Friday, March 18, 2011

Daytraders: Hang with your own kind

We read an interesting article a while back by Kid Dynamite about the benefits of seeing opposing viewpoints. The article was well written and made sense for his trading style as a swing trader. However, all we could think about is how the exact opposite is true for daytrading. Once again, time frame changes everything.
At our stage of the game all the technical matters are automatic. We know our setups, we know exactly what to do in terms of risk management, it’s become second nature. What’s left is all psychological. The quality of our set-ups is consistent, our risk management is stable, so what’s left is all mental.
As a daytrader you have to make instant decisions within seconds and when you are putting that much money on the line in a split second decision you will rarely have 100% conviction. The money at risk for a swing trader’s typical 8% stop can easily be equivalent to 50 cents for a typical daytrade. It’s notoriously easy to get talked out of a daytrade position. Daytrading is much more instinctual than swing trading, and the less rational thought that goes into it, the more psychological it becomes.
This is one of the biggest drawbacks of a chat room that has traders who use different trading strategies: you mix in every color and in the end you’ll get an ugly brown. This is the reason that the traders we follow on stocktwits all have similar trading styles, we want the confirmation, we do not want dissent. If we’re in a trade it’s because it fulfilled the required conditions (set-up, risk/reward) and the last thing we want is to question the trade.