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I suspect that many individuals that have not been in a day trading community for a while would respond that the words “day trader” describe someone who makes millions trading stocks in the stock market.  Due to the exorbitant number of social media gurus displaying their most expensive assets (cars, houses, clothing, jewelry, meals, etc.), it is understandable why they would have this perspective.  These expert marketers cause them to fall under the spell of the greed monster – a powerful desire to become rich.  A craving so strong that people are willing to mortgage their homes, sell their worldly possessions, ruin relationships, and blow up their financial accounts for just a small piece of the pie.  I am not sure if it is because they think this career choice will bring them some level of social status or prestige, or perhaps bring them power and influence over others. But the reality is that only 10% of those that attempt to become a day trader will actually achieve success.

Where Lambo?

Too many people decide that they want to try day trading and expect to become filthy rich overnight.  Have you ever heard the saying “where Lambo” and wonder what that means?  It is symbolic of individuals that made some money trading, probably due to luck, and immediately expected to buy themselves luxury items, such a Lambo. They expected to be like the social media gurus that caused their cravings to begin in the first place. For me, I was no different than those individuals that originally thought money was easily made in the market.  I too thought “day trader” meant a job that I could pick up quickly and begin to live a life of luxury and comfort.  Boy was I wrong. Trading is hard.  How hard? Very hard, but not impossible.

Characteristics of a Day Trader

The road to become a day trader is a journey that takes time and a lot of hard work.  Some use the phrase “It is a marathon, not a sprint”. Personally, I do not like that phrase as it refers to speed, which should not be the focus with the development of skill in trading.  Instead, I like to refer to that journey as like climbing a mountain and not a hill. Climbing a mountain is something that takes both physical and mental abilities to make it to the top. Physically, you need endurance and stamina to walk for long periods of time, hike, and climb in different altitudes.  You need strength, balance, and flexibility to traverse some unpredictable terrain like snow, ice, and loose rocks.  Mentally, you need coping strategies, determination, and tons of focus.  You need the intelligence to know what to pack such as the appropriate clothing and food to keep you nourished and safe from the elements.  Most importantly, you need a tremendous amount of education to know how to proceed with climbing a mountain.  It might take years of physical and mental training to be able to climb a mountain such as Mount Everest.  Without learning first, you might encounter a bear and not know what to do.

These characteristics required for learning to climbing a mountain shared above are quite similar to those required for learning to day trade. Physically, you need the skill of patience.  Patience to sit and wait, watch, wonder, and sometimes do absolutely nothing at all (the hardest skill of all). You are probably saying – that is NOT physical.  I beg to differ.  Try it sometime and see how it makes your body feel as you quiver and tense up, holding back the fear of missing out.  Mentally, you need the same coping strategies, determination, and tons of focus required for the mountain climb. You need the intelligence to select the correct stocks to trade.  You need the discipline to know how to keep yourself and your account safe.  You need the skill to endure multiple market cycles.  Most importantly, you need the education to know how to keep the bulls and bears from squeezing you to death!  Are you ready to climb?

Image of a man helping a woman up a mountain. Image by Baloghabalazs

Be Humbled!

Along my own journey, I learned that you will NOT be one of the 10% that make it until you can get it through your thick head that day trading does not equate to getting rich quick.  I have been humbled by the successful traders I see in My Investing Club every day.  I have been humbled by the education I am receiving and that which I still have to receive.  I have been humbled by a community of like-minded traders that I call family, yet hardly know any of them.  I have been humbled by great losses both financially and beyond.  We all have, or at least will at some time in our journey.  It is what we do about it after that defines us.

In your own pursuit of financial freedom and flexibility to enjoy your life to the fullest, remember that the right education is what will shorten your learning curve to get there. I have noticed that those that are successful are the ones that slowly build their accounts while still holding on to a full-time job.  Maintaining that full-time job keeps you from over trading or trading stupid things because you “need” the money to pay your bills.  Having that steady income from a full-time job keeps you from wearing thin your mental capital.

To close the loop on what the words “day trader” mean to me, I would say that it refers to a person that put in tons of time to learn how to trade stocks in the market so that they have a valuable skill that they can use for the rest of their lives.  Most, if not all, will have been humbled at one point or another during that learning process.

Education is Essential

I am glad you found this blog and read it to the end.  This tells me that you have an interest in taking the right steps to climb that mountain. This blog will not be about get rich quick strategies.  Instead, it will be about everything you need to know about being “new”. Being new is never easy, and no different when being new as a day trader.  This blog will include details about the education available at My Investing Club and how being a member can transform your journey. Stop losing money following live trades online.  Instead learn how to independently decide what, when, and how to trade. The right education is at My Investing Club (MIC).  The time is now!

If you are interested in joining MIC for a discount, or upgrading your current membership, here is a discount link for you to use.


About the Author
119 posts

Nancy is a day trader based in New York, who began her trading journey in 2019, with a primary focus on scalping large cap stocks using stocks and options. Balancing her passion for trading with a career as a full-time college professor, Nancy demonstrates an impressive ability to excel in multiple fields. In her free time, Nancy delights in cooking up delicious meals and exploring the outdoors on her bike. Her love for teaching and sharing knowledge extends beyond academia, as she leads an 8-week Trading Basics Guided Learning series for new traders and a 3-week Options Basics Guided Learning series for experienced traders in My Investing Club. Nancy's expertise in statistical analysis has made her a valuable asset to the trading community, as she is responsible for analyzing the MIC monthly watch lists. Her commitment to helping others succeed in their trading endeavors, along with her own accomplishments, has made her a respected figure in the world of day trading. With a unique blend of intellectual curiosity, dedication, and a love for teaching, Nancy continues to make a positive impact on her students and fellow traders alike, both in the classroom and the trading world.