Beginning as a Day Trader

Discussion in 'Professional Trading' started by bmatthe2, May 26, 2008.

  1. bmatthe2


    I am currently raising capital to begin trading on my own and decided to come here to ask a few questions and to gain some insight into what real traders think. My goal for the first year of trading full time is $40,000-$45,000. Is this goal realistic? Thanks for the input.
  2. Before I say you can do it, I need to know what broker you use and what instrument you trade. You already said "full time," that's a good thing.

    Don't use IB! oh, shit, IB paid posters will attack me, they are everywhere on ET :(
  3. Your goal for year one is to learn all you can and refine your approach as you go. In no way should you be thinking about any monetary goal, other than to preserve your capital while you learn the ins and outs.

    Unless you have an endless stream of cash to throw at the market as you learn, I strongly suggest forgetting any sort of goal in terms of earnings. If you can be close to flat after year one while having learned a good deal you'll be on the right path.


    You need to be able to survive for a good year without any trading income. Trust me.
  5. spidey


    No, realistic is more like you'll be lucky to still have all your money - minus living expenses after 12 -18 months.
  6. vince111


    it's no realistic if you don't know how to trade.

    the fact that you even ask tells me you have no live real experience.

    paper trade first before quitting your dayjob or let somebody else trade for you like professional trader.

  7. DavidDT


    Have to second prior posters
    Don't set goals, trade VERY SMALL, learn, when you think - you got it - stop trading, because market WILL change on you right at that moment. Learn to sense those "switches".
    Pray NOT to make good money in the beginning - if you will get lucky, you WILL increase position size - and you will loose a lot right away and will be totally demoralized and will loose the rest.

    Really - never think of P&L - think of the trade first, second and last, you CANNOT control "how much you'll make on THAT trade" - but you can take care of the TRADE itself.
    If you have 40K to start - do yourself a favor - take 37 and put it into bank saving account - you will thank ETers later, do $500 swing trades - if you will not be able to make profit with 3k - you will NOT make money with 40K - but you'll be able to survive the loss of 3K - and forget about trading.

    DO NOT KID yourself - trading is the most difficult occupation you can think of.
  8. bstay


    Suppose you make just +$100 a day, closing all positions end of day. That will be $2K/mth and $25K/yr. To meet your goal, u need to net +$200/day everyday. And u know that winning 100% all the time is impossible, and winning everyday is near impossible.

    Firstly u need to have a method that works with high probability of winning each trade, get your win/loss percentage up to 60% or more. Anything less than 60% u are wasting yr time .... as "breakeven trader". Secondly, your average winners must be larger than yr average losers, say 2:1 ratio. Thirdly, u need to figure out how much risk per trade (how much u willing to lose per trade), daily loss limit, weekly loss days before halting, and what u must do to ensure no losing months (even if accomplished by NOT trading after several days' losses).

    Suppose u risk $100 per trade. and u make 5 trades a day, winning 3 losing 2 for 60% win/loss. If yr average winner over loser is ratio 1:1, then 3 wins = 3x$100 and 2 losses = 2x$100 and u net +$100 before commissions.

    How do u get 60% win/loss ratio? How do u get average winner to be 2:1 over average loser? How do u ensure your stop loss each trade is "fixed" and well under control?

    I'm expecting negative bashings before i continue on.
  9. The poster has a good point. Once you start, you'll see that its not so easy when prices flicker by with lightning speed, and your charts jump up and down with what appears to be complete randomness. If you have a sizeable bank roll to start, 100.00 is very do-able, but like most 90-95% who start either crack under the pressure to perform, or blow up. Just be sure that your life wont be destroyed if you lose this money, and best of luck fellow trader :)
  10. limau2


    The goal is realistic, if you actually achieved it.
    The key is not 'full-time' but 'focus'
    Number 40000 is relative, should calculate on R.O.I percentage.
    Why Day trade ? Good trade could be both day trade and position must identify trend to make money, not by day trading flat market...flat mkt will fllaten you out...

    Good Luck
    #10     May 27, 2008