Important reminder that on Friday, April 22, 2011 the U.S. trading markets will be closed for holiday to celebrate Good Friday.
For a complete list of U.S. market holidays in 2011 see this post: List of U.S. Trading Holidays for 2011.
Important reminder that on Monday, February 21, 2011 the U.S. stock market equities and options markets will be closed for holiday to celebrate President’s Day (sometimes known as George Washington’s birthday).
For a complete list of U.S. market holidays during 2011 see this post: List of U.S. Trading Holidays for 2011.
A list of dates the U.S. stock and options markets are closed.
U.S. Equity and Options Markets Holiday Schedule
|Date||Holiday||U.S Equity Markets||U.S Options Markets|
|January 17||Martin Luther King, Jr. Day||Closed||Closed|
|February 21||Presidents’ Day||Closed||Closed|
|April 22||Good Friday||Closed||Closed|
|May 30||Memorial Day||Closed||Closed|
|July 4||Independence Day||Closed||Closed|
|September 5||Labor Day||Closed||Closed|
|November 24||Thanksgiving Day||Closed||Closed|
|November 25||Early Market Close*||TBA||Equity Options (Narrow Based) Closes at 1:00 p.m.
World Currency Options Closes at 1:00 p.m.
Broad Based Index Options Closes at 1:15 p.m.
|December 26||Christmas Day (observed)||Closed||Closed|
A stock trading plan is a strict set of rules and actions which formulate your stock trading strategy. A stock trading plan defines when to buy and sell stocks and at what prices. Every trade you make should be governed by your trading plan.
A stock trading plan is very similar to a company Business Plan. A Business Plan is a device for the owner which sets out how the company intends to operate the business. A business plan is also a road map to tell investors and others how you expect to get there. A business plan covers all aspects of the company, from overall strategy and marketing to finances and the company’s goals. In the same fashion, a trading plan lays out how the trader will make trades – the time, price, volume, and news are all essential components of the trade. While your trading plan may not necessarily be for others, it is still your own road map to tell yourself, and reaffirm to yourself, how you expect to get there. Include goals in your business plan: 3 month, 6 month, 1 year, 2 year, 5 year, 10 year, and even 20+ year goals you would like to reach through your trades and investments.
There are many things you need to consider and think about when creating your trading plan. Here are a short few your trading plan should cover. Any additional criteria you can think of should be included.
There are many essentials you should include in your business plan. These essentials lay the foundation of your plan and will help you reach your goals. Here are some essentials you should include. Again, if you have other essentials please leave a comment so others can build on your information or contact me so I can include them in future versions of this article.
This is one of my favorite quotes which is very inspirational to me, not only in my trading and investing, but also in my everyday life. This is also one of Oprah’s favorite quotes. Look how successful she has been!
For a trader, the preparation means making your plan, developing your strategies, testing your techniques, and continually refining it all. The opportunities are there for us to take advantage of. We will only find success when our preparation intersects with our opportunities.
A well thought out and detailed Stock Trading Plan is the solid foundation for building your wealth, keeping your wealth, and successfully growing it. You must be dedicated to your plan. Following your plan part-time will give you part-time success. Don’t second guess your plan, but make changes as necessary. A trading plan is one key that can unlock your trading potential and help you make more money while losing less money. Every Trading Winner must have a Stock Trading Plan.
Choosing an online stock broker can be difficult and overwhelming at times. People new to stock trading and investing have many choices and options to consider. Finding the right online broker to meet your needs or requirements can be very rewarding and beneficial, for your portfolio and your peace of mind.
Here are some basic things you will need to consider when you look at difference online brokers. If you are not sure what these options and features are, you can speak to a representative of an online broker firm, or you can leave a comment and we’ll do our best to answer your questions.
All brokers charge commissions fees. Commissions fees are the cost to buy and sell stocks. You are charged a commission fee twice: once when you buy a stock, and again when you sell that stock.
I believe all brokers charge higher commissions when you phone in orders and speak to a human being. Keep this in mind as these commissions are for orders placed online only.
The minimum initial deposit for online stock brokers ranges from $500 to over $10,000. For those with less initial trading capital, lower minimum deposits are generally the deciding factor.
If your account balance is less than this minimum, your broker may charge you a fee every month or every quarter. These fees usuall range between $10 to $20 per month or per quarter, but can be higher. Read the fine print if you plan on depositing the absolute minimum capital in to your account.
All online brokers have a set of features and tools included with your online trading account. The default set of tools include streaming charts and streaming data, which is usually in the form of an application called a streamer. Your streamer allows you to see the latest real time prices of stocks in your watch list or portfolio. Some streamers simplify the process to buy and sell stocks so you will not have to load up a separate web page to place your orders.
Most brokers also have additional features which are not included in the basic trading account. These additional features have additional costs. Level 2 data and real time streaming news generally fall in to this category and have additional monthly fees.
Popular features offered by online brokers include:
Some online brokers have local branch offices some U.S. cities. Some traders and investors may want to sit down and talk to their local broker representatives. In this case, choosing an online broker with a branch office close to your home may be the deciding factor for you.
Scottrade has very many branch offices all across the US. TD Ameritrade also has branch offices in some cities and the number appears to be growing. I do not believe E*Trade has any branch offices.
My broker, TD Ameritrade, has an office in my city, but I have never visited them. A local branch office was not a deciding factor in my choice of an online broker.
Here are the most popular and respected online stock brokers. This list may be incomplete or your favorite broker may not be included. These are the brokers I am either personally familiar with or have heard good things about from my trading and investing friends.
You can now rate your stock broker at the Trading Winner Stock Brokers page. Rate your broker and tell us what you think about them.