Day trading as a career can be very beneficial. A day trader is one type of professional who purchases and sells stocks, and options using the stock market. Day trading can be an ideal career for many people because it has the potential to offer competitive pay and flexible work hours.
If you have experience trading stocks and are interested in taking part in more competitive transactions, you might consider becoming a day trader. In this article, we consider what a career as one of these traders can be like and explore a list of steps for how to become a day trader.
What Is a Day Trader?
A day trader is a professional in investing who buys, sells, and trades stocks or options in transactions that take place within a single day. While there are many job titles that relate to trading stock. A professional only qualifies as a day trader if they trade four times or more over five days. Another way for a professional to secure status as a day trader is if their employer officially identifies them as one.
They can perform many of the same duties as a general trader, but day traders have a higher personal equity requirement, which is typically $25,000. This means that day traders usually need at least this much money at the start of each trading day to ensure they can cover any losses they experience.
Basic Jobs of a Day Trader
Here are some of the most common job duties for a day trader:
- Developing a day trading strategy
- Focus on a specific part of the stock market (e.g., a single stock or option to trade)
- Keeping track of trends in the stock market daily
- Conducting day trades that have a quick turnaround
- Funding trades from their personal accounts
- Purchasing stocks or options they believe might perform well
- Selling stocks or options they think might rise or drop in value
- Understanding different financial securities (options, stocks, etc.)
- Developing a relationship with a day trading mentor
- Having a good work-station with no distractions
Basic Traits of a Day Trader
- Successful day traders follow a plan, and execute that plan every day
- Full time day trading requires dedication and execution of a well-thought-out strategy, and is not based in impulsive conduct
- Day traders are able to work during the stock market hours
- A day trader should have enough money to trade with so that he or she is not using money that would otherwise go to bills or basic needs
- Day trading should be boring, not exciting – it is not gambling
- Unlike a conventional job, a day trader must stay self-motivated
- Day traders lose money, and they understand this is part of the process
- Day trading can be a lonely job, and the trader must be ok with that
- Day traders do not compare themselves to other traders
- Many times, a day trader is satisfied with a single trade in a day
- Day trading can take a few years to master, which requires patience
- To become a day trader, one has to work more than others (as many day traders have more than one job)
- Many day traders keep their day job
Day Trader Work Station
A successful day trader works independently and conducts trades without the help of an investment firm. These day traders often work from home or in places where they can access the internet, such as coffee shops or libraries.
Some day traders work for day trading firms, where they perform transactions alongside other day traders at a central location, typically in an office. While day traders can work very flexible hours, they still often work every day so they can take advantage of new trading opportunities that appear daily and respond quickly to changes in the stock market.
Steps to Becoming a Day Trader
Do Your Research
To have your own day trading career, it is incredibly important to understand the stock market and have a day trading strategy. This requires an investment of time and resources to obtain the knowledge necessary to create profits on a consistent basis and manage your risk. There are many resources available to learn how to day trade. Picking the right source of education can make a significant difference in your long term success. Take the time necessary to develop your skill. Do not rush into the practice of day trading without having a plan that protects your investment, and allows you to succeed.
Open a Brokerage Account
A broker is a person or company that performs trades for other parties, usually investors. Because brokers research and conduct the actual trades, they often have access to information about trends in the market. Including the performance of different stocks. Because of this, having an account with a broker can open you to more information about the stocks you might trade, such as charts that show certain stocks’ movements. It can be most common for independent day traders to use online brokerages that give them the ability to perform trades on a website or mobile application.
The minimum equity requirement for day traders is $25,000. Because of this, it can be beneficial to make sure that you have enough money in the bank account you plan to use for day trading before you begin. This can make adhering to the day trading regulations simple and protect you from large losses. Having this amount of money available can help you cover any trades that might not perform well. There are, of course, some exceptions to this minimum amount, but this is the basic amount that should be considered for day trading over the long run.
Find a Great Mentor
In order to really own a day trading career, most successful day traders have a mentor that understands what it takes to set up a successful day trading strategy, and how to execute that day trading strategy.
The most efficient and effective way to be trained for day trading and excelling at it is by being under the wings of an experienced and motivating day trading mentor. It is similar to having a role model that one can look up to and learn the nuances of the trade from.
A day trading mentor has gone through the entire process of going up and down the learning curves and emerged victoriously. He or she might have blown a lot of his money while doing that, but that does not mean that you have to, too. Day trading mentors help day traders save time and money through their experience.
Along with the technical aspects, a day trading mentor functions as an anchor during difficult times. Day trading is quite hard, and just knowing that someone has survived through the ordeal thick and thin can motivate a day trader to keep going. To come out successful on the other side takes mental toughness. Day trading mentors are those who day traders can turn to when they are demotivated and refuel themselves through their mentors’ passion and expertise.
Day Trading As a Career Requires Getting Educated
Day trading is extremely difficult for the vast majority of day traders. It has been widely estimated that 95% of day traders ultimately lose money, and it’s been empirically demonstrated that about the same percentage of unprofitable day traders continues despite losing money. If you’re thinking about day trading for the first time, it’s important to know that day trading profits are hard to come by. You can make money day trading, but you will be in very limited company.
In order to find success in day trading, a day trader must invest time and resources in developing a day trading strategy. This may require an investment in a course that provides very specific and concrete steps on how to set a trading strategy, execute that strategy, and minimize losses.
Successful day traders take time to explore the information available to them and invest in themselves so that they can be profitable in the long run.
Summary: Day Trading As a Career
Do you want to own a day trading career? Do you want to become a day trader? The information provided above provides some basic introductory information on the path to becoming a successful day trader. To go the next level, you have to take the time and spend the energy and resources to find the right trading strategy, and, most importantly, find a good day trading mentor.
To Learn More
Maurice Kenny has helped over 600 people become financially free through one-on-one coaching, mentorship, and options trading strategy. Many of these new traders are now full-time traders, and they all started by watching his 1-hr webinar.
Feel free to check out other FREE educational resources to help guide you as you begin your new journey to financial freedom.
Also, download a (FREE E-BOOK) by Maurice Kenny, “DAY TRADE LIKE A MILLIONAIRE.”