The goal is not to get a steady source of income. The goal is to build Wealth. And I don't mean that in some cheesy infomercial way. If you want steady income, you can invest in things that have a set return. Treasuries, Corporate Bonds, Rental Properties, or maybe buy a business that you pay someone to run. There's many ways to build steady income. Trade so that you can afford to invest in enough of those things to pay your expenses. Then you can decide if you want to keep trading or go do something else.
The point is to get past the mindset of trading as a job or "Career". I can't remember where I read it, but one thing that really got me thinking was a quote about how trading doesn't pay you for your time (Livermore maybe?). Ultimately we're not here to make money from sitting at our computer screens every day. We're here to make money from the decisions we make on how to invest our Fortune (however great or small). Ultimately that works out to not getting paid in proportion to our time. And that can be hard to swallow because our whole lives we've been taught to work for money. To trade our time for a paycheck. And when that paycheck doesn't come we feel cheated. But trading is a different world. It plays by different rules. It has a different hierarchy, and a different measure for success. And while we are trying right now to become successful traders. We should endeavor to understand what trading really is, the purpose it serves, so that we may be better equipped to transcend it when the time comes.
The following 6 users say Thank You to BlackSwan04 for this post:
Although I agree with your statement that "Day Trading" is no career in the traditional sense, the above is the typical dream of a retail trader. Day trading, swing trading and investing require all different skill sets and psychological traits. That's why a person is usually attracted by only one of these activities at the beginning and becomes good at that. There might be a few individuals out there who could be good at all of those, but odds are individuals are only good at one of these activities (if any).
You don't hear about many successful day traders because most stay at their level of generating a good income for themselves without getting rich.
@KosherTrader: What Goldman Sachs reports as "trading" is quite different to what day traders are doing (e.g. commissions business). Also, accounting practices play a major role in the presentation of their figures.
The following user says Thank You to karoshiman for this post:
But Al Brooks insists that markets are Brownian motion. I wonder is he says that because he does not know or because he knows. But he never answers how one can trade Brownian motion for profit. If someone here knows how to trade Brownian motion for profit please let me (and Stockholm, Sweden ) know.