Following the rise of the digital marketplace, day trading futures has become an exceedingly attractive way to make a living. Featuring low barriers to entry, readily available leverage, and a near 120-hour work week, futures furnish motivated individuals with a freedom not found in most occupations.
If you have the three D’s ― desire, dedication, and discipline ― then day trading futures may be the professional opportunity you’ve been looking for. However, there are a few prerequisites to satisfy before jumping into the market with both feet. Let’s take a look at these ingredients and explore several ways that you can pursue a living in the futures markets.
The Bare Necessities
Day trading futures is an opportunistic discipline. There’s no base salary, 401(k), health insurance or paid vacation time. Your take-home pay is a direct function of wins, losses, and expenses. To give yourself a shot at generating a livable wage, here are five factors indispensable to your venture in futures:
- Purpose: Goals are critical to the long-term success of any trader. If your primary objective is to secure an income solely from trading, then choosing an approach that’s capable of generating adequate returns is of paramount importance.
- Capital and time: Depending upon your interpretation of what defines an acceptable income, the demands upon your resources will vary. For instance, it will take substantially more time and capital to make an annual stipend of $100,000 than it will to make $50,000. Simply put, your dedicated resources must be in alignment with the financial objective or the odds of failure increase dramatically.
- Brokerage account: It’s impossible to trade futures without a brokerage account. Whether you are self-directed or hands-off, the services of a broker are required.
- Trading platform: The modern marketplace is digital, existing online. Aside from computing power and an internet connection, access to a software trading suite will be necessary.
Given a defined purpose, adequate resources, platform, and the services of a broker, it’s technically possible to begin day trading futures for income. Now let’s break down the different ways of actually engaging the market.
Ways of Earning a Living Day Trading Futures
Perhaps the most important asset that a trader can possess is a concrete plan. That means a comprehensive strategy for the markets, designed to promote the achievement of trade-related goals in concert with all available resources. A trading plan is the structural framework that guides the entire operation ― without one, failure (capital loss) becomes probable.
There are literally thousands of day trading strategies touted online for generating income. Theoretically, all are designed to generate income ― all you have to do is select, modify, or create a viable one.
Here are a few ways that an aspiring day trader can engage the markets on a self-directed or assisted basis:
- Black box systems: Black boxes are all-inclusive trading systems available for purchase. They furnish the individual with a fully automated approach to trading; simply plug it in and turn it on.
- Public domain indicators: Retail traders frequently build their own systems based upon technical indicators available to the public. Successful trading methodologies that incorporate such technicals as Bollinger Bands, momentum oscillators, and Fibonacci numbers are not uncommon in futures.
- Proprietary indicators: Proprietary indicators are available to interested parties on a lease or pay-for-play basis. Featuring secret derivations, traders frequently use proprietary indicators to conduct trade either in isolation or combination with other technical tools.
- Social/copy trading platforms: Over the past decade, social and copy trading has grown in popularity around the world. Copy trading occurs when a trader links a brokerage account to another for the automatic duplication of trades. This is typically done for a fee, with the cost varying depending upon the track record of the service or master trader.
The beauty of futures is the flexibility that it offers participants. A diverse collection of products, robust liquidity, and limited fees make income generation via day trading futures possible using any of the above-mentioned methods.
Getting Started in Futures
Changing a career path is a big decision, and making the transition to full-time trader is an even bigger one. Mistakes in the markets cost money, so a smart course of action is to test the waters on a small scale before going for broke.
If you’re pondering taking the plunge, brushing up on your futures IQ is a must. A great place to start is the online educational portal at Daniels Trading. Featuring blogs, webinars, and expert analysis, it has everything you need to build your knowledge about futures.