Day Trading Time Frames and Emotional Strategies
There are plenty of compelling reasons to prefer day trading in the ES (e-mini S&P futures). For starters, it is a highly liquid and leveraged product and the ease of exiting by the close of trade eliminates overnight risk. Further, profits (ideally) and losses are supercharged and fast. As great as this might sound to the inexperienced, the difficultly of the practice is largely underestimated.
Day trading the ES is most likely one of the most challenging endeavors a trader could embark upon. This is because there is little room for error; traders must be right about the direction of the market and the limited time window in which the move might occur. However, for those that have the perseverance to dedicate themselves to the practice, contain the natural ability to eliminate emotions and have enough experience under their belt, day trading might also be one of the most potentially lucrative forms of market speculation.
There are an unlimited number of strategies day traders might opt to apply, so discussing that aspect in a single article is impossible. Nevertheless, over the years I’ve noticed a few factors that play a big part in determining day trading success, and failure, that are worth sharing. Hopefully, you will walk away from this with a better understanding of risks, rewards, and reality.
Day Trading Is Mental
I believe that becoming a successful day trader comes down to instinct and the ability to control emotion. If you have ever been involved in athletics, you have probably heard the adage that performance is 95% mental and only 5% physical. I have found this to be true in trading as well, although instead of being physical, trading is technical. Quite simply, it isn't which oscillators or indicators you use, it is how you use them; perhaps more importantly how you deal with fear and greed as you are charting your trades.
Although we cannot control the market, we can control the environment and circumstances we choose to put ourselves in. The best way to keep your mental demons in check is to avoid compromising situations. As a trader, this achievement is certainly impossible but if you can merely minimize the exposure to stressful endeavors, it will go a long way toward trading success....
*There is substantial risk of loss in trading futures and options.