Extreme Measures

Trading Style

Most forms of extreme investing revolve around some form of trading, which means identifying an investment vehicle that's about to move in a certain direction, taking a position (buying it), waiting for the move to reach a target price, and then closing out your position at a profit. The rules are similar for all trading, but the pace and strategy depends on your trading style.

Many extreme investors buy and then sell within the same day (they often liquidate all their positions by the market close). This represents the most intense form of extreme investing and is not a good idea if you intend to do your investing on a part-time basis. When trading on a part-time basis, odds are, the distinct advantage goes to the more experienced trader in the deal. This is true even if the part-time trader owns the best and fastest trading tools and execution systems available. These fast-paced trading styles work best with full-time participation because they require rapid decision-making and equally rapid execution speed that can be mastered only with lots of experience.

Slower-paced trading methodologies are more forgiving for those just learning about extreme investing. The extended time horizon allows investors to more casually react to market changes or other factors that might indicate the wisdom of reversing a position. With a longer time horizon, you enter an investment with a plan to stick with it until your target price is reached or until the conditions upon which you entered the trade change-and the faster the pace, the less forgiving.

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This article was originally published in the November 2000 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Extreme Measures.

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