How many stocks can you trade at once?

A common question about trading stocks is how many you can trade at once. I think maybe the question arises due to the day trading rules in the U.S., which, unless you have more than $25,000 in your account, only allow four “day trades” in a five business day period. As to how many stocks you can trade at once, that number is unlimited. Or at least theoretically. It’s realistically limited by how many trades you can physically put on, and by how many stocks you can follow.

Following Stocks

Every trader has a watch list or a list of stocks they are following for one reason or another. Maybe there is a breakout imminent, or the stock is building a head and shoulders pattern. Maybe there is some crucial support or resistance level near for the stock. There are many reasons for adding a stock to a watch list. One thing to be careful of is adding too many stocks to your watch list. You can only do diligent research on a few stocks. If you have too many stocks in your list, you will cut corners in your research and will make mistakes. And those mistakes will probably cost you money. Following too many stocks makes your research, and your trading, too chaotic. Instead, limit your watch list. The number will depend on your own abilities. Some traders are quicker than others with research, or they have more time to devote to it and may be able to closely follow 40 or 50 stocks. Others will need to limit their watch list to just 10 stocks. If you’re picking stocks that are clearly ready to break out or follow a strong pattern 10 will be more than enough for you to follow. As you become better at research and identifying stocks you can add to that number.