The Secret to Becoming a Day Trader

October 27th, 2021

Ephraim Olschewski kicked off his recent NinjaTrader Ecosystem webinar with some bad news.

In his webinar, Four Simple Trade Setups & How to Build a Trading Playbook, Olschewski described just how unlikely it is that a new day trader makes it beyond a few months or years without giving up. He said that 80% of all day traders quit within the first two years. In fact, nearly 40% of day traders don’t trade for longer than one month. By the time five years has passed, only 7% of day traders will remain in the business.

So, what’s the difference between day traders who make it to the one-, two- or five-year mark and those that don’t? And how should you go about increasing your own odds of being part of that 7%?

First, and most importantly, Olschewski says it’s important to be honest with yourself about the amount of work and the level of commitment it will take to become a consistent trader. He emphasized that success as a trader isn’t something that “just happens”. It takes effort, dedication and hard work. You need to ask yourself whether or not you are willing to put in that work.

If you answered “yes” to that question, then it is time to start documenting the steps you will need to take to achieve your long-term trading goals. Begin by writing down what it is that successful traders are doing that you aren’t currently doing. This could include trading habits (are they journaling their trades?) or may include lifestyle choices (how much sleep do they get?).

From this, you can create a list of skills that you personally need to develop. Write down anything that is absent from your existing approach to the markets that may be helpful to incorporate in the future.

Olschewski emphasized a single most-important step to beating the odds and becoming a trader with longevity: to make a commitment to do whatever it takes. Decide now to commit to developing yourself and your skills over time. If you are willing to do what it takes and to complete these exercises, Olschewski said, it will make a difference for you and your trading.

Be sure to watch this short clip in which Ephriam Olschewski explores these ideas in more detail.

If you are interested in hearing more tips from Olschewski, be sure to check out his full-length webinar. And if you are interested in learning more about how documentation can help you achieve your goals, be sure to check out What Leads to Great Trading Ideas Through Journaling, hosted by Dr. Brett Steenbarger and Anthony Drager of Verbal Journal.

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