problems, but they don't seem to have a problem making profits they seem to have trouble holding on to their profits and go on to turn them into losses.

The stock market works its magic by eliminating over time the individuals who don't trade successfully.
Discipline and good funds are essential to stay in the game this will allow you to be a part of the small percentage of day traders that make money

When day trading stocks a rule must be made about taking profits, the same way we set our stop losses to prevent a small loss from turning into a massive one. I have turned an $800 profit made in a few hours into $0 before the end of the trading day trying to bag every last penny on the trade.  I would suggest to set a reasonable profit point in which to exit depending on the trade set up and the amount of risk involved.  Taking any amount of profit is always better than taking no profit at all but taking bigger losses than the size of profits we take will wipe us out in no time.

If I buy 1000 shares at $10.00 and the trade goes my way I would look at the tape and divide the trade into sections I would sell back. I wouldn't sell all the shares at once I would test the waters and begin dumping them as the price continues to increase. For example if the stock were now selling at $10.30 I would sell 200 shares at $10.35 and wait for it to hit $10.40 to sell the next 300 shares but if orders start to pick up at $10.40 and the tape shows sales of 1000 - 3000 share icebergs I would buy back the shares I just sold and wait for the price to increase a bit more for me to start unloading my shares again. As you can see making profits is a complicated dance few get right but it is possible. It takes guts to hold on to that position but also wisdom to come out of that wave at the right time and not sink.

In this day trade with Visa Inc. (V) we would enter the trade at 12:29 pm at a price of $113.26 and exit at about 12:36 pm at a price of $113.40 realizing that we are not looking to enter the trade perfectly at the very start of a reversal nor do we exit at the complete top of the wave. The trade could be entered once again at 12:46 pm at a price of $113.50 and exit the trade safely at a price of $113.70 at 12:49 pm.  The candlestick chart says it all and after spotting some reducing bodies there are trade set ups that give a trader a 50/50 chance of being correct.

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