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February 4, 2024

Can Day Trading Really Turn a Profit?

Day trading, the act of buying and selling financial instruments within the same day, unveiled a new echelon of trading opportunities. Its widespread popularity has enticed everyone, from Wall Street mavens to entrepreneurial at-home traders. The allure of day trading rests on the promise of substantial profits and the thrill of a challenge. But can day trading truly turn a profit, or is it simply a financial gamble? This article dissects day trading, delving into profitability statistics, the correlation between educational background and profits, and the necessity of persistence to thrive in this high-paced trading arena. It aims to provide a comprehensive view of day trading and unravel whether it can indeed be a genuine profitable venture.

Statistics on Day Trading Profits

Step into the world of day trading, and chances are you'll hear all sorts of success stories. It’s quite motivating, isn’t it? But there’s more to it than meets the eye. Ever asked yourself, “How many day traders are actually profitable?” or, “How does educational background influence a trader's profits?” Well, you've come to the right place.

Yearly Profits

Let’s unveil the curtain of day trading and shine a light on the true numbers. According to a study conducted by the University of California, only 13% of day traders are consistently profitable over a six-month period. That's right, a mere 13%. The figure may come as a surprise considering how day trading is often glorified.

At the end of 2020, the median profit made by day traders in the US was about $13,000, according to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). While this figure might not sound minuscule, keep in mind that around 64% of all US day traders were not profitable at all.

Educational Background and Profits

You might be wondering, "Does education play a significant role in day trading profits?" The answer - a resounding "yes!". A whopping 95% of US day traders who were profitable in 2020 held at least a college degree. What's even more fascinating is that the traders who possessed a Master's degree signaled a particularly high earning potential. They reported a yearly average income of $148,129. Clearly, educated traders are found to have a good grasp of market dynamics that boost their profitability.

Success Rate and Profitability

We've covered profits and educational backgrounds, but what about the success rate? Interestingly, the statistics show that the traders with a long-term 40-50% success rate are the most profitable.

However, the harsh reality is also that approximately 72% of day traders suffered a net loss in 2023 and only about 1% managed to stay consistently profitable over the year. The reality is harsh, cutthroat, and not everyone's cup of tea.

So, the next time you see day trading through rose-colored glasses, it's worth remembering these statistics. Trading is more than just buying low and selling high. It's about understanding the market's pulse, mitigating risks, continuous learning, and making informed decisions. To gain a deeper insight into this, head over to our article on the Reality of Day Trading Profitability and equip yourself with the knowledge you need to navigate the tumultuous waters of day trading.

Persistence in Day Trading

The thrills and potential windfalls of day trading lure an incredible number of individuals every year. While the opportunities for financial gain are indeed immense, entering and maintaining momentum in this field is challenging. An interesting facet of day trading, often underestimated by beginners, is the importance of persistence.

Many try their hand at day trading only to abandon the effort within the first year or so. Astonishingly, 65% of those who take on day trading as a full-time career quit within the initial 12 months. Furthermore, approximately 80% of traders exit the field within the first two years. These numbers reveal the harsh reality of this high-stakes game.

The cause behind this mass exodus lies not in a lack of market potential but rather in the mental toughness required to persevere through the inevitable losses.

Although the attrition rate is high, it's worth noting that those who remain persistent and commit to learning from their experiences tend to fare better in the long run. In fact, the most profitable traders have a 96.4% probability of continuing to day trade in the subsequent 12 months. This implies that once a trader crosses the initial hurdles and stays firmly committed to their craft, the chances of succeeding increase dramatically.

However, even when armed with such encouraging statistics, how can potential day traders increase their chances of being among those who stay the course? Here are a few recommendations:

  • Adopt a Growth Mindset: Expect setbacks and understand they are an integral part of the learning journey. Use them to refine your strategy.
  • Research and Learn Constantly: Keeping up-to-date with market trends, techniques, and financial news is essential. You are only as good as your last trade, and hence, continuous learning is crucial.
  • Risk Management: Crucial to surviving in day trading is the ability to manage risks adequately. Limiting losses plays as important a role as securing wins.
  • Patience: Rushing to make quick profits can lead to hasty decisions and losses. Waiting for the right opportunity to trade is crucial.

When framed in the context of these startling "Day Traders Quit Statistically" facts, the importance of patience and grim determination in securing longevity in day trading becomes overwhelmingly apparent. However, with the right mindset, effective risk management strategies, voracious appetite for learning, and the ability to remain patient, it's possible for persistent individuals to ace this high-stakes financial game. It's a tough road to traverse, but for those who can maintain their resolve, the rewards can be remarkable.


Success in day trading, indeed, seems elusive in the data-driven world of finance. Yes, the ratios of failure and loss may loom large and intimidating, but remember, these are mere statistics - impersonal and detached. They do not define your individual journey or potential success in this field. They may map out the risks, but they don't chart your resilience or resourcefulness.

Your personal successes in day trading will be closely tied to your understanding of the market, your level of persistence, and arguably, most importantly - your education and knowledge about trading.

This is where Market Masters steps in. We believe empowering traders with knowledge, tips, and techniques can significantly increase their chances of becoming profitable. We're here to cut through the noise and help you focus on what truly matters in the world of day trading. Our mission is to aid individuals in achieving their financial goals and provide the essential toolbox to navigate the stock market.

It is clear that day trading is not a guaranteed goldmine, and for every story of triumphant profits, there is one of disheartening losses. However, it's worth noting that the terra incognita of the trading world is certainly conquerable for those who dare to venture - armed with the right strategies and an unyielding spirit. Whether you're a neophyte or a veteran trader, take the right step towards your financial freedom with Market Masters. Strengthen your trading arsenal, and become the master of your market.

Success in trading may not be assured, but with calculated risks, meaningful efforts, and the right guidance, profit is certainly a plausible outcome.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Is day trading a profitable venture?

    Day trading can be profitable, but it is also risky. Success in day trading depends on various factors such as market knowledge, trading strategy, risk management, and emotional discipline.

  2. What are the risks associated with day trading?

    Day trading involves risks such as market volatility, sudden price fluctuations, financial losses, psychological stress, and potential scams or frauds. It requires careful research, analysis, and decision making.

  3. Can beginners make money through day trading?

    It is possible for beginners to make money through day trading, but it requires a significant amount of time, dedication, and learning. Beginners should start with a solid education, practice with virtual accounts, and gradually invest real money.

  4. What are some strategies that can help in profitable day trading?

    Some strategies that can increase the chances of profitable day trading include trend following, momentum trading, breakout trading, scalping, and risk management techniques such as setting stop-loss orders and profit targets.

  5. Should I quit my job to become a full-time day trader?

    Quitting your job to become a full-time day trader is a personal decision that depends on your financial situation, risk tolerance, and experience. It is generally recommended to have a steady source of income while gradually transitioning into full-time day trading.