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What is a Day Trader?

What is a day trader? A lot of people think a day trader is someone who sits in front of a computer screen for an hour per day, presses a few buttons and prints cash before they step out of the mansion and drive off in their ‘lambo’ to do whatever the hell they want to do for the rest of the day!

Many people think a day trader’s life is full of luxury, printing a ton of money with just a few minutes in front of a computer screen. But the truth is, a successful day trader is a very hard working, dedicated and disciplined person.

But the truth is, a successful day trader is an extremely hard working, dedicated and disciplined person who puts in hours and hours in front of a computer screen and meticulously plans out trades often seeking to increase their trading account by a few percentage points each trade.

This post is here to give you the truth for anyone asking, ‘what is a day trader”.

And sorry to disappoint you if you think a day trader’s life is easy but keep on reading to find what a day trader really is, what they do and how much work it really takes to succeed in day trading.

You may be interested in day trading as a way to make money online in your own time and on your own terms working for yourself from home or really anywhere in the world. And this is totally possible if you can put in a lot of time and work to learn the fundamentals of day trading principals and financial market movements.

And I do believe that anyone can succeed in day trading if they put in the required time and effort and have the correct guidance.

But just what is a day trader? How do they manage to make money online? What do they trade and how do they do this? What strategies, tools and platforms do they use?

That is the focus of this post.

What is a Day Trader?

A day trader is an individual who actively participates in financial markets by buying and selling financial instruments within the same trading day. This differs from long-term investors who hold positions for longer periods in order to make profit from increase in prices over time. 

A day trader focusses on short-term price movements and aims to capitalize on intraday fluctuations.

Day Traders only trade during one single day. They close out all their positions before the market close and their charts are set to one to five to thirty minute intervals.

Day traders closely monitor market trends, news, and technical indicators to identify trading opportunities that can yield profits within a single trading session. They often use leverage and employ various trading strategies, such as scalping, momentum trading, and range trading, to execute their trades efficiently.

One of the distinguishing features of a day trader is their ability to make quick decisions and act swiftly on market opportunities. They may trade stocks, forex pairs, cryptocurrencies, or futures contracts, depending on their expertise and the market conditions they are comfortable with.

Day traders typically rely on technical analysis tools, chart patterns, and real-time market data to make informed trading decisions. They also need to have strong risk management skills to mitigate potential losses, as day trading can be volatile and unpredictable.

A day trader is someone who engages in active trading within short time frames, aiming to profit from price movements during the course of a single trading day.

Overall, a day trader is someone who engages in active trading within short time frames, aiming to profit from price movements during the course of a single trading day. This trading style requires discipline, market knowledge, and the ability to manage risk effectively in order to be successful.

Day trading is probably the most exciting part of playing the market. Even though it sounds like you have to sit in front of your charts from 9:30 am until 4. In reality, you can be done by noon and still have the full day. But if you truly love it, you definitely can enjoy a full day of trading.

The saying goes – ‘Successful day traders are out before lunch, the ones recovering their losses sit until the closing bell.’

To be a full time day trader, it is highly recommended you take a course before committing to this career path. Although, if you want your money to work for you, I believe everyone needs to take a course!

How do Day Traders Make Money?

Day traders employ various strategies and techniques to generate profits from their trading activities within a single trading day. Here’s a breakdown of how day traders make money:

Price Movements

Day traders capitalize on price movements in financial instruments. They may buy a financial asset (such as a stock, currency pair, or cryptocurrency) when they anticipate its price will rise or sell short when they expect it to fall. By correctly predicting price movements and executing timely trades, day traders can profit from these fluctuations.

Leverage and Margin Trading

Day traders often use leverage provided by brokers to amplify their trading positions. This allows them to control larger positions with a smaller amount of capital. While leverage can enhance profits, it also increases risk, as losses can exceed the initial investment when trading on margin.

Scalping and Quick Profits

Some day traders specialize in scalping, a strategy focused on making small profits from numerous trades throughout the day. Scalpers aim to capitalize on short-term price movements, often entering and exiting trades within seconds or minutes. While each individual gain may be small, the cumulative profits can be significant with high trading volume.

Day traders employ various strategies and techniques to generate profits from their trading activities within a single trading day.

Momentum Trading

Momentum traders identify and capitalize on trends in asset prices. They buy assets that are rising in value (long positions) or sell assets that are declining (short positions) with the expectation that the trend will continue. Successful momentum trading relies on identifying strong trends and managing risk effectively.

Related Read: Day Trading Terms And Definitions

What are the Main Characteristics of Day Traders?

Day traders have several key characteristics that differentiate them from other market participants. Let’s look at some of these characteristics of day traders.

Short-Term Focus
Day traders have a short-term perspective on the markets. They aim to profit from intraday price movements rather than holding positions for days, weeks, or months like investors.

Active Trading
Day traders engage in frequent trading activity, executing multiple trades within a single trading day. They take advantage of short-term opportunities and market volatility to generate profits.

Quick Decision-Making
Day traders must make quick and decisive decisions. They analyze market information, identify trading opportunities, and execute trades promptly to capitalize on price movements before they change.

Risk Tolerance
Day trading involves inherent risks due to the volatile nature of intraday price fluctuations. Successful day traders have a balanced risk tolerance and employ risk management strategies to protect their capital and minimize losses.

Technical Analysis Skills
Day traders often use technical analysis tools and chart patterns to analyze price movements, identify trends, and make trading decisions. They may use indicators, moving averages, and chart patterns to inform their trading strategies.

Often the best way to success in trading is to simplify technical analysis and indicators in order to become a consistent and more profitable trader


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Discipline and Patience
Successful day traders exhibit discipline and patience in their trading approach. They follow trading plans, stick to predefined strategies, and avoid emotional decision-making based on fear or greed.

Day traders need to adapt to changing market conditions and adjust their strategies accordingly. They stay informed about market news, economic events, and trends that may impact their trading positions.

Continuous Learning
The financial markets are dynamic and evolving, requiring day traders to stay updated with market trends, new trading technologies, and strategies. Continuous learning and self-improvement are essential for success in day trading.

Strong Mental Fortitude
Day trading can be mentally challenging, with highs and lows in trading performance. Day traders need to maintain a positive mindset, manage stress effectively, and learn from both successful trades and losses.

What is a Day Trader? Final Thoughts

If you initial thoughts about ‘what is a day trader?’ before reading this post were of a luxury ‘lambo lifestyle’, minimum worker printing money with just a few minutes pressing buttons each day, then I hope after reading thorough you now understand that this is far from the truth.

I hope you now understand that a day trader is an extremely hard working, dedicated and disciplined person and their lifestyle is anything but flashy and easy. It takes countless hours of work, studying and practicing to get good enough at trading to become profitable.

And each trade they take is part of an overall strategy that is meticulously planned out and a good day trader sticks to their plan no matter what.

A day trader has a strong mental fortitude and discipline and is not afraid to make mistakes but always learns from their mistakes and also exercises strict risk management so that when they do ‘lose’ their losses are recoverable over time and they also understand that it’s all part of the game of day trading. 

what is a day trader
A successful and profitable day trader is an extremely hard working, dedicated and disciplined person.

How to Start

Firstly, if you want to learn how to become a day trader and start trading on your own with ease and confidence – Sign up for the FREE Mini Course.

Let`s get to know each other. You can learn more about my journey and how I started here.

After that, if you have any questions you can always ask me at traderchick.com. Come to my Facebook group and introduce yourself, let me know your experience with trading.

So if you are ready to go beyond the basics, learn day trading and start your dream life – check out MY COURSES.

What is a Day Trader?