HOW TO DAY TRADE: Complete Guide to Day Trading for Beginners

how to day trade
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With the many risks associated with day trading, you can still gain massively from it if you do things right. This guide will take you through easy steps to day trade in stocks, forex, and crypto. And, in case you’re wondering how much money you will need to day trade, we’ve broken down everything you need to know. 

What Does It Mean To Day Trade?

To day trade means to buy and sell stocks within a trading day. Day traders concentrate on liquid investments that fluctuate quickly. Buys are made in bulk and then sold when the price rises during the day.

To day trade involves timing the market, which involves experience, knowledge, a lot of luck, and the knowing that it may not work out. Day traders must have steely nerves. Day trading is a high-risk approach that is not suitable for most investors. While your investments may improve in value, they may also decrease considerably. Many day traders have lost everything because they misunderstood the market.

How to Day Trade

If you want to day trade, you’ll probably need to conduct some study and planning. Here is some information to assist you to get started in the day trading game.

#1. Understand the market.

Before you invest one dollar in day trading, be sure you understand what you’re (literally) signing up for. It is not enough to have a general understanding of the stock market; you must also comprehend how global events affect volatility, how transactions work, how different industries respond, and how to forecast swings. Many day traders specialize in a particular business.

#2. Plan a strategy.

There are numerous day trading techniques, and there are classes and online resources to help you grasp the process, approach, and risk/return. Begin by researching actual trades and tactics. You might try a contrarian strategy or trend tracking. Just keep in mind that all trading techniques are based on guesswork. There are numerous free services available online that allow you to observe live trading, examine stock charts and trends, and read financial studies. How would you manage the trade? When would you sell, how much are you ready to risk, and how would you fare if you used your trading strategy?

#3. Create a trial account.

Set up a practice account before putting your money at risk. You can buy and sell in real time, but only in a secure environment as you learn more about reading the market, trends and swings, how much to risk, and when. Practice, practice, practice. You can build, hone, and perfect your approach in a demo setting that will not cost you your home if you get it wrong. Continue to test your strategy until you are satisfied.

#4. Set goals and understand your limitations.

It takes time to learn day trading. Especially when you start trading with real money. You must trade while markets are open: failing to sell because you did not complete the deal before the exchange closed can be a costly lesson if the stock/future/currency swings overnight.

While most employers will not understand why you need to leave a meeting to execute a transaction, we do not recommend quitting your day job. That shouldn’t happen unless your profits consistently exceed your take-home income.

You should put a realistic limit on how much money you are willing to spend on day trading, especially at the start. If you cannot afford to lose money, then day trading may not be for you. No strategy or investment process can protect you against a stock market crash caused by an unforeseeable catastrophe. The temptation of the gain, similar to gambling, can be exhilarating, but it can also be a siren song to bankruptcy and foreclosure. Many people have attempted to trade their way out of a hole, only to panic, quit reading the market (or discover that they were unable to), and find themselves in a far deeper hole.

#5. Research the tax consequences.

It’s best to know ahead of time how your day trading profits will be taxed, so consult with your financial advisor, accountant, or a tax specialist. In many countries, the tax treatment may differ depending on whether you are considered a “investor” or a “trader” who does this for a living. There may be laws governing the amount of time between trades, how capital gains and losses are treated, and what qualifies you to be a professional day trader.

#6. Choose a broker.

Any day trading activity is handled through an investing platform, thus this is one of the most significant measures you can take before beginning to day trade. Not only will this broker be in control of your account, but you will also be executing transactions through their trading platform, which must be trustworthy when the timing is critical. Because reputation and knowledge are important, take the time to identify the ideal fit for you and your goals.

How to Day Trade Crypto

The fundamental beginning point for trading cryptocurrencies is to have some amount of your chosen currency (for example, Bitcoin) and the ability to trade that currency.

The simplest approach to day trade cryptocurrency is to open an account with one of the top centralized crypto exchanges (e.g., Coinbase or Kraken), fill your account with fiat cash, and buy your desired coin.

From there, you can utilize one of the day trading tactics listed below to begin day trading cryptocurrency.

Tips On How To Day Trade Crypto

The difference between gambling and trading is a successful technique. A good strategy can be the difference between one or two lucky streaks and consistent long-term returns. Depending on the nature of the market and your skills, you can employ various trading methods in various conditions. It is your responsibility to comprehend the market and determine whether it is suitable to employ a particular strategy.

Here are a few crypto trading tactics you may utilize to learn more about how to day trade cryptocurrency.

#1. High-Frequency Trading (HFT)

High-frequency trading is a practice that takes advantage of price movements that occur on the order of seconds or fractions of seconds. The frequency in question is frequently on the order of dozens of trades per second—far beyond the competence of a human trader.

The only method to engage in high-frequency trading is to use a piece of software known as a trading bot. The bot continuously watches the market first. Afterwards, based on the trading logic provided, makes transactions as long as it is connected to the exchange. High-frequency trading can be integrated with many different tactics by implementing appropriate trade logic.

#2. Scalping

Scalping is a strategy for generating a modest profit on a high number of trades, which adds up to a larger profit. It employs high sums of liquidity (currency) to profit from modest price swings over a short period of time. The time horizon is typically a few minutes. However, it can be as short as seconds or as long as hours.

#3. Range Trading

Range trading is based on the notion that crypto prices will generally move only within a specific range over a given period. Price fluctuation outside of that range is thought to suggest that a price is set to undergo abnormal change. For example, if the price falls below the lower bound of the range, it may be time to sell—assuming that it is the start of a strong downward movement.

#4. Technical Analysis

Technical analysis is a statistical trading method. You try to find market trends by executing various statistical calculations on past pricing data. Technical trading is based on the notion that historical prices have some influence on future prices.

#5. News and Sentiment Analysis

News and sentiment analysis is similar to technical analysis, with one key difference: it is based on anticipating human behaviors and emotions rather than price movements. By examining several information sources, you can try to predict if demand for a specific cryptocurrency will fall or climb. By evaluating the sources, you can try to grasp the societal consensus on that money and predict what actions individuals will take. This data was gathered from industry and mainstream news outlets, as well as social media posts.

How Much Money Do You Need to Day Trade Stocks?

Day trading is not inexpensive – not by a long shot.

According to SEC guidelines, day traders in the US stock market must maintain a minimum account balance of $25,000 at all times.

If the money in your day-trading account falls below the $25,000 minimum account balance, you will be unable to day trade stocks until the $25,000 minimum account level is restored.

As a result, it’s highly recommended for beginner day traders to keep an account balance of at least $30,000 when they start day trading.

To be a day trader in the United States, you must have at least four day trades per week. This formally classifies you as an active day trader and triggers the $25,000 account minimum requirement.

How Much Money Do You Need to Day Trade Forex?

Trading Forex instruments on a daily basis appears to be far less expensive than trading U.S. stocks.

Essentially, Forex firms need day traders to have a minimum of $100 in their trading accounts, with some nations permitting day traders to handle Forex deals with as little as $50 in their trading accounts. These figures will differ by country and broker.

However, starting with merely $50 to trade foreign currencies is probably a fool’s mission. To limit the risk of excessive losses, Forex day traders should risk no more than 1% of their total Forex account on a single deal.

Thus, it is preferable to begin trading currencies with at least $1,000 or more in order to withstand any losses in a highly volatile, 24-hour-a-day Forex trading market.

How Much Do Day Traders Make?

Day traders in the United States earn an average of $116,895 per year or $56 per hour. The richest 10% earn more than $198,000 per year, while the bottom 10% earn less than $68,000.

How Do I Start Trading With $100?

Follow these simple steps;

  • Find a Brokerage
  • Choose Securities
  • Determine Strategy
  • Start Trading

Why Is Day Trading So Controversial?

The profit potential of day trading is a frequently discussed topic on Wall Street. Internet day-trading scams have enticed novices by promising huge returns in a short period of time.

Some people day trade without adequate expertise. However, some day traders succeed despite, or perhaps because of, the risks.

Many skilled money managers and financial experts avoid day trading. They contend that, in most circumstances, the return does not outweigh the danger. Furthermore, many economists and financial practitioners claim that active trading techniques of any kind tend to outperform a more basic passive index strategy over time, especially when fees and taxes are factored in.

Profiting through day trading is conceivable, but the success rate is intrinsically lower because it is dangerous and needs substantial skill. And don’t underestimate the importance of good fortune and timing. Even the most expert day trader can be ruined by a stroke of bad luck.

What Type Of Day Trading Is Most Profitable?

The most profitable type of day trading is intraday trading. It enables you to buy and sell your stocks on the same day before the market closes.

What Platform Do Day Traders Use?

  • Fidelity.
  • Interactive Brokers IBKR Pro.
  • Merrill Edge.
  • J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing.
  • TradeStation.
  • Ally Invest.
  • Zacks Trade.
  • Firstrade.

Alternatives to Day Trading

If the risks scare you off from day trading, there are other things you may do to try to maximize your profits. Buying stocks and holding them for a longer length of time is one of the less risky ways for investing in the stock market.

As you learn more about how the stock market rises and falls, you will obtain knowledge that will assist you day trade in the future. Meanwhile, you could be boosting the value of your assets. You can also follow the market passively by investing in index mutual funds or exchange-traded funds through an automated investment platform. They often aim to mimic the performance and return of a specific stock market index. You set it and forget it, and the computers do the rest, rebalancing your portfolio to keep within your investment direction and risk comfort level.


Day traders can make large profits or suffer large losses. It’s a high-risk job path. Day traders, both institutional and individual, would claim that they serve a crucial role in the marketplace by keeping markets efficient and liquid.

Though day trading will always be appealing to individual investors, anyone considering it must first obtain the necessary knowledge, resources, and funds.

  1. HOW TO BECOME A DAY TRADER: Step-by-Step Guide
  2. 7 Tips for Choosing a Forex Broker
  3. FOREX TRADING APPS: 5+ Best Trading APPS To Use
  4. Stock Trading Business: How to Start a Stock Trading Business
  5. Understanding the difference between Stocks and Forex


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