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Routine Trading: 12 trades, 2 losses
Both Friday and Thursday were fantastic trading days with only 2 losses out of a total of 12 trades for the two days on ALGO trades. Thursday was a better day as I only took 4 trades all of which were in the money, the only negative is due to family visiting and only traded half a day. Still it seems it was the right half lol! Friday was a bit more tricky as I could see a bit of manipulation that would have for sure caused problems for most s/r indicator or atypical methods out there.It did cause me a problem too, but not as much of a one as I was able to cherry pick in spots as gaps appeared on a individual instrument basis, such as the Aussie Euro Dow would be horrible trading then an awesome setup happens on gold or out of the blue the Dax gave a perfect signal while everybody else was flat.
So clarity wise it was a very good day with 8 wins 2 losses. This is another example of how statistics don’t care. I watched a few people in the chat room try to fight the market with over trading/revenge trading only causing themselves more aggravation. Sometimes its best to just step back and watch when things are not in sync for you. The market is not going anywhere and with binary options you can trade all sorts of different indices stocks forex commodities so why act like there is a rush to trade. Take your time a good trade will often be so obvious and require the least amount of effort
This was my favorite trade of the day, I did have one trade before this barely ITM on the EURO that was less then ideal to trade and somewhat odd as it was a very good signal with jerky movement but high ticks so very confusing. Still it was ITM in the end by a few pips. This one was ITM by a few dollars and its slope was ideal as where it ended near the top with large upticks in price to start with a few minutes into the trade.
Now this Aussie trade was not as ideal because of the price action of the bars contraction/expansion along with the ticks being out of sync made it a bit more risky to get chopped up in a narrow range. At least that was my thinking until this trade down ticked exactly from entry and then low ticked into expiry saying to me “Sure I did not look as good before hand but man what a nice finish huh!”
This Dax trade I really did not like but the range was such to give me higher probabilities around 7100 for the sell as well the other pairs and indices were all leading with indications of a drop ahead of the Dax here. Though it did take its time the drop happened and it low ticked into the expiry time making another very solid trade for me.
The next trade I had was also on the Dax. Now the other markets were way out of sync with some odd movements of one pair being up another down in the same segment or another being flat so it was a bit confusing as the overall flow did not indicate good trading. But the flow here on the Dax did stand out and ALGO wise the filters all said higher probability on this trade. Though it shows around 7114 for the entry my real entry was with my binary broker well above 7119 level, though it would not matter as the trade ended near the low ticks under 7109. Often you will find a mismatch between your binary brokers prices and your charting package prices. What matters is you are in the meat of the move from there it will matter little the difference will balance out overtime. It does require a lot of screen time though to stay in sync of the market often.
This trade was pure EGO I have to say. I had several people ask me what my ALGOs were saying for the end of day trading. I scanned through the different pairs and found the Dow and Euro to be near perfect sync for a down move into closing. The Euro was being manipulated to show strength into the close but the last 15 mins followed the down move with the Dow as expected. Both of which were clear in the money trades, though I am not a fan of longer term expires unless taking them in my forex account with spot off a 4H. I do have a better then 66% chance of winning on these. I crunched the numbers for my friends and then tagged along on both ending my week on a strong note. This weekend I will be purchasing new server/workstation equipment and may be doing some videos/live trading/education real time as soon as next week if things go well Until next time, Enjoy!
The Daily Routine of a Swing Trader
What Is the Daily Routine of a Swing Trader?
Swing trading combines fundamental and technical analysis in order to catch momentous price movements while avoiding idle times. The benefits of this type of trading are a more efficient use of capital and higher returns, and the drawbacks are higher commissions and more volatility.
Swing trading can be difficult for the average retail trader. The professional traders have more experience, leverage, information, and lower commissions; however, they are limited by the instruments they are allowed to trade, the risk they are capable of taking on and their large amount of capital. Large institutions trade in sizes too big to move in and out of stocks quickly.
Knowledgeable retail traders can take advantage of these things in order to profit consistently in the marketplace. Here is what a good daily swing trading routine and strategy might look like—and you how you can be similarly successful in your trading activities.
- Swing trading combines fundamental and technical analysis in order to catch momentous price movements while avoiding idle times.
- Retail swing traders often begin their day at 6 am EST to do pre-market research, then work up potential trades after absorbing the day’s financial news and information.
- The market hours are a time for watching and trading for swing traders, and most spend after-market hours evaluating and reviewing the day rather than making trades.
Understanding the Daily Routine of a Swing Trader
Retail swing traders often begin their day at 6 a.m. EST, well before the opening bell. The time before the opening is crucial for getting an overall feel for the day’s market, finding potential trades, creating a daily watch list, and finally, checking up on existing positions.
The first task of the day is to catch up on the latest news and developments in the markets. The quickest way to do this is via the cable television channel CNBC or reputable websites such as Market Watch. The trader needs to keep an eye on three things in particular:
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- Overall market sentiment (bullish/bearish, key economic reports, inflation, currency, overseas trading sessions, etc.)
- Sector sentiment (hot sectors, growing sectors, etc.)
- Current holdings (news, earnings, SEC filings, etc.)
Find Potential Trades
Next, the trader scans for potential trades for the day. Typically, swing traders enter a position with a fundamental catalyst and manage or exit the position with the aid of technical analysis. There are two good ways to find fundamental catalysts:
- Special opportunities: These are best found via SEC filings and, in some cases, headline news. Such opportunities may include initial public offerings (IPOs), bankruptcies, insider buying, buyouts, takeovers, mergers, restructurings, acquisitions, and other similar events. Typically, these are found by monitoring certain SEC filings, such as S-4 and 13D. This can be easily done with the help of sites such as SECFilings.com, which send notifications as soon as such a filing is made. These types of opportunities often carry a large amount of risk, but they deliver many rewards to those who carefully research each opportunity. These types of plays involve the swing trader buying when most are selling and selling when everyone else is buying, in an attempt to “fade” overreactions to news and events.
- Sector plays: These are best found by analyzing the news or consulting reputable financial information websites to find out which sectors are performing well. For example, you can tell that the energy sector is hot simply by checking a popular energy exchange-traded fund (like IYE) or scanning the news for mentions of the energy sector. Traders looking for higher risk and higher returns may choose to seek out more obscure sectors, such as coal or titanium. These are often much harder to analyze, but they can yield much greater returns. These types of plays involve the swing trader buying into trends at opportune times and riding the trends until there are signs of reversal or retracement.
Chart breaks are a third type of opportunity available to swing traders. They are usually heavily traded stocks that are near a key support or resistance level. Swing traders will look for several different types of patterns designed to predict breakouts or breakdowns, such as triangles, channels, Wolfe Waves, Fibonacci levels, Gann levels, and others.
Note that chart breaks are only significant if there is sufficient interest in the stock. These types of plays involve the swing trader buying after a breakout and selling again shortly thereafter at the next resistance level.
Make a Watch List
The next step is to create a watch list of stocks for the day. These are simply stocks that have a fundamental catalyst and a shot at being a good trade. Some swing traders like to keep a dry-erase board next to their trading stations with a categorized list of opportunities, entry prices, target prices, and stop-loss prices.
Check Existing Positions
Finally, in the pre-market hours, the trader must check up on their existing positions, reviewing the news to make sure that nothing material has happened to the stock overnight. This can be done by simply typing the stock symbol into a news service such as Google News.
Next, traders check to see whether any filings have been made by searching the SEC’s EDGAR database. If there is material information, it should be analyzed in order to determine whether it affects the current trading plan. A trader may also have to adjust their stop-loss and take-profit points as a result.
The market hours are a time for watching and trading. Many swing traders look at level II quotes, which will show who is buying and selling and what amounts they are trading.
Those coming from the world of day trading will also often check which market maker is making the trades (this can cue traders into who is behind the market maker’s trades), and also be aware of head-fake bids and asks placed just to confuse retail traders.
As soon as a viable trade has been found and entered, traders begin to look for an exit. This is typically done using technical analysis. Many swing traders like to use Fibonacci extensions, simple resistance levels or price by volume. Ideally, this is done before the trade has even been placed, but a lot will often depend on the day’s trading. Moreover, adjustments may need to be made later, depending on future trading.
As a general rule, however, you should never adjust a position to take on more risk (e.g., move a stop-loss down): only adjust profit-taking levels if trading continues to look bullish, or adjust stop-loss levels upward to lock in profits.
Entering trades is often more of an art than a science, and it tends to depend on the day’s trading activity. Trade management and exiting, on the other hand, should always be an exact science.
After-hours trading is rarely used as a time to place trades because the market is illiquid and the spread is often too much to justify. The most important component of after-hours trading is performance evaluation. It is important to carefully record all trades and ideas for both tax purposes and performance evaluation.
Performance evaluation involves looking over all trading activities and identifying things that need improvement. Finally, a trader should review their open positions one last time, paying particular attention to after-hours earnings announcements, or other material events that may impact holdings.
Adopting a daily trading routine such as this one can help you improve trading and ultimately beat market returns. It just takes some good resources and proper planning and preparation.
My 5 Step Daily Trading Routine for Success
Successful trading has a lot to do with routine. Many professional athletes follow an established program each day. Even before each and every action–take golfers for example–the athlete has a pre-shot routine that gets them focused on the important things and clears their mind of all the other noise. Traders also benefit from a routine.
Over the last 14 years of trading, I have developed my own routine. Here is my, George Papazov’s, daily trading routine for success.
Why do most people want to trade? More specifically, why do you want to?
It is either to make money or to have more freedom. Most likely both.
When it comes to trading, the typical fantasy assumes that you will be traveling first class, eating fine cuisine every night and driving exotic cars. Oh, and once in a blue moon you will check the computer screen and “place a trade”.
Reality is much different than fantasy. Successful traders are professionals, and live a life full of routine, discipline, preparation, meticulous planning and execution. Instead of Lambos with race seats, we have high back chairs with gel cushions. Instead of expensive dinners, we enjoy the exquisite meal selections of Uber Eats and hastily-prepared lunches during a quiet moment in the market, and our “travel” is the walking between our monitors and the washroom. Welcome to reality.
To be successful in trading you need a plan and discipline. You need a routine.
Here is what my day looks like. Through this article, I hope to inspire you to create your very own routine.
Note that all times are in EST. Make the necessary adjustments for your own time zone.
Daily Trading Routine 1) Reaching Tranquility 6 am
As traders, we live on the edge on a daily basis. Our job is not to execute tasks for which we are evaluated and then paid for, our sole task IS to get paid! Every day we know our value. We work one of the hardest, most demanding jobs in the world. This is why the most important determinant of how our day will go, is how our day will start. I am a firm believer in positive thought and energy.
My trading day always starts with a 10-minute meditation session as soon as I wake up, while I’m still lying in bed. This allows me to restore my positive balance and release any negative energy I may have bottled up. Once I’ve finished my meditation session I head out to the gym for a workout.
I come home and shower around 7:45 am, and settle into my trading office.
At this point, there is likely some fiasco that has taken place overnight, either China devaluing their currency, oil prices collapsing, or possibly both. I won’t find out for another couple of minutes.
Instead of getting right into it, I close my eyes and take three deep breaths. I inhale cold, (imagined) ocean air for 3 seconds, and exhale negativity for 5 seconds. When I open my eyes, I am calm and ready to tackle the trading day with a neutral, unbiased, and optimistic mind frame.
Try reaching tranquility in your trading day and see the difference it can make in your results. This on its own is a large contributor to my daily success, not just in trading but also in my life and relationships.
Daily Trading Routine 2) Session Goal Setting 8:45 am
How much money do you want to make? Very few people have an actual answer to that. Okay, how much do you need? Now divide that by 200 trading days in a year. You now have your goal for today.
I usually aim for US$1,000 – $2,000 on Monday to Thursday, and enough to pay for my lunch on Fridays.
This step is so simple, it is often overlooked.
Write down your figure so you know what you are working towards. If you hit the goal within the first 30 minutes of the trading session, will you still stay at the computer? If so, will you reduce your risk capital per trade? These are the things you need to know before you start each day. Such questions should be answered in your trading plan.
Daily Trading Routine 3) Trade Setups 8:50 am
Now that you have your daily goal, you need to find some good trade setups that will help you achieve it. I start my day by listing my favorite 5 trade setups, be it currency, futures, stocks, or options. Some days, it’s all of the above. It takes me less than 10 minutes to find them as I flip through my watch lists. I grumble and mumble until five jump out at me. I don’t chase them.
Once I have narrowed it to 5 trades, I then narrow it once more to just 3 trades.
From here I review my entry triggers, stop losses, trailing criteria, scaling in and scaling out methodology, and the technicals on the charts.
By this time, it is only 9 am. I like to take the time before the open to express my gratitude for my life, my family and everything I have and love. This sounds corny; I get it….until you do it for yourself every morning for 21 consecutive days, and start to witness your life change. Try it, I challenge you, even on weekends.
It is now 9:25 am and I once again take three deep breaths with slow exhales to help me relax before trading begins. I also do this exercise throughout the day when I feel stress creep in.
The bell rings and the bulls and bears are set free for the epic daily battle. DING DING DING!
From this point forward, it is just a matter of executing my trading plan with laser discipline until I hit my daily target, or the market closes. Some days I enter trades earlier than 9:30 am, especially if they are currency or futures positions. These early entries can happen before I head out to the gym, but never before I get my meditation and deep breathing exercises completed.
Daily Trading Routine 4) Scorecard 4 pm
Some people start trading because they think they can get away from having a boss. Well, they are wrong. Your new boss is you. And if you thought you hated your old boss, I have news for you, your new one may actually be worse!
The scorecard session occurs once I meet my daily goals and decide to stop trading, or the session closes for the day at 4 pm.
The scorecard is exactly what it sounds like. I give myself a grade, from A+ to F. How did I do on each trade? How did I do on the whole day? What did I do well and what do I need to work on?
I include screenshots of each trade and commentary as a summary. Some days I will hang my report card on the fridge with a nice little magnet, but rarely do I get A+ all across the board. I am pretty hard on myself some (most) times. Honesty is the first step to progress.
Daily Trading Routine 5) Takeaways
After the scorecard is completed I find some takeaways that I can use to improve my trading or other aspects of my life. What did I learn today while trading? What did I learn as a human? Are any of these lessons actionable, or should they be?
If there are no takeaways, no big deal, call it a good day. If there are, park them in your trading notebook and revisit these takeaways every couple of days to maintain progress and focus on them.
If any of these takeaways require that you or your trading change, start working on an action plan. Decide when you will follow up and get to work. No takeaways means no growth, and no growth is no good.
Final Word on the Daily Trading Routine
That is my exciting daily routine as a trader. In one way I ruined your dreams of quick riches, travel, and unleashed freedom. But my intention was to show you the reality of what is necessary to become a successful day trader with consistent profits.
Remember, the human mind is conditioned to find routine and patterns in everything we do. It is conditioned to automate and create processes on a subliminal level. So stop cheating your brain and give it what it wants.
Try this routine out for size, and feel free to adjust it to fit your schedule and lifestyle. Let us know how it works for you!
Lastly, all of this daily trading routine stuff does not mean you need to be a hermit and avoid fun. Quite the contrary. I love to regularly treat myself and my family. Routine and structure provide the resources to do that. No routine and no structure means fewer resources and a lot more stress…not good!
Most of us trade to live, and do not live to trade. Remember to enjoy yourself and keep things fun. It’s all about finding balance.
Good luck and good trading.
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George has over fourteen years of trading experience in currencies, stocks, futures, and options. In 2020, he founded TRADEPRO Academy to offer traders a complete development package.
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