As a trader who has been trading full-time for 33 years, there is a certain methodology as to how I start my day. This “Pre Flight”/pre-market checklist, routine, or methodology, is especially important as a trader because we spend so much time working from home and working on our own.

I wake up every day at about 5AM EST. I start out by reading the news, grabbing a piping hot cup of coffee, and putting on head banging rock music to get me “keyed up” for the day. I start with the WSJ, and work down to twitter feeds of major news outlets. I found this great program called Tweetdeck. It allows me to rapidly scroll through relevant news. I use several news sources:

  1. WSJ
  2. Bloomberg
  3. CNBC
  4. Business Insider
  5. NYSE.com
  6. CBOE.com
  7. CNN
  8. Squawk Box (CNBC)
  9. Financial Juice
  10. Briefing Trader
  11. BBC News
  12. Reuters News
  13. NYT

I spend about 60 minutes catching up on all the major events. Then, I move to the charts. I usually spend 1 to 2 hours looking over charts. I ALWAYS start with index charts with a longer term perspective. Then I narrow to shorter and shorter term time periods.

I then look for correlations (I have mentioned these on previous blog posts).

After that, I decide my “trading time frame.” Usually, I am looking for intraday trades. I look for “layup chart patterns” like ledges, flags etc. These are the chart patterns I have used for years and I find most helpful.

By then, it’s about 8AM Eastern. That’s when we open up our Simpler Stocks morning chat room. This is a very important part of my day. I know I have to finish my research before the room, so it helps keep me on task. I get to talk about my research with a lot of other smart traders and it really sets the tone and energizes me for the rest of the day.


Want more from Chris? Catch him daily on Simpler Stocks.