What Is Day Trading? Things You Should Know Before You Start Day Trading

What Is Day Trading

Day trading is the new hype in the finance markets. Investopedia defines it as the process of buying and selling of a security in one day.

What Is Day Trading?

Day trading is a specific trading strategy where financial instruments, such as stocks, commodities, or forex, are bought and sold within a single trading day. The primary objective is to earn quick profits from the small price fluctuations that occur during one trading session. Here’s a deeper dive into the world of day trading:

Key Characteristics of Day Trading:

  • Short-Term Focus: Unlike traditional investing, where assets might be held for months or years, day traders aim to capitalize on short-term market moves.
  • Closing Positions: Traders typically close all positions by the end of the trading day, ensuring no exposure to overnight risk.
  • Leverage: Many day traders use leverage, borrowing money to amplify returns. While this can increase profits, it also heightens potential losses.
  • High Transaction Volume: Day traders often make multiple trades in a day, making them quite active compared to typical investors.
  • Technical Analysis: Day traders often rely heavily on technical analysis, using charts and indicators to predict future price movements, rather than fundamental analysis.

Advantages of Day Trading:

  • Profit from Short-Term Movements: Ability to generate returns from small price changes that may not impact long-term investors.
  • No Overnight Risk: By closing all positions at the end of the day, traders avoid potential losses from events happening outside trading hours.

Challenges and Risks:

  • High Stress: The fast-paced nature can be emotionally taxing.
  • Requires Constant Monitoring: Markets must be consistently watched for potential entry and exit points.
  • Potential for Significant Losses: Especially when leveraging investments.
  • High Costs: Frequent trading can rack up substantial commission fees, even if using a platform with low fees.

Necessary Tools for Day Trading

  • Advanced Trading Platform: Real-time data, analytic tools, and quick execution speeds are essential.
  • Strong Internet Connection: A reliable, fast connection to execute trades without delay.
  • Continual Learning: Market conditions change, and successful day traders often invest in ongoing education.

Day trading is not for everyone. It requires a combination of skill, dedication, emotional discipline, and often a significant amount of capital. While there’s potential for substantial profits, the risks are equally high. Aspiring day traders should start with thorough research, a well-defined strategy, and preferably, guidance from experienced professionals.

It is mostly common in stock markets and foreign exchange economy markets. The concept behind it is that a trader ends the day with no open position. This means that a trader averts the risk of holding onto a potentially risky position.

Things You Should Know Before You Start Day Trading

This is to prevent the scenario that if the market turns against them, they lose a lot of money. This can be a very good way to make money especially if you know what you are doing and are disciplined in the trade. Here is what you need to know.

Most of the people who excel in day trading are usually professionals. While it is possible to make money as an amateur, the odds are like those of a high stakes gambler. This is because to be able to succeed you need to know the market really well.

In addition, these professionals invest with a lot of money which they are ready to lose should the market work against them. While it may seem strange to invest with a lot of money, the concept is that more money allows traders to capitalize on small price movements, which when they add up, result in higher profits. This is referred to as the high-risk/high-reward strategy.

Day traders are divided into two types, professional and individual traders. Professional traders work for large financial institutions, while individual traders work for themselves. Individual day traders may find that they need large amounts to invest to be able to make gains in small price movements.

This is because when you invest little amounts, you will not even be able cover trading commissions because you will only be making minuscule gains. It is advisable to try out fictional trading to be able to develop the techniques that will enable you learn how to trade in this market.

Advantages of Investment Day Trading

Day trading, despite its inherent challenges, offers a variety of advantages to those who pursue it diligently and with a clear strategy. Here are the primary benefits:

Profit from Short-Term Movements:

Day traders can capitalize on minute-to-minute or hour-to-hour price changes, allowing them to potentially profit from small movements in stock, commodity, or currency prices that might be insignificant for long-term investors.

No Overnight Risk:

By closing all positions before the market closes, day traders eliminate the risk of negative price gaps or major news events that might happen outside trading hours and could adversely impact holdings.

Liquidity Use:

Day traders often target more liquid stocks or commodities. This high liquidity allows for quicker trades, and the price movements in these assets can be more predictable in the short term.

Diversification Opportunities:

The potential to make multiple trades in a single day across various instruments or markets allows traders to spread their risk.

Potential for Quick Returns:

Unlike long-term investment strategies that may require patience and time to see substantial returns, day trading offers the possibility of immediate results.


Many trading platforms offer margin accounts that allow day traders to borrow money for trades. This leverage can amplify returns, though it also increases risk.

Control Over Trading Environment:

Advanced trading platforms offer tools, analytics, real-time data, and other resources that can be tailored to a trader’s specific strategy, providing a significant level of control.

Continuous Learning:

The dynamic nature of day trading requires traders to constantly stay updated and adapt to market conditions. This leads to continuous learning, sharpening analytical skills, and fostering adaptability.

No Long-Term Commitment:

Day trading does not tie up capital for extended periods. Traders can allocate and reallocate funds daily based on the most promising opportunities.

Independent Lifestyle:

Successful day traders have the potential to achieve an independent lifestyle, not tethered to a 9-5 job. They have the flexibility to set their hours, though discipline is essential.

No Impact from Long-Term Fundamentals:

Day traders are less concerned with a company’s annual report or long-term fundamentals. Instead, they focus on immediate market sentiment, which can be gauged from news, charts, and trading volumes.

While day trading presents numerous advantages, it’s essential to remember that not everyone will find success in this trading style. It requires a combination of skill, discipline, and risk tolerance. Before embarking on a day trading journey, it’s crucial to understand the risks, invest in education, and practice with demo accounts or small amounts to refine strategies.