Everyone idolizes the day trader lifestyle. It does have a ton of amazing perks, but it also comes with a major shift in habits and lifestyle changes from the traditional job. In order to understand the lifestyle of a day trader, you have to know the key distinctions and responsibilities that come with this profession.
This article is not to shame you if you have a 9-5, but to give you a realistic perspective of the transition it will take to become a serious day trader who does this for a living, and the perks of doing this full-time. Here are 5 differences between the lifestyle of a day trader, and someone with a full time job:
The thing I love most about trading is not the money. It is the freedom. It is the freedom to work for 60 minutes and then go drink at the beach the rest of the day. The freedom to choose how I structure my day. The freedom to choose pretty what, when, and how I do everything in my life. No boss to control me, and no one who can tell me what I can or cannot do. The freedom does come at a price. Full-time traders have to deal with income uncertainty, and must take on a ton of personal responsibility and self-discipline.
2. No Salary
There are no salaries for a day trader. As a trader you have to earn your pay check from the market. Nothing is handed to you. The stock market is random by nature, so it is impossible to predict how much money you will make on any given day, week, month, or year. However, when you develop the requisite skill, you will know that you will be green at the end of most months. Once you can prove that you can be consistently profitable over an extended period of time, you can scale your income a ton more than you could in a traditional corporate job. You decide when you are deserving of a raise. There is no ceiling to the money you can make in trading if you put in the work.
Working for someone else you don’t have much control of what happens day to day. As a day trader, you are in control of every facet in your trading business. You chose what trading software you use, how much capital you trade with, what strategy you use, and when you are going to trade. You essentially become the CEO of your own small business when you decide to become a trader. This means you are responsible for all the outcomes in your trading. The market is random, but it is your duty to control your process. Every outcome in your trading is the byproduct of a decision you make.
4. Ability to Travel
One of the best perks for me about trading is the ability to travel. As a day trader, you can work from anywhere where there is internet. But if you are going to travel and trade you have to make sure you are going to be staying in an environment conducive for successful trading. I strongly recommend researching the wifi situation of wherever you are staying in advance. Trading in poor wifi can cost you a lot of money, and make trading even more difficult than it already is. Be mindful of the time zone of where you are traveling to.
There are a select few professions that require as much self discipline as a day trader. As a professional trader, you are your own boss. Most corporate jobs don’t involve you losing money. They are relatively low risk compared to day trading. But any outcome in life that is worthwhile does not come without risk. You can work a 9-5 job, not have much self discipline, and you will still get a paycheck every month. If you are a trader with no self-discipline, you will lose money and not be able to make a living from trading. But as you can see, there are huge rewards for developing the self-discipline to become a profitable trader who has no boss, can work from anywhere, and has no ceiling on his income.