Day trading on the side

Discussion in 'Professional Trading' started by shortbleu, Jul 16, 2009.

  1. Hi,

    I am 30, just got married, I've got a "real" job generating more than the average salary (I am not rich though), expenses are going up (I expect to move to a bigger house and have a baby within a couple of years). I've got good career progression expectations.

    For these reasons, I am not looking to quit my job but I am passionate about day trading. I've got long term positions trading experience but started day trading only a few months ago, having done paper day trading for years.

    I am working realtively long hours on my "real" job and the first month, I almost ruined my health, trying to trade every day after work, I have been exhausted really, doing intensive scalping after work upto 2 hours a day, 10 trades per hour.

    For this reason, I agreed with my wife that I would day trade only 2 days a week after work. The other days, I would have a proper diner with my wife, spend time with her or with my friends and have a social life.

    It's better for my health and my realtionship with my wife and social life but I feel my learning curve will slow down a lot as I am day trading only 2 evenings per week, 2 hours per evening.

    Because I've slowed down my learning, I've got the feeling that it's going to take me at least 10 years to generate a large income from day trading.

    So far, I've not done great, just a bit better than break even.
    Just made a few ticks per months on average, I win, I lose, I win, i lose, I win, I lose, at then end, I am just making peanuts money.

    I am trading only 1 lot of FESX because I am learning and i don't consider myself as consistently profitable. The question is, at this speed, it's going to take ages to increase size and make decent money as I don't trade often.

    Since I am tired, I only trade 2 evenings a week now and also, I reduced the number of trades per evening. I used to do 20 trades in 2 hours and try to catch 1 or 2 ticks per trade, I was loosing a bit of money, near break even but still loosing. Now, I am more relaxed and try to do only 1 to 3 trades in 2 hours and catch 5-8 ticks per trades, holding positions for more than 20 minutes usually. I am just doing a bit better than break even now, I win on average but so small!!! This style of less intensive trading suits me better, i am less focused on the DOM, less tired and manage to make a few ticks here and there over a month period.

    But the questions is, will I be making good money from this one day? I am asking because I am only trading 2 days a weeks, only do a couple of trades per evening. Is this a trading style that can be succeful enough to become something serious?
    Ideally, once I consider myself consistently profitable, I would increase my size (cars per clip), but I think it might take over 10 years fot this activity to generate as much as my real salary.

    So I don't know if I am going to ever make real sensible money from trading 2 evenings a day. As I said, I am not looking to quit my real job. Are there any successful traders who trade only a few hours a week? Is it possible to make serious money this way?
  2. The hard truth is, there are zero guarantees you will EVER be a successful trader.

    It is a myth that "just stare at prices long enough and you will succeed." It is a belief, not a truth. It mayh happen, but probability says it most likely will not for you or anyone else.

    Few traders will ever be lucrative for extended periods of time, with good trading stats. Most of the people on ET who claim to be are either paper traders, liars, or grossly exagerrating. There are a handful, but it is difficult to prove who is.
  3. 1) Keep your "real job" at any and all costs.
    2) Keep on expanding your time horizon in order to become more of a swing trader instead of a scalper.
    3) Your job and/or marriage may be boring if you crave the "excitement" of trading too much.
  4. +1
  5. Stosh


    Your post reminds me of advice someone told me when I was young: "You have the potential to do almost anything you want to do in life, but not everything you want to do." I didn't listen and became a renaissance man (jack-of-all trades and master of none). Best wishes in dealing with your choices. Stosh
  6. NAZ is correct. You don't have the bio for a day trader. Focus your attention on learning a swing trading system. Swing trading can be done entirely on end of day closing prices allowing you to fucus on your "guarenteed" paying income job.

    Daytrading is a harder bizz and you need to be focused everyday. It is also harder to make money for most as 90-95% of daytraders fail. Better off entering this arena if you are fresh out of school or have enoguh money that you don't have to worry about monthly bills anymore.
  7. Great story.

    To the shortbleu: follow nazzdacks advice, and start learning how to swing-trade.

    It will do wonders for your time, energy, job and marriage (and future family) ... iow, the things that really matter in your life.

  8. i third ya, naz,
    and would add
    building on op's comments:

    4)keep marriage healthy
    5)maintain a healthy lifestyle in general
    (diet, sleep, exercise, etc...)

    your trading style sounds like an addiction to crack,
    slow down, man,
    trading while exhausted can elevate your emotions drastically,
    screwing up more than your trades.
    your body will shutdown sooner rather than later,
    and then you'll just spend your profits on health related issues...

    scalping is a very exhausting way to trade,
    i cannot imagine winding down from a long day of work
    via a 2hr scalping session, lol...

  9. This is NOT trading. this is more or less just a "Gambling Habit".
    Sounds like you are not looking to gain anything, but just need the action of the trades.

    Get more relaxed and SLOW down your trading. Over-trading will do nothing but lose in the long run. You need to be able to get 1 or 2 trades in a day, tops... some time none at all.
    Do your homework and plan entries well before you place the order.
    My best recommendation for consistant weekly profits would be to find a Swing Trade off a 5 or 10 min chart.
    AVOID the evening trading, volume is too light. Stick to the Peak volume hours.

    You need to be able to have a 2:1 or 3:1(prefered) risk / reward from a FIRM stoploss.
    PM me if you want and I we will talk on what I do for my trades each week.
  10. One of the common themes of successful traders is that they are patient and wait for set-ups to occur. Then they take advantage.

    Many traders don’t reach professional levels because they overtrade. They feel the more they trade, the more chances they will have to make money. This is false.

    Looking for action is nothing more then gambling. Trading on hunches is nothing more then gambling. Don't trade unless you have an edge. This can be accomplished in the daytrading arena but better make sure you have a real edge, NOT a hunch or feeling> Hunches and feelings are almost always wrong.

    Dont just trade for for the rush. This as compulsive behavior and it’s a serious weakness.

    The best traders are PATIENT. They sit on their hands when they don't have an edge.

    Traders that just trade for the rush have always existed. They often provide great opportunities for true professionals who are patient and wait on the other side of the trade.

    #10     Jul 17, 2009