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Old 03-28-2002, 08:25 PM
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Great Post &Questions?

"I was considering doing the same general trading you are but am a complete novice. Could you elaborate on the setup and actual how you make the trades."

My broker is Interactivebrokers.Com. They provide a trading "platform." This is an interface that shows you real time prices, (bid and ask) along with bid and ask size and a few other things. Stock trades are .01 a share, options $1.90 a contract (no minimum) and futures are $2.40 a trade. You simply click on the bid if you want to sell and the ask if you want to buy. A box comes up and you can fill in the blanks. You can make limit or market orders and you type in the size and click on transmit to send in your order. If you make a market order you will usually get filled instantly.

"Such things as what type computer, type of Internet service,

I built my own PC. It's got an 800 Duron processor, 40 gig hard drive and 250 megs of ram. Plus I have a dual head video card. I wouldn't use much less than a 500 MHz processor and you'll need lots of ram if you keep a lot of open programs like I do. Oh, I would also recommend an LCD flat panel monitor because you want something that is geometrically correct and easy on the eyes. The bigger the screen you can afford the better. I have a 15" which is big enough for now, and when I get my second monitor it will be fine--but I wish I had a 17".

"any software, what charts and news services you use, what trading firm, how and how quickly the trades are executed."

I use Lycos.Com real time charts for my chart service. I'm sure there are better, but for $12 a month including exchange fees these guys are hard to beat. You get real time charts for stocks, options and indexes. If I can access other commodities like corn and oil I haven't figured out how to do it yet. Customer service is kinda bad. I can't even find a place to send them e-mail! But I like the charts and they suit my purpose. You can use 1 minute 5,10,15,30,60, day, week, year and quarterly interfaces. It has a news button so if you are charting Microsoft just click on news and you can see if anything is happening. But for news I like Yahoo.Com a little bit better. It has a good finance page, news, earnings reports, splits, option chains, message boards etc. If you want even better there are some inexpensive subscription sites like First Call. The Street.Com is also good for around $15 a month. Also try TradingMarkets.Com, but I don't know about their fees. I use AOL for an ISP. The 7.0 version is much improved over other versions and pretty fast, but it's still AOL. I'll be getting a cable modem soon. Two monitors is a big plus, but you'll need a dual head video card.

"Also what other books(besides Borsellino) or publications were helpful to you."

Go here and have fun. On this list I have read numbers 9,19,21,22. Maybe others can make recommendations from these lists. Personally, I would like to read all of these books, but I just haven't found the time. (The Electronic Day Trading books aren't the best--the one where they interview successful traders is OK though.)

And here I have read: 9,18,19,20

Other books I have read and liked:

Digital Day Trading by Abell

Day Trade Online by Christopher Farrell

McMillan on Options

Liars Poker is a good read

There are also two autobiographies written by women. One was written by Linda Radke and the other one I can't reamember the name of the book or the author, but she was the youngest options trader at the CBOE and one of the first women. Her account of the crash of 1987 in the options pit is especially interesting. These are the kind of books I really like.

There are many more books and all of the ones I've mentioned might not be great books, but you pick up something from everything you read and everyone you talk to. See what your library has and then go to Amazon and just buy some that look good. Here is a list of books on trading that I just love:

Market Wizards and

The New Market Wizards

Reminscences of a Stock Operator by Edmond Lefevre

God in the Pits (Author?) [Excellent account of the Gold and Silver spikes of the late 70s and how the Hunt brothers tried to corner the silver market.]

Methods of a Wall Street Master and

Principles of Professional Speculation by Victor Sperandeo

Options as a Strategic Investment (well written, but reads like a textbook but--must read if you are going to trade options.)

Trading for a Living by Dr. Alexander Elder

Pit Bull by Marty Schwartz

The Day Trader from the Pit to the PC by Lewis Borsellino

How I trade for a living by Gary Smith

How to Make Money in Stocks by William O'Neil

24 lessons for Investment Success by O'Neil

Investors Business Daily (William O'Neil publisher) is a great newspaper and a must read especially if you are trading stocks.

CNBC is a necessity

There are more I'm leaving out that I just can't remember. Others here might have some good suggestions.

I haven't read that many books on trading futures especially the S&P's, so I need to get busy in that department myself.

"Thanks again for the great post!"

No problem. Good luck!

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