At The Close: Daytrading Rule 1: No Overnights by Fausto Pugliese
Having the discipline to follow your rules of daytrading will limit your losses and maximize your gains. Find out how one rule can make a world of difference.
IN my experience teaching thousands of individuals to daytrade, I have found that the ultimate determining factor in success is not experience, analytical ability, or risk tolerance. No, the secret ingredient in 99% of trading success stories is discipline. Some traders have natural self-control, while others develop it over time.
Achieving the discipline to follow the strict rules of daytrading will limit your losses and maximize your gains. A few easy steps can get you on the right track, and the first one I always suggest is to Never hold overnight positions.
BUT WHAT IF...?
Traders use the phrase “daytrading” because daytraders open and close all their positions during the same trading day. A true daytrader starts each session with no open positions, makes his or her trades during the course of that day, and ends each day the way he started it — with no open positions, no exceptions!
This is an easy rule to follow when you’re making money. If your trade is showing a positive return, it is not that hard to cash out of the position by the end of the day and take your profits.
This rule becomes more difficult to follow, however, when you are cashing out a losing position. For example, let’s say you bought a stock late in the day at support, expecting to sell as it bounced back up near resistance sometime before the closing bell. Yet for some reason, the stock broke through its support level and now, you’re looking at a $1,000 loss on the trade as the close looms.
In this case, holding onto the stock will be tempting as you hope it resumes its normal trading pattern at the opening bell the next morning, getting you back close to where you started. A voice in your head will say, “Why close out a losing position that might turn into a winning one if I just wait an extra day?” Ignore that voice! It is the voice of financial ruin.