With any portfolio, it’s important to diversify. That means looking beyond your own backyard. Consider other stocks listed on other exchanges including the Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong or the London Stock Exchange (LSE).2
Going global will give you access to foreign stocks and potentially cheaper alternatives.
The social media industry has also been an attractive target for day trading. The massive influx of online media companies—think Snapchat and Facebook—has been followed by a high trading volume for their stocks.
Moreover, debate rages over the capability of these companies to transform their extensive user bases into a sustainable revenue stream. While stock prices theoretically represent the discounted cash flows of their issuing corporations, recent valuations also take into account the earnings potential of the companies. Thus, some analysts argue this has resulted in higher stock valuations than the fundamentals suggest. Either way, social media continues to be a popular day-trading stock group.
Financial services corporations provide excellent day trading stocks. Bank of America, for example, is one of the most highly traded stocks per shares traded per trading session.1 Bank of America is a prime candidate for day trading, despite the banking system being viewed with increased skepticism, as the industry has demonstrated systemic speculative activity.
Bank of America’s trading volume is high, making it a relatively liquid stock. For the same reasons, Wells Fargo also makes for a very popular day-trading stock. Both of these stocks have high trading volumes and uncertain industrial conditions.
Day traders frequently use the trade volume index (TVI) to determine whether or not to buy into a stock. This index measures the amount of money flowing in and out of an asset.
The volume of the stock traded is a measure of how many times it is bought and sold in a given time period—commonly within a single trading day. More volume indicates higher interest in a stock—both positive or negative. Often, an increase in the volume of a stock is indicative of price movement about to transpire.
In financial markets, liquidity refers to how quickly an asset can be bought or sold in the market. It can also refer to how trading affects the security’s price.
Liquid stocks are more easily day-traded and tend to be more discounted than other stocks, making them cheaper. In addition, equity offered by corporations with higher market capitalizations is often more liquid than corporations with lower market caps. That’s because it’s easier to find buyers and sellers for the stock in question.
Stocks that exhibit more volatility lend themselves to day-trading strategies as well. So a stock may be volatile if its issuing corporation experiences more variance in its cash flows. While markets will anticipate these changes for the most part, when extenuating circumstances transpire, day traders can capitalize on asset mispricing. Uncertainty in the marketplace creates an ideal day trading situation.
Check out some of the online financial services, such as Yahoo Finance or Google Finance. These sites will regularly list highly liquid and highly volatile stocks during the day. You can also get this information from most online broker sites in real-time.
Just like everything else in your financial life, the stocks you choose for your day trading strategy should be tailored to your goals and your personal situation. After all, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach.
Consider how much capital you have, what type of investing you’re going to take on, and your risk tolerance. And don’t forget to discount the research. The best way to do that is to study the market, read up on company financials, consider what sectors best reflect your personal needs, personality, and values, and remember to start early. You’ll need to get a head start on the trading day, so it’s a good idea to time yourself according to market openings.
A few things to keep in mind while you’re day trading: don’t get emotionally attached to any particular stock. Remember, day trading is all about looking at patterns to figure out when you can best enter and exit to make a profit or minimize your losses. And, keep up to date on the news.
You don’t need to be attached to your television or the news, but you should know when earnings season is and what the economic calendar looks like. This should help you identify the potential stocks for your trading day.
Stay focused on the big picture when trading. A losing trade should not surprise us; It’s a part of trading. A winning trade is just one step along the path to a profitable business. It is the cumulative profits that make a difference.
Once a trader accepts wins and losses as part of the business, emotions will have less of an effect on trading performance. That is not to say that we cannot be excited about a particularly fruitful trade, but we must keep in mind that a losing trade is never far off.
Setting realistic goals is an essential part of keeping trading in perspective. Your business should earn a reasonable return in a reasonable amount of time. If you expect to be a multi-millionaire by Tuesday, you’re setting yourself up for failure.
There are two reasons to stop trading: an ineffective trading plan, and an ineffective trader.
An ineffective trading plan shows much greater losses than were anticipated in historical testing. That happens. Markets may have changed, or volatility may have lessened. For whatever reason, the trading plan simply is not performing as expected.
Stay unemotional and businesslike. It’s time to reevaluate the trading plan and make a few changes or to start over with a new trading plan.
An unsuccessful trading plan is a problem that needs to be solved. It is not necessarily the end of the trading business.
An ineffective trader is one who makes a trading plan but is unable to follow it. External stress, poor habits, and lack of physical activity can all contribute to this problem. A trader who is not in peak condition for trading should consider taking a break. After any difficulties and challenges have been dealt with, the trader can return to business.
A stop loss is a predetermined amount of risk that a trader is willing to accept with each trade. The stop loss can be a dollar amount or percentage, but either way, it limits the trader’s exposure during a trade. Using a stop loss can take some of the stress out of trading since we know that we will only lose X amount on any given trade.
Not having a stop loss is bad practice, even if it leads to a winning trade. Exiting with a stop loss, and therefore having a losing trade, is still good trading if it falls within the trading plan’s rules.
The ideal is to exit all trades with a profit, but that is not realistic. Using a protective stop loss helps ensure that losses and risks are limited.
Taking the time to develop a sound trading methodology is worth the effort. It may be tempting to believe in the “so easy it’s like printing money” trading scams that are prevalent on the internet. But facts, not emotions or hope, should be the inspiration behind developing a trading plan.
Traders who are not in a hurry to learn typically have an easier time sifting through all of the information available on the internet. Consider this: if you were to start a new career, more than likely you would need to study at a college or university for at least a year or two before you were qualified to even apply for a position in the new field. Learning how to trade demands at least the same amount of time and fact-driven research and study.