A Day in the Life of a Day Trader

A day in the life of a day trader

The life of a day trader may additionally seem exciting, however it is a lifestyles lived on the brink. In a way this is in part actual, as unexpected events or buying and selling results can occur on any given day. The fact although is that most days are pretty everyday, nothing an awful lot exciting happens. Ignore the sales pitches and "glamour" photograph. Here's what day trading is virtually like, so you can see for yourself if it's far proper for you.

Rise and Shine

Depending in your time quarter, day trading can be a totally early enterprise or permit you to sleep in.

For the U.S. inventory and futures markets, the hour before and the first hour or two of the day commonly provide the best buying and selling opportunities. If you live in Eastern time, which means you should be at your laptop, prepared to change by means of eight:30 AM, or nine:20 (10 mins earlier than the reputable open) if trading shares simply at some stage in normal market hours. 

If day buying and selling forex you have more alternatives, despite the fact that usually the above time is good for day buying and selling foreign exchange as properly. U.S. businesses and banks are commencing for business, and London remains open for enterprise. Therefore, this couple of hours is usually one of the maximum risky and rather liquid of the day 


Working from home as an afternoon dealer you may do what you want; nobody is around to tell you in a different way. Discipline is up to you. Get up as a minimum an hour before you begin buying and selling. Eat breakfast and mentally put together your self for the day.

  • Quickly rehearse your techniques on your mind. Been having unique buying and selling-related problems? Create a plan for the way you will take care of them. 
  • Check your trading account stability so you understand precisely how a whole lot you can hazard on every alternate. Risking 2% or less of your account balance is suggested, 1% in case you are new and don't have at least numerous months of profitable buying and selling beneath your belt.
  • Check the financial calendar, and make a observe for your chart of whilst fundamental activities arise that day. Exit trades at the least 3 mins earlier than a major financial event.
  • Ensure your trading platform is running well, and rates are streaming.

Day Trading

Trade at the least the first hour after the authentic open, 9:30 to ten:30 AM EST if buying and selling shares, futures or foreign exchange. If buying and selling futures or actively traded shares or ETFs, the pre-market—eight:30 to 9:30—may even offer a number of the high-quality trades of the day. For foreign exchange, you may begin some hours earlier, specially if buying and selling the GBPUSD or EURUSD.

If the marketplace is active, you could opt to trade till eleven:30 AM EST. Around this time is when volatility tends to lower because the "lunch hour" starts offevolved.

New day investors often suppose they want to work extra to make extra, but "much less is extra." Avoid buying and selling all through the lunch hour; commonly the minuscule repay does not warrant spending capital or emotional energy on buying and selling for the duration of this time. If you want to hold buying and selling, do so among 2:00 and 4:00 PM EST. The remaining hour is a popular time for day traders as it's miles the second one most unstable hour of the buying and selling day.

If day buying and selling is extremely exciting and adrenaline is continuously pumping, there is genuinely a very good threat something is incorrect. If that is taking place the dealer probably hasn't appropriately prepared for special types of market conditions, they're risking too much of their capital or they don't have a plan for the way to trade. A day dealer's process is to truly discover trade setups. execute, and then manage those trades in accordance to the method. If the focus is saved on that, there isn't plenty room for emotional highs and lows.


When the trading day ends—for a few like me that can be 10:30 AM, and for others four:00 PM EST—take a screenshot of your chart for the day. Mark exchange degrees, earnings/losses for each alternate, after which make a observe which incorporates:

  • Hours traded
  • Number of trades
  • Number of winning trades and general of all winning trades in pips/points/cents
  • Number of losing trades and total of all dropping trades in pips/points/cents
  • Net profit/loss in pips/factors/cents

We make a notice on our chart of earnings/losses in pips (forex), points (futures) or cents (stocks) because these are scalable figures. Writing down dollar figures may be misleading, because your account stability may range over time, resulting in bigger or smaller trades.

Save each screenshot with a call: month-day-12 months. Create a folder on your pc and keep those files for later evaluation.

Each weekend, go through the screenshots from the previous week. Note where you made errors and what you may improve on. Practice these specific troubles in a demo account throughout non-trading hours.

At the quit of every month, repeat. Review the charts for the whole month (extra quick this time). Note what you're doing well and what nevertheless desires paintings.

Outside of buying and selling overview time, your work is performed. There isn't any homework until you want to paintings on a particular trading difficulty.

A Final Word on the Day in the Life a Day Trader

Day buying and selling is not interesting; many days are simply pretty uninteresting. Most day buyers will admit that they love what they do, even though. If you already know your strategies nicely, not a lot will marvel you or get your adrenaline pumping...even though the final results of each trade is unknown whilst you are taking it. That does make it amusing, but it need to by no means be considered as gambling.

Most day investors have short days, working two to five hours in keeping with day. Five hours is high. Add on a few minutes every day for training, and review on the cease of the day and week, and day buying and selling still isn't very time-consuming. You can have masses of time to attention on other interests. This is the quit end result of quite a few practice, although. It frequently takes 5 months or more of strong practice each day and on weekends before you may open a live account and count on to make a regular income off simplest trading for a couple of hours an afternoon.

Stay targeted whilst you alternate, however additionally overview each week. Taking screenshots of each day you change presents a ancient document of each alternate you took, and because it shows the instances of the change this technique is advanced to a written buying and selling journal.