Saturday, June 24, 2017

Quitting Day Trading...What's next???

This Friday marked the end of 7 weeks since I started back trading. I started with $1,000 on May 10th, 2017 and then added another $500 at the start of June. So in total, I've contributed a net of $1,500 to my SureTrader account in this period.
 
At the moment, I am down to $700ish in equity or basically making a net loss of $800 over the 7 week period.
 
Of the $800 I've lost, about $100 was for platform and level II fees (plus a further $100 will be deducted from my account at the end of this month) and all of the remaining $700 was for commissions since I've actually managed a positive gross return over the period albeit a small one..$33.50.
 
With the economics of this business clearly being tough for small accounts mainly due to the high relative commission fees and platform costs; my trading statistics over the period have actually been quite poor.
 
My accuracy is about 40% and my win:loss ratio is around 1.5:1. Which is about breakeven before commissions and platform fees etc are factored in.
 
My honest conclusion after 7 weeks at this (with a day trading style) is that out right day trading is not the right style/strategy for me at this point given my skill level or lack thereof, account size and cost structure.

I need to get back to what has worked for me in the past and what will be more conducive for success for me given my proven skills (track record), current account size and cost structure.
 
My plan is to switch back to multi-day holds (swing trading style) like I had originally planned to do. I never stuck to my initial plan of hybrid day/swing trading and I've now paid an $800 price for this...lol.
 
Essentially I need to take less trades per week, use wider stops and smaller position size and go into positions with the intention of at least holding over night or even up to as many as 3-5 days once the trades are working.
 
These changes should cut my commission expenses down; increase my win:loss ratio and get my accuracy back up as I am much better at picking winning swing trades off the daily chart versus picking winning day trades off the intra-day (5-minute & 1-minute) charts.
 
I will stick with this new plan until at least the end of July and then assess my statistics at that point. I believe I will see much better success with this style/strategy but we will see.
 
 



Monday, May 22, 2017

Largest losing day and my plan going forward...

So today was almost an absolute nightmare. 

After spending the weekend in deep thought and deciding that I'll just wait for the stocks on my watch list to set-up and trade them...I threw that plan completely out of the window!

Although I told my self I'll not try to trade any gap-and-go's and wait for setups after the markets have already opened...I attempted a gap-an-go play in $BIOC which invariably turned out to be a loser...$75 after commission.

I actually shut my laptop down and decided that I'd call it quits for the day as I went against my plan that I made over the weekend and lost more than my planned daily max of $50. For some reason or the other, I ended up logging back in!

No sooner than I'd logged in....I saw $SORL down ticking after its massive morning run and decided to randomly short it...within minutes I was stopped out for a $45 lose after commissions. 

Then the stubborn part of me decided I had to short this stock again although the stock was clearly in a firm uptrend and there was absolutely no reason to short!! 

Nevertheless, I started... 100 @ $8.75 ish....then another 100 @ $9.00ish....then another 100 @ $9.25 ish...determined that I'm not going to let this stock kick my ass...lol. With just 1/4 of my intra-day buying power remaining; I decided that I would wait for the stock to actually break its uptrend before adding any more shares. Then as soon as it did...I added a last batch of 100 @ $9.00 and then was ready for the stock to tank. 

It started dropping and so I put a bid in for my position @ $8.75 which did not get filled. Then the bastard started bouncing. No sooner than the stock started bouncing I was required to leave my desk for work related reasons...so I decided to put in hard stop in case this stock decided it wanted to rip higher.

Now the proper stop loss placement was above high of day @ $9.50...but because I was sized in so big; a stop there with my average entry of $9.00 would have meant risk $150 which  I was not prepared to accept even though at one point I was down by that much...lol. Silly me right. 

Never the less, I proceeded to place my stop at the random price of $9.15 and of course I was nicked out before the stock turned lower. 

I also made one other trade in $IMMU for the $7.50 break attempt but after it started stalling I decided to take a $5 loss ($15 after commissions) and call it quits for the day. 

At this point I'm honestly not sure how to proceed. I know I'm definitely not going to quit trading but I'm undecided between 2 paths. Both involve putting a halt to my trading for a while. However, I am trying to decide between paper trading for a while then re-funding my account and starting again on my own or using part of the funds I have availabe to join a group (Investor's Underground is top of my list) before refunding with a slightly smaller amount and trading again with the support of a group. 

I'm strongly considering going with the later option. Will ponder some more about this and give an update in the near future!





Sunday, May 21, 2017

Best ideas for Monday May 22nd, 2017

Markets have put in a decent 2 day bounce. 

While I believe we can eventually go higher many individual stocks are now over extended. 

Although its likely that the overall markets will churn a few days; many of the more volatile smaller cap stocks that I like to trade will pull back or consolidate before having 2nd legs higher. 

So my bias for Monday is to the short side. 

With that being said; here are my best ideas for tomorrow:

$BITA, $CCCR, $SHLD and $VRX long.

$CLVS, $GLYC, $SORL short.


Saturday, May 20, 2017

Tough week for my trading business...21.57% draw down!!!



So as my trading statistics show; its been a tough week for my trading business. 

My win/loss ratio which was 1.5:1 is not as good as the 2:1 ratio I aim for but my accuracy was absolutely horrible. 

Of the 9 trades I took this week, I only managed to profit on 1 for an accuracy of only 11%! The cause of this was me deviating from my trading plan. 

After my first week up 18%, I  got a bit over confident and felt like I needed to be looking at the hot stocks of each day in addition to the 5-10 from my night watch list. Also I felt like I should be making more than one per trade day even if my first trade was a loser. 

Boy did these "adjustments" go horribly wrong. I was all over the place like a headless chicken trying to look for set-ups in 20+ stocks plus trying to keep up with Twitter. The end result of this was FOMO trades. Hence my ridiculously poor accuracy. 

As of Friday I removed the top list from my platform and disconnected from Twitter during the trading day. My focus going forward will be solely on my 5-10 best ideas generated post-market and making 0 - 1 solid trade in one of the stocks from my watch list. I know that my trading plan works. Even if I have a losing day or two I am confident I will generate a net positive return at the end of most weeks once I stick to my plan. 

That being said; just one solid week of trading will get my account back to new high territory. If I can get my account back in the green and north of $1,100 so that I can cover my platform fee for the month and still have at least my starting balance for the month of June I'll be happy. Aim small...miss small. One solid trade at a time!




Thursday, May 18, 2017

Perfect game plan but yet $90 losing day! :( + Best ideas for 5/19/2017

So coming into today; I had the perfect game plan. I was expecting a bounce in the markets and had stocks on watch to play if this scenario played out. The markets bounced and $AAOI bounced perfectly off the $60 support while $PULM set up both a red-to-green play and then OPR breakout and followed through nicely although it didn't quite hit the target I had it moved enough to yield significant profit had I traded it. 

Both plays I had spelled out in my pre-market game plan. So you would expect that I'd be talking about the profits I made today! Instead I ended today another losing day and my 3rd losing day this week. Now my equity is slightly below the $1,000 starting balance at $942 ish. 

I have recognized what I changed between last week when I made $180+ in profits in only 3 trading days and this week in which I am losing $220+ in 4 trading days. Now last week, although I did play a few gappers; my primary focus after the first 15 minutes or so from the open was my best ideas from my nightly scan. However, this week I some how managed to add the top list to my platform as well as Twitter to my nightly scan ideas. So in addition to the 5-10 ideas off my scan, this week I've been trying to scan through 40+ stocks off the top list plus scan twitter for ideas. For what reason, I do not know. This distraction and spread of my focus has been causing me to be making random trades. 

Going forward I will remove these distractions and focus on my best post-market ideas and game plan. I've already removed the top list from my platform set-up. Also I will not open twitter until in the afternoon when things have slowed down and I'm just looking for entertainment if I am not in any open positions. I will focus on the 5-10 ideas I have on watch and look to trade the fuck out of 1-2 of them like I did last Friday with $AUPH. 

Before I move onto my best ideas for tomorrow; I've two thoughts/observations that I'd like to share.
Firstly I'm expecting this bounce to continue into tomorrow or if not worst case scenario we have a narrow range/doji type day. I definitely do not see the markets selling off hard again tomorrow barring some unanticipated news again. Secondly, I've noticed in the recent weeks that Chinese stocks have been very strong. So ideally I'd be looking to go long a Chinese name for my first trade tomorrow. Speaking of which my favorite is $BZUN above $22 with $23.50 target then possibly $24.

In addition to $BZUN, I also like: $IMMU (tapping the half dollar $7.50 + all-time highs; could be explosive if it breaks this level tomorrow); $EXTR above today's high with $9.30/$9.50 targets; $AKAO has been forming a cup with handle sort of base past couple months...I like this one through $26 with $27.75 intial target and then possible new 52 week high push; $SGMO above today's high for a push back to $8.60ish and finally my sole short idea $HZNP below today's low for push down to recent lows at $9.50.

Let's end this week of strong!!!




Wednesday, May 17, 2017

My best ideas for Thursday May 18th, 2017

So as I mentioned; I noticed that the short set-ups I was seeing had outnumbered the longs and today we had a nasty sell-off. Not saying that I predicted anything but the weakness in the markets was showing.

That being said; all of the short ideas off watch worked. I even traded one of my watches: $AFSI for a $45 profit. I really should have closed this trade when I was up $100 but greed got the better of me although this stock was surprisingly stubborn and held up around $12 late in the afternoon even while the indexes were tanking to new lows. Either way it was an okay trade.

Besides $AFSI, I also made one other trade in $SNAP. Today was my first time trading this stock and boy is this stock volatile! It moves in very sharp bursts and likes to fake-out. So gotta be very conservative with position sizing and stops. It faked me out for a small $15 loss before tanking lower in the afternoon. Could have been big winner for my small account had I managed to hold on. Ah well you live and you learn; I'll be better prepared to trade next time. 

So after commissions; I ended the day flat. No gains but I feel much better about my trading today compared to Monday and Tuesday. I was not anxious to get into positions and I did not feel like I was missing out when the markets were tanking and I wasn't short anything. I stayed patient and waited for solid intra-day setups to form. What failed me today was my trade management. So I'll be sure to work on that going forward.

With the market gapping down and selling off hard today; I anticipate either 1 of 2 scenarios will likely play out tomorrow. The first one and the one I think most likely given the recent track record of this market is that there will be a bounce in one form or other. This could play out in two ways; a big gap down right out of the gates in which case I believe a bounce day will be a shew in. Alternatively the markets might open flatish; tank hard and then reverse later in the day. The second scenario and less likely in my opinion is for the selling today to carry over into tomorrow and we have another trend down day. 

In any case; I have plays that will have me prepared to take advantage of either scenario.

So if we get a bounce day tomorrow; I will be looking to play the following stocks: 

$IPXL (off $15 support), $FRTA (off $10, riskier play since its a recent IPO and has less trading history so $10 is not a proven support level), $AAOI (my best bounce idea; a leading stock and it held up well today...will be watching for a possible buy off $60 support)

If on the other hand we get a follow through day; I'll be watching:

$DDD (below $22), $SNAP (below today's low), $AMD (my best short idea for tomorrow..will be watching it for a short set-up below today's low)

My sole long idea is $PULM low float former runner spiked big today and surprisingly managed to close strong unlike all of the other morning runners today. I'll be eyeing it for a red-to-green move/OPR breakout tomorrow with the recent high of $3.42 as my target. Hit and run trade only...do not marry!!!

Lets get it tomorrow...CHEERS!!!



My 2nd consecutive losing day + Best ideas for today!

So today I made 2 trades both of them losers.

The first one was a pre-market entry in $XGTI anticipating a spike on the open which never came. So I cut it quickly for a tiny loss. Wasn't the worst trade in the world but with only $50 risk to work with each day I really shouldn't be trading pre-market!

Then I saw $CLDR which I had been stalking for days and in which I had took a loss in on Monday setting up an OPR play just beneath the $21.75 level with the $22 all-time high magnet just above. Near perfects set-up!! I decided I wanted in but I wanted to wait for the confirmed break of $21.75. So I set a stop limit order at $21.76 but my mistake was not off setting it a few cents to increase my odds of getting a filled. What do you...the stock ripped right through the level; triggered my stop but I never got filled.

Sort of frustrated; I saw $IMGN beneath $5 and thought I'd take this long through $4.95 in anticipation of the break of $5. I had no exit plan for this trade. Then on a rush of blood; I entered it long @ $4.93 without waiting for the confirmed break of the flag and within seconds the stock reversed and was at my stop out level! I took the loss and shut down my platform for day....down a whopping $70 + $20 in commissions!!!

Although my losses were $40 in excess of my max daily loss; its not catastrophic by any means. Plus I am still up from my starting $1,000 balance. My plan going forward is to re-focus and wait for A-quality set-ups. I will stop looking for gap-and-go plays until I have more daily risk to work with. I will let the market open and wait for clean set-ups in either one of the stocks off my night watch list or an "in-play" stock.

With that out of the way; here are my best ideas for today...

$PIRS this is my #1 watcher and I will be eyeing for a red-to-green/OPR break play

Besides this I also have alerts set on:

SHORTS:

$NOMD (below $12.8), $AFSI ( below $12.4), $ACAD (below $28), $WTW (below $24), $BTU (below $23.9), $EXAS (below $31.60)

LONGS:

$EXAS (above $32.60), $CHGG (above $11.72), $BITA (above $31.65)

Just an observation but I am beginning to see a lot more short set-ups than longs. Very stocks have been holding their mornings gains. There have been almost no 50%+ day runners. So taking quick profits especially on longs makes sense at the moment in my opinion.

Best of luck....here's to a solid day of trading...CHEERS!!!