Well I finally closed the book on December’s small account challenge and, after spending a few days refocusing my attention on the main trading account, I came to a decision about The January Challenge. In brief, I decided to really put my money where my mouth is and trade exclusively with a cash account through a no-fee U.S. broker.
To elaborate a bit, I got a ton of feedback from Warrior Trading students and viewers of my daily recaps on the Facebook and Youtube accounts about the December challenge. And what I heard from a lot of people who are just starting to day trade is that my approach to the challenge was unrelatable and didn’t reflect the circumstances under which they trade.
For starters, I was using an off-shore broker with looser restrictions on how much I could trade in a day and the amount of leverage I could use. More importantly, my broker also charged platform and account management fees as well as commissions on each trade, something that’s recently gone out of style for most North American brokers.
So I started thinking about how I could better replicate the day trading experience of someone watching my trades who might just have started noodling around with penny stocks through a Robinhood account. What I ultimately decided on was finding my own cash account with $2,500 through TD Ameritrade.
While not quite as small as the $500 I used to fund last month’s margin account, I feel like $2,500 is a reasonable amount for anyone remotely serious about becoming an active trader.
More than that, a $2,500 cash-only account ultimately means I’m going to have significantly less buying power throughout this challenge. And, because I’m trading through a North American Broker, I’m going to be subject to the Pattern Day Trader Rule and therefore need to be much more deliberate with each and every trade and how much risk I take.
Finally, using a no-fee broker can put traders at a disadvantage since forgoing the platform fee means they may miss out on advanced quotes and tools. I will be using my own suite of day trading software and I encourage anyone following along with this challenge to strongly consider looking into these resources before trying to adapt my strategy.
Despite the obstacles ahead, I’m excited to test my trading skills in this new challenge. Despite all of the success I’ve seen in the various account challenges I’ve undertaken, I feel like this one will be able to help the most people discover what kind of trader they want to be and how they can find success under a variety of circumstances and limitations.
In any case, it’s going to be a fun ride.