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Day trading

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Zagros View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zagros Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Day trading
    Posted: 18 Dec 2010 at 23:13
...has anyone any experience of this or know someone who has?    I'm considering it and am in the process of doing my research.  Any stories to share? Any opinions or advice?

"There was glory in pissing, Corabb decided as he watched the stream curve out and make that familiar but unique sound as it hit the ground." So true.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Styrbiorn Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Dec 2010 at 10:12
Don't waste your time and money. Unless you're rich and do it for fun. If rich is what you want to become, learn how to invest instead.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zagros Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Dec 2010 at 11:10
I am thinking about quitting my job and, as such, considering my options including starting my own business.  I stress that day trading is very much an outside or supplementary possibility. I wouldn't go diving in with all of my life savings in any case.  If I do go in it will be with relatively small amounts that are well within my limits. For example, I would set a maximum affordable loss for any given day/week/month so as not to get myself into a position I'll regret.  What I have read so far very much emphasises this point of operating within your means.
"There was glory in pissing, Corabb decided as he watched the stream curve out and make that familiar but unique sound as it hit the ground." So true.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Styrbiorn Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Dec 2010 at 11:25
Well, if you want advice the only advice I can give about day trading is that you should avoid it. Even if you became good/lucky enough to belong to the 2-3% that actually make money on it instead of loosing or breaking even, I think it'd be a waste of time. Taking short-cuts to wealth is extremely popular today, but they usually end badly for most people. I really suggest you to invest instead. It's generally more rewarding, both monetarily and recreationally. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zagros Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Dec 2010 at 11:53
I am already with a number of fund managers.  Do mean investing directly myself?  I don't feel qualified to do that yet, let alone day trading - I will be doing a lot more research before I seriously consider doing anything.
"There was glory in pissing, Corabb decided as he watched the stream curve out and make that familiar but unique sound as it hit the ground." So true.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Dec 2010 at 13:03
My advice: Day trading is a function of having millions to invest in the purchase of a computer system! Technology has made the aficionado on the exchange floor (or investment house) obsolete. Of course there are still some avenues of opportunity but only if your patron saint is Bernie Madoff...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Dec 2010 at 13:15
Day trading is a gamble, but then so is anything else you can do with your money other than buy things that you like to consume or just have. There are dull, slow action gambles and fast, high action gambles is all.
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Styrbiorn Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Dec 2010 at 13:57
Originally posted by Zagros Zagros wrote:

I am already with a number of fund managers.  Do mean investing directly myself?  I don't feel qualified to do that yet, let alone day trading - I will be doing a lot more research before I seriously consider doing anything.

I meant to invest in the stockmarket, staying away from all kinds of derivatives and other products the banks try to force-feed you with. If you don't feel qualified to do that, then you're certainly even worse off trying day-trade (which is more or less pure gambling). Learn basic accounting and read stuff written by people who know what they are talking about (the less buzz words, the better), e.g. Benjamin Graham or Peter Lynch.  


Edited by Styrbiorn - 19 Dec 2010 at 13:59
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zagros Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Dec 2010 at 14:02
Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

My advice: Day trading is a function of having millions to invest in the purchase of a computer system! Technology has made the aficionado on the exchange floor (or investment house) obsolete. Of course there are still some avenues of opportunity but only if your patron saint is Bernie Madoff...


Actually, those systems are available from brokers as web services for nominal monthly fees (£20 was one I was looking at).  They also charge execution fees, but these can be negligible such as £0.70 per trade for a high volume trader.

Originally posted by gcle gcle wrote:

Day trading is a gamble, but then so is anything else you can do with your money other than buy things that you like to consume or just have. There are dull, slow action gambles and fast, high action gambles is all.


Absolutely, starting up your own business is massively risky, too.

Originally posted by styrbiorn styrbiorn wrote:



I meant to invest in the stockmarket, staying away from all kinds of derivatives and other products the banks try to force-feed you with. If you don't feel qualified to do that, then you're certainly even worse off trying day-trade (which is more or less pure gambling). Learn basic accounting and read stuff written by people who know what they are talking about (the less buzz words, the better), e.g. Benjamin Graham or Peter Lynch.


Again, I agree.  That is why I am using fund managers operating either in emerging or mature markets such as Asia-Pacific, UK and US.  I have been thinking about medium term investments in the stockmarket as the next step, for example, keeping a keen eye on big players and taking advantage their current circumstances (e.g. BP, Rolls Royce, Vodafone).   Day trading was just a passing thought, given I hate my job, and it does actually require full-time effort for success.


Edited by Zagros - 19 Dec 2010 at 14:10
"There was glory in pissing, Corabb decided as he watched the stream curve out and make that familiar but unique sound as it hit the ground." So true.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Dec 2010 at 14:12
Matthew 6:19
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zagros Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Dec 2010 at 14:18
Good passage, but don't want to be a corporate slave anymore: Wake up at 6, commute for 1hr 15 mins each way, work up to 10 hours doing stuff I mostly hate and put up with people I have little in common with in an often cut-throat environment. It's not me. 


Edited by Zagros - 19 Dec 2010 at 14:21
"There was glory in pissing, Corabb decided as he watched the stream curve out and make that familiar but unique sound as it hit the ground." So true.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Dec 2010 at 14:47
Sorry, Zagros, but you know what "they" say: the bird in hand is better than two in the bush. The old dream of "being one's own boss" [the root of the old reference about the UK being "a nation of shop-keepers"] may be quaint but as the other historical observation states--Behind each great fortune there lies an even greater crime--such should serve as warning. No I am not pooh-pooing the thrust for individual achievement and security, but simply forewarning that in the age of the institutional investor, the small fish are little more than plankton for the whales!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Al Jassas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Dec 2010 at 15:09
I prefer commodities trading. Its much more predictable than stock markets and in many cases much more profitable. Of course you do need millions to get into the game but its a start.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zagros Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Dec 2010 at 15:16
Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

Sorry, Zagros, but you know what "they" say: the bird in hand is better than two in the bush. The old dream of "being one's own boss" [the root of the old reference about the UK being "a nation of shop-keepers"] may be quaint but as the other historical observation states--Behind each great fortune there lies an even greater crime--such should serve as warning. No I am not pooh-pooing the thrust for individual achievement and security, but simply forewarning that in the age of the institutional investor, the small fish are little more than plankton for the whales!


I am in a more fortunate position than most in this regard since two nearby branches of my family are successful business entrepreneurs with whom there is definitely a possibility of linking up in some capacity.  My sister who's in the civil service is having a similar career dilemma and we're going to be looking at opportunities over the next few weeks.  I honestly feel like just not showing up for work on Monday.

Originally posted by AJ AJ wrote:

I prefer commodities trading. Its much more predictable than stock markets and in many cases much more profitable. Of course you do need millions to get into the game but its a start.
 
Al-Jassas

I don't think you necessarily need millions, but from my perspective it is a little too late in the day to buy commodity stocks since, in my opinion, they are flat lining and soon enough there will be a tumble when the global economic position improves and the speculators take their capital elsewhere for better growth opps.  I could be completely wrong though.


Edited by Zagros - 19 Dec 2010 at 15:19
"There was glory in pissing, Corabb decided as he watched the stream curve out and make that familiar but unique sound as it hit the ground." So true.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Al Jassas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Dec 2010 at 15:26
Wheat prices rose, dipped and rose again in less than 5 years and in a margin much larger than your average stock. Gold was $400 10 years ago now Its $1300+.
 
Yes commodities are far better as a medium-term/long term investment but profits are guaranteed if you know when to buy and when to sell and determining that is quite easy once you know the market better.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Dec 2010 at 15:34
Buy low sell high and always be prepared to pick up the debris with the crash! Shades of J. Paul Getty! He used to love market crashes (now called "recessions" so as not to upset the nervous nellies). Good luck Zagros since there is nothing worse than being unhappy in your daily endeavors, but make sure you have your stomach medication handy!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Seko- Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Dec 2010 at 16:10
Zagros you will inevitably need a bit of self restraint when playing the markets. Mutual Funds are decent if you have a conservative plan and the patience to let it grow over the long haul. Stocks by day, whether buying and selling yourself or via a broker, is a crap shoot as is commodities. Shorting is also risky. Either way the biggest problem is getting hooked and dependent like its a drug. Then you loose your shirt and end up with Doc's meds. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Omar al Hashim Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Dec 2010 at 05:50
I played around in this during the Global Financial Crisis, though I didn't know what it was called.
 
I was calling it "playing the noise" where you could theoretically make infinite money in the same way that a fractal has infinite circumference. The limiting factor was the brokerage fees charged by my bank, which destroyed the whole fractal property. I made money on it - about $60 over two days. Simply not worth the effort and risk.
 
Longer term investing is better, but don't expect to earn a living off it unless you have enough capital to live off your dividends.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Reginmund Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Dec 2010 at 14:17

Isn't just changing jobs an option? Or just start a company the normal way. Surely a smart guy like you can find some niche to fill and I'm not talking about anyone's mom.

The British work way too much though. I don't see any point in living that way because if you're going to do stuff you don't enjoy most of the time, you're better off dead anyway.


Edited by Reginmund - 20 Dec 2010 at 14:18
Sing, goddess, of Achilles' ruinous anger
Which brought ten thousand pains to the Achaeans,
And cast the souls of many stalwart heroes
To Hades, and their bodies to the dogs
And birds of prey
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zagros Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Dec 2010 at 14:27
Starting a business the normal way is what I am seriously looking at - I was looking at DT out of curiosity more than anything.  And the prospect certainly isn't very attractive after the reading I've been doing.

My biggest problem is that I don't like being managed, I hate being put into a box and told what to do.  Ideally, I would be some sort of successful risk taking magnate, but in what I don't know yet.
"There was glory in pissing, Corabb decided as he watched the stream curve out and make that familiar but unique sound as it hit the ground." So true.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pikeshot1600 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Dec 2010 at 14:46
Originally posted by Zagros Zagros wrote:

Starting a business the normal way is what I am seriously looking at - I was looking at DT out of curiosity more than anything.  And the prospect certainly isn't very attractive after the reading I've been doing.

My biggest problem is that I don't like being managed, I hate being put into a box and told what to do.  Ideally, I would be some sort of successful risk taking magnate, but in what I don't know yet.


Take your time and consult with others who have done what it is you are looking at.  Unless you are on somebody's fast track, or can be a corporate Kool Aid drinker, working for someone else is hard duty IMO. 

I wound up working on my own account as a securities broker and it worked out for me.  These days independent brokers are harder to come by as the regulatory authorities seem to want everyone under some one else's thumb.  It is the usual "The 5% who are thieves cause the rules for the 95% who are just making a living doing what they do."  Oh well....

I don't know if I would be of help as far as advice since I don't know what it is you are interested in.  UK laws, regs, etc. will be different.  In the states you can get significant tax advantages for operating business interests out of your residence (no wonder we can't control our debt - everyone gets significant tax advantages for everything, and about half of us pay no Federal taxes -  that never include me however Smile ).  You will need to assess the taxation realities there for independent business as well as all the rest.

It is a lot to think about, so go slowly and ask a lot of questions.  If you can work for yourself, do it.  Then you can do much of what you want.





 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zagros Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Dec 2010 at 15:29
Indeed, will be holding a mid-mid-life crisis workshop on Boxing Day (26th) with family to get a steer on things and will definitely not be jumping into anything without due diligence.   As it happens there are plenty of benefits here for start-ups and sole traders (plus unlimited liability).

My expertise is in consultancy and technical design focused on electronic platforms in corporate information architecture and knowledge management (think complex websites, portals, intranets, taxonomy and search).  There is considerable agency demand for these skills but going it alone is risky since you need more experience and exposure than what I've had.   So naturally one of the possibilities is this but I need to build a personal brand first and have done some planning to this end.

As it happened, I didn't go to work today, the snow made a convenient excuse.
"There was glory in pissing, Corabb decided as he watched the stream curve out and make that familiar but unique sound as it hit the ground." So true.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Dec 2010 at 23:37
I would say don't become a day trader. The odds seem stacked against you for a number of reasons.

1. You aren't old. While I am sure you have made a few business contacts, older individuals with larger networks will inevitably have the advantage on you when it comes to insider trading (an important compenent in day trading success for many).

2. (and I am making assumptions here) You don't have millions to throw into single trades that will return you thousands from a difference in a few point rises and also offset trading fees. The more money you have to throw at this, the better your chances and the more profitable the return for your time and effort.

3. Technology. A friend of mine does precisely this, day trading using an automated system that buys and sells according to algorithms he has built into it to keep track of probabilities and pair those with market trends. He is a very highly skilled and experienced software tester/writer. You can bet there are other individuals out there who have created this sort of system, or who have hired someone to build it for them. If you aren't at their level, then they are the ones making money off you.

I would agree with what others here have said, invest in something that you know will produce a good, safe return on investment over the long term. And leave your money there. This will free up a lot of mental energy and time so that you can look at getting a job with a better organisation that will give you better work/life balance.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Dec 2010 at 11:16
From the point of view of setting up a business, in the long term what you have to have built up is a 'sellable asset': i.e. your continuing income should not depend on you being able to continue working. Money is of course 'sellable' but interest won't compensate for inflation, whereas a sellable asset (a company, for instance, that functions without you, or patents and copyrights) will hedge against inflation.  
 
Because one day you aren't going to be able to work any more, and before that you'll probably have got bored with whatever you work at.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Dec 2010 at 12:16
As an addendum, I should add something more precise to ask 'how' you will succeed, rather than simply providing reasons you cannot.

Zagros, you have previously expressed an admiration for Harvard management guru Michael Porter. Referring to his work, I would ask this: what is your 'competitive advantage' to succeed in this industry? Confronted with opponents who possess the three advantages over your position that I listed above, what is your edge to get one over them?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Al Jassas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Dec 2010 at 14:08
Originally posted by Constantine XI Constantine XI wrote:

Harvard management guru Michael Porter.
 
Sorry Constantine but the only thing those gurus are good at is talking. If they were any good at business they would have been "businessmen" not "business gurus" .
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pikeshot1600 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Dec 2010 at 14:37
Originally posted by Al Jassas Al Jassas wrote:

Originally posted by Constantine XI Constantine XI wrote:

Harvard management guru Michael Porter.
 
Sorry Constantine but the only thing those gurus are good at is talking. If they were any good at business they would have been "businessmen" not "business gurus" .
 
 
Al-Jassas


I have to agree with you, Al.  The management gurus in the past several decades have turned success by diligence and experience into the perception of success through manipulation and financial voo doo.

I won't hijack Zagros's thread, but there is plenty here for us all to bitch about in another one (Business history?).


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zagros Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Dec 2010 at 14:40
Well the fact that we, and many other consultants/business analysts, use his and similar frameworks in practice every dayspeaks enough I think.  Tools such as PESTLE, and five forces are universally applicable frameworks for analysing and understanding context.  They provide structure to essential information to base planning and strategy on.  Providing you use them not for the sake of using them then they're fine.  But I do accept the point, in general about "gurus".

As for using them on myself, well yes. But ideas to apply them to are what's key.


Edited by Zagros - 21 Dec 2010 at 14:45
"There was glory in pissing, Corabb decided as he watched the stream curve out and make that familiar but unique sound as it hit the ground." So true.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Dec 2010 at 21:54
Originally posted by Al Jassas Al Jassas wrote:

Originally posted by Constantine XI Constantine XI wrote:

Harvard management guru Michael Porter.
 
Sorry Constantine but the only thing those gurus are good at is talking. If they were any good at business they would have been "businessmen" not "business gurus" .
 
 
Al-Jassas


Not always true, that's like saying the Harvard professor of cardiology would be conducting surgery if he were any good.

Why specifically do you think the principle of competitive advantage should not be applied with what Zagros is doing?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pikeshot1600 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Dec 2010 at 22:38
Not always true, just most of the time.  Big smile 

Professors of medicine in US medical faculties are almost all practicing physicians in addition to their faculty positions...most especially if the specialty is surgical.


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