markets are very volitile at the moment, consider perhaps only entering on multiple confirmation signals. fibs, adx, macd, rsi, MA, pivots, bollinger bands all part of my system. keep fine tuning your own system and soon you'll be in the money ;) word of advice - keep it simple at first. pick 5 blue chips and get to know them well. pick 3 indicators and learn to use them well before moving on to others. think baby steps - it takes most folks years to become successful traders and many wipe themselfs out more than once. it has been said many times that only 80% - 90% of traders make money consistently - to beat the odds you're going to need patience. dont give up! good luck!
I made money trading warrants last year. Maybe answer the following questions. Do you get the direction of move of the underlying share correct? If you have that correct, then why are you loosing money? Are you picking bad ones with huge time decay?
Warrants must be traded with relativly short time horizons, say a few days at a time unless the underlying is trending nicely or the time decay is extremely low. Generally you can't ride out a two month dip if you're trading warrants - the time decay will kill you.
I trade warrants and I make money. Here is what works for me (1) I stick to my trading principles, e.g. I will not trade more than 25000 units per trade (2) I trade only about 3 top 40 shares per time (3) I make sure stops are in place (4) I use simple technical analysis, e.g trendlines, wedges, channels etc - the usual staff. With these you should make money, that is if your techs are ok.
The warrent market has changed. These days almost all are out of the money with high time decays ( they used to run for longer periods) making them high risk and due to the low volumes stop losses are useless ( despite SFM saying they are working on it this has not come to pass in 2 years of me asking), It is for this reason I try not to use them, I use Instalments as a rule. They run for a year and are deep in the money so worst thing that can happen is that you over pay for shares should you chose to convert. They also yield great returns in dividends. If you want gearing trade Futures.
another thing that is a bother with warrants is you cant trade 10 minutes before close or after open...means you sometimes have to sit watching from the sidelines as the market moves. thus have to make calls 15 minutes before the end of the day if you want to take a position for next day... but i still like warrants! futures carry higher capital risk than warrants (no limit to downside with futures)...although theoretically your stop loss should limit downside (if it can execute sufficiently in a fast falling situation).
I agree with John here, I've also been doing better with instalments. The time decay limits warrants oportunities. Your perception of a share's direction can be right, but your timing must be right simultaneously to make money...
I'd say yeah, if you new to it, stick to installments. Far less risk and more forgiving than warrants. Only, check before you take a position that it has no barrier - some of the products like Investecs' Hot Eds or SBK's Turbos come with barriers. You hit a barrier you lose most of your investment in one horrible instant. So find ordinary installments - best way to get a feel for it.