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I have been papertrading using the THink or Swim papertrading for 7 months---EVERY DAY! I was just able this week to come up with the money needed to fund my account to day trade. Since January on my papertrading account I have earned over $900,000. I was told that if you can papertrade and make a profit it is the same as real trading. I was very shocked today when I lost $4,000 because I could not get my order filled. It took 5 minutes before my order was filled. Now I am concerned and to be honest a little scared to place a trade because of the time it takes to fill an order. 5 minutes seems really high. Is this normal? If so, how can a person be a successful day trader? The idea is to sell when there is a profit, but if it takes so long to fill the order the profit can get lost. Any ideas? Or do you know any companies that are faster than this?
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Originally posted by jackofsumtrades

To be fair to the guys i know on the floor at the cmegroups s&p 500 pit, and given the proper access to a talented broker & backoffice staff:

A trader can call the floor, get a bid/offer, place an order, get a fill, place another order, and get off the phone in less than 20 seconds. (The actual trade might take another 5 to 30 minutes to get punched down in your account, but as long as the ticket has been endorsed, you own it)



I have a tremendous amount of respect for locals. The action in the pit will always be central to why I became interested in trading in the first place. I'm from Chicago. Nearly all of us are haunted by and share the same nostalgic aria concerning the pit; but it's not geared for scalpers unless you're a local. In a precise, fast moving scalp, in cash you often do lose more handles than you gain. Which is why locals with a heart would rather see institutions lose money on the same scalp over the little guy, or gal, in this case.

Even when I can afford to go cash, I'll trade eminis. I'm in control. That's the bottom line of why we trade at all: to control our money.