Should I have a real-time service?

  For us, we could not function without real-time. No broker could tell us everything we need to know fast enough so we could act. We could have a list of twenty plays, and by the time we had information on five of them the window would be missed. For precision in entry, it is hard to beat real-time, but it can be a detriment as well. You can get too engrossed in watching the ticker and not see what is really happening. There are times it is best to step back and look at the forest to see where things are going.

For the average person, if you are home and trading, we like having real-time and NASDAQ level II. Real-time stock and option quotes, however, are the most useful to us. We know if a stock is breaking out or hitting our buy point-we don't really need to see the buyers and sellers lined up: if it is hitting the target price and the volume looks right, we will enter the trade in most cases.

If you are at work, we don't really think you have a problem. We learned trading through a telephone to the broker. What we learned was to call the broker before the market opened and let him or her know exactly what plays you were looking at that day, what entry points you had, etc. Full disclosure of the game plan gets the broker on board. It really gets them charged up when they hear how organized you are with your plan of attack. It makes them rise to the occasion if they are worth their salt. We always had a 'call me with any questions at any time' understanding. We would tell our secretaries we would take calls from Mr. or Mrs. X at any time-get us. We were looking to make enough money to get out, and that is what we were able to do. It is a matter of priority. We got our work done and we also made our trades. It worked out well.

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