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
  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.