Is Daytrading Right For You?


Aug 18, 2006
Many new market participants are lured in by the glamour of daytrading. We hear of great stories of day traders making a sizable income, working only a few hours a day, and playing golf every weekend. With the fancy advertisements of brokers and data vendors, it is easy to get sucked in without really understanding what day trading is all about.

You may have had some experience investing in the stock market. Now you want to consider trading. Index futures, forex, and tech stocks are among the favorites with day traders. Do you really know what it takes to be a full-time trader?

The Attraction

Most people are tired of their current jobs and looking to find financial independence. Why do you think "Rich Dad, Poor Dad" made millions?

Here are the perks associated with day trading:
  • Independence: There are no obligation to anybody but yourself. You do not have to deal with customers, clients, or even your boss. You pick your own working hours and wake up whenever you feel like it. Time is very flexible.
  • Financial Independence: If you are considered a profitable trader, you are most likely not concerned about paying rent the next month. True, traders do go bust. But once you learn how to trade you can make money almost anytime you want.
  • Mobility: You are able to work from anywhere in the world as long as you have a computer with an internet connection. You can place orders on the phone as well but I do not recommend it when day trading. Alot can happen in a matter of seconds.
Some things to consider

Like any other job, there are certain things you may have trouble facing. Do you like to work in an environment full of people? Then day trading may not be for you. Many day traders work from their home and are faced with isolation. There are trading rooms and facilities that you can go to but this is limited on where you live. Day traders also spend a considerable amount of time staring at their computers. You may actually sit there for 3 hours before you make one trade that lasts 15 minutes. It is similar to going to a Mike Tyson fight. Waiting for 2 hours and watching for 15 seconds.

Day trading may not be for you. It requires quick fingers and an aggressive personality. If you like to spend time analyzing before making a decision you might want to consider swing or position trading. Market analysis must be done prior to the opening. Hesitation in day trading can be costly.

My Daily Routine

Take a quick glance at my daily routine and if it suits you day trading may be right for you. I wake up approx 1-2 hours before the opening to go over my charts. I spend this time to analyze and devise a trading plan. I will never trade the markets blindly. Having a plan is a must. From 9:30am eastern to 11:00am eastern, I have my eyes glued to the markets and my computer. I am looking for 1-3 good setups. From 11:15am to 2:00pm eastern I will usually spend time doing some work on my website, writing articles, planning new business', and grabbing some food. From 2:00pm to 5:00pm eastern, I am back to trading looking for any good afternoon opportunities. The markets close at 5:00pm and I spend another 2-3 hours studying my trades, analyzing market action, and trying to learn anything new. I will never sleep without learning at least one new thing each day.

I tend to be a night owl and a workaholic so I spend most of the time after the close working on different projects. My only break is on every Friday or Saturday night when I do go out and party hard. Sunday... I am back at the laboratory. In my case a 9-5 job offers less working hours. I tend to work over 12 hours everyday.

This may not sound appealing to some people. But the biggest reason why I love what I do is that I have complete independence. I can choose to do whatever I want to do. Also day trading offers a tremendous feeling of achievement. Everyday is rewarding and you make money based on your results. There is no harsher judge than the markets. If you are trading with a hangover the markets will rip your throat out. If you are prepared with the right mindset, the markets will reward you.