Archive for February, 2010

Day Trading: The Perfect Job

Low cost of entry. Great earning potential. No selling. Work from your home… in your PJ’s if you want. Sound like a great job? There is little argument that day trading can be one of the best jobs on he planet. But you have to learn to trade and up until ten years ago the only real traders were parked behind massive computers at investment banks or worked directly on the floor of the exchanges.

But that has all changed, and now day trading the ES Emini is within the reach of anyone with a computer. In the last 10 years, the exchanges have started developing products called “emini” contracts that are inexpensive and efficient for the small day trader to trade. With some training, it is possible to earn an impressive living trading from your home. This has created a veritable stampede of individual day traders into the markets, with mixed results.

Mixed results? I’ve been a trader in a professional capacity for a good portion of my life and have traded at both the retail and institutional level. The markets take some specific training to master, and common sense is not a quality I would use to describe market price action. At times, the market seems to move in ways that defy logic. That is why you need specific training to learn to stay away from bad trades.

There are many times that simply looking at the market and the price action occurring would lead you to a conclusion a certain outcome is inevitable. However, there are momentum oscillators and rate-of-change indicators that would show you that the move you are observing is simply “market noise” and not a good trading opportunity at all. You learn to look for specific set-ups that consistently produce profitable results. This skill is developed through training and experience. Still, many novice traders open a futures trading account and start trading without the proper education and the results are disastrous. It doesn’t have to be that way. You can be a very successful trader.

Learning to trade takes a steady hand and the ability to control your emotions. That, in itself, is no small feat, but emotions (specifically greed) are one of the toughest obstacles every trader must master. We are trained to look for specific set-ups, and taking trades that do not match the criterion we are looking for spell a losing trade. It also takes a good bit of time to acclimate yourself to the constant movement in the market as traders buy and sell.

The ES Emini contract trades well over a million contracts a day. That is a lot of traders buying and selling. Not all market price movement is indicative of a suitable entry to profit-you learn to discipline yourself to spot those specific instances when the market is primed to move in one direction and take a trade in that direction.

What has become very interesting is the wide range of individuals who now day trade for a living. I know housewives, lawyers, a doctor… a wide range of people have found this vocation resonates with their sense of work. And it has it’s advantages, too.

Day trading allow you to get your life back from the 9-5 grind of a regular job. I get to spend more time with my family and children, along with having time for some of the leisure pursuits I have always dreamed of doing. Trading is for everyone, but most people can be taught to trade with profitable results, and you only improve as you gain more and more experience. It doesn’t take a college degree or PHD in physics to trade, just a willingness to learn and follow specific directions. And really, is that so hard