Learn to Day Trade – Mastering the Process – Top Dog Trading

Here’s the truth: You won’t learn how to day trade successfully in one day by reading the latest amazing e-book where “all the day trading secrets are revealed!”

If you’re seriously committed to learn day trading, then you must begin by putting aside all foolish expectations. Prepare yourself for a real trading education. Here’s a process that I personally recommend. It roughly reflects my own process, but if I knew then what I know now, I could have saved myself a lot of time!

  1. Start with all the free information you can get. With the advent of the Internet this has become easier than ever and there is a plethora of good (and bad) free trading education online. At first you won’t be able to distinguish the good from the bad, but your goal at this stage is to simply become familiar with the terms and concepts as you learn day trading.
    • I invite you to my primary blog where there are several years of free videos and articles
    • I offer a free 5-day day trading course of videos to help get you started.
  2. Invest in some good books.
    • For beginners you may want to consider:
      • Day Trading for Dummies by Ann C. Logue
      • Technical Analysis for Dummies by Barbara Rockefeller
    • For those with some day trading experience I recommend:
      • High Probability Trading by Marcel Link
      • The Master Swing Trader by Alan Farley
  3. Invest in an excellent day trading course. While you can learn a lot for free and from books, it should be obvious that professional traders are not going to give away their best material for free (or cheap). Once you have a good grasp on the basics of trading terminology and principles, you’ll need a day trading course that will provide you with a very specific day trading system to use.
    • Of course I recommend my own Top Dog Trading Course because it is the culmination of all the trading education and experience I’ve gathered over the years and distilled it into the most simple, pragmatic trading methodology I know.
  4. Ready … Set … Practice! Just because you have the knowledge and a specific day trading system, doesn’t mean you’ll start making money yet. Trading is a skill, and as such, you’ll have to practice. Don’t try to learn day trading with real money yet! And don’t “paper trade.” Use an electronic simulator where you actually enter and exit trades just like you would if you were really trading … only it will be with fake money. Do this until you’ve SUCCESSFULLY “traded” for 3-6 months.
    • Ask your broker if they provide a simulator or a “demo account” you can use until you’re ready to trade with real money.
    • If your broker doesn’t provide a simulator, I recommend the NinjaTrader Simulator which is available for free.
  5. Show me the money! Time to continue the process of your trading education by now trading with real money. Begin very slowly, using a very small percentage of your trading account. You may want to only risk 1/2% to 2% of your trading account on each trade. Inevitably you’ll find that your results are not as good as when you day traded with pretend money. This can be for several reasons:
    • Your “fills” on a live account can be different than on a simulated account.
    • You’ll find that you become much more emotional when trading real money.
  6. Keep a written log of every trade you make. Just because you’re using the same day trading system as someone else, don’t expect that your results will be the same as theirs. Your execution skills, ability to respond quickly, your risk tolerance and psychological fortitude will vary from other traders.
  7. Use your trading log as feedback to compare against the rules of your day trading system. Analyze where you made mistakes and continually make adjustments until you find consistent success.
  8. Be patient, take your time, and enjoy the process as you learn day trading. There is no short-cut, and there aren’t any guarantees. Be realistic and follow the 7-step process above to increase your odds of being successful.

    For more from Barry, visit Top Dog Trading.