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Short-term trading

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The "secret" is the shorter your time frame of trading, the less money you will make.

Think about any investment you have ever been in. Did you make a killing in one day? And, if you were so lucky, how many times were you able to repeat it' Not many. That is because the universal rule of life. Of ain, is the same as the universal rule of speculation:

It takes time for profits to grow

Successful traders know that a market can only move so far in 1 minute that a market can move further in 5 minutes, even more in 60 minutes and a heck of a lot more in a day or a week. Losing traders want to trade in a very short time frame and thus automatically limit their profit potential.

By definition, they have limited their profits and kept an unlimited loss scenario. It is no wonder so many have done so poorly at this of short-term trading. They have boxed themselves into a no-win situatio under the guise, often promoted by brokers or system sellers. That money can be made calling market highs and low’s during the day. The merit is bolstered with the seemingly rational statement that by tading within just one day and never holding anything overnight. you cannot be exposed to news or major changes; thus you limit your risk. That's flat-out wrong, for two reasons.

First, your risk is under your control. The only control we have in this business is to set a stop-loss point, a level at which we exit the trade, all trades. Yes, a market could gap beyond your stop the following morning, but that is a rare experience, and even then we are still able to limit our loss with our stop-loss and absolute willingness to get out of losing trades. Losers hold on to losses, winners don't.

Once you establish a position with stops, you can only lose about that much money. No matter when or how you got into the trade, your stop limits your risk. Your risk is the same if you buy at an all-time new market high, or low.

Not holding overnight limits the amount of time your investment has to grow. While sometimes the market will open against you, if we are on the right track even more of the time the market will open in our favor.

More importantly, by ending our trading at the end of the day, or worse yet at some artificial cutoff point such as a 5- or 10-minute chart, we have drastically limited the potential for profits. Remember I said the difference between losers and winners is losers hold on to their losses? Another difference is that winners hold onto their winning positions while losers get out "too early." It is almost as if losers can't stand being in a winning trade. They are so damn happy to get a winner, they bail out of it far too early (usually, by getting out during the day of entry).

You will never make big money until you learn to hold on to your winners, and the longer you hold the more potential you have for making a profit. Successful farmers don't plant a crop and then dig it up every few minutes to see how it is doing. They let it germinate, let it grow. We traders could learn a great deal from this natural process of growth. Our success as traders is no different; it takes time to create winners.

An excerpt from Long-Term Secrets to Short-Term Trading by Larry Williams