Watching Multiple Symbols

Many who are new to trading stocks, find that watching a number of different symbols at the same time takes some getting used to. This is especially true for those who may already have experience of the futures market, where it is not uncommon to spend the entire trading session watching just one or two charts. Scanning several charts is not impossible though, it just takes practise and a structured method.

What do I mean by a structured method? I mean that it is important to have a defined approach to scanning your stock list for the day. Switching frenziedly between charts in a desperate attempt to catch every possible trade will only result in confusion, and ultimately in missing the very trades one is trying to catch. That in turn can easily lead to revenge-trading, whereby the trader attempts to jump belatedly into a stock because they don’t want to miss the boat. All in all, a recipe for disaster.

What the stock trader must accept early on, is that it is simply not possible to catch every single trade – some will be missed – it’s a fact of trading life. Instead of trying to be in all places at once, a clear defined system of scanning charts will lead to a clearer mind, and better trading decisions. If a trader uses a five minute chart for determining possible entries, then it is entirely possible to scan through each chart in turn only once every five minutes. Any that show good potential can be referred back to more frequently, and when a setup looks imminent, the trader can concentrate their full attention on that one stock until the trade is either entered, or the setup fails.

Anyone who drives a car will know exactly what I mean

Repetition and practice is the other key aspect to successfully monitoring multiple stock symbols. When first faced with the task of scanning, recognising patterns, entering trades, managing them, exiting, and so forth, the process can seem daunting. But as with anything, the more practice and repetition of the task is undertaken, the easier it will become. Anyone who drives a car will know exactly what I mean. If you think back to your early driving lessons (particularly if you learnt in a car with manual transmission), you will probably remember how there seemed to be so many things to do at once – clutch, gears, throttle, steering, watch the speed, indicate, where are the other vehicles around you, what’s the guy in front doing, where am I even going?! But now you get in a car and drive without even thinking about what you are doing, and probably hold a conversation and listen to some music whilst admiring the scenery all at the same time; in other words, driving has become an automatic response. Exactly the same thing applies to trading; with practice and repetition, doing the “right thing” eventually becomes automatic. When a trader reaches that stage, success is close.

Harvey can be contacted via his website, where you can also read about his day trading course

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