How Start Risk Free Without Risking A Single Penny New U S Mint Buffalo Coins Packaging A Nightmare Ten New Investment Concepts The Time Has Come Managing Your Risks In The Stock Market
You can have the best daytrading plan but you’ll never make any money if you don’t take action and actually start trading. But how can you start without risking a single penny of your own money?
After all, you are still new to trading and don’t want to lose thousands of dollars because you made a small mistake in your trading plan, do you?
The best thing you can do to get started is to get a so-called “Paper Trading Account”. And the best: You can get a paper trading account for free from your broker.Or just contact me and I’ll set you up with a free paper trading account.
So what is a paper trading account?
A paper trading account let’s you trade your system with “virtual money”. You will get live quotes and can enter the trades according to your plan. The daytrading system will simulate fills, and you’ll find yourself in a trading position. Paper trading accounts show the profit and loss in real time, and you can see LIVE how much money you are making or losing. Keep in mind that we’re talking about “virtual money”, so actually you’re not making any money yet.
Why you MUST trade your day trading system on a paper trading account first.
The biggest enemy of a trader is discipline. Traders lose because of the lack of discipline. Your day trading plan might be excellent, but if you don’t have the discipline to follow your trading plan then you’re doomed. Trading your system on a paper trading account will help you to gain confidence in your daytrading system and developing the needed discipline to actually make money with it.
Don’t make this mistake
Many traders start “improving” their trading system after they experienced a loss or a few losers in a row. Though encountering a loser might be exactly within the expectations of your system, you start questioning the system. You start “improving” the system by changing a few parameters or adding some filters. You forget that you tested your system on more than 2,000 trades; you traded it for a few days and think that’s it needs some “fine tuning”.
That’s the biggest mistake a trader can make. If you developed your system based on the outline I gave you in Step 1 and tested it against the principles I gave you in Step 2, then most likely you have a robust daytrading system.
Keep in mind that trading a system does NOT mean having an ATM in your front yard. Losses are part of our business, and NO trading system has an equity curve that’s straight pointing up without any dips. You need to trade your system for at least 40 trades before you should think about modifying it.
How to become a successful trader
In order to become a successful trader you need a trading plan. After reading thus far you already figured that out, did you?
Equally important is having the discipline to follow the plan.
Lack of discipline is caused by your emotions, basically greed and fear:
You fear losses and if you’re experiencing a winner you become greedy. And that’s when you start tampering with your system: You might want to give your trade “a little bit more room” and increase the stop, or you want to “get a few dollars more” and start moving your profit goal. And BOOM: You just lost the discipline you need.
By watching your trades on a paper trading account you will learn a lot about yourself and how to deal with emotions:
When the U.S. Mint announced it was adding a .9999 gold bullion coin to its line of gold coins, it looked like a “golden opportunity” for the Mint to capture a big chunk of 24-karat gold coin market. When legislation was passed mandating that the new coin bear James Earle Fraser’s designs that graced the legendary Buffalo/Indian Head nickels from 1913 through 1938, the new coin’s future looked even brighter.
However, on release of the new Buffalo gold coin, the Mint’s golden opportunity has turned into a nightmare at the retail level. While the coin itself is quite striking, having a matte finish and completely capturing the Fraser designs, the packaging makes the coins a nightmare.
Although the bulk of the blame can be laid on Congress for attempting to “micro-manage” production and distribution of the coins, the Mint should accept its share of the blame for the choice of packaging, having not considered, the retail aspects of the packaging.
Congress mandated that the coins be individually encapsulated to protect them from damage, apparently to avoid problems that have risen with 1-oz Canadian Maple Leafs. Further, Congress mandated that the Mint have the coins ready for distribution by the end of June. To meet the deadline, the Mint had to choose a method of packaging that was readily available and that would accommodate anticipated large volume sales.
The Mint chose a semi-rigid Mylar packaging, five coins horizontally with four coins down, making twenty coins to a sheet. With wide spacing between the coins, a “sheet of Buffalos” measures twelve inches by sixteen inches. The packaging causes several problems.
Because of the rigidity of the Mylar, a sheet cannot be folded into a tall bundle. Orders for less than twenty coins have to cut out of the sheets for the coins to be packed compactly, which is desired
There’s a rumor going around that the Mutual Funds are broken and just can’t work anymore, for a multitude of reasons. They’ve tried index funds, but these, too, have been less than impressive since they hit the street a few years back, and are now being enhanced… what does that say? Here are some new and/or forgotten ideas that can get your investment program back on track:
1. Abandon the popular averages: Over the past six years, all of the major averages are grossly negative or just beginning to get back toward their best past levels. At the same time, the NYSE advance/decline line has been extremely positive. Additionally, the last time the averages were up, issue breadth was totally negative.
2. And the basics of investing, again, are what? Most investors confuse Quality with analyst expectations and think that Diversification means getting one of every product type that’s out there. In fact, they are basic risk minimization tools that every investor needs to use.
3. Appreciate the power of income: Base Income just has to grow every year, period, for a person to have any hope of keeping up with inflation. That’s right, growing Market Value is inflationary… particularly with respect to hat size, and income paves the road to retirement income.
4. Buy low (within reason), sell higher: Profitable company stock prices fluctuate just like unprofitable ones. The difference is that the former are much more likely to move back up again. Buy quality at lower prices (just like any other form of shopping), big BUT, set a reasonable (10% or so) profit-taking target… and pull the trigger. Re-load, and do it again.
5. Embrace The Working Capital Model: For both portfolio Asset Allocation and Performance Evaluation, use the cost basis of your holdings as opposed to their Market Value. This is the only way to use short time periods (a year being the shortest for anything at all meaningful) for any kind of analysis. Also, as a bonus, you’ll never make another fixed income mistake.
6. Fall in love with Volatility, not with securities of any kind: Market volatility is one of the few things (if there are any at all) that you can be certain about. Use it wisely and it will shorten your road to investment success. All too often, unrealized gains on the loved ones become realized losses on the tax return.
7. Remember Peak-to-Peak and Trough-to-Trough: There was a time when tests like these (and variations like P to T, or T to P) where the only valid (Market Value) tests of a manager’s ability. They still are. I have never found a correlation between the calendar year and any market, interest rate, or economic cycle.
8. Corrections are every bit as lovable as rallies: In truth, profit taking is more fun, and much easier decision-making than buying stocks while in the throes of a falling Equity Market. But one is just the flip side of the other, and you need to learn the lyrics to Every Day just as you knew Peggy Sue.
9. Understand The Investor’s Creed: How did trading get a bad rep? What is a stock exchange? Buy and hold just doesn’t fit. The key is timing (not market timing) and selectivity. In a rising market you should be selling more than buying, resulting in a growing cash position. This is a good thing. In a falling market you should be buying more than selling, resulting in a smaller cash position… also a good thing. If you run out of cash while the market is still falling, you are doing it right. By the same token, if you feel stupid having taken your profits and the market is still foaming, your brilliance will not be your only reward.
10. Investing is not a competitive event: It’s all about you: your money, your risk tolerance, your goals, and your objectives. It doesn’t matter what the others are doing, why and how. Think about this. There is no average, index, or benchmark that can be compared to the Market Value changes of a properly diversified portfolio. Nadda.
11. Establish Rules and Apply Discipline… a bonus idea. Just do it.
From: “The Brainwashing of the American Investor: The Book that Wall Street Does Not Want YOU to Read”
Whenever you invest your money in the stock market, you take on a certain amount of risk. While there is no way to get around that risk, it is possible to manage your risk by educating yourself before you start trading.
One of the most important things to remember about any investment, is that if your capital is borrowed, you take on an even greater risk than the actual investment itself. It is never a good idea to borrow, either from a lending institution or from your credit cards, to come up with the money you need for any particular investment. This maximizes your risk in that, if the investment doesn’t pan out, you will still have to repay the amount you borrowed, and may even have to pay penalties depending on your financial position and ability to repay.
Make sure that before you start trading, you have planned ahead and set aside the capital you will need to invest. This will eliminate that third party, and ensure all of your profits will go in your pocket, and not some bank’s ledger. Keep in mind, though, not only will you need the money for your capital, but also for the most expensive part of the stock market – brokers fees.
While each broker will have different rates, most charge a flat fee per trade. These flat fees make it much easier to see a return on your investment much sooner than you would with a variable rate. This also means that, if you are starting with a fairly large investment of perhaps $10,000, and the brokers trading fee was a $100 flat rate per trade, you would only have to see a one percent return to break even. Of course the reverse is also true, in that if you are starting with a smaller investment of only $1000 or so, you would have to see at least a ten percent return to do the same.
Your rate of return will also depend on whether you are investing in a short term or long term system. In a short term system, you will have many more trading fees, since it is based on the buy low, sell high, do it now philosophy. With a long term system, however, you will incur far fewer trading fees due to the fact that with a long term investment, you are investing in the future viability of a company, rather than in an immediate merger or other change.
Managing your money wisely will help to manage your risk. But it is important to remember that even when your monetary risk has been considered, there is always the market risk. That is to say that there is always the chance that when you invest in the stock market today, there is no guarantee that the market will exist tomorrow. There are no guarantees in stock market trading, and there is no way to eliminate your risks entirely. But with good financial planning, and a little common sense, stock investments can be a wonderful way to provide money for your future..
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