There is excellent money to be made in day trading, but, unlike what some may think, it is not a simple job. To be successful, you’ll need to put in some work.
Day trading stocks and commodities is a great job and a quite profitable one as well. It requires certain traits for success, and certain habits will need to be internalized.
Time management is the first important habit. You must be able to wake up early and alert first thing in the morning and be ready to evaluate how you’ll play the market that day. All of this must happen before the opening bell, which starts at 9:00 a.m. in New York, 6:00 a.m. in California, and 5:00 a.m. in Alaska and Hawaii. Getting out of bed early is only half the story; you’ll also need to stay on schedule and have a good internal alarm clock. If you’re the type who can’t function before 11:00 a.m. or has to guzzle down multiple cups of coffee before facing the day, day trading may not be the job for you.
The second important habit is good quantitative analysis skills and the ability to think on your feet. Though “gut” decisions can help you make (and lose!) money as a day trader, you’ll need to be able to make informed choices from reading, perusing, and comprehending numbers very quickly. You’ll need to be able to run numbers in your head quickly and accurately enough to figure out if something is a trend, or just an anomaly, and you’ll need to judge what to do with that information.
Let me just point out that you don’t have to be a mathematician to be good at day trading. You can learn certain quantitative skills, even if you were never that great at math. Certain numerical skills will seem automatic to you once you’ve practiced them a bit.
A third important habit for day traders is observational skills combined with good short-term memory. You’ll also need patience. Keep your cool even when you miss catching a stock at its highest point, or when you lose money because an anticipated low never arrived. Likewise, you must stay calm when you make a big winning trade as well.
The fourth habit you’ll need to cultivate is research skills. Day trading, thankfully, does not require the same kind of in-depth numerical analysis as long-term investments, but you’ll need a handle on the flow of information so that you can use this knowledge base when making quick judgments. Doing your research ahead of time is the only way to make good judgments quickly. But, don’t get bogged down so much by research that you lose the ability to think and act fast.
Bear in mind that you don’t have to do all of this research on your own. Top day traders have many tools and services available to assist in the research process.
If day trading is a career that appeals to you, start by building a support network. Your team will include a broker, and investors to help you gain leverage in the market. Bear in mind that you will need to work, and word hard. You’ll have to show intelligence, drive, and focus to succeed.
If you think you may possess these skills and traits, day trading can offer a thrilling way of earning a remarkable income. You can really have fun at the job, and if you have what it takes to be successful, you’ll come away “enriched” in more ways than one.