Day trading, the practice of buying and selling financial securities within the same trading day, has captivated the attention of many aspiring traders worldwide, primarily due to its potential for substantial financial returns. However, the question that often arises is, “How much can one earn in day trading?” This article aims to provide some insight into the earning potential of day trading.

While there is potential to earn substantial profits in day trading, it is not without its challenges and risks. The earning potential in day trading hinges on various factors, including the trader’s aptitude, investment capital, and market circumstances. Therefore, aspiring day traders should approach this field with a clear understanding of its intricacies, a well-thought-out strategy, and a readiness to adapt to ever-changing market conditions.

understanding daytrading

Gauging the Profitability

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The profitability of day trading varies significantly, depending largely on various influencing factors. These include the trader’s skills, market volatility, and the amount of capital invested. It is important to note that while some traders earn impressive profits, many also earn very little, or end up losing money on their day trading venture.

A highly skilled and experienced day trader can potentially earn between 0.5% – 3% daily profit on their investment capital. For instance, if a trader with a $50,000 trading capital makes a 1% profit, they would earn $500 in a day. However, these figures are not guaranteed and can fluctuate based on market conditions. You also need to take various costs into account.

Building a Sustainable Income

Achieving a long-.term, sustainable income from day trading requires more than just technical skills. It demands discipline, patience, and a thorough understanding of financial markets. It’s also essential for traders to have a robust risk management strategy in place, diversify their portfolio to spread the risks, and continuously educate themselves about new market trends and trading techniques.

Examples of Potential Earning Models

  1. High-Frequency Trading: It involves buying and selling securities in large volumes for small per-share profits. High-frequency traders often aim for a profit of one cent per share multiplied by hundreds or thousands of shares.
  2. Scalping: This strategy involves making numerous trades throughout the trading day, with each trade making small profits. The goal is to accumulate these small profits into a significant total sum by the end of the day. Scalpers work well in fairly stagnant markets since they profit from minute price changes instead of relying on strong directional trends.

Is swing trading a type of daytrading?

No. While swing traders occasionally open and close a position within the same trading day, they are not daytraders, because most of their positions will be kept open over night. This trading strategy involves buying and holding a position for a few days or weeks to profit from price changes during that period. Swing traders usually aim for larger profits of around 10% to 20%. They are not daytraders and they are not long-term investors – they exist in the middleground between these two extremes.

Risk management

Day trading isn’t just about the gains; it’s equally about managing and minimizing losses. No daytrader is successful all the time. The daytraders that manage to achieve long-term profitability over time are typically those that have a robust and complex risk management system in place, and the mental strenght to stick to it even when emotions such as greed, fear and over-confidence tell them to neglect it.

It’s important to remember that day trading is inherently risky. The financial markets are unpredictable, and even the most skilled and experienced day traders can and do incur significant losses.


Day traders must account for trading expenses including brokerage fees, software subscription fees, taxes, and other overheads.

A skilled daytrader with a bankroll of $10,000 might for instance be making a 3% profit per active trading day. That is $300. From this, all costs will be deducted. Do not make the mistake of underestimating the costs associated with your daytrading.

It is important to chose a broker and trading account where the fee structure is suitable for daytrading and your daytrading strategy. Otherwise, commissions and other costs will quickly eat your profits. For instance, if your strategy hinges on making a tiny individual profit on a large number of tiny trades, you can not use an account where you pay a high fixed commission per trade regardless of trade size.