Many people who enjoy end of day trading do so because it seems to be safe, or at least safer than other types of trading. It seems, at first glance, that they are right – there is no need to sit and watch these trades go up and down all day, and the rewards can be significant. So what are the downsides to look out for in order to be a great end of day trader?
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Too Many Emotions
Although you don’t have to sit and watch your trades, and although it’s far better not to and to simply trust in your charts and stop points, some people can’t seem to help it. They see their results going from profit to loss and back again, and they are mesmerised – they are emotionally invested. This happens to new traders all the time, but even the most experienced can become caught up in the ups and downs of the trading rollercoaster if they let themselves.
And because we are talking about end of day trading, you’ve got a much longer timeframe to sit and worry about it all than if you were intra-day trading where the results – good or bad – come much more quickly, sometimes in mere minutes.
What can sometimes happen is that end of day traders become tempted to ‘meddle’ with their trades, to change stops and make decisions that have nothing to do with their charts, just because they can see what is happening around their money. They break their own rules, and then have to reap the (usually bad) results that come next.
So, in order to be a better end of day trader, you need to set your emotions to one side, ignore the trades that you have started (set and forget, in other words), and trust your trading charts to do their job. You will make losses, as every trader does, but not as many, and none quite so dramatic, as you would if you were staring at your screen all day and fiddling with your set ups as soon as you see anything you don’t like the look of.
Believe That It’s Easy
When you think about it, end of day trading is easy. You’ve done the hard work when it comes to setting up your charts and creating your own personal trading strategy that works for you, and you really can just set your trades going and come back to the results later on, ideally finding you have made a good profit.
So what’s the problem?
The problem is that many people, particularly traders who have traded in different ways to end of day in the past, can’t quite believe that it really is as simple as all that. They don’t believe that it is easy, and therefore start second-guessing themselves, wondering what they are forgetting or missing out in their planning because, surely, trading can’t really be this easy (relatively speaking)?
But that’s exactly what end of day trading is like, and it’s why so many people enjoy doing it. You can spend as little as 10 minutes a day on it and still come out on top. The trick is in believing that this is possible, and allowing your charts and trades to do their thing. The more you think you are making mistakes or missing things out, the more you will interfere and worry, and then not only does trading become less fun, but it takes up far too much time and becomes a chore. No one wants that; this is meant to be something to enjoy.
Don’t Expect So Much
Having said that end of day trading is easy (easier than intra-day at least), what we’re not saying is that it will make you a millionaire overnight. Going in to any trade, let alone an end of day one, expecting – even feeling entitled to – a win is a bad idea. Just because your trade has taken longer to come to fruition, it doesn’t mean you are more likely to make a profit than those who trade the shorter timeframes. Being patient doesn’t mean you’ll win every time.
If you do feel like this, you can become overwhelmed with emotion when you lose – you just won’t have been set up for it, won’t have been expecting it, and you might even have risked a little more money than you should have if you’re expecting to receive a win in return for stepping back and waiting longer.
The best thing to do is to realise that those markets don’t own you a win, they won’t give you a loss out of spite, it’s all fairly random, and the only thing you can do is have a great strategy in place that you use carefully, only when it really works out (no random stabs at other trades because you’re bored or impatient), using small amounts of money each time. That way, gradually, you’ll start to build up not only a good trading account, but confidence to trade in this way too.
Don’t Take It Too Easy
It’s true that trading the higher timeframes means that, for most of the time, there is nothing to do. However, that doesn’t mean you can start to get complacent; as soon as this happens, you’ll start to get careless and lose big.
When you become complacent, you stop checking your charts, and you stop honing your strategy. You might think it’s okay to throw in a trade that wouldn’t normally make any sense, just because you’re ‘on a winning streak’, or because you made a larger than usual loss and want to recoup some money. You might do any of these things, or anything else that you wouldn’t normally do, just because you feel you’re an expert and nothing can really go wrong.
The thing is, something can always go wrong in trading, end of day or otherwise. That’s the nature of it. So if you start to be lax, to stop checking, to stop wondering or making sure that your trades really do fit, if you start to think that a trade is ‘close enough’ to what your chart suggests, you’ll lose more and more.
Plus, while all this is happening, you could easily miss the trade that really will work for you, burying it amongst all the ‘extras’ you’re thinking about.
There are many advantages to end of day trading, from the lifestyle it can offer to the rewards it can bring. However, you won’t be able to enjoy these benefits if you fall prey to the pitfalls that are so easy to become distracted by. Keep clear-headed and focused on your strategy and you can become a highly successful end of day trader.