I was just wondering, after going through extensive articles on how day trading is anything but a sure-fire way to lose money: are we looking into the right data? Let me explain. The overwhelming majority of academic research that deems day trading a moot enterprise, as well as news articles and whatnot, is based on the simple fact that most people who give a go at day trading end up losing all their money. Although that paints a clear-cut picture for those looking to get into this activity -- that is, the odds are definetely against you -- , what I'd really like to know is if the average day trader's performance is really what we, as finance professionals, should be looking at? Shouldn't we, instead, be looking into day trading strategies' performances? As any decent trader will tell you, the decisive factor in making it or breaking it in this field is not merely technical knowledge but, rather, psychological resilience. What this means is basically that notwithstanding the quality of a trading strategy or set of strategies, most people will promptly fail at executing them properly. Worst than that, they won't even subject themselves to training on a simulated market until they are actually profitable. That means that by the time they eventually master a strategy, they'll already be many many dollars behind where they started or, just as likely, will blow up their account before ever really getting there. This means that, when it comes to day trading, the overwhelming majority of people will fail but not because the enterprise itself is moot, but perhaps because of the way people approach it (which is also true for swing trading and longer-term trading strategies). So, if we know that the main issue with any trading strategy is improper execution, what makes day trading specifically easier to fail? Well, I argue here that it has to do with the increased psychological pressures and pitfalls: you'll be making decisions much much faster than you would if you were, say, swing trading; by that very same token, chances of you over-exposing yourself (improper position sizing, revenge trading, over-trading, etc.) is also much higher. However, let's put the human aspect aside for a second. Let's say we are able to define a trading strategy which focuses on a single instrument (e.g. future indexes or FX pairs) and which was designed for the specific purpose of day trading; furthermore, one which was backtested and statistically yields positive outcomes over a medium-term period. If this strategy was to be executed correctly, it'd mean that it would tend to generate consistent results in a day trading context, or would it not? If that is the case, we can once again argue that the reason day trading has such an astronomical rate of failure is due to human, namely psychological, factors. Furthermore, this would explain the fact that some people still do succeed in this field as independent day traders. What I would like to know, and which I think would be quite helpful for aspiring day traders to escape the endless stream of scams while also giving a concrete assessment of failure-success rate of day trading, is actually evaluating how profitable (or not) any given strategy (automated or manual) is over the short, medium and long term. That, while also making it crystal clear that such results are contingent on the actual ability to execute the strategy to the letter, which is in turn a matter of psychological resilience. Such information would contrast and enrich the data we have from individual day traders and the reasons why they are likely to fail. What are your thoughts on this issue? Hope to hear from you all. Cheers!