Monday, January 5, 2015

Reflection on the last month of scalping / daytrading

Well, I spent the last month trying to sink as much time as I could day-trading.

The good news: I made money.

The bad news: The broker took it! And some more.

Excluding transaction costs, I made about 3%. Once commission is factored in, that number went negative. Basically I was working for my broker.

I don't think that scalping or daytrading for reward sizes of 5-10 pips is worthwhile. Broker fees represent such a major handicap at these small levels.

I do think day-trading may be viable if you're aiming for relatively large rewards like 40 or 50 pips. With a 5 pip stop loss and 50 pip reward, your reward will be 10R, so you're basically hoping to swing home runs with each trade. I'm not sure if I'd have the "psychological capital" to withstand this style of trading, though. You'll be enduring strings of losses before you finally hit your "home run". But when you do hit it, broker fees won't eat so much of your reward. I believe this can be profitable. For example, I know that the AUDUSD tends to establish its daily high or low within the first five hours of each day. If price is at a significant S/R level within this 5-hour window, there's a good chance that it will be the high or low for the day. You could trade a reversal at this level, and try to ride it for most of the day and hit that 10R reward.  

Day-trading also demands alot of screentime. Most of the time I didn't mind as I could listen to music or read articles / Facebook on a second monitor while waiting for a setup. However, if you have a job or an errand to do, you can't trade. The opportunity cost is definitely high. 

I'm still thinking about how to proceed for this month. 

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