OK, this is how a day-trader prepares for the next day's trading, or at least how this day-trader prepares: We went out for Thai food. Ginger chicken and Thai fried rice. "Why no chart's," you ask? We don't need no stinkin' charts. For twenty years I slaved over charts, night after night, looking at everything from neural nets to oscillators to Elliott Waves and back again. It's like going to Hebrew school as a kid in Detroit. You did it because you were "Jewish." So if you fancy yourself a "Trader," you look at charts at night. If you go to a place like stockcharts.com, you see hundreds of charts analyzed by well-meaning individuals who still believe that there is some predictive power in chart analysis. I did it dutifully for years and years until it occured to me in the depths of the 2000-2002 bear market that all I had been doing right was buying stocks in a bull market, the mother of all bull markets. A rising tide lifts all wannabe traders. It wasn't the charts at all.
So what works?
In eighteen months of real time real money trading, I have found that day-trading works, That prediciting the next 2% move in a stock in much easier then predicting the next six months of price movement. There are clear, objective triggers that move stocks a little bit over a very short period of time. Put them all together and you are making a half dozen trades a day, making 2-4% per trade and returning to 100% cash at night. Thus, a relaxing evening of fine dining replaces struggling over the great bull versus bear debates raging on Internet stock forums.
Tomorrow is Friday and there will be a half dozen or so great trading opportunities, little pops, clearly predictable and tradable. It is with that knowledge and comfort that I retire early this evening, to savor some of the finer pursuits, ripe, seductive, compelling and I am mush.