Forex Basics

How Much Do Forex Day Traders Really Earn? The Answer May Shock You!

Ever considered becoming a full-time trader? Ready to quit your day job? Many people dream about becoming a day trader, but most are too worried that they wouldn’t make enough money to walk away from their 9 to 5 jobs. Others might hear stories of day traders making insane amounts of money but assume that those are extreme cases. In this article, we will outline what makes day trading so appealing and explore how much one could actually make day trading.  

First, we’ll start off with the perks of day trading. One of the main draws is the ability to choose when one does and doesn’t work, although you’ll need to put in some weekday hours to make a profit. Many day traders start at the beginning of the day and close all their trades out before the end of the day, rather than allowing them to carry to the next trading day. Once all your trades have been closed for the day, you can sit back and relax without worrying about work. There are several other perks:

  • The government won’t tax your ‘paycheck’ because your profit will be made purely from trading. Of course, your broker will charge commission fees and spreads in addition to other potential fees for withdrawals. Still, this will probably come out to be far less than the tax cuts you’ll see with a regular paying job.
  • One of the things that make day trading so great is that you get to be your own boss. Gone are the days where you must play nice with a stressful boss standing over your shoulder. You can take breaks whenever you want or eat lunch while you work, you make your own rules. 
  • You get to work from home. There’s no need to get dressed, take a shower, or deal with a daily commute. You can work at home, in your pajamas, without having to socialize with anyone. 
  • Day traders don’t have to worry about overnight risks or swap fees because trading positions are closed on the same trading day. Other traders need to account for these charges. 
  • Full-time day traders have more time to focus on trading since they don’t have an actual job to worry about. You can spend more time analyzing charts and data, reading trading articles, and so on. There’s also more opportunity to practice strategies like scalping, which require a lot of attention. Part-time traders just don’t have the time to do all these things daily. 

If this sounds like a dream job, you’ll need to know that becoming a full-time trader takes work and dedication. Perhaps you’re already a part-time trader, or you might be starting from scratch. Either way, you’re in the right place. Becoming a day trader takes effort and you’re trying to figure out if it is worth your undivided attention. 

So, how much do day traders really make? First, you need to understand that there are risks involved with this kind of trading. It’s good to have a cushion to fall back on in case of a bad day. Prices fluctuate a lot on any given day and it’s always possible to lose money – this is where a regular job is better than day trading. Traders aren’t guaranteed to make the same amount every week because it isn’t as stable as working. Some professionals advise that you should never risk more than 1% on any trade and you should always use a stop loss to help minimize your losses. 

The amount that you make will depend on how much capital you invest. Someone who puts $5,000 into their trading account can make larger trades than someone with just $500, assuming both traders understand what they’re doing. If you don’t have a lot to start with, that’s ok, but you will want to invest more as your capital builds up over time to come away with enough profit to support yourself. Knowledge is another key to success with day trading – you can never do enough research, analyze enough charts, or get enough practice. Even the absolute best of traders can always learn something new, so be sure to take advantage of all the free resources available on the internet. A good strategy is essential for successful day trading, especially one that minimizes the losses one might make. 

Day trading takes time and determination, it isn’t a get rich quick scheme or something that will make you a millionaire overnight. It’s impossible to give an exact figure of how much you’ll make because factors like your starting capital and risk-management strategy will change those results. 

Here’s one example from an article written by day trader Cory Mitchell:

If you start with $30,000 capital and you make around 100 trades per month (about 5 trades a day over 20 days a month) you could make around $3,750 minus any commissions or other fees charged by your broker. You would walk away with something like $2,750 after all deductions are made. 

Keep in mind that this example revolves around a $30,000 beginning deposit. If you don’t have that much to invest, you’ll make less. Over time, the idea is that the trader would begin to bring in more profit and could therefore make larger trades and earn more per month. It would be a good idea to save up more before quitting your regular job so that you can invest more in the beginning. 

Day trading can be an excellent alternative to working a 9 to 5 job, and it comes with great benefits. Nothing beats being your own boss and setting your own hours. However, this isn’t something one can learn overnight. If it were easy, everyone would do it. Our best advice is to practice and educate yourself fully before even thinking of trading full-time. When you’re ready, make sure that you have a cushion to fall back on and consider your initial investment. Everyone needs a different amount of income to survive – so be sure that you will make enough money to support yourself or your family and to pay all your bills before becoming a full-time day trader. Try to have a safety net to fall back on in case you don’t make as much as you thought at first.


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