Firstly – Trading is not a one size fits all…everyone has their own objectives, time frame, risk profile, profit objectives etc. etc. There is immense benefit in seeing how others trade, but ensure that you establish a trading plan that suits your trading personality.
My trading outline –
I am predominantly a breakout trader. Mainly I look for strongly trending stocks that are breaking out of trend lines or patterns on decent volume. My average trade holding time is 3-5 days….sometimes its 3-5 minutes! I also look for scalps throughout the day and see these sorts of trades as my bread and butter. I like to scalp anything with big volume for the day, or strongly trending intraday on a 2 or 5 minute chart. My main scalping opportunities come from the spi, i look for intraday breakouts and try to catch a few points several times a day.
For a lovely setup stock that has good volume and is liquid, i will tend to scale into the position, adding as my confidence in the position increases, either through price action, or to a lesser extend price depth. I may scale in over a few days, but generally within a day i will get 100% of my desired position. On the exit i also try to scale out of the position, locking in gains either at a price target based on a pattern break, or weakness emerging on the intraday chart, or a bit of both.
I suppose i have a $ target on my trades, but this tend to depend greatly trade to trade. On a perfect setup i will happily hit the stock pretty hard and look to make a killing, of course with a tight stop in play should the trade fail.
Scalps i tend to have more of a $ target. I look to make smaller gains more frequently and will happily take money off the table when i feel i have squeezed enough from the trade.
I have made a living trading using several different platforms. In my early days it was options on small stocks, then warrants on larger companies, next it was CFDs and nowadays a mix of the above but mainly small cap straight stocks. I tend to mix up my strategy a bit depending of the overriding market sentiment.
It took me probably 5 years to start to make consistent gains from trading. I broke every rule in the book, but i learnt from them. The best lessons are the expensive ones! Nowadays i am comfortable with the 3 main trading criteria – stock selection, position size and money management. Losses are part of the game and something that you learn to take in your stride, as long as your position size and money management are strong, losses shouldn’t cripple your trading account.
Continue to read, review and learn. You will continue to evolve your trading strategy until you find what works for you!