Realistic returns expectations of successful day trading

Discussion in 'Professional Trading' started by helpme_please, Aug 28, 2019.

  1. Often, I will hear about successful day traders on seminars or videos saying that it is possible to make consistent 20-50% gain a year regardless of market conditions, bull or bear on an account size of around USD100k.

    I would like to ask the professional day traders here. Is this a realistic return to be expected? What are some reasonable returns to expect? I can't gauge because I'm not a day trader.
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2019
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  2. trend2009


    for successful day traders, 500% per year is not unimaginable, that is 500k for 100 k account.
  3. 500% is exceptional year, right?

    What kind of market conditions are good for day traders to achieve 500%? Lots of intra-day volatility with stock indices trading up 1% and down 1%?
  4. trend2009


    500% is not exceptional, quite normal for successful day traders for small account. i know a few day traders, who consistently make 500% for many years.
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  5. Peter8519


    First and foremost, protect the capital follow by spotting the winners. The percentage will follow once that twos are achieved. Average + gain is good enough and that will keep us in the game. Of course, 500% gain is a bonus.
  6. Do you know what is their drawdown when they hit a bad patch? How rare or frequent is the drawdown?
  7. guru


    I’m also curious but doubt there is any solid, consistent or verifiable info. World trading champions seem to make a bit over 200%/year, and even then many people say that’s only because they use small account where they don’t mind taking excessive risks:

    It also depends what they trade and whether they use leverage, how much risk they take, etc. Some traders do make 1000%+ with penny stocks because those can move 20%+ in a day. Options may also offer great potential. Everything else just requires lots of leverage and risk taking.
    I don’t believe that 500% is a *realistic* or average for successful traders, maybe with some exceptions. Who is/was the last great day trader we’re hearing about? There are plenty of names in books from 20+ years ago when leverage and risk was the name of the game, but now you aren’t even allowed too much leverage. So what trader names come to your mind right now? Which traders became famous in the last 5-10 years and what’s their claim to fame (how much do they make?)
    There are only plenty of articles posted here on ET about traders losing their jobs, losing money, closing shops, running Ponzi schemes, etc. Even many prop firms have disappeared, some converted to course-selling scams, while others are looking for proven day traders that they cannot find.
    Just because there are a few anonymous guys somewhere making 500% per year shows how unsuccessful, minuscule and pitiful this whole industry has become. In the past we could look up to great traders and they were known and treated like sports champions. Right now you just hear about some anonymous dude somewhere, making a few bucks, and preparing to sell another trading course.
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2019
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  8. expiated


    ScreenHunter_6472 Aug. 28 22.57.jpg
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  9. qlai


    The shorter the time frame the quicker you know it's not working so you stop prior to getting yourself in trouble. Best of them, in my opinion, have very little to no DD unless they choose to push it. But scalability is the issue. Let's say you have traded yourself to a million, do you really want to go back to trading 100k? But good problem to have for most of us :)
  10. Robert Morse

    Robert Morse Sponsor

    This is not only uncommon but not a healthy goal. If you have a $30,000 account, and you have those expectations, you will trade way to big. If you can target only $200/day net, 4 days a week, 50 weeks a year, that is $40,000/year. That would place you near the top of most traders. This would mean you have to target a little more than $200/day as the net includes losing and flat days and all fees. I see way too many small accounts swing too big try to pay their bills and end up with $2500 swings per day, which almost always ends with an account under $25,000 and closing only. Hitting this level of consistency is not easy. You will be tempted to increase your size after a few good days-take it slow. You should only increase size from a better opportunity, not from have a few good days or weeks.
    #10     Aug 29, 2019
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