Day trading involves trading, or speculating though a derivative such as spread betting, within the time period of a single day. Day traders tend to close their positions by the end of the day.
The results with this form of trading can vary depending on the number and size of trades/speculative positions open, as well as on the volatility of the underlying financial market.
Some of the basic tools that you are likely to require in order to start day trading include a computer and reliable internet access. Market access can be provided through a trading account that you can open with a range of firms such as FinancialSpreads or IG Index .
Information services, such as financial newswires, market updates, regularly updated sources and price movement trends, can often be accessed through trading accounts or other online media like the CleanFinancial site.
Financial markets after often affected by external events such as political instability, disruption to oil production, economic statements or larger events such as recessions, to name but a few.
Today, market information has become increasingly easy to access thanks to the internet and global news agencies, some of which broadcast 24/7. What this means is that day traders can react quickly to news as it is published. It also means that markets can move suddenly and sharply, often within a matter of minutes.
Catching up With the Latest Market Developments
Strictly speaking, day traders do not leave their positions open overnight. However, some markets such as forex can continue to be highly active overnight. This means that prices may have moved considerably by the time you review the markets in the morning.
Charting software can depict market movements over a given time period, from a few minutes to several hours or a number of days. Seeing the price movements of your chosen market and reading up on significant news can potentially help you avoid placing ill-advised trades or, alternatively, highlight new opportunities. If you open an account with one of the spread betting companies then they will normally let you access their live charts for free.
Another options is a market scanner ie a tool designed to help you decide on which particular area of the financial market to trade in/speculate on. Market scanners can be programmed to scan the market, according to your specifications. This is especially helpful in busy market environments, which can be too difficult to follow with the human eye.
Market scanners also help block out areas of the market that you are not interested in. Some scanners will go a step further and place trades for you automatically. This should be avoided. If the large Hedge Funds don’t use scanners to place automatic trades then neither should you. Use them to highlight markets but that’s all, you should always make sure your trades are fully researched before taking a new position in the markets.
Spread betting is a leveraged investment option, it carries a high level of risk to your capital and losses can exceed your investment. It may not be suitable for your investment needs. Before making any trades, make sure that you are fully aware of all the risks. Only speculate with funds that you can afford to lose. Obtain independent financial advice where you feel it is necessary.
Peter Jones is a seasoned writer and commentator, based in London’s financial heartland. Key disciplines cover the spread betting and CFDs markets.