Hi, I'm wondering about how many traders there are in the world; I know this is a vague question with no real answer, but ballpark figures should exist. I've researched and I've seen numbers from 100,000,000 to 1,500,000. I'm not asking for any specific reason, just an interesting topic to gauge how many are in this realm. What do you guys think
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Well, it depends on how you define trader but I think it will be very, very few who are actively trading or making a living at it. Most people who claim to be traders really just have investments and watch the market. They don't really make any trades. Some claim to be traders because they have large investments but they don't trade.
Now once you remove that group, now we can think about the professionals. A lot of these people talk about being passionate about markets or whatever. But they've never traded. They work in back office type jobs or as analyst or whatever or as trading psychologist. Remove that group.
One thing to keep in mind is that to even have just the bare minimum starting capital to trade, and I'm not talking 100k but even 10k to 25k in risk capital, you will need to be somewhere already wealthier than about 90% of the population. But, that's a bare minimum. Also, age plays a role too. As far as young people who have that kind of money, very,very few. It's made me wonder if the markets are really efficient because so few people have access to them.
You can look at brokerage accounts and trading volume via retail brokers. I don't want to estimate but there's probably a pool of anywhere from 150k to 300k in the U.S. who have enough money to trade in any given year. A lot of these people are living in high cost areas which also decreases the pool.
Next, we have to estimate what % are actively tracking/following the markets out of our 200k pool. A high estimate would be 35%, that yields 70k people. If you take the top 13 richest countries (with the bottom having only 1/2 the income of US), this yields under 1 million people.
As far as trading for a living or making significant profits, I think you are looking at less than 100k. That would be 10% which seems high. Say if I'm off 4 magnitudes on my estimates that yields between 25k and 400k are trading in a serious capacity in any given year. You are looking at about .02% to .06% of the world population at tops, I think. And that figure would include active sim traders.
Agree or disagree? Would love to hear other estimates... You could check the reports of financially traded companies like Interactive Brokers and others. One thing that might make my estimate off is easier access to Forex, CFD's and spread betting in some European countries but probably won't make a huge difference.
Here you can look at "DARTS" daily average round trips. Interactive Brokers has 390k accounts. It looks like they average around 100k? futures contracts per month-- not sure.