Day Trader

Day Trader


New York, NY

Male, 32

Day Trading: is it a game? A skill? A science? Instinct? Luck? I have no idea, but I do it for a living. Day traders employ a mix of speed, instinct, guts, knowledge and emotional intelligence to trade millions of dollars with a keystroke. The faint of heart need not apply. Ask me anything.

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37 Questions


Last Answer on August 23, 2012

Best Rated

What advantage do you have working for a trading firm as opposed to online trading from home?

Asked by Jen over 5 years ago

Hi Jen, Please see my answer above to the question, "What stops successful traders from leaving to become independent traders (or starting their own firm), instead of sharing their profits with a firm?"

What's the difference between a trader and a hedge fun guy?

Asked by C.J. over 5 years ago

Well, they are both in finance and they both buy and sell securities, but after that there isn't too much in common. The most basic way I can explain the difference is this: Day traders often make hundreds of trades a day based on order flow. Hedge fund guys are trying to find angles/value/market inefficiencies and may spend weeks or months picking their investments. Thats oversimplifying it, but what day traders and hedge funds do really aren't very similar, so its a tough comparison.

Will you get fired if you have a bad week / month / year?

Asked by DaveJP over 5 years ago

It all depends on a trader's previous success. IF you've shown you can make $50k in a month, then losing $50k in a month is no big deal. As long as your losses stay within proportion to your gains, you won't be fired. But if a trader is making $10k a month and all the sudden drops $100k pretty fast and doesn't look like he's able to turn it around, he is in trouble. It’s also in his best interests to just quit, since he probably won't see a paycheck for a long time anyway.

How much luck is involved? Are there well-respected day traders at your company who you think are just getting lucky?

Asked by BringIT over 5 years ago

If we define luck as random chance, then 0% of it is luck. If we want to include variance in the definition of luck than there is plenty. Generally daytraders are making so many trades in a day that the sample size gets pretty high, pretty fast, and it’s next to impossible for any consistent success to be based on luck. The same few guys are the best traders at the firm every year, month and even week. You can certainly make bad trades and luck out and make money on it and you can make good trades and lose on them, but make enough bad trades or good trades and eventually you will earn what your combined decisions suggest you should earn. Daytraders are trading hundreds of thousands of shares a day and so reversion to the mean happens fairly quickly. There is definitely a lot of variance, but very little "luck" as strictly defined.

What's the male : female ratio among traders at your firm?

Asked by epique almost 6 years ago

There are two female traders and over 100 male traders. I don't think this has anything to do with the hiring practices of the firm. Day trading does not seem to be a business that attracts many females.

Do you trade your money or your employer's?

Asked by retro_travis almost 6 years ago

I trade 100% my employer's money, which I think is pretty rare. I think at most purely day trading places, traders are expected to put up some percentage of money. At the more successful firms the company will provide all the capital, but as I said, this is rare.

Do different day trading shops employ different trading strategies? Are some consistently more profitable than others?

Asked by MAT14 almost 6 years ago

Yes and Yes. Every individual trader is going to have his own style and his own strategies, but firms are going to have some styles and strategies that tend to work better for them, that they are able to teach better, and that their trading program is built around. Its only natural. There are trading "shops" that are consistently successful and make a lot of money. Other shops don't do nearly as well. The quality of recruits, training, and especially in today's trading world, technology, make a huge difference in the success of different firms.