What Exactly IS Day Trading?
Day trading is the practice of buying and selling financial instruments throughout the day. As the day progresses, prices will rise and fall in value, creating both the opportunity for gain and the possibility of loss. When traded strategically, the trends and fluctuations in the markets allow for quick profits to be made in brief periods of time. Keep in mind, however, that day trading is specifically designed to result in smaller earnings on a regular basis; it is NOT designed to result in huge fortunes through a single trade.
Day trading can be very profitable, but it is not a get-rich-quick scheme (though many seminars convincingly sell it as such). Nor is day trading a sure road to immeasurable wealth and success (as some hyped-up websites would have you believe). Quite simply, day trading is just like any other business venture: in order to be successful at it, you need to have a PLAN. It would be very risky to dive in head-first without looking. However, with the right tools – and with the knowledge of how to use these tools efficiently and effectively – the risks of day trading can be greatly reduced.
How to Succeed With Day Trading
Traders who enjoy the most success in day trading, regardless of whether they’re in it for a living or for some extra income on the side, generally have solid trading strategies and the discipline to stick to their trading plan. Keep in mind that day trading is a very competitive field, and, in order to succeed, you need to maintain focus on a set of simple strategies which you can implement immediately, without hesitation. Remember, a proven, strategic trading plan can give you an edge over the rest of the market.
Now, devising a trading strategy is all well and good, but you may be wondering how to determine whether or not YOUR strategy is a SUCCESSFUL strategy. There are a few ways to determine this. Most traders rely on back-testing. Back-testing allows you to take a closer look at a certain strategy and see how it would have performed in the past, thereby allowing you to predict with more accuracy how it will perform in the future.
(NOTE: Although back-testing is an effective technique, be aware that past performance is not always indicative of future results).
Unfortunately, even with a tested, proven trading strategy, you are not guaranteed trading success. It takes something else. It takes discipline. A profitable strategy is useless without discipline. Successful day traders must have the discipline to follow their system rigorously, because they know that only trades which are indicated by that system have the highest probability of resulting in a profit.
Whether you’re new to trading or have been trading for years, it’s all too tempting to place the entirety of your trust in graphs, charts, and software. If only trading was as easy as that! Simply purchasing trading templates and computer programs does not guarantee your success as a trader. Too many hobby traders have tried that, and, unsurprisingly, they’ve failed. They bought the tools, but they didn’t have the knowledge they needed to succeed. As in all things, education will do wonders for the aspiring – and experienced – trader.
Of course, this is not to say that software programs and markers are not helpful when it comes to day trading. On the contrary, many traders use technical indicators which are instrumental to their success – a few examples of these are the MACD, moving averages, and Stochastics. However, though profitable day traders DO follow their indicators, they are also aware that nothing is 100% foolproof.
You will not get rich on just a single day trade. Successful traders know that trying to hit a lucrative home run on just one trade is a sure way to get burned. The key is consistency. You need to devise a solid strategy that produces consistent trading profits, and you need to learn and adapt as your experience with day trading grows and evolves.
There’s no doubt about it: day trading can be a profitable and exciting way to earn money. And, with the right knowledge, you can radically reduce the risk, which will create even more opportunities for achieving trading success.
If you are not willing to spend the time learning the techniques of trading, reading about new and improved trading strategies, and working wholeheartedly in a fast-paced trading environment, then day trading is probably not for you. However, if you have the drive, dedication, and discipline, day trading could seriously impact the shape and success of your financial future!