Learning how to day trade for a living in 2021 could be a smart move…
Life is all about perspective. You have to ask yourself what you can do to adapt to both the world now and the current stock market.
I think the insane 2020 and 2021 market is a great time to learn how to day trade for a living.
A lot of people have more flexibility in their schedules with lockdowns and the coronavirus pandemic. So for a lot of people, that means more time to put in the work and learn how to day trade for a living.
New traders are flooding the markets. It’s creating what I call a golden age of trading.
In this post, I’ll discuss how to day trade for a living. I’ll even cover questions newbies ask me all the time.
Hopefully, it’ll inspire you to focus on your trading education and better understand how to day trade for a living. Let’s go!
Table of Contents
- 1 Can You Make a Living Day Trading?
- 2 How Much Can You Make Day Trading?
- 3 What Is the Career Longevity of a Day Trader?
- 4 Benefits vs. Risks of Day Trading for a Living
- 5 Day Trading for Beginners
- 6 How to Make a Living as a Day Trader
- 7 Top Strategies to Start Day Trading for a Living
- 8 Example of a Basic Trading Concept: Support and Resistance
- 9 4 Tips You Need to Know Before You Start Day Trading for a Living
- 10 How to Day Trade for a Living: Conclusion
- 11 One Platform. One System. Every Tool
Can You Make a Living Day Trading?
This is one of the most common questions I get from people who want to learn how to day trade for a living.
The short answer: Yes, I know a lot of people who do trade for a living.
But just like anything in life that’s worthwhile, it isn’t easy. If it were, we’d all be millionaires and no one would have regular jobs.
If you talk to any successful traders they’ll probably tell you that they’re just regular people. The thing is … they all put in an intense amount of work, energy, time, and money to get to reach their goals.
Most people don’t want to pay that price. Let me tell you a secret: it’s always gonna be harder than you think.
But if you want a lifestyle where you can work for yourself from home … you have to go through the process just like they did.
Want to start with a no-cost education? Join me every day on Instagram Live! At 8:30 a.m. Eastern, I cover tickers and strategies. At noon, I zoom out for a macro view of the market. There’s so much you can learn — all from your smartphone. Follow StocksToTrade on Instagram here for my daily sessions.
How Much Can You Make Day Trading?
Yes, there are traders who make millions. But those results aren’t typical. All trading is risky. Big money takes a lot of hard work, dedication, and commitment. So start with a plan.
How much money will you start trading with? How much time will you put into your trading and education? What are your day trading strategies?
These are just a few questions you need to answer before you consider day trading for a living.
My thoughts? Start small and trade part time. Don’t put yourself in a situation where you have to rely on trading profits to pay bills. That’s stressful and can lead to bad trades. Give yourself space and time to concentrate on learning skills and strategies.
What Is the Career Longevity of a Day Trader?
There are a couple of different ways I can answer this question.
First, if you do things right, your day trading career can last the rest of your life.
Even if your day trading career is only part-time, you can find opportunities no matter what’s happening in the stock market.
But if you don’t study or manage your risk, your day trading career can be over in one single trade.
Feeling like you won’t last in these volatile markets? Check out “The Volatility Survival Guide” I helped my buddy Tim Sykes make. It’s crucial for this INSANE volatility.
Benefits vs. Risks of Day Trading for a Living
Let’s get real and look at both the pros and cons of day trading.
Potential Benefits of Day Trading
- Be your own boss. If you hate answering to someone and wanna choose your own schedule, day trading could be an option for you.
- Financial freedom. Day trading could be a way for dedicated, savvy traders to make extra income. And it doesn’t have to be a full-time career. If you trade part time with a small account, your gains can add up over time.
- Laptop lifestyle. A lot of people don’t like having to commute to an office. Having the flexibility to work from almost anywhere can be a huge benefit.
- Challenge and purpose. So many people don’t like their jobs. A skill like day trading can add excitement and purpose to your life — especially as you improve. Many day traders are entrepreneurs who want to build something for themselves.
- Useful skill. If you make trading work for your life, you’ll always have the skills to navigate the market.
Risks of Day Trading
- Losing money. Day trading is risky. Even if you know what you’re doing, you can make mistakes … You can also lose more money than you expect.
- Hefty time investment. If you take day trading seriously, you’ll be putting in a lot of time studying. That usually means sacrificing other things in your life.
- It’s HARD. Be prepared for a long road filled with lots of lessons and failure. You gotta love this and want it.
- It can be an emotional rollercoaster. You’ll experience many highs and lows. You have to learn how to manage your emotions.
Day Trading for Beginners
If you look over the positives and negatives and still decide you want to learn how to day trade for a living, it’s time for next steps. Let’s get to it!
How Much Money Do You Need to Start Day Trading?
It takes money to make money, right?
When it comes to day trading, that’s very true.
But you don’t need a lot of money to get started. You can start with a small account. How small depends on you and which broker you choose.
In fact, if you’re just getting started, I recommend you don’t use any capital at all. You can use a trading platform with a paper trading feature to mimic live trading with fake money.
StocksToTrade has what I think is the best paper trading platform available. We’ve designed it to make the paper trading feature as close to real trading as possible. You can set your account size, watchlists, and more. Check it out for yourself! A 14-day trial is just $7 — sign up now.
How Do Day Traders Make Money?
Day traders make money by trading the stock market, and entering and exiting trades on the same day.
Regular trading hours for major stock exchanges in the U.S. are from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Eastern every weekday except holidays.
A day trade is when a trader buys and sells (or sells short and covers) a stock within the same day.
How to Make a Living as a Day Trader
To make a living as a day trader, you have to keep learning and improving.
If you want to put little effort and make money consistently, look somewhere else. Day trading isn’t a get-rich-quick scheme.
It’s a never-ending process … but the rewards can be great. Here are some tips to get you started in the right direction.
1. Design Your Strategy
You have to have a strategy.
Day trading is risky, but you can potentially limit your risk with the right strategy for your needs.
So you must understand chart patterns.
Don’t enter a trade just because the stock is moving. You gotta watch for the patterns that can work with your strategy. If you see a stock is moving in a way that fits your setups, you can put together a trading plan.
2. Choose Your Broker
Ready to trade? First you need an account with a stock brokerage.
There are lots of different brokers. Make sure to find the one that fits your needs. Not all brokers are created equal … and some are better for particular strategies.
Do your research and pick a reputable broker. Need tips for finding the right broker? Start here with our top brokers available.
3. Keep a Trading Journal
I often talk about the importance of tracking your trades in a journal.
Learning to day trade feels like drinking from a fire hose at times. There’s so much to learn!
Tracking your trades will help you organize. You can better see where you need to focus so you can use your time more effectively. It’ll also allow you to be intentional with your adjustments after making mistakes.
Let’s face it … So much goes into learning how to day trade. There’s no way you can remember it all. That’s what your journal is for.
4. Never Stop Practicing
Trading is all about execution.
With day trading, you can create the perfect trade plan … but get caught like a deer in headlights when you start trading with actual cash.
Being a skilled trader involves training your brain to pick up on chart patterns … and entering and exiting trades with solid timing. And when things go against your plan, you have to manage your emotions and stay on track.
Nothing will replace screen time and practice when it comes to learning the process.
Start small and improve a little bit each day. That’s the only way to build real trading skills and the experience you’ll need to succeed.
That’s what I teach every day with the SteadyTrade Team. It’s our online trading mentorship program designed to help everyday traders find their way in the markets. Take your education to the next level — join us today.
Top Strategies to Start Day Trading for a Living
Day trading strategies are a HUGE topic. There’s so much that goes into them.
Before you get bogged down with the complexities of advanced technical indicators and chart patterns, focus on the basics of day trading.
A lot of traders jump to advanced trading concepts when they begin … But it’s the basics that can build a foundation for an understanding of what really works. And you can learn to adapt that to any market.
Example of a Basic Trading Concept: Support and Resistance
One of the most basic concepts in trading is support and resistance. Let’s break it down…
Support and resistance are levels on a stock chart where the price either pauses or reverses direction.
When you study charts, you’ll see the price of a stock hovers around certain levels repeatedly throughout its history. Take a look at the Blue Apron Holdings Inc. (NYSE: APRN) chart below…
The red line (around $12) is a support and resistance level. Notice how the price hovers around that area a lot. For some reason, the stock has difficulty significantly breaking through that area in the past six months.
Knowing information like this should affect your trading plans, no matter which strategy or setup you favor.
4 Tips You Need to Know Before You Start Day Trading for a Living
Before I close, here are some parting tips to help you on your journey toward day trading for a living.
1. KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid)
If you over-complicate your process, you can make it harder for yourself to learn and improve. You’ll be pulled in too many directions. It’s confusing and unnecessary.
As you simplify things, you’ll find that you’ll improve more quickly and the learning process can become much easier.
2. Don’t Quit Your Day Job
Remember, don’t put yourself in a position to depend on your profits just to live. It’s smarter to treat your trading career like a side hustle until you build the skills and account to find consistency.
3. Be Realistic About Your Profits
Don’t swing for the fences. That’s a good way to blow up your account. Smaller positions allow you to have more chances at-bat and learn. There’s no shame in going after base hits. Take the meat of the move and go on to the next trade.
4. Capitalize on Penny Stocks
Penny stocks are priced on the low end and are more accessible to traders — especially those with small accounts. You don’t need a lot of money to get started. But study and prepare. Don’t go in thinking it’s a fast or easy way to make money.
How to Day Trade for a Living: Conclusion
That’s a wrap on my ultimate guide on how to day trade for a living in 2021.
I know it’s a lot … but don’t get overwhelmed. If this is the journey for you, the important thing is just to get started.
Day trading for a living is possible if you put in the time, work, and energy … and if you don’t give up.
I’ve given you plenty of tips to move ahead smartly.
If you want mentorship and don’t want to go at it alone, I want to invite you to join the SteadyTrade Team today. Every day we provide you with guidance, trading education, and community. It’s all to help you build a process and become a smarter trader.
How do you feel about day trading for a living? Leave a comment!