Back in the days, the only people who were able to trade actively in the stock market were those working for large financial institutions and trading houses – but the rise of the internet has allowed individual investors like day traders to buy and sell securities within a single trading day. They are analyzers, competitors and thrill-seekers that pull off high-risk trades to turn a fast profit for themselves or their clients.
Also called direct access brokers, they buy and sell stocks, bonds, options, currencies and other financial assets using impeccable market timing, informed investment predictions, and short-term trading strategies. These trades can occur in any marketplace, but are most common in the foreign exchange (forex) and stock markets. They need to be extremely tuned in to market trends, market psychology, and short-term profiting strategies.
Day traders may work independently from home or for online brokerage firms, which gives them access to larger amounts of capital and expensive trading software. How much they make varies wildly, but base salary for those working for financial institutions usually starts at $50-70K, with the potential to make up to $600K when managing multiple funds.
Day traders usually have at least a bachelor’s degree, and often a master’s, in accounting, business, or finance, plus 2-8 years of experience. Licensure is also required through the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). Jobs for day traders are projected to grow 4% by 2029.