Since everybody has different levels of experience with the stock market, it is difficult to have a one-size-fits all objective list. I am going to try to cover all the areas that you should have a firm grasp of by the end of the 3-months. It is a rough outline of what I have learned after 4 months of paper/real trading. This post will be a work in progress, but here goes.
Day Trading is probably the most deceiving profession on the planet. On the surface the concept seems very simple: buy low and sell high. Then why is it that 90% of traders fail at his endeavour? Surely they aren't trying to do the exact opposite of what is profitable. Even flipping a coin has better odds at 50%. Let's take a look under the hood to see what is required to be a successful trader.
There are four classes in total. Each one runs about 1 hour, except for class 4 which is almost 2 hours. It is recommended that you attend the classes multiple times to reinforce your knowledge, refresh the concepts, as well as stay updated on any new material. It is your responsibility to go over the slides and understand what is being taught. If you have any questions, please ask them during class, in the forums, or in the chat. The community is always here to lend a hand. You should also bookmark the Bear Bull Traders FAQ and DAS Trader Pro FAQ. Some members choose to read additional day trading books, as well as practice trading replayed market data.
What you get out of the course is directly related to how much effort you put in. In a sense, the entire 3-months is more of a self-paced learning program than a structured course. There are no quizzes, no tests, no projects and no scoring. It is up to you to wake up every morning and spend time in the chair mastering the trade. Nobody will hold your hand, watch over your shoulder, or monitor your performance in any way. That is how day trading is in real life: absolute freedom to stake your fortune or self-destruct and implode.
STOCK MARKET BASICS
-Warren Buffet once said 'The stock market is a device for transferring money from the impatient to the patient.' This is true for long term investing and for day trading. Remember that for each transaction you see in the Time/Sales window, there is a buyer and seller. When a stock is down 20% on the day and you short it, somebody is on the other side of that transaction buying. You don't know their hand though. They could be covering their short from earlier, it could be institutions loading up for long term investment, somebody hedging an options contract, etc. Beginners often gloss over this point. Volume represents transactions being filled; a transaction always involves two parties. You are trading against other people, not the market itself.
-Exchanges: NYSE, NASDAQ, AMEX
-Pre-market and after-hours
-High Frequency Trading (HFT), algorithms
-Bid, Ask, Spreads
-Short-selling. What does it mean.
-Short inventory. Why are some stocks shortable and others not
-Short Sale Restriction (SSR)
-Short interest, or Short Ratio
-5-cent tick programs
-Circuit Breaker Halts
-News, earnings, and catalysts
-Pattern Day Trade Rule
>>> Make sure you understand the above prerequisites before proceeding any further. Investopedia is a great resource.
-Candle Sticks. How to read them.
-Understanding Price Action. Bearish vs bullish candles. Indecision candles.
-Higher highs and higher lows / Lower highs and lowers lows
-1-minute vs 5-minute chart
-Moving averages and how they are calculated in different timeframes
-VWAP. Why it's an important intraday indicator
>>> The above concepts are not tool-specific and apply to all trading platforms
-Knowing your tools (DAS)
-Platform, Hotkeys, Scanners, Journaling
-Order entry. Limit, market, marketable limit, stops
-Calculating commissions and tickets
>>> The goal is to familiarize yourself with DAS and be comfortable using it. For some this could take days. For others this requires weeks.
TECHNICAL AND STRATEGIES
-Finding Stocks in Play
-Good vs. bad pre-market price action
-Finding Support/Resistance Levels
-Day trading Strategies. Master recognizing the patterns, entries, stops, targets.
-ABCD / Reverse ABCD
-Bull Flag Momentum / Bear Flag
-VWAP False Break Out
-VWAP Trend Trade
-Opening Range Breakup / Opening Range Breakdown
-Red-to-Green / Green-to-Red
-Moving Average Trend Trade
-Top Reversal / Bottom Reversal
-Time of Day: Open, Late Morning, Midday to Close
>>> Everybody will pick this up at a different pace--learning to recognize different strategies, figuring out which one works best for you (at what time of day), etc.
MANAGING YOUR ACCOUNT
PRACTICE THE PROCESS OF EXECUTING A GOOD TRADE
Putting on a trade is more than buying at point A and selling at point B. You need to combine everything you learned to get in and out of a single trade properly:
1) finding good stocks in play
2) identifying chop and staying away
3) identifying the strategy or setup
4) quickly calculating risk-to-reward
5) getting a good entry and avoid chasing/jumping the gun
6) managing the trade based on live price action and new information which the market is providing you
7) taking profit (often overlooked, yet it involves half of the entire trade)
8) you need to do all of the above while keeping your emotions in check and fighting your psychological demons
>>> Over the 3-month period, you will repeat this process hundreds of times. This is where the bulk of your time will be spent. Learning to take good trades and improving on your mistakes. This is the only path to consistency. Don't waste time trading unrealistic sizes on low-float stocks because you won't learn a thing.
>>>Some of your trades will turn out to be winners, some will turn out to be losers. Most likely you will have a few trades that blow up your practice account (but don't worry, you weren't taking things seriously and would never do it live, right?).
-Choosing a broker
-Starting small and gradual position sizing
-Returning to Simulator
PSYCHOLOGY OF TRADING
-Why do most traders fail here
-I'm highly intelligent, analytical and very disciplined. Why this will ruin your trading.
-I'm a good poker player. Good--you will be playing against yourself
-Fear of missing out (FOMO)
-Fear of pulling the trigger
-Turning a day trade into a swing trade