How long is the dayTrading learning curve?

Discussion in 'Professional Trading' started by c_verm, Nov 4, 2003.

  1. c_verm


    I have just lost my job and would like to become a full time day trader with my own money. I have been swing trading sucessfuly for 4 years now and have now decided to become a day trader.

    My question to you all is how long did it take to become a profitable trader? I will be getting a mentor to teach my the ropes. ??

    your help would be great!
  2. I'll let you know once I'm far, a little over 5 months and down $2.6K including commiss. :(

  3. KEF


    that depends on what you consider profitable. how much money you are working with and how much you need to make. The bigest problem I found switching from swing trading to day trading is that I tended to make purchases on time frames that were supported on longer time frames (swing trades), but that didn't play out in under a day.
  4. Check out the thread "Transition: loser to winner" - it takes a lot longer than one might think.
  5. IMVHO, Part would depend on your inherent market savvy, or knowledge, or trading plan. Part on how disciplined you are and how much emotional control you have, part on the condition or type of market you enter and how redily you connect with it.

    Watching people over the years I would say anywhere from 6months to 3 years.

    If you have been a successful swing trader, why do you want or need to become a day trader?

    Before you enter this game: Know thyself!
  6. lindq


    Have you been profitable with your swing trading? What do you mean by "successful"?
  7. ptt


    I think day trading is the most difficult, and it all depends on the individual, many never find success.

    This topic has been discussed many times before, do a search with 'how long before profitable' or similar and you will find something.
  8. fan27


    Almost 8 months day trading and down $1,400. Besides quitting drugs and alchohol, this is the hardest thing I have ever done. I have a plan to keep me going financially through Jan 2005, so I am confident I can last until I reach profitability.

    Good Luck, and prepare for the worst.


    First, losing a job can be tough and an emotional experience. Becoming a successful day trader is easier said than done. I had some quick success when I started. Then I lost money for a while. It can be a roller coaster so you'll need to have a strong stomach to handle the ups and downs. In my 8 years I've had 2 years where I didn't make enough $$$ trading to pay all my bills. So resolve any work/job issues before you start trading full time. If you've successfully swing traded for a few years I'd suggest you examine a hybrid approach to trading for a living; allocate some money to swing trading and other money to day trading. If you've not had a lot of experience with day trading ask yourself what you'll trade (stocks like MSFT, INTC, CSCO, maybe the SPY or QQQ, stocks under $10, lower volume stocks, etc. etc.), then determine how you'll trade (TA, intuition, momentum, etc.) and then set some very attainable goals; don't expect to rake in $$$ from the start. Play both sides of the market. Above all else, exercise discipline and when you're wrong take your losses fairly quickly. I've seen many "traders" hang on to losers hoping they'll come back ... and as the losses became larger they hoped even more. People out there who bought into the dot coms back in 1999 and got blown out of the market due to no discipline. Trades became investments; can't tie up your trading capital with "losers". Also, if you want to make a living trading you need to be sure you have sufficient capital. Do you have goals, such as "x"% return per year? I wrote up a business plan 8 years ago before I started which helped.
  10. funky


    give yourself at LEAST a year.
    #10     Nov 4, 2003