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for the empathy. this post was submitted on 28 Feb 2016
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Have you ever met a successful


296 username password
day trader? (self.investing)
submitted 2 years ago by [deleted]
remember me reset password log in
To what degree are they successful?
FI/ER?
Submit a new text post
I am curious because the majority of
my customers that actively trade,
are complete morons who rack up investing
commissions and would be better off subscribe 495,327 investors
holding long. 1,148 investors
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[–] Generic_Username0 168 points 2 years ago 2. Share investment ideas and insights
One time I traded for a couple months and only lost 3. Do NOT make a post asking for advice,
that belongs as a comment in the "Daily
$300. I'd say that's pretty successful.
advice thread".
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4. Keep discussions civil, informative
and polite. Off topic comments, attacks
[–] ScrumpleRipskin 31 points 2 years ago
or insults will not be tolerated.
A couple of years ago for a few months I 'day 5. Strictly no promotional threads. Do
traded' before work and actually made about not post your app, tool, blog, event, etc.
$4000 for the year after all expenses. When I
went back and calculated it, if I had simply held Frequently Asked Questions
the stocks for that time period, I would have /r/Investing FAQ
made about triple that because of trading fees How do I get started in the Stock
Market?
and missed gains when I wasn't holding the
WSJ guide on how to pick a financial
stock. The market was simply on an upswing at planner
Why we recommend Vanguard
that time and I thought I had figured out the
Compare brokers. Barron's 2016
system. Online-Broker Review
Should I invest a lump-sum, or wait?
The next year I lost $4000 -- yay! It's about time in the market, not
permalink embed save parent market timing & Vanguard's thoughts
on lump-sum investing
[–] Balony1 10 points 2 years ago I'm new to investing, what should I
do? This has been asked and answered
Did you learn alot? many times in the past. Use the search
permalink embed save parent function or check out this, this, this,
this, this or this thread.
[–] slayer1am 44 points 2 years ago

$300 worth. Useful Online Resources


permalink embed save parent A guide to stock research!
A hedge fund analyst explains his stock
[–] Generic_Username0 3 points 2 years ago research process. Full of excellent links to
Yes I would say it was worth it. The main thing videos, articles, and books. MUST READ!

it taught me was to cut my losses. It turns out Our favorite websites

I was right with almost every stock and I got


Learning
out like a day early a bunch of times but
cutting my losses saved me from a few big Investopedia
losses.
Recommended Reading
permalink embed save parent
A huge list of the best books on
investing
[–] discountphilly 272 points 2 years ago* Brand spanking new 2017 reading
EDIT - I posted my story here. recommendations - This one is fairly
extensive
I worked at a day trading shop for 3 years 2006- Our user's favorite books
2009 straight out of college. I learned that the ups Warren Buffett's Shareholder Letters

and downs of the job are not right for my mental


state and ultimately left to work as investment Subreddits you may also enjoy
strategy analyst at a fund of funds hedge fund. r/StockMarket
However, during those three years I had a span of r/PersonalFinance
3-4 months where I made close to a half a million r/SecurityAnalysis
r/Accounting
dollars. Then there were months I made a regular r/Business
income, 5-15k per month. The problem is I got r/Economics
used to that life style and when I had a span of a r/Finance
r/investmentclub
few bad months and made nothing, I was borderline r/Options
suicidal. Really didn't work with my brain chemistry,
+ Disclaimer
so I stopped.
The guy that trained me was an animal. He really a community for 9 years

only traded 4 stocks (the most active at the time MODERATORS


Message The Moderators
were RIMM, BIDU, AAPL, GOOG), and he did it like
StockJock-e
Tank in the Matrix, he looked at the level 2 quotes
arichi
and traded solely off of those and "feel" of hedgefundaspirations
momentum. He didn't have down months, ever. He investingmoderator
CrasyMike
barely had down days. He would make 5-10k in a
jperras
day, then go to the gym, driving range, bar, etc. He Fletch71011 Options Expert
made 50-150k a month, every month, for the three MasterCookSwag
years I was there. It was by far the most consistent nows
dvdmovie1
trading strategy I had ever seen, but the fact that ...and 1 more »

he did it solely on feel, made it very hard to


< > discussions in r/investing X
emulate. He was trading with approx 5 million
dollars of the firm's money and I never saw him 725 · 298 comments

have a day down more than 2-3k. He mostly traded Trump Threatens Tax on Cars if EU Retaliates
to Proposed U.S. Steel and Aluminum Tariffs
Google, and didn't care about the news, the
market, or anything other than those level 2
quotes. He barely even looked at charts, the only
time he did was to get an idea of what the levels for
the day and for the week were to see where there
would be additional buyers and sellers.
There were also others. There was a guy that
surrounded himself with like 10 monitors traded on
3 monitors and played poker on 5 monitors all while
watching a movie or playing some game on his
main monitor. I dunno his strategy because he
didn't sit next to me and didn't talk much, but I
know he made over 2mil during the first few
months of 2008. He was the epitome of patience,
and literally NEVER had a position on when I walked
by his desk. He just sat there watching his movies
and folding poker hands. However, I guess when he
saw the right bet (in either poker or the market) he
pretty much went all in.
There was also a guy that traded only apple stock...
All day. He would rack up 100k shares a day in and
out of just apple. I believe he traded it against the
QQQ at the time. He essentially took the position
that Apple leads the Nasdaq and traded the two off
of each other all day. He was the most volatile
trader I've ever seen he'd make 300k in a day, then
lose 150k in a day, then repeat. I never understood
how he slept at night. But, he was consistently a
top 10 guy at the firm, making multiple millions a
year. There were many others, just not as
interesting as the above three.
Overall it was a great experience. I really learned
and understood how and why the market does what
it does. It taught me that day trading is not for me,
but I got a few longer term strategies out of it that
I still use today. Just on a much smaller scale and
NOT as my sole source of income.
EDIT: Everyone, I'm happy someone is interested,
my wife hates listening to this shit. I can drone on
for hours. I love talking about that time (market
was crazy, huge up move, then huge down move),
and strategies that I learned and the way I trade
now. I posted replies to a few comments. I have
something to finish tonight/tomorrow, but if you
guys post questions in reply to this, I will try to
make a post in the next couple days answering
them and discussing whatever else you guys want.
For now here are links to the other comments:
https://www.reddit.com/r/investing/comments/480
qjf/have_you_ever_met_a_successful_day_trader/d
0hjhmd
https://www.reddit.com/r/investing/comments/480
qjf/have_you_ever_met_a_successful_day_trader/d
0hhl08
https://www.reddit.com/r/investing/comments/480
qjf/have_you_ever_met_a_successful_day_trader/d
0hbtia
https://www.reddit.com/r/investing/comments/480
qjf/have_you_ever_met_a_successful_day_trader/d
0gz13r
https://www.reddit.com/r/investing/comments/480
qjf/have_you_ever_met_a_successful_day_trader/d
0gyggz
permalink embed save

[–] discountphilly 87 points 2 years ago

MORE STORIES: (I started writing a lot, then Chrome crashed.


This is what I saved from the screengrab. I'll be back with
more in a bit.
Other Chars: There were lots of interesting people that
worked there. Many people were loners, not sure if that's
because they were introverted, because it takes a certain type
of personality to be a good trader, or because no one really
wanted anyone else to know their strategy. Probably a
combination of all of them.
There was a guy that was very mysterious. He came in and
talked about his super secret strategy, said he would take 2
new hires, and made us take a test to decide who he was
going to take. Very open ended and obscure. (It was a random
stock chart with peaks and troughs in a channel that
eventually went up. He just said, write down what you think of
this. To this day I remember it vividly, and everyone kind of
being like W T F should I write, I just want to be picked to be
in his fund.) The story was that in the 2005 he made 10 mil,
then in 2006, he took 5 mil of his own money and 20 mil of
the company's money and made a "fund." He already had one
guy, and was hiring two more to learn his strategy. I didn't get
picked. The two kids that were picked were rarely if ever seen,
and they never talked about what he did. I still never found
out, I heard he got huge and just trades his own money now.
The overall atmosphere there was interesting, there were lots
of clashing personalities. Not as much debauchery as people
would think. There were literally no girls. My year had one girl.
She lasted exactly the 12 months then left. The overall
mentality was that girls are too emotional to trade. In my
experience, there's guys that are WAY too emotional to trade.
People kept to themselves, but there were little cliques.
Interestingly people gathered based on the strategies they
traded. There were the Level 2 traders. There were chart guys.
There were "sitch" guys, who traded situations where a stock
shot up for some unknown reason. There were longer term
traders who were in a different room altogether.
There was a guy who made a team of these "sitch"
(situational) traders. They had like 10000000 different alerts
for if stocks went up/down a huge % in a short period of time,
or spiked in volatility, or had too many shares trade in a short
period of time. Then they'd have guys in the news to figure out
if there's something going on. If they didn't find some news
they would take the other side of the trade and wait to see if
the trades either get broken up by the market for being
erroneous, or if they stood. Most of the time the trades got
broken up and no one was harmed. What sometimes happens
is people make some dumb mistake, mistype a ticker, think the
name of a similar company is related to one that is in the
news. They would load up on the wrong stock trying to beat
the rest of the market, and we'd short against it. Over the
course of the next few days the stocks would go back to
normal, and they'd make the difference, on a HUGE amount of
shares. Some guys made a year on a trade like this alone.
Friends just came over. I can go on for days. Will be back
tonight.
permalink embed save parent

[–] discountphilly 49 points 2 years ago

ONE MORE STORY FOR TONIGHT BEFORE I GO TO SLEEP:


Some guy's comment just reminded me of this. So when
Bear Stearns was going to 0, I was trading. I remember
vividly what was happening that day because it was a real
shit show. The numbers are probably off by this point, but
the idea is there. I believe this was a Friday, and pre-
market we all got the update that BSC (their ticker IIRC)
hat some unusual options activity, and went up then down,
and was dropping. This was after a week or two of going
out every day. Its possible that it happened over two days,
and I'm confusing it now. Not sure. This was on the day
heading into the weekend. I know that for sure.
One of the main strategies that MANY people traded was
what we called the "rubber band" basically, stocks move like
rubber bands, they can stretch out really far, but usually
will spring back at least some. Others call this same thing
by different names, I believe the whole fibbonaci / golden
ratio is based on this. I won't get into the underlying
theories.
Naturally almost everyone at the firm started buying at the
open. Instead of going up, the stock spent the day going
from 60 to 30. By noon, half the firm was stopped out of
their positions on the way down. Essentially the whole place
had a horrible day because most people kept buying on the
way down ("catching a falling knife"). Even the seasoned
traders were adding to their positions on the way down
saying that this thing HAS TO BOUNCE, it just went down
almost 100 points in a day. News or no news, most of us
had never seen anything like this with a "legit" company. So
by the end of the day, the stock is in the low 30s, and most
of the firm is just sitting around dumbfounded watching
CNBC. At this point the only people with positions in BSC
were the best traders at the firm. They were LOADED UP,
like millions of dollars long, and all essentially TELLING their
managers that they were going to hold the position over the
weekend. You gotta understand, these are guys that all
have made in the millions of dollars to that point in the
year, and who the fuck were these managers (many of
whom didn't even really trade anymore) to tell them that
they couldn't do whatever they wanted.
So its like 3:30-3:45 and the old-head Master Splinter type
manager of managers comes out (well call him Master
Splinter), and starts arguing with the traders. He was very
well respected, usually whatever he said went. He came out
and said anyone that is still alive (not stopped out) with a
BSC position, is NOT allowed to hold it over the weekend.
So these traders start losing their shit, like I'll put my own
money up if you need, I know its gonna bounce, its been in
the 30s for a while, how much lower can it go... We already
down howmany ever hundred thousand, how can you make
us take these losses on paper, this fucks our whole year.
etc.
So after a few minutes of protesting, master splinter gets
real quiet and goes, I don't give a fuck if you write me a
check for a million dollars right now, if you want to work
here on Monday, you will have 0 shares of BSC in your
account by 4pm. If there is 1 share in anyone's account of
BSC at 4:01, that person has no job on Monday. Don't even
bother coming to work, I don't care if you were #1 in the
firm last year or if you're up $5mm year to date. No more
discussion.
Over TONS of protest, every last trader sold every last
share of BSC. As you all know by now, we came in Monday
morning and the stock was at $5. Master splinter really
earned his stripes that day. The CEO came and praised him
for saving the firm millions of dollars, he probably got a
couple hundred grand bonus for it. Shit, these traders
brought him bottles of champagne and other gifts for saving
their asses/years. Master Splinter sat everyone down that
Monday and explained that in the end there's only one thing
that's important in trading, and that's living to fight another
day. When shit like that goes down, its almost always not
like anything you've ever seen before. The goal might be to
make money, but not that day. That day you should be
learning, you should be fluid, and you should not assume
that what was true yesterday, and what might be true
tomorrow, will be true today.
For those that say that you only hear about the winners....
That day was my second worst day ever. I had something
like 3000 shares that I bought throughout the 50s close to
the open, it was on its way down and I was thinking it was
about to be done going down. Sometimes stocks start
volatile down, then shoot back up, especially after news,
and weeks of going down, etc. Anyway, it wavered there for
a bit, even went up a touch to the point where I was up.
Then all the sudden, BOOM, a huge order came in and the
thing dropped like $2 at once. I hesitated, because I was
pretty much even, just down a bit. I even thought about
buying more, then in a few more seconds it dropped
another $1.50. I hit the sell button but by the time I got
printed, it was down another couple of dollars. I lost like
$9k even though my stop limit was $5k. I felt like shit, this
literally happened in the first hour or so of trading, and I
had to sit there getting barraged by my manger for the rest
of the day. It was an example of trying to sell, but the
market falling out from underneath you. I hit the sell button
on the way down, but by the time I got my print, the stock
was wayyyyy below where I pressed the sell button.
permalink embed save parent

[–] Superfarmer 13 points 2 years ago

This story is incredible.


permalink embed save parent

[–] theycallme1 24 points 2 years ago

Let us know if you ever want to do an iama on WSB, or


just want some dick flair.
permalink embed save parent

[–] discountphilly 14 points 2 years ago

Dunno much about dick flair, but I don't think I'm


special enough to do an iama, but would be glad to if
that's what the people want.
permalink embed save parent

[–] theycallme1 23 points 2 years ago

Maybe not an AMA, but we all would appreciate the


stories. You're getting dick flair regardless.
permalink embed save parent

load more comments (4 replies)

[–] shenanigans38 13 points 2 years ago

Please god come back


permalink embed save parent

[–] sanctusx2 7 points 2 years ago

Great stories! Interesting people.


permalink embed save parent

[–] Neutrum 51 points 2 years ago

Got any more stories about the strategies and characters


involved? I'd even like to hear the less interesting ones you
mentioned.
permalink embed save parent

[–] discountphilly 64 points 2 years ago

Yes, today is fam day though. I will come back to this in a


few hours.
permalink embed save parent

[–] dilln 70 points 2 years ago

Thanks fam
permalink embed save parent

[–] airstrike 3 points 2 years ago

RemindMe! 24 hours
permalink embed save parent

[–] RemindMeBot 2 points 2 years ago*

I will be messaging you on 2016-02-29 22:32:05


UTC to remind you of this link.
29 OTHERS CLICKED THIS LINK to send a PM to
also be reminded and to reduce spam.
Parent commenter can delete this message to hide from
others.

[Your
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[–] airstrike 2 points 2 years ago


so, it's been a few hours! don't leave us hanging here
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[–] discountphilly 15 points 2 years ago

Reposting here for visibility:


ONE MORE STORY FOR TONIGHT BEFORE I GO TO SLEEP:
Some guy's comment just reminded me of this. So when
Bear Stearns was going to 0, I was trading. I remember
vividly what was happening that day because it was a real
shit show. The numbers are probably off by this point, but
the idea is there. I believe this was a Friday, and pre-
market we all got the update that BSC (their ticker IIRC)
hat some unusual options activity, and went up then down,
and was dropping. This was after a week or two of going
out every day. Its possible that it happened over two days,
and I'm confusing it now. Not sure. This was on the day
heading into the weekend. I know that for sure.
One of the main strategies that MANY people traded was
what we called the "rubber band" basically, stocks move like
rubber bands, they can stretch out really far, but usually
will spring back at least some. Others call this same thing
by different names, I believe the whole fibbonaci / golden
ratio is based on this. I won't get into the underlying
theories.
Naturally almost everyone at the firm started buying at the
open. Instead of going up, the stock spent the day going
from 60 to 30. By noon, half the firm was stopped out of
their positions on the way down. Essentially the whole place
had a horrible day because most people kept buying on the
way down ("catching a falling knife"). Even the seasoned
traders were adding to their positions on the way down
saying that this thing HAS TO BOUNCE, it just went down
almost 100 points in a day. News or no news, most of us
had never seen anything like this with a "legit" company. So
by the end of the day, the stock is in the low 30s, and most
of the firm is just sitting around dumbfounded watching
CNBC. At this point the only people with positions in BSC
were the best traders at the firm. They were LOADED UP,
like millions of dollars long, and all essentially TELLING their
managers that they were going to hold the position over the
weekend. You gotta understand, these are guys that all
have made in the millions of dollars to that point in the
year, and who the fuck were these managers (many of
whom didn't even really trade anymore) to tell them that
they couldn't do whatever they wanted.
So its like 3:30-3:45 and the old-head Master Splinter type
manager of managers comes out (well call him Master
Splinter), and starts arguing with the traders. He was very
well respected, usually whatever he said went. He came out
and said anyone that is still alive (not stopped out) with a
BSC position, is NOT allowed to hold it over the weekend.
So these traders start losing their shit, like I'll put my own
money up if you need, I know its gonna bounce, its been in
the 30s for a while, how much lower can it go... We already
down howmany ever hundred thousand, how can you make
us take these losses on paper, this fucks our whole year.
etc.
So after a few minutes of protesting, master splinter gets
real quiet and goes, I don't give a fuck if you write me a
check for a million dollars right now, if you want to work
here on Monday, you will have 0 shares of BSC in your
account by 4pm. If there is 1 share in anyone's account of
BSC at 4:01, that person has no job on Monday. Don't even
bother coming to work, I don't care if you were #1 in the
firm last year or if you're up $5mm year to date. No more
discussion.
Over TONS of protest, every last trader sold every last
share of BSC. As you all know by now, we came in Monday
morning and the stock was at $5. Master splinter really
earned his stripes that day. The CEO came and praised him
for saving the firm millions of dollars, he probably got a
couple hundred grand bonus for it. Shit, these traders
brought him bottles of champagne and other gifts for saving
their asses/years. Master Splinter sat everyone down that
Monday and explained that in the end there's only one thing
that's important in trading, and that's living to fight another
day. When shit like that goes down, its almost always not
like anything you've ever seen before. The goal might be to
make money, but not that day. That day you should be
learning, you should be fluid, and you should not assume
that what was true yesterday, and what might be true
tomorrow, will be true today.
For those that say that you only hear about the winners....
That day was my second worst day ever. I had something
like 3000 shares that I bought throughout the 50s close to
the open, it was on its way down and I was thinking it was
about to be done going down. Sometimes stocks start
volatile down, then shoot back up, especially after news,
and weeks of going down, etc. Anyway, it wavered there for
a bit, even went up a touch to the point where I was up.
Then all the sudden, BOOM, a huge order came in and the
thing dropped like $2 at once. I hesitated, because I was
pretty much even, just down a bit. I even thought about
buying more, then in a few more seconds it dropped
another $1.50. I hit the sell button but by the time I got
printed, it was down another couple of dollars. I lost like
$9k even though my stop limit was $5k. I felt like shit, this
literally happened in the first hour or so of trading, and I
had to sit there getting barraged by my manger for the rest
of the day. It was an example of trying to sell, but the
market falling out from underneath you. I hit the sell button
on the way down, but by the time I got my print, the stock
was wayyyyy below where I pressed the sell button.
permalink embed save parent

load more comments (1 reply)

[–] yolotrades 43 points 2 years ago

Interesting that you point out the trader that traded off "feel".
Oddly enough I think in a world with so many technical
indicators that the best one may be ourselves. If you're
intuitive and are good at picking up patterns, how could you
stare at the same companies chart for years and not get a feel
for where shit's going? Watch the tape, watch the order book,
watch the trades... when you see something you've seen
before you jump on it. The trick is convincing your emotional
mind that "you're seen this, you know where it's going, now
pull the trigger on nothing but your instinct".
It's actually how I trade bitcoin now. There's not really much in
the way of fundamentals to trade off with bitcoin so it's either
TA or feel, and TA fails 50% of the time. Once I'd been staring
at bitcoin charts daily for 3 years, I kind of started seeing
things and just automatically being "oh, we're going here next"
and being right a lot of the time. If you can get it to just click
like that and learn how one particular market works, there's a
shit ton of money to be made. Same thing with your boss and
Aapl. Why trade 50 stocks he knows nothing about when
there's the one stock he's a fucking master of? Maybe people
try to trade too many companies or industries and should
focus on smaller subsets?
permalink embed save parent

[–] hakuman 30 points 2 years ago

That Japanese day trader who was profiled in bloomberg


that started with 10k day trading at his engineering job and
now has over 100mil also says he does not pay attention to
the news at all and treats trading more or less like a video
game.
permalink embed save parent

[–] 431854682 10 points 2 years ago

He also made like $20-22m due to a booking error. I


personally wouldn't put too much stock in his methods.
permalink embed save parent
[–] Dewocracy 11 points 2 years ago

If you take that away he still turned 10k into 80m...


That's still very impressive.
permalink embed save parent

[–] CramItClown 10 points 2 years ago

He's up to $250 million now.


permalink embed save parent

[–] a_dog_named_bob 10 points 2 years ago

You mean he turned 22.01m into 100m.


permalink embed save parent

[–] hakuman 5 points 2 years ago

True, but he was still pretty successful before (approx


2-3millionUSD in the 5 years before the mizuho error)
and since(~150millionUSD) that trade. I still think its
interesting that many of the traders that actually "get
rich quick" never really think about trading as such.
permalink embed save parent

load more comments (1 reply)

[–] discountphilly 2 points 2 years ago

Agreed. I can add to this, but will come back and do it later
today. Too nice outside.
permalink embed save parent

[–] Branr 11 points 2 years ago

Just curious, how do these employees, and the firm for which
they work, split profits? Do the employees just get a cut of
profit? Do they have liability for losses?
permalink embed save parent

[–] discountphilly 52 points 2 years ago

You start out being allowed to trade 250k and getting


stopped out when you lose $250 a day. The split starts at
30% of what you make for the firm. As you get better the
stop out gers removed, the amount you can trade goes up
and the percentage goes up. The guys I was describing
were trading ~$5mil accounts, getting upwards of 60% of
what they made and had no stop outs. Also when they
trained people they made 10% of what their trainees made.
There were managers there who trained the people I
described who didn't do anything... 10% from 2-3 guys
making millions was enough for them to just chill, watch
the market, smoke cigars and partake in the partying.
When you started you got a 1 year grace period where you
don't have to pay back any losses. But after the 1 year, if
you were losing money, you had to make it back before you
got paid again. So if you had a couple months down 5-10k
in a row, you pretty much either quit or went a few months
without salary as you tried to grind back. That was the hard
part, especially when you are young, immature and spend
money like an idiot.
permalink embed save parent

[–] [deleted] 14 points 2 years ago

You start out being allowed to trade 250k and getting


stopped out when you lose $250 a day.
If you're down 0.1% they make you stop? What the
hell...? So when the market has a down day they force
everyone to pack it up and go home?
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[–] discountphilly 19 points 2 years ago

No, this is for new guys who have no idea what


they're doing. Mainly they want to prevent "deer in
head lights" syndrome, when you'd be down a shit
ton before you realize which way is up. That limit
went to $500 then $1000 quickly. Still, if you're smart
you stop yourself by $500 regardless unless
something crazy is happening.
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[–] [deleted] 4 points 2 years ago

How the hell can you get through even a minor


fluctuation when the limit is so small? 0.1% is not
a lot, even my 401k probably fluctuates by $250
across days and it's not even at $100,000. Is it
only a stop on that one particular equity?
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[–] discountphilly 18 points 2 years ago*

Because you're not just sitting there with your


entire book full of stocks all day. Quite the
opposite actually. More like I see a $30 stock
that I think is going to move, so I buy 100
shares, it moves .20 cents against me, I buy
100 more, it moves another .10 cents against
me, so I sell both lots. That's down $40 from
one trade, plus lets call it $3 in commission.
Assuming you don't lose all trades all the time,
you can actually go for a while with a $250 stop
loss.
I should add that just because you could trade
up to $250k, doesn't mean that you wielded
that much at once. If you were a relatively new
guy and had all $250k invested at once, you
better pray to whoever the fuck you pray to that
a manager didn't see you, or that you didn't
have a tick go against you that forced you out
of your position down significantly more than
$250. Oh boy. That would not end well for you.
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[–] [deleted] 5 points 2 years ago

That makes sense, I guess, but then why


even have a full 250k book?
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[–] discountphilly 25 points 2 years ago*

There are situations where you can load


up on a good risk/reward trade and not
stand to lose much if you're wrong.
For instance. We would trade large round
numbers, like Apple @100. If its trading
at 102-105 for the past few days, and it
looks like its going to touch 100, its a
pretty good bet that it won't go below
100. So you can buy shares at 100.25,
100.20, 100.15, 100.10 etc. Then it may
come close to 100, touch 100, but not go
down below 100 because there were so
many buyers there. So sometimes you
would get 2000 shares at 100.13 knowing
that you would sell them at 100.03 (or
100.00 if you lived dangerously) if it
looked like it was going to have the
momentum to push through. This is
where knowing how to read a level 2 book
is extremely useful. You are risking 10
cents x 1500 ($200) for the possibility
that it goes down a bit, doesn't go
through, then pops back up to 101, 102,
103, etc. In which case you make a few
grand.
Its worth noting that over the years that I
was there, the computers started
outsmarting people in these trades, and
pushing the price through 100, just to
force others to sell. It was always a game
of think 3 steps ahead of your opponent,
but try not to outsmart yourself. You also
had to have a VERY fast machine and
market feed. If you got frozen up and the
stock blew through 100, you might not
get to sell your 2000 shares until it was at
99.30, in which case you were fucked with
a capital F.
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[–] SandyPaper 3 points 2 years ago

More! More situations. I absolutely love


reading about this. I had no
understanding of what you mentioned
about the 102-105 range, it touching
100 not going much below, but cpus
got the better of people once that was
figured out.
I love real world examples. Thanks for
sharing
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[–] discountphilly 3 points 2 years ago

See also those situational trades I


referenced here. Loading up your whole
book was commonplace for these guys.
https://www.reddit.com/r/investing/com
ments/480qjf/have_you_ever_met_a_suc
cessful_day_trader/d0hbtia
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[–] mdatwood 7 points 2 years ago

There was a guy that surrounded himself with like 10


monitors traded on 3 monitors and played poker on 5
monitors all while watching a movie or playing some game
on his main monitor.
I had an acquaintance like this years ago. He ended up it
losing it all on poker. Last I heard he stole money from clients
and had to go to jail for awhile.
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[–] versaknight 5 points 2 years ago

man i would give so much to find someone like that to teach


me
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[–] timye 5 points 2 years ago

same, I want a mentor. I would do this job for free as a


summer internship just to learn
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[–] RasAlTimmeh 5 points 2 years ago

Can you explain what is a day trading shop for someone who
doesn't work in investing or finance? Is it like a smaller firm
than Charles Schaub where there are traders that trade client's
money and get a "rip" or commission? When you're saying
they made $x, you mean for the day for their clients or was
this all for themselves?
I always thought the stock market and day trading and forex
to be total nonsense. At least people I knew that did that stuff.
My roommate would get these weird "mentorships" from some
old dude and would do these commodity trading technical
analysis but it never made much sense to me that you can
make any money off of it. He never did so I figured it's
bullshit. Only the logic there was, if it worked, why doesn't
everyone do it?
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[–] discountphilly 8 points 2 years ago

This is my layman's terms explanation (we can talk


technicalities all day). There's brokers and there's traders.
Brokers are people that make a commission for telling you
what stocks to buy. Often they do it for you, but they
generally just buy and hold, in an asset management /
investment sense. Typically, brokers make a % regardless
of whether you make money or not.
Traders are people that are using their own money (or their
firm's money) and buying and selling stocks for their own
gain. You eat what you kill. You make or lose whatever the
stock makes or loses, the reason its called day trading, is
because it's short term, no one wants to sit around and wait
for their 100 shares of apple to go up $25 over the course
of a few months. I'd rather make $1-2 on 300 shares of
apple, 10 times in a day or two. Depending on whose
money it is, the trader gets to keep some or all of it. If they
lose, they either don't get paid at all, or lose some of their
own money, or a combination of the two.
The size of these shops can be as small as one to five
people sitting in a room by themselves with a feed of the
market to a huge space with hundreds of traders.
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[–] [deleted] 4 points 2 years ago

I am guessing these guys also confused air with Cocaine right.


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[–] discountphilly 2 points 2 years ago

You may not believe it, but not really. I smoked once before
trading and lost a ton of $$ in 15 min. Never again. You
really want a clear head, good judgment and as little
emotion as possible. My boss would tell you to stay home if
you were fighting with your GF.
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[–] Nonethewiserer 4 points 2 years ago

This is so fascinating. Please feel free to write more!


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[–] acrediblesauce 5 points 2 years ago

Can someone please help a noob understand how you can just
trade 1 stock a day and make so much money?
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[–] discountphilly 31 points 2 years ago*

The guy that trained me was buying 500-3000 shares of


Google when it was trading in the 300s. It makes a 1 point
move (which to a $300 stock is nothing) that's a $500-
$3000 profit. The goal is to get big stocks that move large
amounts daily for 3-5 point swings at once, on a few
hundred to a few thousand shares. If you do that a couple
times a day, you have yourself a nice $5k - 10k day and go
home. It's really as simple as that. The key is to know when
to do it, when not to do it, and when the market is tricking
you into thinking that its time to do it.
For anyone that's talking transaction costs, we paid $0.003
per share bought or sold. So 1000 shares was $3. Unless
you churn like a maniac (which is what lots of noobs tend to
do) you really only have a few hundred bucks a day in
transaction costs. If you had $1000 in profits and $700 in
transaction costs, you were doing it wrong.
That's how all these BS companies make money, they
essentially want you to trade for them knowing that as a
noob u just want the rush of having stocks "in play" and
you will just sit there and buy and sell for peanuts all day.
They make your transaction costs, you make shit, then you
lose your $5-10k that you had to start with and go home,
thinking that you suck at trading.
The best way I can explain it, is day trading is like playing
poker (when you know how to play poker). You don't play
85-95% of hands, and sometimes you play the man (very
risky in the market bc the market doesn't give a fuck if
you're bluffing). Your goal is to find 10 trades a day, and
make over $100 on each winning trade, lose under $100 on
each losing trade. If you're even 50/50 (aka flipping a coin)
you will slowly make money. Then the goal is to learn how
to hold (and add to) your winners, and quickly cut your
losses. Don't get emotional, don't get attached, get out. I
had days where I traded 5 times like this: 1) up 250 2)
down 80 3) up 300 4) down 120 5) up 550
Go home up $900. I'm oversimplifying, but the goal was to
make a few good trades, not to trade stocks all day.
Its just as important to know when you just don't feel it. If
you have your morning start like this: 1) down 50 2) down
80 3) down 130 -- Stop trading. Sit back and just watch the
market. Unplug the keyboard if you have to. Only come
back in if you see the market doing one of your go-to
trades. Don't try to make it back in one trade. If you can't
do that go home.
Don't get mad at the market. Don't punish yourself and
hold on to a position that you know you should have sold 20
mins ago (I did this a lot). Go walk around in the park, ride
a bike, work out. Come back tomorrow. Its easier to say
when you're not in the moment, but its also annoying to
look back and be like I was such an idiot for losing $500 on
that trade that I could have easily cut at down $150.
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[–] RasAlTimmeh 4 points 2 years ago

This reminds me exactly of gambling. And the thing I


learned about myself in gambling is, I am very patient ...
until I can't be. Meaning I can see myself having the self
control to go up down up up down and being positive for
like 2 months and then eventually wanting to give into
my impulse to hit it big and then losing all my margins.
Why is it that sometimes you read in the news that
people who are high test or impulsive and risk takers do
better at stock trading? Is that a myth?
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[–] discountphilly 9 points 2 years ago

Its very similar to gambling. However, the difference


here is we try to find/create situations where you are
playing black jack, but if the dealer wins you lose
$100, but if you win, you win $200. If the game can
be anywhere close to 50/50 in that sense, all the
sudden you want to play that game over and over and
over and over. The hard part is to not start risking
$1000 when you lose $100 a couple times in a row.
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[–] timye 8 points 2 years ago

Volume, hes not buying 10 shares of apple. If the guy had


millions to work with, think about how many shares he
could buy/sell. When you own so many shares, a small
increase in price can have a big profit. (I think)
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[–] timye 5 points 2 years ago

How does someone start working at a day trading shop? How


did you find it/get exposed to one? Seems like a very unique
experience
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[–] TROLOLOLBOT 2 points 2 years ago

If he was so good why didn't he just work for himself? Or why


didn't evenyone at shop just copy him
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[–] Superfarmer 2 points 2 years ago

You're a good writer. You should write a book.


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[–] NewYorkAnh2 160 points 2 years ago

My director has made almost 200k in a span of 3 months. I work


on the trading floor and in the Risk department and he's a
director who spends too much time doing his analysis and talking
about the markets at work. He's so focused on his trading that
he's not even focusing on doing his job for the entire work day
I've actually taken a few of the positions he recommended and
made around 10k in a span of 1-2 months.
But I stopped opening positions that he was recommending b/c
the amount of money to execute his strategies is too much for me
to bear. He does a lot of calendar spreads and complicated option
strategies where he looks at price, vega, and theta of the
derivatives applies his own volatility skew etc etc then takes the
position.
The problem I have is that I don't understand the mathematics
behind his models and calculations and therefore me taking
positions blindly based on his recommendations is no better than
me copy Warren Buffets portfolio. I don't understand it and it
scares me to have short call options where the hedge is so far out
that if the market was to move against me, I could be in a ton of
deep sh*t.
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[–] ketamarine 124 points 2 years ago

THIS is precisely why us "civilians" should never day trade -


this guy is on the other side of your trades!
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[–] leshake 44 points 2 years ago

That's not why, it's because you have to be very


sophisticated to make it work. It's not just buy now and sell
later, it's buy 5 things at a specific price, short five other
things at a specific price. At the end of the day it's glorified
arbitrage and hedging and you have to have a very keen
understanding of how everything is working and a huge
bank roll to make that many trades at once.
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[–] ketamarine 32 points 2 years ago

I work with traders every day. They have immeasurable


data, analytical and market access advantages over an
every day retail day trader. The strategies are important,
yes, but even a retail investor with a fantastic long-short
or arbitrage-based strategy will have a much harder time
making money than an institutional trading desk. Picking
stocks and day trading are a mugs game for anyone
outside of this infrastructure. Retail investors should take
advantage of the strategies where these disadvantages
don't exists - like buying and holding low fee/smart beta
ETFs and individual stocks.
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[–] fikatrading 7 points 2 years ago

This is true if you are trying to arb intraday. However,


pair/spread trading is pretty doable on your own if
your willing to go to a longer time frame(like a few
weeks holding time). If you understand linear
regression and basic statistics your pretty far along.
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[–] versaknight 3 points 2 years ago

how do i bet a spead? I know stats pretty well.


Sorry for the noob question. (just point me to the
resources, i wanna have a go at it)
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[–] fikatrading 4 points 2 years ago

(Stock A)x(R1)-(Stock B)x(R2) = Spread


ThinkorSwim is great for charting spreads. Try
Ernie Chan's books/blog. Good luck!
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[–] ketamarine 2 points 2 years ago

I could see it working out with a strategy that had


longer holding periods and depended less on fast
execution. I don't have a ton of experience with
trading systems like interactive brokers or think or
swim (now TD Ameritrade / TD Direct Investing) -
they might help close the gap!
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[–] LukasDG 3 points 2 years ago

How do they measure that immeasurable data?


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[–] TheRealAntacular 18 points 2 years ago

TI-83s.
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[–] kjuneja 7 points 2 years ago

89 master race
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[–] MasterCookSwag 3 points 2 years ago

But I was told I'd only need a BAII???


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[–] [deleted] 5 points 2 years ago

My silver BAii PROFESSIONAL says hi. I knew


you would buy the ghetto version.
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[–] MasterCookSwag 4 points 2 years ago

Ahem, if you knew anything about us


super sophisticated industry folks you'd
know the "professional" was implied.
Pleb.
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[–] [deleted] 2 points 2 years ago

With their weens


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[–] [deleted] 2 points 2 years ago

What does short mean?


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[–] hero_of_ages 2 points 2 years ago

"betting against it". A position that allows you to


profit by its share price dropping.
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[–] [deleted] 2 points 2 years ago

Who's taking the bet?


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[–] NewYorkAnh2 6 points 2 years ago

Yea it's mind boggling the depth he goes to to analyze his


trades. I tried to read up on the material outside of work to
understand what he's talking about but this guy has over a
decade of experience in the industry and is just a wealth of
knowledge. I eventually lost motivation to keep reading
after banging my head trying to understand for a while.
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[+] [deleted] 2 years ago (9 children)

[+] [deleted] 2 years ago (5 children)

[–] datanaut 10 points 2 years ago

But I stopped opening positions that he was recommending


b/c the amount of money to execute his strategies is too
much for me to bear.
Why couldn't you just take a proportional position using less
money? Are there just too many transactions involved to make
the fees not worth it, or something else?
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[–] NewYorkAnh2 87 points 2 years ago

Well.. even if I was to buy 1 contract at each position, it's


still at least 2-3k to buy contract and his strategies will
often require me to buy more than one different
contract(s). For example, he might buy an Apple march call
at 100, an Apple Call at 105, and sell two Apple April call at
150, then short the underlying stock or go long the
underlying.
To be perfectly honest, I have no idea why he's doing what
he's doing. While I do work with models that use Black-
Scholes to value options, I only work in the specialized part
like making sure the volatility we enter into the model is
reasonable but I don't understand how in depth how the
model works or the whole picture. Also, sometimes he sells
calls and the idea of having an infinite loss (even if it's
unlikely) is terrifying to me.
The thing is, he has such a great understanding of what
he's doing that I highly doubt he does his trades through
personal brokers or services that he can't just do it online
himself. This is a guy who will do regression models to
calculate how much certain companies are exposed to
commodities like natural gas and buy their shares. My
company makes us sign an agreement that we can't buy
certain commodities so he gets around this by buying
shares in companies that are sensitive to certain commodity
prices.
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[–] johnloeber [ ] 19 points 2 years ago

Fascinating story, thanks for sharing.


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[–] NewYorkAnh2 1 point 2 years ago

No problem!
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[–] from_dust 17 points 2 years ago

Wow. I wish I were good at numbers and stuff.


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[–] NewYorkAnh2 6 points 2 years ago

Ya but being decades in the industry also helps a lot


too and you pick up on the industry.
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[–] meiggs 4 points 2 years ago

Which companies are exposed to natural gas?


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[–] Manstable 4 points 2 years ago

On shore E&P's... Like, the ones all going bankrupt.


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[–] NewYorkAnh2 2 points 2 years ago

Power and utility companies b/c most power


generation plants use natural gas as a fuel source so
their prices are strongly correlated with natural gas.
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[–] sup3 2 points 2 years ago

I wouldn't bet on utility companies for exposure to


natural gas. Any savings they might be seeing are
marginal as a percentage of transportation /
delivery, and they're probably required (by law) to
pass most of those savings to their customers
anyway.
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[–] datanaut 5 points 2 years ago

Thanks for the reply, sounds pretty interesting. Is it a


commodities hedge fund or something?
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[–] NewYorkAnh2 8 points 2 years ago

Well the corporate I work for owns corporations that


own power generation plants and we have a trading
floor to hedge against the generation's output. The
traders eventually were able to speculate trade the
market and thus they created a Risk department to
make sure the traders don't incur multi-million dollar
losses.
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[–] TheRealAntacular 9 points 2 years ago

Where have I heard of this before.........


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[–] Comeonyouidiots 3 points 2 years ago

Enron?
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[–] NewYorkAnh2 4 points 2 years ago

Haha shrug. Every trading shops think they're


different from other corrupted shops and think
they're different. Whether they are or are not
umm.. well time will tell.
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[–] ihatechange 2 points 2 years ago

Sounds like he is anticipating a skewed distribution.


Do you know what causes him to expect a non-normal
distribution?
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[–] NewYorkAnh2 2 points 2 years ago

I would ask him but I'm afraid he'd hold me there for
an hour just talking to me about the markets and I
can't get my work done. The answer is I don't know
=/.
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[–] ihatechange 3 points 2 years ago

Later in life, you might regret not asking.


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[–] NewYorkAnh2 2 points 2 years ago

God I hope you're wrong. I mean I know he's a


wealth of knowledge but I just don't want to
make the time at work when I'm already
putting in more than 9 hours of work a day. I
feel like I should be taking advantage of the
knowledge and I do when I can but it's tiring
trying to get my work done then learning from
him the subjects outside of work.
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[–] discountphilly 14 points 2 years ago

This is a huge misconception. A successful day trader is not


someone who sits and churns in and out of stocks all day. I
started like this, thinking that I needed to always have a
position on and trying to pick up nickels in front of steam
rollers. In reality a day trader is someone who doesn't hold
any positions overnight because that risk is not one that
you are considering in your position or willing to take.
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[–] NewYorkAnh2 2 points 2 years ago

My director probably holds the positions over a span of a


few days but I still consider him a day trader b/c he will
check his positions for a said stock every day and re-
adjust his portfolio based on market movements. He
might not close all his positions over night but he does
buy and sell options and the underlying to adjust his
portfolio.
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[–] Indefinitely_not 45 points 2 years ago

To what degree are they successful? FI/ER?


This may be of interest to you: Barber et al. "Do Individual Day
Traders Make Money? Evidence from Taiwan"
Heavy day traders earn gross profits, but their profits are not
sufficient to cover transaction costs. In addition, there's strong
evidence that a small group of day traders consistently earns
(above-average) profits (0.62% per day).
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[–] TheRealAntacular 24 points 2 years ago

Data??? Boooo this man


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[–] Indefinitely_not 12 points 2 years ago


I'll see myself out.
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[–] TheRealAntacular [M] 19 points 2 years ago

I think that would be best.


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[–] pancake_friday 9 points 2 years ago

Fools are upvoting anecdotes instead of real data.


Your real data showed that more than 80% of daytraders lost
money. So just like poker, only less fun.
There is a tiny group of daytraders that do consistently beat
the market, by 0.62% per day. That is huge, but it is before
transaction costs. This small group of truly successful
daytraders should be given capital, to amortize their
transaction costs, and make great money. The rest should get
out.
Thank you for your post.
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[–] redditor3000 2 points 2 years ago

What percentage of traders consistently beat the market?


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[–] pancake_friday 3 points 2 years ago

0.77%. 393 out of the 51,347 they looked at.


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[+] [deleted] 2 years ago (1 child)

[–] YaDunGoofed 9 points 2 years ago*

That's 850 370% per annum


EDIT: ty /u/Indefinitely_not and /u/giants4210
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[–] Indefinitely_not 23 points 2 years ago*

251 trading days with a consistent daily return of 0.62%


translates to an annualized return of:
1.0062256251 = 4.7181 or an annualized return of roughly
471.8%. How did you arrive at 850%?
Edit: As /u/giants4210 pointed out, it should be 1-
1.0062251 = 3.7181 = 371.81% annualized gain.
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[–] Wolomago 7 points 2 years ago

My guess is that he used 365 days


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[–] giants4210 7 points 2 years ago

Wouldn't that be a return of 371.8%? If you had 0%


return that would be 1256 = 1. You wouldn't call that
100% return.
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[–] Indefinitely_not 6 points 2 years ago

You are completely right.


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[–] leshake 5 points 2 years ago

I can make 10k% per annum at the roulette wheel.


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[–] [deleted] 9 points 2 years ago

Not consistently.
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[–] GLneo 7 points 2 years ago

a small group of day traders consistently earns


profits
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[–] minuteman_d 8 points 2 years ago

This is one of the most interesting lessons I took


from "Fooled By Randomness". The thought
experiment of 1000 people playing a game with
50/50 odds. Each successive round, you'll have
people who seem to "win" consistently until you
have a handful that seemingly can't lose. The small
group might just be getting lucky.
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[–] skgoa 19 points 2 years ago

The small group might just be getting lucky.


Or they might simply know something most
people don't. You can't really make a point
either way without looking at what people are
actually doing and checking whether their
results are statistically significant.
As a trader, I spend a lot of time doing what
amounts to statistical research on market data.
I analyze a ton of data and build models of what
I expect to happen in the near-term future. I
then test these hypotheses on new data
generated by the market. In the ideal case I get
returns that fit close to my predicted
distribution of returns. If that happens (and it
does quite often) I have a working strategy,
which yields consistent profits. Yet when I go on
/r/investing I get to read that it was all just luck
and that everyone who dares to generate more
than 8% p.a. returns is a statistical outlier
and/or degenerate gambler.
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[–] dwarfinvasion 7 points 2 years ago

Just the fact that you can write this


paragraph means that you likely have a good
enough grip on variance and sample size to
be able to accurately assess your edge.
1. How long have you been successfully
trading?
2. How long did you lose or break even
before arriving at a profitable strategy?
3. Why do you even come to this
subreddit?
4. Will you teach me? :)
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[–] skgoa 5 points 2 years ago

Uh, I could write a novel to answer those


questions, but don't have the time or
motivation to, so here are some semi-
coherent thoughts while I commute to
work:
I was actually a lucky outlier in that I
right at the start I stumbled on the best
places to learn and best people/books to
learn from. IMO Sturgeon's Law (90% of
everything is shit) is in full effect in the
world of trading. I suspect that's one of
the reasons why so many traders fail.
Certain aspects of trading can be highly
complex, I'm amazed that there even are
a few people who figure it all on their
own. One of those people is Adam
Grimes. I can't recommend his book The
Art and Science of Technical Analysis
enough. Also, I can't thank Kevin Davey
enough, who basically made all the
mistakes I would have made, had he not
shared his experiences so openly. If you
are at all interested in algorithmic trading
or strategy generation/validation, his
work is the best place to start.
I spend a month studying trading, the
markets etc. while waiting for the next
semester to start. I studied CS at the time
an had discovered trading when I was
looking for interesting topics for my
thesis. Luckily I then had to do a
semester-long project, so I sat down and
build a machine learning system in Matlab
that looks for patterns in the EUR/USD
forex pair and tries to predict significant
moves up or down in the following days.
(An SVM, for those who wonder.) I
achieved a ~70% accuracy in predicting
price differences over a data set
encompassing over a decade and many
different market regimes. In fairness,
those 70% include the same long trends
multiple times when you would have
entered only once in reality, but it still was
a pretty nice first attempt that served as
the foundation of my first trading system.
So I opened an account with Oanda and
never had that "pay your dues" period of
learning the hard way.
I have since branched out to other
markets, asset classes and types of
models, but the general approach stays
the same:
Build the simplest possible model
that is right more often than wrong
by a statistically significant amount,
i.e. has an edge.
Come up with a trading strategy or
simply put: a way to bet on that
edge.
Do a ton of statistical work on
whether or not that strategy is
actually as viable as you thought,
what the relevant metrics
(drawdown, capital requirements,
risk of ruin etc.) are and whether
the strategy is highly correlated with
a strategy you are trading already.
Read Kevin's book to learn how to
do this correctly.
If turns out to be worthwhile, put it
to the test on new market data and
check whether it's behavior in reality
matches up to the metrics you have
come up with.
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[–] skgoa 3 points 2 years ago

Uh, I could write a novel to answer those


questions, but don't have the time or
motivation to, so here are some semi-
coherent thoughts while I commute to
work:
I was actually a lucky outlier in that I
right at the start I stumbled on the best
places to learn and best people/books to
learn from. IMO Sturgeon's Law (90% of
everything is shit) is in full effect in the
world of trading. I suspect that's one of
the reasons why so many traders fail.
Certain aspects of trading can be highly
complex, I'm amazed that there even are
a few people who figure it all on their
own. One of those people is Adam
Grimes. I can't recommend his book The
Art and Science of Technical Analysis
enough. Also, I can't thank Kevin Davey
enough, who basically made all the
mistakes I would have made, had he not
shared his experiences so openly. If you
are at all interested in algorithmic trading
or strategy generation/validation, his
work is the best place to start.
I spend a month studying trading, the
markets etc. while waiting for the next
semester to start. I studied CS at the time
an had discovered trading when I was
looking for interesting topics for my
thesis. Luckily I then had to do a
semester-long project, so I sat down and
build a machine learning system in Matlab
that looks for patterns in the EUR/USD
forex pair and tries to predict significant
moves up or down in the following days.
(An SVM, for those who wonder.) I
achieved a ~70% accuracy over a data
set encompassing over a decade and
many different market regimes. In
fairness, those 70% include the same
long trends multiple times when you
would have entered only once in reality,
but it still was a pretty nice first attempt
that served as the foundation of my first
trading system. So I opened an account
with Oanda and never had that "pay your
dues" period of learning the hard way.
I have since branched out to other
markets, asset classes and types of
models, but the general approach stays
the same:
Build the simplest possible model
that is right more often than wrong
by a statistically significant amount,
i.e. has an edge.
Come up with a trading strategy or
simply put: a way to bet on that
edge.
Do a ton of statistical work on
whether or not that strategy is
actually as viable as you thought,
what the relevant metrics
(drawdown, capital requirements,
risk of ruin etc.) are and whether
the strategy is highly correlated with
a strategy you are trading already.
Read Kevin's book to learn how to
do this correctly.
If turns out to be worthwhile, put it
to the test on new market data and
check whether it's behavior in reality
matches up to the metrics you have
come up with.
It's a ton of work and only a few trade
ideas make it through the process without
being discarded. Which is why I scoff at
people who claim that it's all just luck.
Trading is skill based. Most people don't
have any clue how to do it, so they end
up in more or less random (though with a
negative mean because of trading costs)
distribution of results. You see the same
outcome anywhere pros and and
amateurs compete against each other,
e.g. poker turnaments.
Anyway, if you want to get into trading,
you have to realize that it's called the
hardest way to make easy money for a
reason. Start by reading Adam's book.
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[–] dwarfinvasion 2 points 2 years ago


Thanks for the response! Funny that
you brought the analogy to poker. I've
been playing poker as a part time
professional for almost 6 years now.
There are an incredible amount of
parallels between poker and trading,
leading me to believe that profitable
trading should be possible, though
difficult. I understand completely when
you say that it's the hardest way to
make easy money :).
It seems to me that poker is simply
more intuitive to learn to beat, and the
instructions/training on how to beat it
are easily accessible on the internet.
Trading seems much more murky, and
it appears much more difficult to find a
road map for training on how to get
good.
What kind of ROI do you make as a
trader?
Do you feel that you will continue to
have sustainable profitable strategies?
I'm assuming the market keeps
becoming more efficient, and it
becomes tougher to find an edge? It's
this way with poker.
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[–] gzilla57 2 points 2 years ago

There's nothing wrong with being a statistical


outlier.
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[–] minuteman_d 6 points 2 years ago

Assuming you have a repeatable and


reliable method for being that outlier. ;-)
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[–] Indefinitely_not 5 points 2 years ago

Unlikely, given the fact that it is exactly the


more heavy traders who consistently make
money. In addition, the paper offers credible
possible explanations why these heavy day
traders outperform.
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[–] flashinm 31 points 2 years ago*

A lot of comments from people that don't know what they're


talking about on this thread. I know plenty of successful day
traders and they don't win because of some great technological
edge over everyone else. They win because they've mastered
their craft through time and hard work (and many painful lessons
in most cases).
Trading is mostly about psychology and risk management once
you've learned the technical setups/strategies. It's about as
honest a profession as you will find. There's nowhere to hide in
day trading. You're either consistently profitable or you go broke.
Few people are willing or able to go through the ups and downs of
learning but the reward on the other side is about as good as it
gets. I know guys that regularly make 3-5k in the first hour then
go back to bed, go play golf, whatever. I'm talking about
everyday average joes too, not masters of high finance. One of
the most successful traders I know of used to sell swing sets for a
living. Another one is almost never seen not wearing a tank top.
But I've also seen guys who were up 150k on the year, blow it all
in one trade. You definitely have to be on your game at all times
and follow very strict rules regarding risk management.
It's definitely possible, but some people would rather write it off
as impossible than admit that they just can't do it.
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[–] VersatilityMaster 15 points 2 years ago

This is 100% accurate.


As a successful trader, the psychological aspect is the most
difficult to figure out. It took me years to get it in-check and at
times I am still troubled by it.
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[–] discountphilly 2 points 2 years ago

THIS
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[–] deadkactus 2 points 2 years ago

same thing with reading comments anywhere on reddit. you


have to take into account the psychology of it and that people
just plain troll for fun.
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[–] moneyking123 2 points 2 years ago

With how much capital did he make 3-5k?


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[+] [deleted] 2 years ago (2 children)


[–] buck9000 9 points 2 years ago

I have been working in the market since I was about 20, am 39


now, took a couple years off recently and traded my PA.
I was up pretty big but don't really take too much credit since the
market was up overall.
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[–] [deleted] 10 points 2 years ago

Yeah. My girlfriend's mom dated one. Had been doing it for ~15
years. Had made a very significant sum of money. Came from a
pretty typical middle class background, was driving a very nice
german sports car and had a great house in one of the most
expensive suburbs.
He was a brilliant dude. It wasn't day trading for the most part
but I talked to him and most of his positions were on a 2 week - 2
month time horizon and it was a lot of options. Had spent about a
decade at a large finance firm, but decided he could make more
money going solo as a trader.
Just because it's generally a bad idea for most people doesn't
mean there aren't people who are very good at it.
The reddit circlejerk about it being the worst thing in the world is
kinda bullshit IMO.
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[–] Martin_444 9 points 2 years ago

At first I thought trading was a joke and you can't make any
money with it in the long-term, but them I kind of learned some
technical analysis and I did find "patterns of human behaviour"
basically in stocks and am using it now as well for timing of
purchase/timing of selling or just to read what the general
market's opinion is of the stock(the graph kind of tells a story).
However I still base almost everything on fundamental analysis
and just buying cheap stocks and selling them when they go too
expensive, but tech analysis allows you to get a bit better prices.
With traders though one thing I never understood as to why these
traders rarely ever get to become billionaires, since their potential
of yearly ROI is much more than anything you could get from
value investing.
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[–] ffsjustgivemeaname 12 points 2 years ago

With traders though one thing I never understood as to


why these traders rarely ever get to become billionaires,
since their potential of yearly ROI is much more than
anything you could get from value investing.
The more capital you have, the harder it is to deploy. You can't
just take multi-million dollar day positions easily in most
stocks.
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[–] FlexGunship 8 points 2 years ago

Yes! I can say I knew on personally! When I first started as an


engineer he was near retirement. He retired early to be a day
trader. He made (by his account) $11 in 8 months. Then came
back as an engineer... $11 richer I assume.
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[–] thisdude415 3 points 2 years ago

That's not bad!


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[–] epicaricacy12 16 points 2 years ago

I day trade futures contracts and some stocks, but not much - my
income with it is feast or famine, and I certainly don't do it as a
full-time job. most of my trading strategies are automated so I
can work full-time (in software) and just watch or monitor the
trades as they happen on the side of my screen.
most day traders who tell you they are successful only will tell
you about their winning trades. they never say anything about
their losers. you have to take what they tell you with a grain of
salt.
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[–] atomofconsumption 7 points 2 years ago

They really are quite full of shit, from what I've seen.
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[–] lsp2005 8 points 2 years ago

Once you are dealing in millions, the commissions are incredibly


inexpensive, I.e. $4 per trade, relative to the amount traded.
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[–] VersatilityMaster 12 points 2 years ago

I'm a successful day trader. I trade index futures, primarily the


/YM. I'm a discretionary trader and I am contrarian in nature,
which puts me short about 90% of the time.
My trading strategy does use basic technical indicators, but
primarily I am trading off of feel, market volume both overall and
at any given moment (#1 measure of conviction IMO), and
support/resistance. My trades last any where from 2 - 45 mins,
but on avg it's about 5-10. I also use a money management
approach that works well with my method of trading. I'm not
afraid to go big into trades knowing I'm disciplined enough to get
out of them when they turn against me.
I have no interest in complicated trading strategies, I'm just not
smart enough to develop one or trade one. I keep it as simple as
possible and use my years of experience to guide me. I've been
trading since 1995 (index futures for about 10 years now) and I
have been fortunate to see just about every type of market
condition there is.
A few of my simple rules:
Don't chase trades. Be patient. Keep it simple. Walk away on bad
days.
Feel free to ask me questions and I'll do my best to help answer
them.
Edit: I also manage my own long term investments. I am ultra
conservative with them and only invest in very solid companies
with strong dividend histories along with a diversified ETF
strategy.
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[–] [deleted] 9 points 2 years ago

What percentage of your overall portfolio would you say makes


up the day trading aspect vs your long term investments?
How much capital should one have before starting?
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[–] VersatilityMaster 10 points 2 years ago

At this point in time it's a very small percentage of my


overall portfolio. I treat my trading like a separate business.
I start with the same amount of capital each month and pay
myself all profits at the end of each month, that's my pay
check. Those profits then get segmented into different
accounts based on my personal needs and taxes. I have a
reserve fund for when I have a bad month so I am not
tapping into my savings or long term investments.
Regarding how much capital: People will say you need to
have your financial house in order before you start trading,
and that may be true, but I don't go by what most say. If
you have 10k and want to give it a shot, go for it. It's your
tuition. Expect to lose it. If you don't, good for you.
However, the reality is, if you don't do it for real you'll never
learn.
That being said, ideally you will have yourself on solid
financial ground and if you're looking to make this your
career you need at least 50k to trade with in the beginning.
The reality is you will lose money or churn your account for
a while. You need to be punished by your mind before you
can be consistently profitable. Your mind will fuck with you
more than anything else when learning, heck, mine still
does.
I lost a lot of money prior to consistently making it. I count
that as my "tuition." It took me many years to be consistent
and overcome some of those simple mistakes beginners
make. I also suggest people paper trade to get a feel for
how things work, but don't expect that to translate over to
"live" trading very much. It's still good to do though. Think
or Swim has a decent paper trading software. They give you
100k to trade with.
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[–] NinjaYoda 3 points 2 years ago

For a guy just barely starting, do you have a


recommended reading?
What are the major lessons you wished someone told
you?
What changes you made which lead to 'consistently
making it'?
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[–] VersatilityMaster 8 points 2 years ago*

For a guy just barely starting, do you have a


recommended reading?
I haven't read too many trading books lately so I
really can't recommend anything. It's been a long
time since I've read anything trading related.
What are the major lessons you wished someone
told you?
Some of the things are obvious but when you're in
the midst of trading, obvious isn't always so obvious.
For instance, I wish someone told me I didn't have to
trade every day. Don't force trades, at all. There are
times when I don't trade for weeks at a time. It's not
typical but it happens. My strategy has a lot to do
with trading the open so it took me a long time to be
okay with only trading the open and being done with
my day; ie: not searching for trades the rest of the
day just because I have the time. Instead I study my
previous trades, research long-term investments, and
do due diligence on crappy companies looking to
turnaround.
What changes you made which lead to
'consistently making it'?
See above. Basically, I stopped trading just to trade
and became a very disciplined trader. There is so
much psychology when it comes to trading that you
are constantly battling yourself. It's difficult to
explain, but your mind is your worst enemy when it
comes to trading.
Another adjustment I made was to start trusting my
instincts and pushing my winners as far as I could. I
am not afraid to allocate high percentages of my
capital to a winning trade. I add to trades often. On
the flip-side, I also became very disciplined when it
came to selling. Selling is the most difficult aspect of
actual trading that you need to master. I sell and eat
my commissions often just to save myself from large
bad trades.
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[–] NinjaYoda 3 points 2 years ago

Selling is the most difficult aspect of actual


trading that you need to master. I sell and eat
my commissions often just to save myself from
large bad trades.
This has been my biggest weakness. Mostly due to
not knowing when to sell. Do you have a set
stratergy on when to exit like 10% up. How do you
evaluate if its time to double down or exit?
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[–] VersatilityMaster 9 points 2 years ago*

This thread is buried enough so I'll post this... I


typically don't mark-up charts every day but I
was teaching a buddy a couple of months ago
and here is a chart discussion we had:
/YM Trades 12-4-15
As you can see, I'm not perfect. I get out of
trades too early (look at the 2nd trade of the
day...damn!) and stay too long at times.
However, over the years I've learned to get
more accurate with my exits.
My exit strategy has to do with volume and
support/resistance, so it's not a set percentage
or dollar amount. I look at what I believe to be
the next support level and exit half my position
there. I then re-evaluate the trade and see how
it's acting. If I think it won't bounce and the
trend will continue I'll wait for the break out and
add back to my position. If I see a retrace with
a pivot I'll add to my position also. If retracing
and no pivot occurs I exit. I'm so discretionary
that it is very difficult to put how I trade into
words. I hope this helps.
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[–] NinjaYoda 2 points 2 years ago

Thanks for great reply. It made sense.


Last questions : What trading platform do
you use? Can I mimic it using Think or
Swim?
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[–] VersatilityMaster 3 points 2 years ago

You're welcome. I'm glad I could help.


I use TOS primarily. I also have a backup
account with IB, but I just like how TOS
works. Commissions are high but you can
negotiate them down over time. What do
you mean by mimic? I'm not sure I
understand the question.
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[–] mdatwood 2 points 2 years ago

it took me a long time to be okay with only


trading the open and being done with my day;
ie: not searching for trades the rest of the day
just because I have the time.
This is so key. I have day traded the /YM and /ES a
bit. When I was disciplined and followed my
strategy I did okay. Like poker it means I'm out of
most hands. I did it as a fun side thing, and have
simply been too busy to do it lately.
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[–] tastock 3 points 2 years ago

You say you're short YM often, does that include the past
couple months? Have you been day trading during bear
markets, like 2007-2009, or the 2011 correction? If so, does
your strategies work the same or do you have a different
approach?
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[–] VersatilityMaster 6 points 2 years ago

Yes, I've traded during those times and it has worked.


January was the best month of my career. I took over 1700
points out of the Dow in January. I primarily trade the open
but if the trend I'm trading continues I'll trade all day.
January was fun but an anomaly.
That said, I trade the /YM and it would be hard to scale
what I do. I'm a grinder. It's usually boring and I do the
same thing day in and day out. Most people can't handle
that.
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[–] tastock 3 points 2 years ago

Thanks for sharing. I'm more of a swing trader, using an


automated system to track positions in dozens of stocks
because I don't have the emotional stamina to put much
into a single, shortterm position. I wouldn't be able to
handle the way you trade, although I'll do a few YM and
NQ trades now and then. Good luck with your future
trades!
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[–] VersatilityMaster 6 points 2 years ago

I think the most important thing a trader can learn is


what he/she's is best suited for from a trading style
perspective. I know I can't trade certain methods, it
doesn't mean you can't though. Good for you for
recognizing this. Good luck to you as well!
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[–] tower22x 3 points 2 years ago

When you say you're trading volume, what is it that you're


looking at exactly? When I'm looking at the volume, I can't tell
what is considered a bull or bearish signal. What is it that
indicates a movement? Thanks
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[–] VersatilityMaster 2 points 2 years ago

I use volume as an indicator of conviction in both the very


short-term and longer-term (during a consolidation period
intraday). This plays into numerous aspects of my trades
but I'll give an example:
I start watching the futures market at around 8-8:30am
every morning. I then look at how much volume is being
traded in the SPY, QQQ, DIA, along with the FANG stocks
and a few others. Based on historical pre-market volume
data on those stocks, I am able to tell how much
"conviction" is behind the opening futures move and can
then act accordingly with my first trade.
So if futures are up 50 points (DOW) and pre-market
volume is up 150% I know there is some conviction behind
that move and I won't short the market. If the futures are
up 50 points and its at lower than avg volume I know there
is less conviction and I will immediately fade (short) the
open.
That's a simplified version of how I trade the open but is
enough info that you could create your own system off of it.
I also use volume intraday to see if a break out from S&R
has any conviction.
Hope that helps!
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[–] tower22x 2 points 2 years ago

Hey thanks for taking time to respon, i really appreciate


it.
When you say how much volume is being traded, where
can i find that figure? I think that's where im confused,
because everyone is referring to volume as a numerical
value, i think, but all i see on my tradingview charts are
colored bars. am i missing anything else?
thanks again.
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[–] AlllRkSpN 12 points 2 years ago

paging /u/world_chaos
17 year old kid who made more than 6 000% his initial
investments.
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[–] World_Chaos 19 points 2 years ago

wassup dude!
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[–] FoxCalls 10 points 2 years ago

Customers? Are you a financial advisor or something?


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[–] Halperwire 40 points 2 years ago

Works the register at mcdonalds


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[–] nopurposeflour 30 points 2 years ago

Long Big Mac, short salads.


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[–] TheRealAntacular 20 points 2 years ago

Arbitrage opportunity: When 20 piece Mcnuggets were


$5 but the 5 piece was only $1. That's when I knew I
was destined for greatness.
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[–] [deleted] 4 points 2 years ago

That's when I knew I was destined for greatness


obesity.
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[–] TheRealAntacular 2 points 2 years ago

Took you long enough, was worried I'd have to tag


this
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[–] [deleted] 2 points 2 years ago

My yacht doesn't have internet right now, it was


damaged during the party raid.
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[–] [deleted] 5 points 2 years ago

Dude have you tried the SW salad at MCD,? It's amazing


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[–] CautiousToaster 6 points 2 years ago

Retail clients? No, not really.


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[–] iamallofyou 6 points 2 years ago

I know a guy that started out working for a big financial company
. Eventually he got tired of it and decided to go out in his own .
He is location independent . He started out in Budapest and is
now in Belgrade . I haven't really kept up with him for a about a
year , but he seems to be doing pretty good for himself .. Living
by his own rules etc
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[–] naked_short 4 points 2 years ago

Some do, most dont. I did a lot of spot forex trading on EUR and
GBP for years. I made like 20k in a single day in 2009 but i also
had large swings down due to using too much leverage and
overconfidence. Eventually i was able to do pretty well and made
a career out of it. I could never make futures or equities work too
well for me though.
I think knowing what youre trading is absolutely key. You
definitely get a sixth sense about things. Need to be disciplined,
control emotions and position sizes.
I think the reason the numbers are so stacked against people is
that initial newbie mistakes knock people out forever.
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[–] discountphilly 4 points 2 years ago

Not really. Not to my knowledge at least. Maybe after work. We


got pretty wasted on weekends after good weeks / months.
Usually between 915 and 4 (or later during earnings season) that
place was silent, but for occasional spurts of cheering or cursing.
People lost their shit broke keyboards on Wall columns. You think
flipping a desk is bad? Watch someone kick over 6 mounted
monitors.
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[–] geneeva71 12 points 2 years ago

My old Social teacher, was a Bat shit insane guy who made a
good deal of money back on the day(According to him) We would
get him going in school and he would talk the whole class away.
He would tell storys of guys coming in one week with high end
sports cars than coming in the next week on the bus as they
would lose everything. He himself tanked it several times.
Eventually he was on a good "Role" as he said it, took what he
had and paid for his schooling and a house to become a teacher.
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[–] parallax1 3 points 2 years ago

I thought we just had to follow Tim Sykes advice and we would all
be millionaires? /s
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[–] SolanaceaeEnthusiast 3 points 2 years ago

I sold a corvette zr-1 to a day trader when I was a chevy


salesmen. His trade in was a 30 something grand limited addition
harley and he was going cross country with what would be best
described as a "trophy girl"
His comment regarding his work was that it was stressful as hell.
He also was a hard negotiator , even buying a showy car he
wasnt just throwing money away.
This was late 2010
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[–] Going_Native 3 points 2 years ago

It's all about the strategy, not the hubris. Find something that
works for you. If you chase leads, you will lose big day trading.
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[–] vigilrexmei 3 points 2 years ago

I get up when I want, do what I want, and do it wearing nothing


but a bathrobe. Morningwood Capital runs the markets. You may
have heard of me, I'm the inventor of the Miss Cleo Crystal Ball
pattern. I've successfully day traded my way to a 3 series BMW.
It's a 1989 model and it runs purely on ignorance. I also single-
handedly account for all liquidity in high yield bond markets at the
moment. I've been making a killing selling from one account to
another.
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[–] UglyNeckBeard 3 points 2 years ago

I don't know the numbers and only have the story second hand,
but apparently a couple years before my 90+ year old
grandfather died he moved the vast majority of his retirement
savings into a trading account and started avidly day trading. My
father and his siblings understandably freaked out and had an
intervention and eventually stoped him. I asked how it went and
was told that it was hard to get him to stop because at the time
that they started the intervention he had practically doubled his
money over the few years he had been doing it. This was around
2012-13 so he had basically been doing it in a period when the
market was rallying back from the last crash - things probably
wouldn't have ended so rosey if he had kept going.
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[–] kingkev115 5 points 2 years ago

The legendary FS Comeau. I shouldn't have to say much more.


Google him.
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[+] [deleted] 2 years ago* (6 children)


[–] ketamarine 9 points 2 years ago

Yes, they work on trading desks on wall street / bay street / city
of london / tokyo / singapore / etc... And they will literally crush
you and eat you for lunch if you try to compete with them and
their billion-dollar technology advantage.
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[–] thomasbkin [ ] 2 points 2 years ago

Yep. He used to work at a hedge fund in a large Canadian city but


was from the city I live in. Quit his job and moved back here to
trade his own account fulltime... long story short, he moved to
Belize because of taxes laws there. Never really got to know him
very well. Bunch of friends knew him quite well and he helped
mentor them when they were learning to trade and he showed
them mainly his approaches to day trading. They still don't make
any money but he is rich as ****.
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[+] [deleted] 2 years ago (1 child)


[–] aron2295 2 points 2 years ago

Ive never seen his money since were friends but not that close
but I met a gentleman through the local autocross club and he
does quite well for himself. He also has a wife so I dont know how
much is his contribution. Anyway, ive only seen his material
success. Nice, new house, Ford Mustang GT for autocross and
BMW X5 for his dd (even though he trades at home haha). His
putting his step daughter through school too so thats a pretty
penny.
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[–] Nonethewiserer 6 points 2 years ago

All of those things could be indicators of extreme debt though.


Just can't tell.
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[–] aron2295 7 points 2 years ago

If its an act, hes kept it up longer than anyone ive heard of


keeping it up.
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