Day Trader


DEFINITION of 'Day Trader'

A investor who attempts to profit by making rapid trades intraday. A day trader often closes out all trades before the market close and does not hold any open positions overnight. Some day traders use leverage to magnify the returns generated from small stock price movements.


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Day trading is often glamorized as an easy path to riches. However, this is rarely the case. The SEC warns, "Day traders typically suffer severe financial losses in their first months of trading, and many never graduate to profit-making status." Day traders are handicapped by the bid-ask spread, trading commissions and expenses for real-time news feeds and financial analysis packages. These costs require day traders to earn significant trading profits just to break even.

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