I started with a measely $5,000 just to try it. I'm starting my third week and I'm almost at $6,000 and that's without margin. I now feel that I want to put $45,000 more into this and squeeze just 1 percent a day. That would give me $500, or if I margin trade, $1,000 a day. ***When I read your post, I had a deja vu moment--you could be me, just about 11 months ago, when I started trading--except I started with a measely $4,000 and in my third week, I was up to $6,500. I decided I could do no wrong. Like you, I wanted to make one percent a day. Seemed like a no-brainer. Some days I was making 5 and 6 percent, seemed like one percent was a lead pipe cinch. And if I could do so well with just my measely $4,000, think how good I could do with another six or eight thousand!When the techs started crashing, I was proud of myself--the days it dropped the most were the days I made the most! And I wasn't shorting and I wasn't using margin. By April, I decided I was well on my way to being rich. But then something happened. It was getting tougher and tougher to come out ahead at the end of the day. When I made a mistake, instead of backing up or walking away, I fell into the typical panic--I HAVE to make my one percent today! I started messing with stocks I did not know. I started putting too much of my portfolio into one or two stocks. I plowed ahead when I should have slowed down. It didn't take too many frantic, desperate, and downright stupid trades before I found myself back where I'd started--not only losing all I'd gained, but losing an additional few thousand dollars I'd pumped into my account when I thought I could do no wrong. And it only took about a month to accomplish it.I'm now on a long, slow journey--I have promised myself I will get my money back from the market. I can live without that money--but I'm not going to. I am going to get it back, every penny, because I am mad at myself for losing it. And I AM getting it back--little by little by little. It's going to take months, but I don't mind. I'm not in a hurry anymore. I learned there are no shortcuts and no guarantees.I've spent the last few months making only very few trades, but watching, observing, learning, and unlearning the bad habits I developed last spring when I was determined I was going to no matter what make my one percent a day. I realize now that until I got into that mindset, I was doing okay. It was that mindset that killed me in the market and I don't like to see that happen to anybody else. I shudder to think what would have happened if I'd played with a margin account--and I'll admit, I was sorely tempted. But think about this--when you are using your own money, the most you can lose is 100%. When you start playing with somebody else's money, the most you can lose is many, many hundreds of percent.I'm not a pro at daytrading. There are many here that are, and they are all much wiser than I am. But my simple advice to you is this: Don't invest a penny more than you can stand to lose. Don't quit your day job until you won't miss it WITHOUT day trading. Paper trade first a LOT. Use stops. And if you make a mistake, limit the damage, then STOP before you do something stupid. Get up, turn off the computer, walk away. Do not try to make up for it because you'll only make it worse.I am sincere when I say I wish you (and everyone else) good luck in your trading. Losing money is painful and I don't enjoy seeing anyone hurt for any reason. Losing money hurts families as well as individuals. It hurts marriages and self-esteem. It creates deep and genuine pain. I never take anyone's loss lightly--even total strangers. So for my sake, as well as yours, don't take risks you can't afford. I don't want to hurt for you.I am sure I speak for everyone here when I say we all take great delight in the success of our friends. There is a lot of sharing and caring going on here every day, and if you are serious about making a living at this, you have come to the right place--to learn and to share. But please, please be careful.
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