3 Ways to Practice Day Trading Discipline
If you want to be successful as a day trader you have to develop self-discipline, and the best way to do that is to practice.
In class at Online Trading Academy, students practice stock trading live in the markets on professional day trading platforms
using the school’s accounts and money, under the guidance of a professional instructor who is also an experienced trader. They learn how to prepare set-ups and
then watch the charts until right decisions become second nature. If you want to do the same thing at home, here are three ways you can practice day
Use a professional trading platform with live market feeds.
You can’t be a day trader with delayed feeds or a brokerage platform that delays processing the orders. Professional day trading platforms such as
Tradestation.com, the platform used at Online Trading Academy, often offer free trials or discount offers to new users. You may also be able to set
up a practice account that allows you to get comfortable with the platform before your commit real money.
Play the “hard right edge” game to hone your chart-reading skills.
Pick a trading symbol and a timeframe, then pull up a chart for a timeframe in the past: for example, the QQQ (Nasdaq composite ETF) from January 1 to December
21, 2010. Identify supply and demand levels that are consistent market turning points. Now, predict what is going to happen beyond the “hard right edge” of the
chart going forward in time. Move the chart forward (in our example, change the time frame to 4/1/10 to 3/31/11) and see if you guessed right.
Practice live trading with a predictable stock.
If you practice day trading with AAPL or another volatile stock, you’ll quickly get frustrated. Instead, choose a lower priced stock that trades in a narrow
range and responds consistently to conditions in the larger markets. And if you’re not completely confident, do your trades with a live market simulation account
with no money at risk.
Please note that these tips will help you build confidence as you practice day trading, but in the end your performance is up to you and if you don’t have
self-discipline (or until you develop it) you are less likely to succeed.
If you want to give yourself a running start, Online Trading Academy offers a free Power Trading Workshop
which is presented at local financial education centers.