How To Prepare For Your First Day of Trading

first day of trading

Wondering what it’s like to day trade for the first time?

As a newcomer to this industry, you will have tons of mixed emotions approaching your first day in action.

You don’t want to show up to your first day fearful and scared. If you prepare and get educated, you will come in as a trader, NOT a gambler. 

Today we wanted to make a guide that will help calm the nerves on your first day at the screens and will help you prepare for a successful jumpstart to your career.

Learn Before You Earn

Success is made through education and practice. A lot of new students come into our programs with no experience at all, watch one video, and BAM, start trading the next day. 99% of the time, those traders get wiped out and take a huge confidence hit. 

To prepare successfully for your first day means to study beforehand. Make sure you have completed a full study course, not skipped around any areas, have all of your boxes checked on the educational side of things, and know a core set of THREE strategies/patterns max you are going to look for.

Study for weeks before your first day, get a grip on your trading strategy and plan, and then you can hit the trading desk.

Just take it from one of our students here, Bobby, who realized that education comes FIRST, trading comes SECOND!

Practice on a Simulator

While it won’t accurately simulate the real emotions of trading, simulated trading will help you get the basic mechanics down. Learn how to trade your strategy in real-time. Learn how to execute orders, buy, sell, stop loss. There is no point in trading real money until you are at least profitable on a simulator.

Play What Is Moving

When you are a new trader it can be hard to gauge which stocks or setups have momentum. A lot of experienced traders just have that feeling that can help them feel when ‘mojo’ is coming into a stock at a given point. To avoid looking all day at dead setups that have no potential, as a new trader you want to focus your attention on stocks that have already traded over 1 million shares for the day, and trade consistent volume every day.

You don’t want to look to trade the stock on your first day that traded 7k shares yesterday and 50k today. Make sure your scanners are set to only show you stocks that have volume and activity so you don’t get caught in low liquidity traps. Watch this video below to learn more about how to scan for the best stocks to trade:

Set Your Platforms Up

Don’t do this at 9:25 AM. You’ll want to have your charting platform and order entry system all set up and on your screens the night before. Tomorrow is your first day remember, so you want to be as prepared as possible. Make sure your charts have all the indicators they need, look good, your level 2s are up, hotkeys ready and programmed (if you are using them), and all your windows are in the correct spots. This will save you tons of time and frustration the following morning by having everything already there and set for yourself. You want to be as clear-minded and sharp today as possible. Limit distractions.

Make a Watchlist

Take an hour the night before and create a watchlist. Get at least 3-5 stocks ready for the bell tomorrow so at least you have something to look for if the gappers and morning section is light. Doing this the night before when you are relaxed and your mind is clear will create a good habit and routine and also help you choose clearer setups. Watch this video below to learn how to build a successful watch list:

Get Your Mind Right

While we have been preparing for this huge day, you have to also take a step back and realize this is a long journey. It is a marathon, not a sprint. You don’t have to become a millionaire today. You have time to learn, grow, adapt, and scale your account steadily. Don’t rush things on your first day and have ridiculous expectations. Whether you are green or red on your first trading day does not determine the fate of your trading career!

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Nick P Administrator



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