Too often, I hear from traders who insist that they andquot;specializeandquot; in a single market. Although they may feel a sense of comfort and even mastery by trading exclusively in one market, this kind of approach is a serious mistake. As day traders, we are interested in profitable markets. But what defines a profitable market has nothing to do with the kind of market it is; rather, it depends on how it is trending. Consequently, a successful trader should commit him or herself to trading trending markets, no matter what they are.

By limiting yourself to only one market, you limit your chances to profit. There are times when a market is trending and easy to trade, but there are times when markets are just moving sideways. The more markets you watch, the more opportunities you get to locate a trend each and every day. As I like to say, andquot;Finding good trades means de-selecting the bad trades,andquot; but you can only stay away from bad trades by having a number of sources of good trades.

You can see the problem with only trading a single market with the following analogy. Let’s say that you want some ice cream. You walk to the corner store and ask the lady behind the counter, andquot;Do you have ice cream?andquot; The lady responds, andquot;Sure. What do you want: strawberry or vanilla ice cream?andquot; Actually, you were looking for chocolate ice cream, but since you only have these two flavors to choose from, you compromise and pick the vanilla ice cream. That’s not exactly what you were looking for, but it’s close enough. After all, it’s ice cream and you don’t walk away empty handed.

Now think about the following scenario: You are in the mood for ice cream and walk into a Baskin Robbins. You say andquot;I want ice creamandquot; and the man behind the counter smiles and says: andquot;Of course! What flavor do you want?andquot; You respond: andquot;Chocolateandquot; and he asks you andquot;Dark Chocolate, White Chocolate, Belgium Chocolate, Milk Chocolate or Truffle Chocolate?andquot; Now you have choices and you will get exactly what you want.

When you are trading only one market, you have limited choices and you will be forced to compromise. After all, you don’t want to walk away andquot;empty handed,andquot; and you might take a trade that only partially fits your trading plan. You will constantly be forced to settle for a less than an ideal trade because you’ve limited your options by looking at only a fraction of the available markets. Trading only one market means that you implicitly accept the limitations of that market, allowing it to set your possibilities rather than looking around for the best opportunities available for profit.

Once seen in this light, it should be obvious why trading only one market is never an advantageous strategy. Trading multiple markets is like walking into a Baskin Robbins if you want ice cream. You have many choices and can pick the market that fits your own personal style and trading goals. You will only take the best trades, and, therefore, increase your chances of making money with day trading.

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