Introduction to Hot Keys
Here is our review of hot keys. As you guys know I use hot keys a lot. The advantage is that they allow you to get into trades quickly, and sometimes more importantly, get OUT of trades quickly. When I set up hot keys, for the most part, I design them for quick exits. When I get into trades most of my entries are pretty well thought out. I usually prepare my buy orders pre-market for the Gap and Go trades, or during a pull back for a Momentum Trade. You can see the Level2 window from DAS where I prepare orders. I simply type in position size, price, and route. Then all I need to do is hit the send button. This makes it extremely quick and easy to prepare multiple orders. I do have hot keys that allow me to move around the level2 window without using the mouse. I can toggle to the Price, Share Size, and Route windows using hot keys.
Since most of my buy orders are manually entered, the hot keys I use the most are for selling. It’s very important for me to be able to quickly lock in profits. Many of the stocks we trade in the first 15min are extremely volatile. This is to our advantage as day traders BUT we need to be able to sell exactly when we see the right opportunity. I have hot keys to automatically sell on the BID and the ASK. When I press Control+Z I will sell my full position 10 cents below the bid with a limit order. Control+X will sell my 1/2 position 10 cents below the bid, and Control+C will sell my 1/4 position 10 cents below the bid. These hot keys are all I need to press in order to sell shares. It’s that quick. Sometimes I will want to quickly change the route and I can do that again by using a hot key. This will change the route in my level2 window, and then I can either sell by pressing the sell button or executing a hotkey that is already specifically designed for the alternative route. It’s always good to write hotkeys for more than 1 route because there are times when a route will be down for the day to maintenance. The alternative routes I use are JPCC, ITGI, and ARCA. Additionally, I will use CCMX for dark pool routing. Dark Pools are popular for traders who use extremely large positions and need to leg out of trades with small orders.
In addition to my hot keys to sell orders on the BID and I also have sell orders to sell on the ASK. When I sell on the ask I add liquidity to the market and that gives me a rebate from the Market Maker. This rebate reduces commissions slightly. But even better than the slight commission rebate, you get a better price! So I often put shares on the ask using my hot keys. If I press Control+K I will sell my full position on the Ask. If I press Control+L I will sell 1/2 position on the ask, and if I press Control+; I will sell 1/4 position on the ask. I also have a hot key to immediately cancel ALL open orders. This is important especially when you have orders out to sell on the Ask and then decide you want to bail out of the whole position on the bid.
Hopefully this is helpful! If you have any questions you can always reach out.