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Becoming a Successful Stock Day Trader

Jun 4, 2008
How do you become a winning stock day trader? And what is day trading anyway?

Day trading is the process of buying stocks, currencies or futures, and selling them on the same day. Out of the transaction, a skilled day trader expects to earn a profit. Notice that the word skilled is important. Stock day trading is not for the lazy or unskilled trader.

While many experience more losses than gains in day trading, there are still some more skilled stock day traders who swear by the system and continue to reap the benefits. Here are some advantages of day trading and how to become a stock day trader, as related by successful day traders.

One major advantage of day trading is being able to work on your own. You are your own boss. You don't need to consult with others before making a decision. Should you fail, you are the only one accountable for your trading losses.

Because there is no one to check up on your trading decisions you must have the self discipline and hardworking attitude to know the business well. You must also be able to put your emotions on hold as you make your trading decisions yet be confident in those decisions.

Because more people want to become involved in day trading there are now more sources of information that you can find compared to many other kinds of online businesses. Be diligent in reading these materials, as they can help you as you learn more about day trading. But be cautious of some of the information that you find on the Internet. Some website offers are mere enticements to get you to part with your money and to subscribe to their services or to purchase their software without giving any useful value in return.

You do not need to know much about stock trading before you can try stock day trading. Anybody with a high speed Internet connection and a little risk capital can venture into day trading. However, if you want to trade at a profit and be successful, you need to study how trading systems work, find one that is suited to you, and work hard at mastering it. Most people who try out day trading without preparation and without a good day trading software program will lose money.

In day trading you don't want to speculate or make decisions based on your opinion of trends or your gut feelings. You should master a trading system and base your decisions upon the systems trading signals. If you use a proven system you should also be able to gain using the same system over and over again. That is if you have the discipline to follow it. The main reason so many day traders end up losing money is that they fail to follow their own trading system even when it is a very good one.

One of the big advantages of day trading is that there are off the shelve software trading systems that will generate accurate trading signals. You have to be willing to research various software offerings and be willing to pay for a trading system that suits your trading style.

Then the matter of having discipline comes up again. Discipline, discipline, discipline, there is just no way to get around it. To be a profitable day trader you have to possess the iron clad kind.

These are only some of the advantages of day trading. The disadvantage, of course, is the always present risk of losing money. As with any business venture, this risk is always present. That is why it is important that you understand the day trading business well before getting involved with real money trades. That way, perhaps starting with a demo trading account, you can develop your strategy and skill level and minimize your risk in the process.

You should trade small until you can see how your trading system is working. Day trading is a very scalable enterprise. Once your system is working well it is easy to step up the size of your trades. Just don't over do it and trade all out with only a small amount of capital to back up your trades.

The most important thing to realize if you want to become day trader is that you do not want to always be in the market. Most day traders over trade. They do not wait until a trade sets up just right. They lack the discipline to be patient and to wait for the proper signals before pulling the trigger.

Some day traders wait too long. That is they wait, and wait, and wait for the perfect trade. Since there will always be an element of uncertainly with any trading operation the waiting trader will be too late in entering a trade and as a result will probably lose or make only a small profit on the trade.

To become a successful day trader is not easy. But it is amazingly profitable for those traders who master the art. A really good day trader can make hundreds of dollars, even thousands of dollars, almost every trading day. That is the reason so many people want to give day trading a go ready or not.

But, believe me. It is best to learn what you are doing and to be ready before trading with real money. The cost of experience can be high for the unprepared.
About the Author
Gerald "Taipan" Greene is a retired forex trader and portfolio manager who worked in Asia for over 20 years. The nickname was acquired in Hong Kong and is now used for a number of financial, political, and Internet business related blogs. One of them is at Stock Day Trading
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