Day trading is something that has made a lot of people a huge amount of money in the past. But it’s not something they teach you about in school. Most people only discover it in their twenties, with many never investigating it at all.
Day trading is a little different from regular investing. Investors like Ray Dalio and Warren Buffett invest for the long-term. They buy a company they think is a good deal and then hold onto it, expecting the price to appreciate as the rest of the market catches up.
But with day trading, you’re not doing that at all. Instead, you’re looking for opportunities to make trades that exploit the market’s reaction to minute-by-minute information. For instance, traders will place bets on whether the central bank is going to raise interest rates or not. If they correctly predict what’s going to happen in advance, they can take advantage of the uncertainty in pricing in the market and make a nice, big fat profit.
So how do you make it as a day trader? Take a look at some of these secrets.
Keep an Economic Calendar Nearby
Long-term investors will tell you to ignore macroeconomics in general and just invest your money in great companies with solid management. But if you’re a day trader, you need to predict the effects of information as it hits the market. And that means it’s a good idea to keep an economic calendar nearby. This way, you can set up your positions in advance of receiving information from government institutions and company boards. You’ll want to track things like GDP announcements, interest rate decisions, consumer price indices and more.
Keep a Trade Diary
Many day traders believe that volume is key to making long-run profits. But that’s not always true. In fact, the most successful day traders tend to sit around most of the time, waiting for big opportunities that will land them outsized profits.
Keeping a trade diary is critical in this regard as it allows you to see where you’re making mistakes. Looking back over your journal shows you the trades that went wrong and, hopefully, why they didn’t work out. You can then use this information to make better decisions about where to invest your money in the future.
Practice First, Invest Later
Just like anything else, day trading requires a lot of practice to get right. Even if you have the necessary knowledge, you still need to invest time in confidential trading to get positive outcomes.
Smart traders, therefore, invest small amounts first to test the waters if they are beginners. And then, when they are more confident, move on to larger sums of money. Trading small amounts early on allows you to identify problems with your strategy so that you can improve.
Staying in a neutral frame of mind can be difficult when you’ve lost $500 by lunchtime. But it is critical to maintain your posture. As a trader, some days are going to go badly. That’s the inevitable nature of markets. What counts is how you respond. Worrying about losses can make you flustered, setting you up for more mistakes.