In some ways, day trading is the best job in the world. And some days, it’s the worst job in the world. I guess it doesn’t take a rock scientist to figure out the days you make money are the good days. But then there are the days in which a trade would go against me so bad; I thought my heart was going to stop. My ah-ha moment was nothing short of a spiritual awakening. I learned what I was really good at, what I sucked at and basically what threw me off the rails mentally. So without further ado, here’s what I learned if you’re wondering how long does it take to learn day trading.
How Long Does It Take to Become a Profitable Day Trader?
If you’re wondering how long does it take to learn day trading and become profitable it, 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 learning how to avoid over trading, managing your emotions, and 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. In fact, you also need to learn when not to day trade. Because there are some days you should just sit out.
Hope Is Not a Strategy
I can think back to one time in particular in which 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, previous day close price and pre-market high. My thought was 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 take notice of the level 2 data and volume—rookie mistake. If I did, I would have noticed the strong buying push with all the buyers coming in 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.
The Trading Strategies Available to You Will Be Overwhelming
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 at all.
Let me illustrate this for you. Let me pick on Starbucks for a moment here. Did you know that there are over 80,000 ways to drink a Starbucks beverage? So many choices are exciting, and you have to try as many as you can.
Even though you have a tried and tested Starbuck drink, you order three different drinks just 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 it’s wise to throw money down on 50 different trading strategies? So if you’re wondering how long does 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 get across 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 on over to our blog, where we cover the different trading strategies in depth. There’s no need to be overwhelmed because we break it all down for you when learning how long does it take 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 hot keys come in handy. Which means more practice. And learning. If you want to know how long does it take to learn day trading, just know you have to be willing to put in the work. Anything hard is typically worth working for.
The Overnight Success Myth
If you’re serious about how long does it take to learn day trading, you need to put some sweat equity. Like any other endeavor in life you seek to master, you must be a good student and diligently practice every day. Not to be dismal, but only about 4% of people will make it as successful day traders. Further to that, it takes about six months to a year of hard work before you start seeing those consistent profits.
Like life, being 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. In fact, you need to take risks lest you run the risk of going backwards in life. Sadly but surely, some people take on too many risks and go bankrupt. Some don’t take enough risks, and they wonder why life has passed them by. The key is, is to understand your capacity to take on risk, or in other words, your risk tolerance.
For instance, when I first started to trade, I was so scared to take a loss, I would immediately lock in even the smallest of profits. Granted, I thought I was making money, but what I failed to account for was the commissions. Sadly but surely, when the dust settled, I, in fact, lost money.
Remember, every return you expect comes with a risk. If a trade seems to be 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, it’s easier to make trades or decisions about anything. Personally, before I make an investment in any large venture, I run my own 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 your capacity to take on risk. If you are the type of person who can’t stomach the price-action roller coaster of the stock market, maybe you would be better off swing trading or even investing.
If You Don’t Learn to Control Your Emotions, They’ll Control You
This is the point where I want you to envision me holding a bad that would even make ….envious. That coupled with the fact that it 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 the fact that I just 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. Heck, it was a hot stock tip; what possibly 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.
My Closing Thoughts
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. Without a doubt, the most successful traders never forget the basics: Keep it simple. Learning how to trade stocks can be fun, as long as you aren’t overdoing it.
At Bullish Bears, we want to narrow your 80,000 options down to two. Trading is not an exact science, but Bullish Bears will help you unravel the unknown. Learn the essentials in our free day trading courses or follow our stock signals.