Milestone – $2000 in Profits!
I thought I would take a moment to talk about my 2nd major milestone since I began trading around this time last year. On November 18th, 2015 I hit my first major milestone. I wrote THIS POST about my first $1000 in profits. I am pleased to say that I have now doubled that profit total as of yesterday! I still have a lot of work to do when it comes to trading, but I like to stop and smell the roses every once in a while. It took me 9 months to get that first $1000 and 3 months to get the next grand. I would love to continue that trend! Here is my profit chart showing my rise.
That big move upward in the fall of 2015 is a result of switching from Questrade to Interactive Brokers. I have said it before, I’ll say it again, I am sure many people will have a good experience with Questrade for investing. I just don’t think they are cut out for day trading. Good luck shorting anything but blue chips with them. This may change over time, but there is no way I am switching back. I have much more opportunity to trade long and short, I pay less fees and my commissions are very low. I also haven’t had any issues with my data feed, like the ones that plagued me at Questrade. OK, enough ranting about that. It’s in the past Mike, move on.
The next thing to look at is my trading stats. Here they are.
There isn’t a whole of of time frame change from my last milestone, so there aren’t any significant changes in the stats. My winning percentage still hovers just over 50% which is fine by me. Proper money management means that I would be more than happy to win half of my trades. The big change from my last post and this one is that I have been shorting more. This is strictly a result of having more time using Interactive Brokers and just getting a feel for shorts. I went from short profits of $372 to $1107 in 3 months. That accounts for a good chunk of that $1000 in profits. I only made 6 profitable long trades in that time, while I lost on 9 more. I made 13 more short trades for profit and lost on only 6 of them! Maybe I am becoming a short biased trader.
I notice that my large wins and losses were still from many months ago. Since December, I started to keep my sizes small as the market started acting crazy (to me). January was downright scary and I sat back and took small shots and things and tightened up my stops and took profits early. I have been continuing with that in February, but I have improved my entries. I don’t mind having tight stops and small profit areas, but I do need to get better and adding more size to these trades. The more and more I nail these starts, the better I will feel about upping my entry amount. Say I will risk 10 cents to gain 15 to 20 cents. That means that I still only need to be right half the time. I will make, on average, 5 to 10 cents profit. The only thing that changes is the amount of money. I go from a $50 loss which feels small to a $100 dollar loss which feels big. I need to get that out of my head. A $100 loss is less than 1% of my trading capital. So, I can lose 3, 5…10 in a row and still not significantly affect my ability to trade. If I can continue working at just around 50% success on an average, then I will be just fine. My wins will be $150 – $200+ instead of $75 to $100.
So, I hope to continue scraping out my little wins until I have the confidence to size up a bit more. Once the market settles down, I would like to get better at sizing in on smoother action. All of it is good experience though. A year into day trading and I am up $2000! Much better than blowing up the account, like most do. I will keep working at things on a small scale and try to re-evaluate myself this fall. By then, I would hope to be up another couple grand. I won’t be posting for each $1000 I make. I will pick specific milestones I feel are significant. A doubling of profits seems like a good one. A major account disaster (which I hope never happens) would definitely be one to recap. The first time I hit 4 figures in a month…or in a week…or a day! That would be amazing to talk about. I will pick which I think are most important and will lay it all out for you to see here. Stay tuned!