My name is Jason Hale. I have been a part-time day trader since 2005. Part-time because I work full-time at a “regular” job which I absolutely love and have no plans of leaving. And because I need the money. No, I`m not a multi-millionaire or wealthy. Not even close. Not a lot of trading experience, either. And I`m still learning every day. I became interested in day trading when I failed at investing. “Buy and hold” investing has always been and continues to be a challenge for me.
After years of subscribing to numerous (and expensive!) newsletters, advisory services, watching CNBC and “experts” like Jim Cramer, poring over annual reports, analysts` reports, I could never get ahead. In fact, it seemed like when I bought the “perfect” stock I would get an immediate, encouraging rise, but over time it would reverse and put me in the red. I am one of those risk-adverse individuals and the stress of continually watching my portfolio shrink kept me awake at night and left me a nervous wreck. My family joked that if I bought a stock, it was a sure signal for them to sell!
I am an investing moron and I remain so to this day. Fortunately, because of this handicap, I was completely out of the market during the global financial meltdown of 2008–well, except for my 401K. But while I received calls from depressed friends and relatives whose portfolios had diminished to a fraction their former value, I was making more money than ever with just 2 trades a day in the emini Dow. Because several friends and family have asked me to reveal my methods, I thought it would be easier to write it out in course form than to try to coach each one individually. On my wife`s suggestion, I am now offering this
course online to help others that are tired of losing equity and want to gain immediate cash flow.
I have always been intrigued by the concept of day trading, although I never fully understood what it was about. What intrigued me was the notion of being able to capture a small profit by trading in a few minutes or few hours at the most, put it in my pocket and be done for the day. I liked the idea of no surprises when the market opened the next day and not having to “white knuckle” it over a weekend when bad news threatened to tank Monday`s trading. If I had a loss at the end of the day, well at least I could deal with that. So, if I could just pocket miniscule trading profits, day after day, maybe I could accumulate a few bucks? Was that asking too much? My goal was modest: $200 per day, five days a week. Over a year`s time that would amount to about $50,000 before taxes. That way, maybe I would be able supplement my regular income and retirement and be able to sleep at night doing so. Having gone through the stress of owning multiple businesses and the nightmare of being a landlord, I loved the idea of an income-producing business that did not require fickle employees, expensive inventory, persistent overhead or tenants from hell. Sounded way too good to be true!
Nonetheless, I jumped in with both feet and consumed every book, every DVD, every trading course and software package I could get my hands on. I attended seminars, bought advisory services, hired programmers. All told, I have spent more than $8,000 educating myself. Yikes!
Well, the learning curve was long and difficult. Looking at a gazillion different charts and all those squiggly lines was daunting. And concepts like stochastics, Elliott Wave, Fibonacci, were so difficult for my right-brain to grasp (I am an artist and musician, not an engineer or mathematician). Very discouraging. Would someone please tell me where to start?
Eventually I traded real money on every method I paid money for. Unfortunately, most of these methods required me to sit in front of the computer all day waiting for a signal to trade something I was unable to do with my full time job so I was never able to devote the time necessary to fully exploit all the trading opportunities. But somehow, over the course of the first year, I managed to recoup the eight grand I had invested in my day trading education. And I did so trading sporadically and only in the morning before work. (I live in the U.S. on the west coast, so it is 6:30 am here when the markets open. I can only trade until 8:00 am, at which time I go to my regular job.)
During my education I traded stocks and options, commodities futures and options, Forex, and lastly, emini index futures. It was this last category, emini futures, that appealed to me the most and where I had the greatest success, so that is where I began to focus my efforts, especially on the emini Dow futures contract. (I detail the many advantages in the course materials.)
Staring at morning session charts of this single instrument for almost a year allowed me to really focus and learn the personality of this market. Over time, I began to remove the tangle of indicators and oscillators (the “squiggly lines”) and began to focus on naked price action alone. Being a visual person, my chart watching became like staring at the clouds; pictures began to form. And they began to repeat. And they appeared consistently, day after day. From those pictures emerged an amazingly simple, but consistent, trading system. I “paper-traded” these patterns with mixed results for many months, tweaking and refining my entries, stops and exits, until one day I began to reap consistent profitability in the neighborhood of 70% – 80%. Confident, I finally pulled the trigger. First, with one contract. Then two. Then three. And so on, working my way up as my account continued to grow.
My typical morning is easy, low stress, and somewhat predictable. My kind of trading! A typical trading day goes like this: I am up by 5:45 am Pacific Time. I shower, flip on CNBC and eat a light breakfast. By the time the markets open at 6:30 a.m. I am at my computer sipping my hot Mexican mocha. I do no research before the market opens, but I like to look for overnight news that might get the market moving. A moving market in either direction is good for my trading system. On my screen I have a one-minute chart of the current month emini Dow futures contract with plain price bars, no indicators or oscillators. Around 6:40, the first pattern usually appears and I get ready to trade.
By 6:45 I am in a trade and by 6:50, or sooner, I am out. Some time after 6:50, a second pattern usually appears and shortly thereafter I am in the second trade. Usually by 7:15 I am out. Most of the time I end up with a profit, but to be honest, some times I take a loss. I have learned to accept losses as a part of trading, and to some degree, welcome them. From losses I learn the most about my emotions and how they adversely affect my trading. And, because of these losses I am motivated to continually improve my trading. But the good news is I take a profit 70% – 80% of the time. And if you are an active trader, you know those are odds to die for!
My trading method is somewhat mechanical, but is not a black box or robot trading system. When a pattern forms, it should be obvious. If it is not obvious, it is not traded. Entries follow specific rules and never vary, and the only discretion that may be required is in using TICK and TRIN to determine the potential strength and direction of the move. Stop loss and profit target are then calculated from the entry using simple math. My stop loss is always equal to the target plus 2 ticks. Never varies. That`s about a 1:1 risk-to-reward ratio. And, you should be able to use any trading platform that displays one-minute charts and allows quick order entry. No programming required, no software to purchase, no recurring subscription or license fees, either. You can be paper trading tomorrow (always practice before trading real money!) and down the road when you are completely confident, you should be making small, steady, consistent profits.