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Author: RetiredVermonter Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 76418  
Subject: Re: capital gains/losses in ira accounts Date: 1/1/2006 12:32 PM
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rrosenkoetter :

I find it hard to believe you ever made more 2-3% in 30 minutes

Think again. Day trading is risky, actually like gambling, but generally means trying to double your money, or at least make 25 to 50%, fast. It does not usually involve trying to make 2-3% on what you put in. For that kind of return, you'd best stay with longer term, honest-to-gosh investing in quality stocks or other investments. (And that is exactly where most of my IRA money is, too -- in diversified mutual funds, plus a few carefully chosen stocks, and a VERY little bit in a few "fun flyers". These are little stocks, with not much investment in each, that may do nothing or may just take off, based on what I see possibly happening.

My "returns" of a few hundred dollars, on up to that one $1,000 "hit" (which was very unusual), resulted from an "investment" (or gamble, if you will) of no more than $2,000 at any one time. It was a pretty small percentage of my IRA, I can assure you.

Day trading does not mean sitting there, looking at your PC screen, and suddenly saying "Hey, that's looks hot! I think I'll buy some of it!" (That would be pretty stupid!)

On the rare occasions when I have ventured forth, I had started looking at several "possibles" on line, very early on, at perhaps 5:30 a.m.; doing research; reading up on whatever I could find on line (or from other sources); and then homing in on a couple of "finalists" by the time 8:00 a.m. rolled around -- the earliest time I could actually buy anything. (My commission costs are/were only $8, by the way, and that is definitely a factor. You do not want to try this with high costs.)

I then watched, in real time, as my "candidates" started to "move" -- if they did -- and also flicked back and forth to whatever information sources I had to see if something was CAUSING this move! If it looked as if there was truly a "hot" news item or other cause that might cause it to take off, coupled with actual movement, I might buy in -- and then watch it like a hawk, ready to jump back out if it got to a reasonable profit point or, as may happen, if it obviously was a bad guess and is "tanking". (Yes, that happens.)

Sometimes, if I'd bought shares for a total of, say, $500, and they quickly rose (maybe in 20 minutes or a half hour) to, say, $650, where I was "up" even $150, say, I might sell quickly, pocket the hundred bucks or so, in effect, and quit! I'm not a big "gun" here! ;) Keep in mind, too, that there ARE some VERY big "fish" in that sea, who can manipulate those stock prices by buying and selling HUGE blocks just as quickly, so little fish can be burned badly if they're not careful.

Again, as I said, it is NOT for everyone to try. It is NOT really investing; it's admittedly more like gambling, but what I'd call "thoughtful gambling".

I'd also suggest that anyone thinking of trying it first try several times with "play money". In other words, pretend to buy X stock for Y money, and then see if it rises to Z in the time planned. Jot down actual times you "bought", the price it was at that time, how high it rose, and the time you sold, etc. That way, you can see if your schemes have any potential at all -- or if you're just plain inept and maybe ought to forget the whole thing!

That help any?

Happy New Year!

Vermonter
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