A few weeks ago, I attended a 2-hour seminar on real estate investing by Robert Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad Education team. It was a free event with a lot of push on selling the 3-day workshop course on real estate investing, which was on March 4-5-6 and March 11-12-13. I figured since this was an area of knowledge I wanted to know more about, I decided to spend the 500$ and go for it. Alongside me that day was my real estate friend and business partner Thomas (not his real name). One of the perks of the training class was that you can bring a guest of your choice for no cost. Thomas and I decided to split the bill and go together, in hopes of learning more about flipping, rental property, tax strategies and asset protection. Basically, we wanted to have some passive income in the near future.
There was this one guide I followed to install Opentaps on a Ubuntu machine, but it was so badly written that I had to rewrite it for future reference. Also, it was a bit outdated (using Java 1.5 as opposed to OpenJDK 1.6).
Note: I’m a FreeBSD guy, so getting Ubuntu running required a bit of reading when it came to installing packages. Luckily, Ubuntu has apt-get, which is similar to the ports system.
For the past year, I have been trading using NBC’s direct brokerage service much to my displeasure, as their web interface and trading tools are simply terrible. There are no charts, no real-time feed and the commissions are way too high for day trading (28$ a trade!). I was about to move my assets to TD Waterhouse until I came across Market-Q, their real-time trading platform, based on eSignal. I also found out they offer better commissions (7$ with a maximum of 10$) if you trade 30 times and more per quarter, which I have recently hit within 40 days. National Bank needs to do a better job at advertising their services to their clients, as I was about to leave them for a competitor. I recall asking my financial advisor at NBC if they had a real-time trading platform, yet she didn’t have a clue.
Regardless, Market-Q is straight-forward, customizable and very easy to use. Comparing it to TD’s Active Trader platform, I believe MQ is a lot more stable and powerful. With AT, I couldn’t have more than 3 boxes in my charts. MQ doesn’t seem to have a limit of how many boxes you can attach to a chart. Also, the overall design and functionality of MQ is quite nice and easier on the eyes. I can also separate charts from the trading platform, so I don’t need to keep the entire application window open. This saves me a lot of space on my desktop and allows me to use my monitors selectively, as Active Trader needs to have the entire application spanned across my monitors for me to read charts while Market-Q’s charts are detachable and free-roaming.
Market-Q is 39.00$/month if you wish to use it, but free if you do 10 trades a month or more. Active Trader, on the other hand, doesn’t have a monthly fee and is free to use has a monthly fee as well (which I cannot recall).
Lastly, I have a tip to offer to all who wish to use NBC as their brokerage. If you move 25,000$ in cash to National Bank, you qualify for the 7$ trades from the beginning, but you must call them first. I had moved said amount but didn’t call them for the better rates when I started. Once I had enough of losing 56$ each time (after 2 months of trading and losing profits to commissions) I called them up and complained. They said they couldn’t do anything until I traded 2 more times (I had already done 28 trades) to qualify for the 7$ trades. Really? I have been trading with National Bank for over 2 years, and they can’t give me the better rates now? Regardless, customer service managed to give me the better rates sooner once I completed two more trades. I didn’t have to wait for the next quarter to arrive so I benefited from the lower commissions right away.
For the record, the customer service representatives at National Bank are fine people, and they are always friendly and professional over the phone. For this, they’ll be keeping my business for a while. 🙂
Today is my first day of day trading stocks with real money.
About a year ago today, my business partner & friend told me I should look into day trading as a means of extra income. He invited me to a free introduction course that taught the attendants on how to do basic technical analysis using MACD, EMA and RSI indicators. Within minutes of understanding the basics, I fell in love with the whole idea of trading equities as a side “job”.
To further my knowledge on day trading, I took a one day course taught by a professional trader by the name of Charles Langford (who also happened to give the intro course before). He is quite possibly one of the most knowledgeable individuals when it comes to trading: Langford has written books, taught many courses and is a teacher at Université de Québec à Montréal, among other things. His course was sold out within days of being announced as seats were limited.
Before I dove into the world of trading, I practiced my technical analysis skills with a TD Active Trader account with fake money. Making plenty of mistakes, I got the hang of making a small amount of profit each trade by sticking to the rules and indicators I learned by attending the paid course.
The day came two weeks where I felt that I was ready to trade with real money. I had my line of credit increased last week so I can use it to purchase equities and leverage my trades. As a means to help me screen preferred stocks, I have subscribed to Langford’s “Langford Report” newsletter, where daily emails are sent out on various portfolios. Everyday, Langford mentions which stocks to buy, sell and stay according to his professional opinion. Looking back at his analysis records, following his portfolios would have netted you some serious cash.
The whole thing is exciting to me, yet I still feel a bit nervous. While the risks I am taking are very minimal, you can’t help but think that the chance of losing it all is still there… that is, if you invest in sketchy companies with no real products *cough* Nortel *cough*.
My rules for day trading are as follows:
- Trade Monday to Thursdays. Take Fridays off.
- Never follow the news, as it is irrelevant to trend following.
- Never get emotional with a stock.
- Don’t make your million dollar profit in one day.
- Don’t be greedy.
*gulp* here’s to the future.
A quote found on my friend’s fridge: “The five people you spend the most time with will determine how far you will go in life.”