Day trading is not for the weak of mind and body. It is a grind, to stare at monitors all day and keep up on trends, streaming stock news and the financial miasma that flows all around the world of capitalism. It demands a certain stock of character, where you can make the choices necessary to educate yourself and dedicate yourself to the arduous learning process. Which is why your interactive broker needs to be top-notch. So exploring the offerings of Ameritrade is a necessary step in your journey as a day trader.
Ameritrade makes a platform for online trading called Thinkorswim. It can be valuable to many traders dabbling in the markets, because of its ease of use and the ability to customize your desktop interface, so your speed is way above par. That is one of the Ameritrade advantages that scores for day traders. You can create hotkeys and other interface buttons that allow you to research and execute trades quickly and simply.
Ameritrade, on its Thinkorswim platform, also offers a great way to keep up to date on the market news of the day. The streaming news of CNBC allows you to stay on top of breaking news catalysts that are vital to executing a great day trading strategy. Having plan each day and a strategy to follow is essential to being a profitable day trader. You cannot just go out there and wing it. You need the proper structure in place.
It is essential to be able to research your trades as you make them and even game out risk analysis before you execute. Figuring out exactly what you are risking and how to manage that risk is a skill that will come with time, but for beginning day traders, it is nice to have a tool that will allow you to do it quickly and easily. Ameritrade offers just such a tool. You can press a button and see a projected risk analysis of the trade that you are about to make. That is a great way to stay safe as you learn to trade.
When you are a beginning day trader, you want spend a certain amount of your first few months practicing in a paper trading simulator. That is where you trade virtual money in a simulated trading environment that allows you to take risks, but not actually lose real cash. It is an excellent way to learn day trading on the job, so to speak. You can get a feel for risk management and make trades at the speed of the regular market without losing your shirt.
The one drawback to Ameritrade is the per-trade commissions. That overhead can add up fast if you are trading at the typical rate of a day trader. You need to make multiple trades per day, sometimes per hour, in order to take advantage of the volatility of the market that day. Which means that Ameritrade commissions can eat into your profit margins at a pretty crazy rate.
Day traders are volatility hunters. They are always on the lookout for the big score. Which means that you need to be like that too. You need to be hungry for what day trading can offer you. Hungry enough to go out there everyday and learn how to do it.