Question: Can you give me some advice about trading stocks?
Some people are so anxious to give advice they don't read the question. Not much point in trading only the long side of the market and sitting on the sidelines half the time or more. Some people think shorting the market is un-American or something. As long as you trade the trend, there shouldn't be any difference. Learn the short side; make money faster, get out quicker. No Buy & Hold mentality here -- this is not an investing lesson -- more like hit and run guerrilla warfare.
If you want to be a trader, then quit your day job and devote yourself to it for at least a year or two like any vocation.
You'll need to maintain a minimum $25,000 in your account or become a Pattern Day Trader and lose your margin ability.
It isn't something you can do while you learn, like most jobs; you'll lose everything. So you must have a tested method, system, and strategy (a tried and tested Trading Plan) before you can start. Concentrate on risk and good trading strategies rather than profits and indicators and maybe you'll stick around long enough to learn something.
Before you decide to become a day trader, check out these articles, first by the SEC (Securities & Exchange Comm), second by the FTC (Federal Trade Commission, and third by the Motley Fool:
You really need to learn more about trading before you start making decisions about a system ... I would suggest initially exploring these sites and authors ...
http://www.iitm.com/ (Van Tharp)
http://www.hardrightedge.com/ (Alan Farley)
They each have books on amazon, which you can review before purchasing.
Also: New Trading Systems And Methods by Kaufman
Personally I recommend never shorting a stock, if you don't know what that is good because its potentially extremely risky and could potentially cause insurmountable losses. Diversify do not invest in only a couple stocks at a time, If you want to invest in only a specific sector study up on which companies are poised for growth and expansion and which are riding on their prominence and past dominance (like Kodak which was an excellent company but failed to adapt quickly to a changing market). However, if you want to bet on a rising market then invest in expanding sectors across the board but only in companies that are not overvalued on the stock market. Also stocks may seem like an excellent way to invest (which they can be) but don't put all your investments in stocks, bonds can also be a safe investment to put aside in addition to stocks. While bonds may not generate nearly as much profit as stocks, bonds tend to be significantly safer and more recession resistent especially if you invest in Good Standing government bonds.