Make sure the stock has a well formed base or pattern before considering purchase.
Buy the stock as it moves over the trend line of that base or pattern and make sure that volume is above recent trend shortly after this "breakout" occurs. Never pay up by more than 5% above the trend line. You should also get to know your stock's thirty day moving average volume,
Be very quick to sell your stock should it return back under the trend line or breakout point. Usually stops should be set about $1 below the breakout point. The more expensive the stock, the more leeway you can give it, but never have more than a $2 stop loss. Some people employ a 5% stop loss rule. This may mean selling a stock that just tried to breakout and fails in 20 minutes or 3 hours from the time it just broke out above your purchase price.
Sell 20 to 30% of your position as the stock moves up 15 to 20% from its breakout point.
Hold your strongest stocks the longest and sell stocks that stop moving up or are acting sluggish quickly. Remember stocks are only good when they are moving up.
Identify and follow strong groups of stocks and try to keep your selections in these groups.
After the market has moved for a substantial period of time, your stocks will become vulnerable to a sell off, which can happen so fast and hard you won't believe it. Learn to set new higher trend lines and learn reversal patterns to help your exit of stocks.
Remember it takes volume to move stocks, so start getting to know your stock's volume behavior and then how it reacts to spikes in volume. You can see these spikes on any chart. Volume is the key to your stock's movement and success or failure.
One must first see the action in the stock and combine it with its volume for the day at the time that buy point is hit and take keen notice of the overall market environment before considering purchases.
Never go on margin until you have mastered the market, charts and your emotions. Margin can wipe you out.