I'm trying to be a swing trader. I've lost money in the past by holding on to losers. Lately I always cut losses below 5% and aim for 10%+ gains. I sometimes miss out on winners, but I'm in the black now and feel I'm making good progress.
First year of trading end in 2012 -- probably will be flat. But learning. Mostly a chart guy. Can I make a living at this? Verdict still out. Now learning options, hopefully better for capital and profit protection. Plus, like the leverage it offers.
I like to find undervalued turnaround stories that are still in the 1st or 2nd inning. I listen to the conference calls, read the quarterly earnings, and sift through the numbers (I value both fundies and technicals, as well).