Check out this day tradig article for the masses from Reuters...notice the comment of short selling being 'very risky' ...goes along with all the absurd sentiment against the word sell on wall street Day Trading Circus Over, Just Not Entirely July 20, 2002 08:03 AM ET Email this article Printer friendly version By Greg Cresci NEW YORK (Reuters) - The party ended for most day traders when tech stocks crashed two years ago, but a small contingent of avid market gamblers refuses to go home. "I'm still grinding it out," said Benjamin Krause, a full-time day trader in Bozeman, Montana who favors volatile technology shares. "There are dozens of stocks that I'm just swapping all the time." Day traders -- who dart in and out of stocks in search of quick gains -- burst onto the scene in the late 1990s when Internet technology brought electronic trading to the masses and the U.S. stock market boomed. At that time, thousands of people ditched their day jobs to play the market on the theory that the only way was up. But most have gone back to their day jobs, seeking the safety of more traditional forms of employment. The Nasdaq Composite Index .IXIC , where most of the stocks favored by the day trading crowd are traded, has gone back too -- falling more than 70 percent from its all-time high of 5132.52 reached in March 2000, sapping the enthusiasm of all but the most hard-core day traders. Krause, 30, acknowledges that the market swoon has made it harder to notch big profits but said he still makes money trading stocks 10 to 15 times per day. "I just bought a duplex and I'm remodeling now," he said. "I haven't had a down month in four years." Data about the total number of day traders in the United States is hard to come by, not least because the Electronic Traders Association in Houston has been defunct since the stock market began its wrenching decline. "For an investor, the market would really stink right now," Krause said. Krause sees himself not as an investor but as a trader, since each day he sells all of his shares and holds only cash at the market's close, which has limited his losses. "For us (traders), it's definitely not ideal but it's not as bad as it would be for an investor because we can still work a trading range," he said. NOT EXACTLY EASY Successful day trading requires quick reflexes and a deep knowledge of how various stocks tend to behave. Shares moving up or down by mere pennies can yield big profits if a trader is quick enough to take positions and liquidate them before more fluctuation threatens gains. "The classic rule of thumb is you need to know where you're getting out before you get in," Krause explained. "And if you start changing your mind based on emotion once you're in, you don't really have a plan." Many day traders also sell stocks short, meaning they sell borrowed shares in hopes of buying them back later at a lower price. While very risky, short-selling is the only way to make money trading stocks in a falling market. The battered stock market has left only the most sophisticated day traders afloat. Craig Day, a 49 year-old Raytheon Co. employee from Wichita, Kansas, gave up being a day trader last summer. He now trades once every few weeks and is nursing a portfolio worth about half of what it was. "The day trading community is kind of small," Day said. "I think a lot of guys were taken out when the market started to tank. Everybody's been burned." Day said he plans to hold onto the stocks he owns, such as Apple Computer Inc. AAPL.O and Polycom Inc. PLCM.O , a voice and video conferencing equipment company, but is reluctant to buy more stocks in an environment where big accounting scandals could continue to emerge. "Nobody has confidence after Enron and Global Crossing and WorldCom," Day said, referring to companies that have collapsed amid high-profile accounting scandals. "It's hard enough investing as it is, but when you can't depend on the books being clean, you got better odds at a Las Vegas slot machine." STILL A NICHE Day traders, and their less serious brethren, known as active traders, are still attractive to online brokerages and companies that offer direct access to the Nasdaq stock market. Those firms make money by charging commissions, typically around $10, for each trade processed. "We see the active trader marketplace as an important business," said Beth Stelluto, an executive at Charles Schwab Corp's SCH.N CyberTrader division. "There is still a very strong core of investors and traders who will trade and profit in any market." CyberTrader, one of the largest direct access providers, has about 25,000 customers, including those who trade through Schwab, Stelluto said. While the number of day traders overall has been reduced to a fraction of what it once was, people like Krause have no plans to abandon ship for lack of comrades. "What we'd like to see is a trend, up or down," Krause said, bemoaning the Nasdaq's uncertain direction. "We can still grind it out, but it's pretty slow."