How to Start Day Trading
In this post:
- What is the term for the buying and selling of securities within the same day using short-term changes in price?
- What type of trading does swing trading rely on?
- How long do day traders typically trade?
Day trading is the buying and selling of securities within the same day using short-term changes in price. This is different from other trading styles like swing trading, which relies on overnight changes and can sometimes last up to a few weeks. Many day traders start as swing traders and make the switch. Others enjoy both types of trading – depending on market conditions, the specific security, etc.
Day trading can be an exciting hobby, or career. But getting started with day trading takes some mental preparation and planning. Here are a few things to think about before you jump in!
Considerations Before You Start Day Trading
Don’t Trade What You Can’t Lose
This first rule is really important: don’t trade money you can’t lose. Every successful trader, regardless of expertise, has losing trades… and losing days. Mindset is everything. No one ever sets out to lose money, but if you understand that taking a loss here and there is part of the process, then your emotional state – and your desire to keep trading – will stay intact.
If you want to trade a smaller account, it’s doable, but you’ll want to learn more about the pattern day trader rule and how to get around it.
Can You Dedicate the Time to Day Trading?
The fundamental difference between swing trading and day trading is how long the trader holds a position. Objectively speaking, neither strategy is better than the other, and traders should decide what best compliments their abilities, lifestyle preferences, and goals.
The element of time impacts each trading style – and lifestyle – differently. As a result of the longer holding period, swing traders don’t have to constantly monitor their trades like day traders do. On the flip side, day traders can complete their transactions in shorter periods of time and move on to other things.
Day traders typically trade for a minimum of two hours a day. The best time for day trading is during the opening and closing hours of the market. That’s when the greatest volatility occurs, and there’s the most opportunity to catch a profit as a result.
Some people do day trading part-time, but the more serious day traders put a lot of effort into choosing companies and industry focus. This means technical analysis, preparation, and review is required. As a result, many turn day trading into their full-time job.
The more time investment and actual trades conducted, the more profit potential a day trader has. So the time commitment is really dependent on the individual’s goals. But no doubt, a day trader’s daily schedule is beholden to when the market’s open.
Day Trading is Not for Everyone
There’s a certain level of independence and freedom associated with day trading, and all trading for that matter, that you cannot find in a typical office setting. But day trading, especially, can be a bit stressful. The volatility of intraday price changes requires quick decision making. Not everyone is cut out for the pace.
As a full-time trader, Simpler Trading Founder John Carter says, “The markets are going to change, but good habits do not.” Self-discipline and good risk management are key to becoming a successful day trader long term. That’s why John started Simpler Trading… to build a community of traders and have mentors to share successful strategies.
Ready to Get Started Day Trading?
Day trading’s popularity skyrocketed during the pandemic as people sought more opportunities to work from home and take up home-based hobbies.
If you think you’ve got what it takes to become a day trader, download our free ebook, “Getting Started with Day Trading.”
And join us in our Day Trading Room. For only $7 you can try it out for 7 days. This membership includes access to our live trading chat room, premium weekly videos, access to the Free Trading Room, and more. It features our traders in real time, as they execute day trades and answer your questions. We look forward to seeing you there!