Full Time or Part Time?
Position Trader? or
For someone who is new to trading, jumping in to be a full time trader is like on a suicide mission, the risk of losing your capital is extremely high. With 90% failure rate, what do you think your odds will be against all those veteran traders?
If you are having a decent paying job, think carefully before you embark on this treacherous mission straight away. There are so many things to learn about trading, it will probably take a few years, just like going to school and paying tuition fees.
Ask yourself honestly whether you are prepared go without income for a year or two, even losing your capital.
For someone new, I suggest starting out as a part time trader taking a few hours (3 would be ideal) at night to focus on trading. Anything more than that will be very tiring since you need to work the next day, don't burn yourself out, have a clear mind.
Open an account with Interactive Brokers as a retail customer to trade any International product.(they offer one of the lowest comm rate). When your daily trading volume goes up, consider joining any of the Exchanges as a member to enjoy even lower comm. Check out SGX website and membership department, the Exchange offer some incentives and clearing fee rebates for new members.
Read some good trading books.
Learn about Technical and Fundamental Analysis.
Learn to be proficient in the Trading Platform for execution of trades.
Learn the charting platform.
Visit websites like www.investopedia.com for financial terms and tutorials and www.elitetrader.com, a community for active traders.
Join AFACT (Association of Financial and commodity Traders) at www.afact.org.sg for support and events, participate in the Forum, read the past threads to learn more about the trading.
To shortcut the learning process, visit www.sgxacademy.com for the various courses offered. Singaporeans who are in the financial or related industry can apply for 50% funding for some of the courses.
Once you are ready, decide on what instrument to trade, choose a contract you are comfortable, with good daily volume and volatility.
For a newcomer, I suggest doing light scalping or day trading, square off the position at the end of the day to reduce overnight risk. Have a set of rules governing how you want to engage the market, follow them strictly with military discipline. There should not be "If" or "should" in your vocabulary as excuses for any mistake made, just learn from it and move forward.
Start out with only 1 contract, until you are consistently making money doing so before attempting to add an additional contract. Many traders start losing money by increasing their trading size because they are unable to adjust their mentality to the higher risk of trading. It's one of the many challenges facing even veteran traders like myself.
Be patient, selective and justify the entry before putting in a trade, then put in a stop order immediately (without fail). It's OK not to trade for the session if you don't have a set up for an entry, that will actually build up your patience. Limit yourself to not more than 3 entries and set a limit losses for the night (maximum $300 to $500 depending on your risk tolerance).
It's very important to justify a trade entry, reasons for taking that trade. WHY? You must be able to explain and be accountable for your action. It doesn't matter if you are wrong, your stop will protect you from disaster. Once you are doing the right thing, practice will make perfect, subconsciously, you are developing good trading habits.