The traditional 9-to-5 routine isn’t for everyone. If you have a family to look after, or health problems to take care of, it can feel like many doors are closed to you in terms of your career choices. However, if you have the right attitude, you could still have a successful career working from home as a day trader. While you need to take the time to educate yourself on the market of your choice, if you are prepared to invest in yourself and are ready to learn something new, day trading is definitely worth your consideration. In this blog, we will go over what day trading actually is, and the skills and personal qualities you need to have to ensure your success.
What does a day trader do?
Day trading is most common on the stock and forex (foreign exchange) markets. As the name suggests, day traders are those who buy and sell their securities on a daily basis, rarely carrying any open positions over to the next day, with the overall aim of making several short-term profits.
Some day traders work professionally on behalf of big firms or hedge funds, which gives them the advantage of more sophisticated software, access to a trading desk, and larger amounts of capital and leverage to use. However, many day traders operate from home – and as long as you have the time and space in your day, you can too!
Why should I consider becoming a day trader?
There are many reasons to consider becoming a day trader. These include:
As a day trader, you can make your own schedule. Whether you want to commit to a full 40-hour working week, or just want to make a little bit of money alongside your day job, with day trading you have the freedom to enter and exit trades as often as you like. Day traders rarely hold their trades overnight, so this short-term trading style may suit those who want to see quick profits. Furthermore, a specific advantage of the forex market is that it is closed during the weekend, so this gives you time off for study and for the other important things in your life.
- Working from home
In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, many of us have discovered an appreciation for working from home, and as a day trader this is a lifestyle that is easily achievable. All you need to trade from the comfort of your own home is a computer with a reliable internet connection, the right trading software, and preferably at least two monitors to keep an eye on your charts and technical indicators. Day trading can easily fit around your other personal commitments, and eliminates the stress of a daily commute and office life!
- Making (and keeping) your own income
As a day trader, how much money you make is completely in your hands. You don’t have to follow someone else’s strategy and share your profits with them – you alone reap the rewards of your hard work. If you prefer to work independently, this may be a particular point of appeal for you.
What skills do I need to have to be a successful day trader?
The most important requirements for a career as a day trader involve your personal qualities. Trading can be a stressful activity filled with highs and lows on a daily basis, so having a good understanding of your emotional intelligence will be incredibly useful. You can find our article with our top ten tips for new traders here (https://www.fxcareerswap.com/top-10-trading-tips-for-new-traders/), but some other attributes that successful day traders have include:
As a day trader, you cannot be as picky or indecisive as someone who is making a longer-term investment. The market can change in hours, if not minutes, so you need to have a sharp eye to identify trends as they begin and to be able to recognise the best buying or selling opportunities at a moment’s notice.
- Emotional control
It’s vital to make sure that you make every trading decision rationally with a clear mind. Your mental capital is just as important as your financial capital. Roll with the punches and don’t let any losses keep you down, but at the same time you must be careful not to run away with the thrill of a profit and make a poorly thought-out decision as a result. If you feel like your emotions are making your decisions for you, take a break and reflect on why that’s happening.
If you prepare a thorough trading plan and take the time to do your research, this should come naturally. Despite the quickly-moving nature of the markets, if you plan ahead for these changes then things should keep running smoothly for you. You have nobody to explain your trading choices to but yourself, so make the most of this independence and stay focused!
This is about recognising your personal and financial limits. If you only want to trade during certain hours of the day, build yourself a routine so that you can make the most of them. Furthermore, as should be the case whenever you’re making a financial decision that isn’t completely risk-free, you should never invest more than you are willing to lose. In an ideal world, every trade would be a win, but knowing when to call time on a trade is important for the sake of both your emotional and financial peace of mind.
Do I need any qualifications to begin day trading?
The good news is that no, there are no formal qualifications you need to begin day trading. However, that isn’t to say that you don’t need a financial education. Joining trading groups, seeking a mentor and/or following a course of study are all great ways to gain the foundational knowledge you need to get yourself started in day trading – and at FX Career Swap, we provide all of these.
Our New 2 Trading course is perfect for beginners, and will set you up with the essential knowledge you need to make your first successful Forex trades over the course of 15 bespoke modules. We also offer exclusive mentorship from our head trader, Patrick Munnelly, who hosts twice-weekly webinars which will give you the opportunity to ask your trading or course questions to an experienced professional. If you already have some experience of FX trading but want to expand your knowledge even further, our Trade Pro course will give you access to all this plus an extra 6 modules, as well as a fully-funded trading account to help get you started on your trading journey with us.
However you decide to begin day trading, as long as you maintain the right attitude, plan thoroughly and keep up-to-date with your market knowledge, your hard work should pay off sooner than you’d expect.
Our free Facebook group, The Trader Blueprint, offers regular market insights and analysis from our head traders, our current students, and other Forex traders from around the world. Visit the page here to join our exclusive community, or if you want to find out more about our industry-leading FX courses, click here to book a call with one of our advisors and kick off your journey towards financial independence today!