I started off daytrading and now have come to the conclusion that swing trading works much better for me.
Daytrading is great for learning technicals. 8 hrs a day staring at price action, day in, week out, month in, etc. I got to learn technicals and indicators quite well and fast, the glories and the myths/limitations...But sifting out real trends and breakouts and S/R zones from random noise, in the end, I wasn't smart enough and my P/L was inconsistent. Throw in all the commissions, spreads, slippages. Stops get hit and then price reverses back! Plus the more limited intraday min/max price movements and I found it tough to get an edge strong and consistent enough to overcome the odds. And let's not forget the psychology issues affecting a daytrader - all the mental games : 'do I take profit off the table?', 'do I let my winners ride?' and so on and on. It was 'thrilling' but as we all know, trading is to make money and keep that money in the long haul; not to have fun per se.
Swing trading. I was going to type 'much less' but I just changed it to 'NO' noise. So technicals behave a lot better. I avoid upcoming earnings dates. I avoid medical/pharma. See the trend. See the S/R zones. Price action behaves better. Go long or short. The range of price movements is much larger than intraday so the profits are larger - I just set wider stops for the trades to breathe better. The win % is better. The win/loss average is larger. The profits are consistent. The costs (as a % of revenues) are much smaller. Psychology issues are 1000 times simpler/easier to deal with. And yes, a whole lot more free time. Less chance of glaucoma and cataracts too. I still have 4x margin and leverage which I use. In the end, my edge is a whole lot more effective in overcoming the costs against me. (Oh, and I should mention this too, I found more flexibility in pursuing portfolio trade & risk mgt strategies that I could never dream of doing as a daytrader. As a daytrader, I'm way, way dependent on my broker screen interface and hot key executions and the number of eyes I have to monitor multiple charts on multiple screens. My finger speed and number of keystrokes and time it takes to set stops/targets, etc limited me in what I could do; everything was so tied to responding to the trade setup rightaway for that one stock...) In swing, I can do way, way more in managing portfolio risk. My finger speed and broker interfaces were a non-issue.
Just to clarify. I just trade the US stock market. I started off on Options (dumbest thing for a beginner to do, I confess), then to Futures. Never really did do Forex. Finally decided that Options and Futures have some key disadvantages (for me) versus Stock trading. But that's another story.