Practical Guide to Building a Stock Watch-list Every Day
Becoming a successful trader requires a constant process of refinement. When it comes to the activities of a day trader, it’s massively important to establish a well-defined daily routine that can be easily repeated every day before the market opens. In this one article, I’d like to share with you mine.
But before going into that, I’d like to point out the three main properties that every stock watch-list needs to have:
- Repeatability: Meaning that the process of selection could be done every day, defined in a structured manner in a way that could be easily explained as a process (you may also read my previous article about this aspect here);
- Manageability: The number of stocks pre-selected for the game time needs to be a within a range of names that can be actually feasible to follow once the market opens. To me, watching more than five stocks it’s not realistic because it simply too much information to be processed at once. My ideal watch-list contains 1-3 names. This is what I am comfortable handling with;
- Exclusivity: The watch-list must be your own. While I always predicate about the importance of being part of a knowledgeable community like Warrior Trading, it’s vital for each one to build up their own watch-list and do not rely on anybody else when it comes to a detailed plan. So, if you really like somebody else plan, just make that your own but do not mirror anybody else. Instead, let’s understand what’s behind the scenes of every decision taken and be ready to execute the plan on your own.
Step-by-step walk-through into my daily routine
So, here is a walk-through of my daily routine. Following is the steps I am taking in order to define the stock watch-list for any given day broken down the time of the day (EST):
- 8:00AM – Opening the stock scanning tool (Trade Ideas) where I have the filters on the gappers (+/- 4%) with a minimum volume of 20K since the opening of pre-market and a price range between $15 and $500. Why do I use these parameters? Easy. This is where I found to be more comfortably operating and that’s where my statistics say that I have the highest odds for a profitable trading;
- 8:05AM – Watching the overall market gap and reading financial news in general;
- 8:10AM – Begin technical analysis on the stocks that show up in the scanner in order to identify resistance/support and the potential for a big move;
- 8:30AM – Look for more names to analyze that comes from other sources, mainly the Warrior Trading chat-room in order to make my independent analysis on them;
- 9:00AM – Finalizing the watch-list. Past this time there are very few odds that a new name will be added to the list. At least for a “VWAP strategy” (whether it’s a pop, fade or crack it doesn’t really matter) play, at this point, the set of stocks on watch is pretty much frozen;
- 9:15AM – The possible game plan for each stock in play is pretty much done, meaning all the interesting levels have been setup and are also in a “reachable” distance from the actual trading price. It is only fifteen minutes to the open but it’s not time to take any trades yet;
- 9:25AM – It’s time to prepare the actual montage windows of my broker tool with every information needed for the possible trades to execute when the market opens. So, I define sizing and price of a possible entry following the highest probability of a trading direction I had set up during the technical analysis. Knowing that, a prepared plan can always change and, so, can be subjected to readjustment;
- 9:30AM – It’s game time. The bell rings and by this time I always need to know how much distance from my stop a possible trade has, as well as where my target is. In order to justify the trade, I need to have this ratio at a minimum of 1.5:1 P/L ratio.
From this point on and within half an hour is where the most of my trades statistically happen. Actually, I tend not to have any trade within the first two minutes after open because that’s the time when the market tends to have the most volatility together with having the most unpredictability. Instead, I invest this time to closely watch the price / action while getting ready to execute the prepared plan as soon as a clear direction seems to settle down.
“There is no end to education. It is not that you read a book, pass an examination, and finish with education. The whole of life, from the moment you are born to the moment you die, is a process of learning.” – Jiddu Krishnamurti
See you in chat-room.