Now that you understand the why of active trading, we need to spend some time going over the how. In particular, I want to give you some specific information about how to conduct your trading day.
Notice that I emphasized the word day in the last sentence. I can't stress enough the importance of your status as an active trader. You're not looking for the next Microsoft or Google, where you could earn a profit of 1000 percent over the next five years. You're simply looking to get up each day and make your day's pay. And by doing so, you're looking to take the least possible risk by following the real experts—the dominant market makers. With that in mind, it's important to remember your work day is just 6.5 hours long, from 9:30 A.M. to 4:00 P.M. EST. That's not a lot of time.
Unlike the long-term investor, who can spend weekends reading Forbes, Barron's, Kiplinger's, and other financial publications, you don't have the luxury of time. You need to have your ducks in a row by 9:30 A.M. each day. Remember, last week's—or even yesterday's—hot stock is of no use to you. You need to find today's winners. To do that, you need to start doing your homework well before the 9:30 A.M. opening bell. By then, you should have your potential targets in view and be ready to pull the trigger, not just be rolling out of bed and turning on CNBC.
You may be thinking, “Why the rush?” After all, you have 6.5 hours to trade. The reason is that 50 percent of each day's trading ...