FXCM Insights

Can You Day Trade For A Living?

Modern technology has given aspiring traders access to a wide spectrum of financial markets, creating the possibility of an individual being a part-time day trader as well as a full-time employee. As a result, day trading is seen by many as a great way of supplementing an established income without having to acquire a second job.

Often, a period of success in the marketplace prompts one to raise the question: “Can I day trade for a living?”

Taking The Plunge: From Part-Time Trader To Market Professional

Making the transition from part-time trader to full-time market professional is a potentially rewarding, yet perilous, endeavour. Day trading as a profession is a completely separate undertaking from trading as a hobby or secondary venture. In order for an individual to survive in the ultra-competitive environment, one must possess the talent, discipline and passion for the financial markets.

Before typing up a letter of resignation, a thorough understanding of what the life of a day trader entails is necessary:

Day Trading For A Living: Necessities

Day trading can be an attractive alternative to conventional employment for numerous reasons. Professional autonomy, financial freedom and the ability to live life on one’s own terms are enticing upsides to many individuals interested in engaging the financial markets for a living.

However, the presence of a few items is 100% non-negotiable when joining the arena of professional day trading. It is well advised that an aspiring trading professional performs his or her due diligence in securing the absolute best components for the job:

Putting It All Together: Day Trading For A Living

Technically, anyone with the proper equipment, money and brokerage support is able to enter the marketplace. Of course, longevity is not assured. Statistics show that upwards of 90% of all new traders fail, eventually leaving the market altogether.1)Retrieved 20 June 2017 http://www.businessinsider.com/what-percentage-of-traders-make-it-2011-6 There is absolutely no doubt that active trading is a hyper-competitive job with a large turnover.

While success in the marketplace can be elusive, there are steps that may be taken to lessen the chances of becoming a casualty of the markets:

Given a viable trading plan, regular evaluation and ongoing education, an individual has an opportunity to become a profitable day trader.


Day trading can be a rewarding profession, providing an abundance of personal satisfaction and financial freedom. Given the proper psychology, inputs and methodology, it is possible to achieve success in the marketplace.

Nevertheless, be forewarned. The short-term trading of any market or security as one’s sole source of income is an all-consuming undertaking, and not suitable for everyone. The pressure of not having a stable income to fall back on can be overwhelming, as can enduring capital loss or long periods of break-even trading.

Additional Reading

Any opinions, news, research, analyses, prices, other information, or links to third-party sites are provided as general market commentary and do not constitute investment advice. FXCM will not accept liability for any loss or damage including, without limitation, to any loss of profit which may arise directly or indirectly from use of or reliance on such information.

References   [ + ]