A sight all traders love to see. Pixabay
Day trading has become a very popular and interesting profession. I haven’t seen the statistics, but I imagine the number of professional traders increased after the Wolf of Wall Street was released. Everyone loved that film, and they loved the idea of trading stocks and shares to make millions of dollars. It seems like the dream life, but do professional stock market traders live the life depicted by Dicaprio in that film?
We did a bit of research and had a look at what the average day/week is like for a professional trader. Needless to say, it was very intriguing…
Up Bright & Early
A day as a professional trader begins with a fairly early start. If you’re trading on the US stock market, then you have to be up pretty early. Most traders are out of bed and ready to rock and roll by around 8am – but the earlier, the better. A cup of coffee and a quick breakfast are necessary to get the mind ready and rocking. Now, it’s time to prepare for a busy day ahead.
Get Everything Ready
Most professional traders don’t even work in big multi-story offices anymore. Instead, everything can be done via a laptop computer at home. They have various online accounts on trading platforms, and they often use software to help them finalize trades. Before the stock market opens, now is the time usually spent getting everything ready. That means booting up the algorithmic trading software for automated trading, checking your account balance to see how much money you have to play with, testing your internet speed and connection to ensure no breaks happen, and so on. All the main things that will be used are tested and checked to ensure the operation runs smoothly.
— Bloomberg (@business) April 4, 2018
Check The News
A lot of people like listening to the news or checking online stories on their way to work. They do this to pass the time, but traders do it as part of their daily routine. In particular, they’re scouring the web for any major economic stories, or things that can impact stock market prices. For example, many traders woke up the other day to the news that Facebook had compromised all the data they had on the majority of their users. What seems like a generic news story of a company making a mistake to us, is actually a massive thing for traders. They now know this will impact the Facebook stock price, along with its rival companies as well. So, every day starts by looking at the news to see if any significant events have occurred or are occurring on this day.
Trade Until Lunch
When all the preparations are finished, it’s time for the stock market to open and the days trading to begin. Here, most professional traders only work for a few hours until the period known as the ‘lunch hour.’ During lunch, hardly any trades are worth looking at as the market quietens down considerably. But, that first hour or two in the morning is the best time to trade because that’s when prices are most volatile, and there are deals to be snagged and profits to be made.
Trade During The Last Hour Of The Day
The last hour of the day for traders is between 3-4pm (Eastern Time), and this is when stock prices can once again become a little bit more volatile. This means that for hours a day, professional traders aren’t really doing any trading. There’s a lot of monitoring going on, checking more news stories, having a look at their current trades, checking their balance, and so on.
Check the statistics. pxhere
Analysing The Daily Performance
Once the stock market closes, it’s time for a professional trader to get their analytical hat on. As mentioned earlier, most of them will use trading software, which allows them to see all their statistics for the day. At this point, they’ll figure out how much money they made/lost, the number of trades they made, the number of successful trades, and the hours they spent trading. All of this gets compared to other day’s work to see if any patterns arise that can help them make more money in the future.
After the analytics have been completed, then it’s free time for the professional trader – a chance to relax before going to bed and doing it all again the next day. All in all, it’s pretty interesting to have a peek at this line of work. It’s far from the glitz and the glamor depicted on the big screen, and yet many traders make a fortune from home. Could this be a career that interests you? If you like working from home with flexible hours, then it just might be!