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Anybody a regular day trader?

Started by Sam, December 06, 2018, 04:39:57 PM

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Anybody a regular day trader, and actually successful at it? I used to do a lot of day trading when I was younger, but found it to be stressful, distracting, and hit or miss.

But now that volatility is back and I don't have a job, I'm considering getting more active.

Today, I just had to day trade when the Dow was plummeting another 750+ points after the 800 decline in Dec 5. Made about $6,500 just buying the S&P 500 in the morning and selling at the close, but could have made $15K-$20K if I timed it perfectly. Not sure if this is a waste of time, but I was thinking of carving out some money to just trade.





I used to be for the experience when I was between jobs.  I found trading stocks for long term profit were hit or miss, but I found if I listened to MSNBC and they talked about a stock that missed earnings, etc. that the stock would plummet and by the end of the day recover enough to make the sale and some profit.  Made $8K on one stock, with maybe 1000 shares, in a couple of hours that way.  So if you want to dabble a little, maybe start there and see how it pans out and if it brings that anxiety back.


You would know better than most of us, Sam, but from what I read and hear it's very hard to make consistently good trades, and basically expect to lose 9 out of 10 bets and hope that 1 is good enough to make up for it. I don't love those odds, but the prospect of taking some play money and seeing if I can eek $500 to $1000 a day is sexy, I admit.

I always say if I get a little better padded in my investment accounts, I could see dedicating $50K or so to try and day trade, but that $50K always looks better to me in VTSAX or another safer investment fund than a brokerage account.

I also know that I'm a buy and hold guy, through and through, and the idea of making minute little trades to try and squeeze a few hundred bucks every day would probably stress me completely out. The closest I ever came was dabbling in small values of crypto currency last year around this time. Made a few hundred here or there, and then lost any gains I made during the eventual crash in Feb 2018. In the end, lost a little bit of money, but nothing I really cared too much about, couple thousand maybe... and it was fun while it lasted. I can see that happening with day trading, but $50K is a heck of a lot more to lose than a couple thousand, and I really don't know if you can effectively day trade on single digit thousands like you could with the coins.

Anyway...  8)


I couldn't help myself and had to buy the S&P when it started collapsing to 2,600 and below today. Maybe I'm just a gambler at heart, but valuations look attractive, we were just at 2,800 a couple weeks ago, and things aren't THAT bad to warrant a 7.1% collapse so quickly.

We shall see.


Fat Tony

I subscribe to the school of thought that says - the less you check the markets and your portfolio, the better decisions you'll make. I end up doing at least a quarterly check-in, and there's always more drama at the end of the year with tax decisions, reallocations, tax loss harvesting, etc. I try to make every investment of mine for the long term with very few trades involved - I don't day trade stocks and am quite glad I never did.

I know enough people who work at, or used to work at hedge funds and high-frequency trading firms. These are some pretty brilliant minds with oodles of infrastructure behind them - I'm not fighting them in what is a very short-term efficient market.


I'm a regular trader. I've been trading for over five years now and I am finally becoming more consistently right though not always profitable because I trade options. I figured that the only way I can make big money is if I play in the riskier instruments. Most of my losers are primarily from using the wrong time frame for my options. Something I wouldn't have an issue with trading and holding shares of a stock but it wouldn't be as profitable either.

I just started a family and friends brokerage account which I am primarily going to focus on undervalued dividend-paying stocks with a smaller stake in options. I don't mind taking huge risks with my own money but I don't feel comfortable doing it with my family's.