I could sell UGAZ right now but I would commit a Good Faith Violation. I guess I’ll hold off until tomorrow. Well that blows my strategy all to hell. It has been a while since I had to watch out for GFV. I am going to go ahead and sell 4 shares of UNG since I’m allowed to do so. In the future I will be reserving cash for this issue.
Step 3 is all about taking your first steps to trade based on my moves. This is practice, keep in mind you will make mistakes. Hell, I still make plenty of mistakes. It should be more fun to learn trading if you’re actively trading. Also keep in mind there may be days when nothing is traded. Patience can be a big task sometimes. Either way, step 3 is my hope to get you moving on making trades, keeping this a little more fun while learning.
Right now there are two ways to do this. Follow me on twitter and when you see me post a trade, you can do the same in your paper account… The second method I’ve come up with are the morning updates. These are really for people who are a little more familiar with what’s going on and would like to make their own choices. That being said, I’ll generally give a pretty good idea of what I’m thinking each morning.
The above tweet means i bought UNG with 7.5% of the money that is in my account. You now have a one million dollar account in Webull. 7.5% of that is $75000. If you follow me implicitly, you would take 75000 divided by the price of UNG (at the time was $21.8). So 75000/21.8 = 3440. I would round this to 3400 and buy 3400 shares in my paper account.
7.5% of funds will always be 7.5% of my account balance when buying. Your paper account balance starts at $1,000,000. I always use percentage so if someone is using a $10,000 paper account, they can’t possibly buy 3400 shares of UNG, but 34 shares would be closer to 7.5% of their account balance.
The reason for only spending a portion of your money is because we are never 100% sure the price is going to go up after we buy. So we do what I call layering in. Layering in would be to buy a small amount of say UNG, if it falls further, add to the position. This is not so common a method of trading Natural gas, and may label me an idiot. Welcome to the club, moving on.
From now on I’m going to include the price at which I buy so you know it. The tweet may say “bought $UNG with 7.5% of funds at $21.8” I hope this is very straight forward.
Next I add to the position. Remember, your position is what you are currently holding. I’m going to skip forward in time with the next tweet.
Again, I’m going to start including the price, on the day of this tweet, the price would have been about $19.5. So I bought more UNG with 3% of my account value, $30,000 at $19.5. 30,000/19.5=1538. I would round this to 1500 and buy 1500 shares. Now 7.5% plus 3% is not 30%. I skipped some tweets and jumped forward in time. I’ll try to use the word position, sometimes the word holdings may slip out. If I’m “holding a position” then my holdings… I hope you get the picture. The tweet may read “adding to $UNG with 3% of funds at $19.5, my position is now 30% total”. We’re learning here and you’re doing great if you’re still with me. If not, ask questions.
Just like layering in, I may layer out. I may not want to sell the entire position.
So above I’m layering out of my position. I’m holding 7% of DGAZ and I want to sell half. Well I goofed, half of 7 is 3.5, not 4.5. The point here is I sold 40% of my position and held the other 50%. A few days later DGAZ went up another $10 and I sold the rest of the position.
The reason for selling only a portion is the same reason for buying a portion. I was not certain the price of DGAZ would keep going up. So I hold on to some of the position so if it goes up further, then we will sell more. We are doing what is called managing risk by selling a portion right away. When I buy, I’ll will speak in terms of account balance, when I sell I will speak in terms of position. So when buying say 7%, that’s 70,000 of 1,000,000, my account balance. When selling if I sold 50%, and I’m holding 3000 shares, I’m selling 1500 shares.
There is actually a slider bar on the mobile app in Webull. When you buy it shows the % down there on the slider bar. The 7% shown in the image below is 7% of your account balance. And if you are selling say 50%, that same slider bar is also referencing your position, just like I’m referencing it. If this is a little fuzzy, give it a while and try to get used to it. If you can remember buying=% of account balance, and selling=% of position you are all set.
There may be some other crazy stuff I say, just ask. If I say I’m all out, that means I sold everything. All out means you aren’t holding a position.
This is a supplement post to step 2. Since mobile trading apps are growing, it’s only right to walk through the Webull mobile app. I’ll go over some of the same features as step 2.
Signing up can be done from the app by selecting the menu tab at the bottom and “tap to sign in”. You’ll then have a choice to sign in and sign up.
Once you’ve signed up and signed in you can head back to the watchlist tab to delete and add symbols to your list. Some changes from your phone on your account, like adding a stock to your watchlist, these same changes will show up on your browser when logged into the same account.
Now head back to the menu and tap paper trading to make your paper trades. I noticed on this screen there is an icon for orders and a tab for open orders. Open orders should be the same as working orders. These are active orders, waiting for a price to match and be filled. I’m showing one open order for UGAZ. It does not have all the details i talked about with working orders on the browser. If I tap on that order, it opens a new screen with the details of that order.
It is a limit order to buy 100 shares that is good till cancel and is not extended hours. Note: i almost always set extended hours to YES. Now if you go back to paper trading and tap on “orders”….
There is a drop down by tapping “order status” at the top. Here you can see the list of each order status, i believe i called it order progress in step 2. Small screen, again you’ll have to tap on each order to see all details. Luckily you won’t need to come here often. Head back to the paper trading screen again. The positions icon shows my current positions and the trade icon, will take me to choose a symbol to paper trade
So head back to the paper trading menu again and tap “trade” and the watchlist comes up.
Select the symbol you want to trade and the chart comes up with a paper trade button at the bottom of the screen.
Simple so far. Tap the paper trade button and there is the order window with the order details you’ve learned up to this point. Fantastic! Place a limit order or market order to buy 100 shares of the symbol you chose. If the market is closed or you place a limit order much lower than the current price, the order should show up under “open orders” similar to my ugaz order back at the paper trading screen. You can cancel the order if you wish. It is important to know that if you place an order during say early morning, even if the limit price you set is low enough to buy right away…. Here is the important part…. The order may not fill right away in a paper trade. I’ve noticed the market has to move in order for a paper trade to fill. If it’s say 10AM Est. time, orders should go through pretty quick.
Last little bit, your paper account balance and details are also there on the paper trading screen, also some performance info. Performance will be pretty much blank until you have made some trades and at least gone a few days. So give that a week or so.
I think that is all. Next up is understanding my lead if I call out my position on Twitter.
Here are a couple extras, I was using a dark screen for my chart on the mobile app. To get to this setting, tap the menu at the bottom right, then tap settings. Night mode will change the color to the dark theme, if you tap theme, there is a setting for automatically changing the color back and forth between Bright and Dark.
Another something I feel should be left on, go to watchlist, the far left tab on the bottom. tap on UNG, then tap on more in the bottom right, then chart settings. Turn on “Indicators on Main Chart”. Just know the chart indicators will get confusing in the future if this is not on.
- The agenda
- Order Progress (Working, Filled, Cancelled, Failed)
- Order Types (Market, Limit, Stop, Stop Limit, Trailing Stop)
- Account balance details
So much to cover, ok, breath… Here we go. In the last lesson we placed an order. Since the order was placed while the market was closed (on a Sunday), the order went to the working orders window. Understand I do not write this kind of info for a living and I may not be good at it. Also know I’ll do my best to answer any questions if you have any.
The working window… I have pulled the working window up in front of the others to see clearly. When you enter an order and click the “Paper Trade” button to make the trade, this is where the order will go. Back to our example, we bought UNG; if the market were open and we entered a price at, or a little above the last price on the chart… The order would go from “working” to “filled” fast enough it may never appear in the working window. So this is where an order sits while waiting to be traded with someone else on the market. Whether it’s the stock market or futures market, an order will be “working” until it gets filled or cancelled or failed.
It is important to know that sometimes the order gets filled and it may take a minute for the website to update this.
Lets walk through each category in the working window. The symbol is what you wanting to trade, simple enough. The name is actual name of what you’re trading. If you were trading Wal-Mart, their name would appear in this column. When referring to UNG/UGAZ/DGAZ, almost everyone on the planet will refer to them by their symbol. The side column shows if you are buying or selling. Total Qty is the number of shares you are trying to buy or sell. IMPORTANT. if you are buying say 1000 shares, part of the order can get traded and it may still be working on the rest. This is normal and when you are trading a limit type order, this can happen quite often. If an order is “partially filled”, the working window should show the rest of what is still trying to buy. If you place a limit order, the price you choose should show up here, same with a stop order (the price of your stop should show up under stop price). Order Type will be covered in a moment. TIF is Time-In-Force. This can be two things, Day or GTC. Day means the order is for that day, only during normal market hours (9:30AM – 4:00PM Eastern Time). GTC mean Good-Till-Cancelled. That means the order will remain working each day during normal market hours, until you cancel the order.
A Day order that is placed before the market opens, like midnight the night before or on a Saturday or Sunday. That order will remain working for the next time the market opens and will either be filled or cancel at the end of that day when the market closes that same day. If say Monday is a holiday and the market never opens, the order will still be working until the market opens and then closes. If you place an order during the day when the market is open, that order will close at the end of that day.
Extended hours! with Webull extended hours are from 4AM – 8PM ET. Limit orders are the only types of orders that can trade during extended hours. We’ll get to Limit orders. I don’t know why only limit order during ext hours, probably the government. Last column is Order Placed, this is the time and date you placed the order.
There is no reason to look at each tab in the orders window, it’s basically the same info on each. When an order is filled, meaning you bought or sold to someone on the market, your shares will show up in the positions window and the order will move to the Filled tab. If you right click on an order in the working tab, you will have the option to cancel the order. This should stop the order before it gets filled, emphasis on should. Sometimes the order goes through and you aren’t fast enough to cancel it. If you do get it cancelled, the order will then move to the cancelled tab and has no chance of filling. As for Failed orders… This doesn’t happen very often and I don’t know all the reasons why an order will fail. Just be aware that it does happen and the best way to know why is to see if there are details listed with the failed order or contact the broker to learn why an order was cancelled.
I had to switch to the Trade tab on left side to show four order types I wanted to cover. I guess paper trading only allows for Market and Limit types. That being said, the four types are as follows by my own personal definition.
Market order – You are going to buy/sell your shares at whatever the price that is at when the market is open ( not extended hours, between 9:30AM and 4:00PM ET) You can place a market order during extended hours, but it will not trade until regular market hours.
Limit order – If you are buying and you want to wait and see if the price will drop down, you can set a limit price where you want to buy, if the stock price moves that low, your order will fill. If you are a seller and you want to wait and see if the market will rise, you can set a limit to sell higher and if the price gets that high, your sell order will fill. Limit orders are the only orders that will trade during extended hours and regular hours! If it is extended hours and you want to buy NOW! you might place the limit order a few cents above the current price to make sure you get it NOW! If you put your order in to buy above the current price, that lets the market know you are willing to pay a little extra to get in now. Same with selling, but you would sell for a few cents less than the current price in order to sell out. Extended hours are different with every broker; Webull is the only one I’ve seen to start at 4AM ET. without special permission (extra money)
Stop order – If you are holding shares and fear the price of your shares may drop. You can set a Stop to sell if the price drops to the price you set in the stop. The reason for this usually is because you think if the price drops some, it may keep going down. The stop order will sell your shares at the price you set so you don’t lose even more. Stops are tricky. The price may fall and you “get stopped out” and then the price turns around and goes up and you miss out on making money. This will be covered more in future lessons.
Stop Limit – I never use this…. A stop limit has two prices, a price you set just like a stop order; a Stop price so if the price falls, the order is activated. Then a limit price that you want to sell at or above that price just like a limit order. This is confusing as all hell because a stop is to sell if the price falls and a limit is to sell if the price goes up. So yes, you are still stopping out because the price is falling, but you don’t want to get ripped off by the price falling too fast. If you don’t understand don’t worry about this one. I don’t understand why anyone, other than those trading tens of thousands of shares, would use stop limits. If you are trading tens of thousands of shares, you shouldn’t be here.
Trailing stop – This is not listed on Webull, but they may offer it some day, so I’m going to talk about it. So you place a stop if the price falls, what if the price goes up a lot then falls. Then your stop is still down really low. A trailing stop will follow the stock price up and stay behind it by a certain amount. Like 1% If the price of UNG is at $20 and I want to “trail” it by 1% (which is 20 cents). When I set the trailing stop at $20, if the price drops, it will sell at $19.80 or 20 cents down. If the price makes it’s way up to $21 then falls, the stop follows the current price higher and stays 1% below and will now stop out at $20.79 or 1% down.
My examples have been for selling, but they can also be used for buying, just in the reverse direction. If you are using a stop when selling you are assuming the price might fall and you want out before it goes too far down. If you are using a stop when buying, you are assuming the price is going up and want to buy before it goes up too far up and miss out.
Again, I’ve brought the Positions window up in front of the others in order for it to be seen. Positions are what you are currently holding shares of. The example I want to show is UNG in the image below. If I buy 100 shares of UNG, it will show up in the Positions windows. If I buy 100 more shares, this will add to my UNG position and 200 shares will show up in the Positions window. The positions windows will calculate the average of UNG each time I buy and tell me the average over all. This could also be considered a “break even” price. If the current price of UNG is above “my average” then I’m making money; if the current price of UNG falls below my average, I’m losing.
Understand this average price needs to be understood by you, and do not take lightly what is shows on the screen. If you buy and sell small amounts, this average shown on the screen may be incorrect. The broker may not keep track of the average the same way you want to keep track of it. There are different ways to keep track of your average, and needs to be discussed soon.
Balances/ Account Details
Lets try to keep this one simple. Webull starts you out with a million dollars. Overall P&L is how much you make or lose once you start trading. P&L stands for Profit and Loss. Market Value is the worth of your current positions. If say the price of UNG goes up, my market value goes up. Buying Power is the amount of money I have to spend on buying more stocks. Day P&L is the Profit/Loss for that day. Since it is early morning and the market isn’t officially open yet, this number may change when the market opens.
Holy cow I hope this wasn’t as boring for you as it was for me. I suggest taking a break before the next lesson.
As a extra note. If you accidentally delete one of the windows in the paper trading section of Webull, just click on the little suitcase at the top of the screen to get windows back. The trade window is under “Stock” Also to the right of the suitcase, the “Paper Account” tab shows your account and a bunch of details I’m not going to get into.
- We will be recommending Webull broker and showing how to sign up
- Review the platform a bit and how to get started watching UNG, UGAZ, DGAZ
- Making your first trade, it’s almost scary how easy it is to lose money!
Where to begin? This has been haunting me for the last… well since I started this site the first time. I’ve decided on a starting point. The broker. Who to choose and how to sign up. Well you want to get your feet wet and I don’t want to be responsible for you losing money. So I’m only going to recommend you paper trade. Paper trading is almost identical to real live trading, except with an account that contains fake (paper) money. Let me make this clear again in a different way. No one posting to this website is a financial adviser, nor has any interest in becoming such. We are only really interested in showing what we do in order to give you an example, maybe of what not to do.
Let’s get on with it. There are tons of stock brokers out there. Now there is a fast growing list of commission free brokers. Of these commission free brokers, this is the breakdown of the ones I’m aware of.
- Robinhood – no paper
- Firstrade – I don’t think so, I can’t remember
- Schwab – No paper – I use schwab for my 401k
- Fidelity – I know nothing about them
- JP Morgan – who cares
- E-Trade – Yes – according to quora.com
- Interactive Brokers – Yes – according to IB website
- TD Ameritrade – Yes, (Mobile app and PC downloadable app) but it’s delayed and out of sync
- Tradestation – Yes, yes, yes, oh yes -( Mobile and PC app, and browser app) but you gotta open an account
- Webull – Oh yeah (mobile, pc and browser) and… you can with just an email! no real account required.
So Webull is my recommended broker for getting started with a paper account. You can right now! go to webull.com. You can actually click “TRADE” at the top to check out the browser app without signing up, but if you want to paper trade, go to login. Once login pops up, you can click “sign up”. Once on the signup screen, you can use an email address or phone number. I used the email. Type your email and chosen password and click “get code”. You’ll receive an email with the code to use, then click sign up. That’s it! You’re a paper trader. Good luck, have a nice life, you’re on you’re own now. Fine, scroll down to continue this boredom
I chose Webull because they are working hard to give the user some great live data and charts and paper trading to practice. About everything they’ve done so far has been done exceptionally well. It is limited so my second choice is torn between Tradestation then TD Ameritrade, I’ve used both desktop applications and mobile apps, there is a lot of useful youtube support on both of these platforms. There is a lot more out there, but that’s what I’m familiar with.
On with Webull. You may continue to sign up with Webull with real money if you choose. That has nothing to do with us and I’ve not signed up for real with Webull and know nothing of their customer service. To start paper trading click the TRADE tab at the top of the screen.
And you’re in… This is how it should look. Lets first set up the watch list with UNG, UGAZ and DGAZ.
Click on the “Watchlist” tab along the right side. Showing 4 ticker symbols, I’m going to right click and choose to delete all of these, then just below that click add symbol. Add each one and you can click and drag them in whatever order you like. There is a lot more on this page. I don’t care about, go to the next tab below the watchlist. It looks like a crooked arrow pointing up, Webull labels it “Stocks”.
In the image above you have the list that you have created and it shows a chart of whichever symbol you choose to view. To the far right is a tab labelled quotes, click that to make it go away. We don’t care so much about that yet. Now your chart is nice and big when you’re ready to analyze say UNG. Keep in mind you still need to learn NG, gas, natgas, natty. I will use NG and natgas a lot, get use to it. Maybe you don’t even know why you’re adding the following symbols to a broker platform you know nothing about, we’ll get there. Right now we just need to get setup, there will be plenty of time for failure in futures lessons.
Back to the tabs on the left, the last one in the list is Paper Trading! What you’ve been waiting for. Being that I”m on my laptop, I gotta click the dots, then paper trading. Also, since my screen is not so large, I plan to rearrange some things. For the most part, above it how it should look for first use. All these little windows can be resized and moved around to your liking. I’m going to delete the window with the list of times and prices that is around the top/middle to make room for the order window. The order window is where you click buy or sell and put in an order to buy or sell one of these symbols. Also there is a little number 1 in an orange box of each window. This keeps all the windows synchronized. If the watchlist has the orange with the 1 and the order window has orange with 1 and chart has orange with the 1, and you click on UNG then UNG will appear in all the other windows. You still don’t need to know what to do with all this, just know that we like to keep the orange with the 1 in each window that has the option.
In the image above you see I have deleted the one window and moved the order window up so I can see all of it. I have selected UNG, and the UNG symbol appears on the chart and in the order window because they are all linked. Awesome. Now then… to place an order! remember this is a paper account; you may mess it up as much as possible and you can just reset it if you choose. You’ll never owe anyone any money when trading in a paper account.
For your first order, lets place an order to buy UNG.
In the order windows, click “buy”, then below the buy button keep “limit” as order type, for quantity I chose 100 shares, and for limit price 19.45. Time-in-force can remain as Day, and I chose “yes” for Extended Hours. Then click “Paper Trade”. Nothing changes in the order window, but in the bottom right of the screen, the order appears under the “working” tab.
So you’ve placed your first buy order! Awesome, but it actually hasn’t gone through yet, if and when it does, the order will disappear from the working tab and appear under the filled tab of that same window in the lower right. I’ve placed this order on a Sunday, so it will not “fill” until the market is open. There is a lot to take in just on this one screen, so I will try and review all of that in the next lesson.
As always, I’m not a financial adviser, nor will I ever be. I’ll be happy to show you how to lose all that paper money soon enough. Write me and let me know how boring this Lesson is.