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edge piece
holy grail
large corporations
losing proposition
winning combination
trillions
day trading
Buying Trading Software
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Buying Trading Software

I have been trading on and off for over 10 years. In that time, I have seen a number of traders come and go. Mostly, because they lost their capital, but some because they saw the obvious: this is a losing proposition.

Because this is the basis of Wall Street in general, and so-called day trading in particular. It’s not that the process is rigged, not by any estimation. But the ways to make money in trading require exactly what you would expect in an institution comprised of trillions of dollars. Money. Secondarily, knowledge, or an edge, an advantage.

So right away, you may guess where this article is going: towards the edge piece.

If a trader were to have at his/her disposal a million dollars and high quality software that could not only identify potential investments, but ways to “load” those investments against risk (the way hedge funds, banks, countries, large corporations do,) the lone investor would do well.

This explains why there are only a handful a known investors. It also makes sense as to why all the pundits have a “job.”

Sidebar - I have joined many trading rooms. And I have always asked the moderator, “So, why are you here Mr./Ms. Highly Skilled Trader?” The answer is unilaterally the same: “Oh, I like to help people.” Right. Hard not to have a bit of sarcasm, but I was in a room with a guy who claimed he was trading actual dollars, and he was investigated by a governing body and had to pay a fine for misleading his clients. He’s still peddling his wares, but claims to only be a software developer. Fair enough.

I digress...so there are ways to trade in a methodical, profitable fashion. I have found the two described above - having a large bank roll and/or some powerful software - are a winning combination. But since most people trade with change - $50,000 or less - they tend to hand that over pretty quickly to those who have both advantages. And as their resources wane, they usually go searching for the holy grail, find a gaggle of so-called “successful traders,” something of an oxymoron, unless you’re just getting started, and give the remainder of their capital to the trading room coach/mentor.

So unless you have a 7 figure bank account, and seeing your wealth ebb and flow for long periods does not faze you, look for some software. What exactly defines “good” software? That’s the question you must never ask. Neva! You ask that and every snake potion peddler on the net is going to show you his/her glistening pearly whites. The question to ask, and how to begin looking, is to do what the big investors do: keep it simple.

How does a mere mortal do this in light of the financial ecosystem and the vultures and sharks who occupy the landscape? Simple - find software that points to discrepancies. In some cases arbitrage may be your solution, but in the big picture, a savvy investor would need a substantial bank account to profit this way.

Arbitrage is simply when, for instance, the dollar is selling for X on one market, and X-1 on another market. That delta makes big investors rich. Same token, hedging your option plays.

This is where the average Jane and Joe can take a decent profit, but they would need some software to help identify where those opportunities lie. Most of the retail trading houses offer the software to help the search go easier, but there is some learning required to make sense of the various options strategies.

My point is: don’t get caught in the headlights of the evangelists. Don’t get caught in the thrill of the trading room. And, definitely, do not get caught thinking you’re a trader. Stay away from that world, that mentality, and search for supportive software that you can learn, and you may be on the slow boat to profitable trading. In this instance, you are a software shopper, looking for a tool to make sense of data. Lots of market data.

And you’re a student of the market, looking for opportunities that might offer a return, just like opening a coffee shop, or a muffler shop might offer. In the same vein, opening a shop takes capital and commitment. Remember the first 2 year rule (most fail) and the five year rule (if the shop is still open you’re a success.)

Because that is what you will face: a real world of software peddlers, magicians with huge promises, and black holes to put your money.

Am I saying trading can’t be done profitably? Absolutely not. But like all successful businesses, I would have a five year plan. No get rich quick schemes. In the light of reality, you will find good software, take the time to leverage it, and place a couple of small trades to develop your new found skill set.

Good luck. But if you follow this approach,you won’t need lady luck. You’ll need to learn to read an additional series of 3 zeros. That’s when you knight yourself - successful trader.


Street Talk

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