If you’re a new day trader and are trying to figure out what are the best days to trade stocks, then I have good news for you.
I’ve been trading options for an entire year now and have figured out which days are the safest to trade, and which days are the absolute worst.
I’m also going to go over a risk management strategy that is going to allow you to have bigger wins, and significantly smaller losses.
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And with that being said, let’s get started!
Best Days to Trade Stocks
During my journey as an options trader, I’ve learned that stocks tend to be significantly less volatile on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, making them the best days to trade stocks.
These are the days where you want to take more than one trade (should your edge present itself to you) with confidence.
Sizing down during these days isn’t necessary unless your risk management strategy demands it.
You never want to overtrade as a day trader, but you should know what days have less risk than others.
How about the other days?
Here’s my personal experience.
Thursdays tend to have moderate risk and stocks tend to gain some volatility here, but charts are typically still very much tradable.
While day trading itself presents the trader with risk in every trade, I’m merely going over which days tend to be riskier in terms of volatility in the market.
As traders, we want to trade big price action in one direction or another and refrain from getting stuck in the chop, or from getting stopped out only to see continuation in our favored direction once we exit our position.
These anomalies usually occur due to the volatility in the market.
So, how do we avoid them?
By patiently waiting for an A+ setup or not trading at all.
Remember, cash is also a position.
Fridays tend to be the most volatile trading days of the week and could even be destructive if not assessed properly.
Most novice traders end up giving all of their weekly gains back on Friday.
In my experience, traders should not trade on Fridays unless an A+ setup presents itself.
And even then, it would be wise to downsize on this particular day.
There are far more experienced traders than I who simply take Fridays off from trading and start again on Monday.
Learning how to manage your risk on these particular days is what’s going to allow you to be consistently profitable.
Below is a risk management strategy that can help you navigate the waters throughout the week.
Day Trading Risk Management Strategy
- Set a fixed number of contracts to trade per new trade for Monday-Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday based on your account size.
- Limit your number of trades for Monday-Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.
- Place a rule of when to stop trading.
1. Fixed Number of Contracts
Your fixed number of contracts is going to depend on your account size.
How do you identify how much you should risk?
Everyone’s account risk is different, but I would start trading with 10% of my account and only risk 10% of that particular trade should the market turn against my trading system.
This puts your overall account risk at 1%.
Set a rule for yourself to only trade ‘X’ number of contracts per trade for Monday through Wednesday, Thursday, and then lower your size on Friday by half.
This next part of your risk management strategy goes hand in hand with the fixed number of contracts you set for yourself.
#2. Limit Your Number of Trades Per Day
This rule is extremely important when it comes to managing your risk.
You’ll want to establish a ground rule of how many trades you’re allowing yourself to take per day.
Since we know Monday-Wednesday are less volatile, we can set a max of 3 trades per day, while honoring your fixed number of contracts per trade.
Because Thursday tends to have more moderate risk, we can limit ourselves to a max of two trades on that particular day.
And with Friday’s being the most volatile day of the week, we can set a rule to only make one trade on Friday, granted that our setup presents itself to us, otherwise we don’t trade that day.
This risk management strategy allows us to refrain from overtrading on riskier days, while allowing us to potentially profit largely on less volatile days.
But the goal is to have significantly larger wins than losses, so how do we tie it up altogether?
By placing a rule of when to stop trading.
#3. Place a Rule for When to Stop Trading for The Day
Placing a rule for when to stop trading for the day is going to maximize your winning potential and minimize your losing potential.
Here’s a way you can manage your risk by knowing when to stop trading for the day:
Monday-Wednesday | 3 Trades Max
If you have two wins in a row, stop trading in order to keep that capital.
A third trade has the potential to both increase your capital, but to also eliminate your wins for the day.
If you have two losses in a row, stop trading and take the ‘L’ for the day.
While a third trade could potentially minimize your losses, the probability of accumulating even greater losses is also there.
If you have one win followed by a loss or vice versa, it’s okay to take the third trade to either end your trading day with some profitability, or minimal loss.
You may decide to not enter a third trade if after your second trade you’re still profitable or are merely facing a small loss; the choice will highly depend on whether your ‘edge’ presents itself to you or not.
Thursday | 2 Trades Max, Friday | 1 Trade Max
The same rules apply for Thursday and Friday except they are already limited to 2 trades on Thursday and 1 trade on Friday.
Since the market tends to get more volatile as the week progresses, limiting how many times you trade on Thursday and Friday will help you keep more of your gains made throughout the week.
You may decide to only trade once on Thursday and not trade on Friday.
This is good risk management as well.
By limiting the number of trades you make per day and number of contracts you take per trade on Thrusday and Friday, you eliminate big risk.
Any win you have on Thursday or Friday are merely extra gains to top off your week.
And if you have any small losses, they shouldn’t affect your bigger gains from the previous days, granted that you have a proper trading system in place.
But that’s another article of its own.
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