Rookie mistakes – Real time v. Delayed data and Bid v. Ask
As I was dipping my toe into some Intraday trading today, I fell over my own feet when I came to entering the trade.
My first goof was forgetting that, while I was looking at 1-minute and 5-minute charts in my Questrade screen, that data was delayed by 15 minutes (facepalm: it actually tells you right there on the bottom right of the screen). I used to have real time data, but turned it off as it was costing and I wasn’t using it.
Luckily I found two sites that show free real-time charts: Nasdaq.com and Freestockcharts. I found Freestockcharts particularly good as it shows multiple time frames and allows you to add indicators (I followed the 8-day EMA and the 20-day SMA for this trade).
The next thing I got wrong was was the bid v. ask spread. When I was calculating my position size, I was watching the bid not the ask. What I should have been doing was using the Snap Quote tool provided by Questrade to get this up-to-date info.
Of course, the mistake was compounded by going in at Market and not at Limit, but I was trying to get in fats as I saw the bars rise and hit what I thought was my entry point (although it had already gone over that).
Live and learn.