Is day trading worth it?

Discussion in 'Professional Trading' started by Laissez Faire, Jun 18, 2013.

  1. Hello all,

    I started out swing trading stocks by submitting orders and managing my positions outside market hours. In a relatively short amount of time, I made what seemed like (and was) a small fortune to me at the time. My method was simple and stress free, but after honoring my stops always, I found myself in a large position that went against me immediately and I simply could not take the loss. The position continued to go against me while I prayed and hoped. You know the drill. I puked at the bottom, only to see the market rise without me. Unspeakable! Fortunately, I was smart enough to withdraw my money and still had more than double of what I started with.

    I started out studying day trading and spent thousands of hours trying to figure out the nature of intraday movements. I've had periods of success and feel that I have a very good read of the market most of the time, but ultimately, I was not consistently successful for various reasons.

    In the end, I was tired of trading US hours while living in Norway and I was tired of being glued to the screen all day long. If I had made a load of money day trading, it would probably have been different, but I had some of the same concerns during the periods where I pulled home some coin. It just did not seem rewarding to me and it actually started to bore me.

    Right now I'm not trading. I'm a full-time student of mathematics and physics, devoting most of my time there. But I'm still attracted to the markets and I am planning my return, just not sure if going back to day trading is worth it or even if I have the time to do so. I'm 100% convinced that day trading successfully can be done, so that's not within the scope of this discussion.

    I'm just thinking that swing trading may be just as rewarding, less stressful and even more financially rewarding than day trading, while at the same time leaving time to pursue other interests (which I have a lot of).

    Any thoughts on the subject?

    Please keep it civil. : )

  2. As I have time on my hands just now, let me give you some of my thoughts reading your story.
  3. emg


    devote your time studying

    Math = HFT

    take computer science as a minor degree.
  4. I don't know at what level you are studying math and physics.
    If you are near graduate, well, why not do some research related to the applications of maths and physics to the market. So that you get paid to be even better prepared.

    Now, as you blew up during swing trading , IF it was not due to external stress factors ( aka people around you), then you need to work on yourself , and come to terms with :
    - why you had this size
    - why you did not exit

    just my point of view
  5. It sounds like you answered your own question - day trading is not for you. Stick with what you like to do and can do well. A trading system is like a window - if you see the window pane at all, then it is not for you.

    Time frame is not the big issue in trading. Many people picking day trading are secretly trying to lose IMO. They choose a short time frame to make money in a hurry like it is sneaking money from the market. If this is your secret motivation, then you will fail guaranteed.

    Any system you choose has trade offs and no one timeframe can work better than another or the markets would not be efficient.
  6. I'm not sure I want a full-time career with the markets working for someone else. If I am to pursue the markets further, I think it will be for my own account, as I want to explore new endeavors, but just as much because proprietary trading is virtually non-existent in Norway.

    Now to your questions.

    I did not blow up during swing trading, but I did take a large loss. What happened was that a large position went immediately against me and I could not pull the trigger to exit. I still withdrew a large amount of money after this, since I wanted to educate myself before risking more of my money.

    I blew my first account during day trading, because I simply did not know what I was doing and was massively overleveraged.

    My second account was not very big to begin with and I did not blow up per se, but had a few days where I lost control. I had periods where I did really well. Once I had a run of 30 consecutive winning days. I thought I knew something, upped my size and lost greatly.

    Ultimately, I was still leveraged too much, undercapitalized, had pressure to perform and had to withdraw money for daily expenses. I liquidated the account before it was empty, seeing that my odds to make it at the time did not make it worth it.
  7. I can read some emotions there. :D
  8. irniger


    Several articles I read clearly show, that swing trading brings more in the end and is less tiring and stressy. I can confirm this, having done both.

    Of course it's hard to see, that in some days daytrading forex brings you 150++ pips and swing trading only 25 pips on average. My H4 trading forex results in 500-600 pips every months per pair using 10% of funds and 1:100 margin level with trades lasting 6+ days on average. Drawdowns from entry point are never more than 60 pips. Now calculate the profits from this.

    For you as a student or anyone with a regular job, swing trading forex necessitates looking only once or twice at the charts every day. Plus obeying a few rules to avoid pitfalls and enhance and optimize the results.

    Happy trading,

  9. vinc


    since you can't make up your mind perhaps in the so called meantime you could reveal it?
    that might be more interesting / hopefully/ than your Hamlet like divagations ..
    listen, once we know your method it will be carefully analyzed by the collective awareness here and the answer will be pretty straightforward :D
  10. WS_MJH


    A trading background along with quantitative studies should make you very competitive for funds and other asset managers. Go in that direction. The real money in trading is managing other people's money.
    #10     Jun 18, 2013