How long does it take to learn day trading? In some ways, day trading is the best job in the world. And some days, it’s the worst job in the world. It doesn’t take a rock scientist to figure out that the days you make money are good. But then there are the days trade would go against me so badly that I thought my heart would stop. My ah-ha moment was nothing short of a spiritual awakening. I learned what I was good at, what I sucked at, and basically what threw me off the rails mentally.
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How Long Does It Take to Become a Profitable Day Trader?
If you’re wondering how long it takes to learn day trading and become profitable, I’m here to tell you there’s no one answer. It depends on you. If you want to be a profitable day trader, you have to be willing to put in the work. It takes hard work, dedication, study, and practice.
That means avoiding over-trading, managing your emotions, building a plan, and sticking to it. It’s not about just following someone’s trades.
Mirror trading isn’t something that works well on most occasions. If you’re copying someone’s trades, chances are your entries, exits, and risk management are different. And that can hinder your profitability.
So when you take the time to learn how to day trade and be willing for it to take time, it would be best if you also learned when not to day trade. Because there are some days you should sit out.
Hope Is Not a Strategy
I remember one time in particular when I followed my entry strategy to a T and went long. It was a pre-market gapper upon positive news on a drug trial. So, I charted my resistance lines, the previous day’s close price, and the pre-market high. I thought to wait for the pull-back and short into over-head resistance as I didn’t think it would hold the pre-market resistance. Sure enough, it hit the pre-market high twice upon opening, and I took that as a resistance sign and shorted.
But I failed to notice the level 2 data and volume—a rookie mistake. If I did, I would have noticed the strong buying push with all the buyers on level 2. But nope, I didn’t look at level two. So, sure enough, the candle blew through the pre-market high, and I was left hoping and wishing it would just come down. I was standing there holding bags like the grocery packer at Kroger.
You don’t need hope; you need a solid strategy.
| Learn how to read penny stock charts, premarket preparation, target buy and sell zones, scan for stocks to trade, and get ready for live day trading action
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Trading Strategies Available
If there’s one thing I know for sure in this world, it’s this: Too many choices equals overwhelm, which (sometimes) equals poor decision-making or none.
Let me illustrate this for you. Let me pick on Starbucks for a moment here. Did you know there are over 80,000 ways to drink a Starbucks beverage? So many choices are exciting, and you must try as many as possible.
Even though you have a tried and tested Starbucks drink, you order three for fun. I’d be remiss, not to mention they come at a hefty cost of $15. Not only did you not enjoy them, but you also threw $15 bucks away when you could have just ordered your go-to drink.
This applies to all areas of life, including trading. For fun, I typed in day trading strategies, and the first hit had 50 different strategies. Do you think throwing money down on 50 different trading strategies is wise? So, if you’re wondering how long it takes to learn day trading, I’d say a long time if you’re playing around with different strategies.
The main point I’m trying to convey is to keep it simple. Stick with one or two strategies until they work. If you do this faithfully, the money will come. Why don’t you head to our blog, where we extensively cover the different trading strategies? There’s no need to be overwhelmed because we break it all down for you when learning how long it takes to learn day trading.
Is Day Trading Hard to Learn?
It can be. Day trading can be extremely volatile. And when you’re new, that can be overwhelming. You need to be able to make split-second decisions. So, things like hotkeys are handy, which means more practice—and learning. If you want to know how long it takes to learn day trading, know you must be willing to do the work. Anything hard is typically worth working for.
If you’re serious about how long it takes to learn day trading, you must put in some sweat equity. Like any other endeavor you seek to master, you must be a good student and diligently practice daily. Not to be dismal, but only about 4% of people will make it as successful day traders. Further, it takes about six months to a year of hard work before seeing those consistent profits.
Like life, consistently profitable in the stock market is not a destination. You don’t become profitable and then get to relax; each trading day demands focus on following your trading plan. As we say at Bullish Bears, plan your trade and trade your plan.
How Long Does It Take to Learn Day Trading With Risk Management
Not all risk is bad. It would be best to take risks lest you risk going backward. Sadly but surely, some people take on too many risks and go bankrupt. Some don’t take enough risks and wonder why life has passed them by. The key is to understand your capacity to take on risk, or in other words, your risk tolerance.
For instance, when I started to trade, I was so scared to take a loss that I would immediately lock in even the smallest profits. Granted, I thought I was making money but failed to account for the commissions. Sadly but surely, when the dust settled, I lost money.
Remember, every return you expect comes with a risk. If a trade seems profitable, you must know how much money you stand to lose if things go sideways. And as always, don’t trade with more than you can afford to lose. Once you have a strategy to reduce risk, making trades or decisions about anything is easier. Before investing in any large venture, I run my version of a Monte Carlo Simulation. One always needs to understand the long-term impacts of a decision.
Do not lose sight of your risk tolerance or capacity to take on risk. If you can’t stomach the price-action roller coaster of the stock market, maybe you would be better off swing trading or investing.
Learn to Control Your Emotions
This is where I want you to envision me holding a bad that would make ….envious. That coupled with the fact that I was sweating, praying, on the verge of tears, yelling at my stupid internet provider, my bf…all over the fact that I was guilty of…I didn’t cut my losses and run.
I just sat there, looking as stupid as ever, mulling over that I lost $1300. Why? Why did I let my emotions get the best of me? Greed? Excitement? I know I sure do love a good adrenaline rush. It was a hot stock tip; what could go wrong? Hindsight is always 20/20.
If you’re the type of person who can’t handle the emotions associated with day trading, don’t fret; you have options. Instead of the volatile day trading market, you might have more comfortable swing trading.
Final Thoughts: How Long Does It Take to Learn Day Trading?
How long does it take to learn day trading? Why don’t you start day trading with simple patterns that make sense? There’s no need to use complicated strategies with mathematical formulas or calculations. Undoubtedly, the most successful traders never forget the basics: Keep it simple. Learning to trade stocks can be fun if you aren’t overdoing it.