Day Trading Myths vs. Reality

stocktrading_1Most people want to find a way to work from home these days. And pretty much everybody with an interest in personal financial management has at least some interest in the stock market. Naturally, many of people find a solution that perfectly combines the two. That’s trying to turn day trading into an occupation!

In theory, this can be a pretty good gig. You get to work from home, you’re in full control of your investment portfolio, and there’s lucrative earning potential. But like a lot of other occupations, you don’t quite fully understand day trading until you’ve given it a shot. If this is something you want to consider, take a moment to read through some of these debunked myths about the supposed glories of the job.

1.) It’s A Six-and-a-Half Hour Work Day!

The people who tell you this aren’t wrong. You can check the trading hours. It’s true. But we’re also not in fantasy land. There’s no such thing as a six-and-a-half hour work day unless you’ve already made your millions or you’re in a very high-paying profession with a level of seniority that allows you to be complacent. If you try to day trade as a day job and stick only to open market hours, you’re either going to get lucky and succeed anyway, or crash and burn mightily—and it’s probably the latter. Between pre-market news and analysis, chart studies, after hours trading, and general preparation, there’s a lot that goes into day trading on either side of the official hours. I know, I know – this makes me a little sad too.

2.) You Can Work From Your Laptop

Except not really. Well, you can kind of work from a laptop. But if you’re really going to dive into day trading, you’re going to need a whole lot more to do it responsibly. Traders need lots of equipment and that includes powerful, reliable computers, multiplier monitors, high-end trading software, and the best possible WiFi routers for starters. You’ll also probably want note-taking materials, a television, and whatever else you need to make a cozy office environment. It’s not really that much given that you’re looking to make this your job—but you do need more than your everyday computer.

3.) It’s Basically Gambling

If I hear one more person say this, I’m going to punch a hole in the wall. Actually, I won’t, but it sounds like this guy will. He wrote up a list of 50 day trading myths, and this one is fairly positive. His argument is that the common assertion that day trading is akin to gambling couldn’t be further than the truth. This is because responsible day traders do enough preparation and analysis to give themselves better odds at success than one has gambling. That means it’s more of a profession than a game, but it also means it requires real work—and talent.  It isn’t like gambling using a ladbrokes bonus code.

4.) There’s A Holy Grail

Nothing to see here, folks. The idea is that when newcomers to the profession and pursue different strategies they begin to learn certain things that work and certain things that don’t. This leads them to believe (even if only subconsciously) that there’s some kind of “perfect” method out there. The good news is that you don’t actually need a holy grail to succeed in day trading. The bad news is that there was never one to begin with.

5.) You Have To Dive In Blind

There seems to be another popular myth that there’s no way to learn day trading besides diving in head first. In a way that’s true. But these days there are actually a lot of really helpful apps and programs that essentially allow you to trade fake money in a simulation of the real stock market. If you don’t use one of these tools to practice before trying your hand at day trading, you’re doing it wrong.