I agree with Juanbyte and in addition I will say that in reality, anyone day trading should have clear objectives with regards the profit potential before they open the position(s). If you are trading UK/US shares what percentage do the shares have to move before you close a profitable trade? How many points are you looking for when you trade the indices? What is a worthwhile turn in a currency cross?
These are very important questions when you are day trading and I can assure you that those that say otherwise are pushing you ever closer to the Poor House.
I'm only 2 years in and still have a long way to go so take this how you like. I think everyone's learning curve is different. I personally believe , as you say trading whilst working is very differenet than when you are trying to do it full time. First of all, If the aim is to trade intraday you wont learn your market if you are only having a look at the screen at your lunch break. Saying that trading full time you open yourself up to the other extreme. KNOWING TOO MUCH!. This is what I have been going through for the last 6 months and finally getting to the otherside. It is imo that intraday trading is more difficult psychologically as for example the FTSE can swing between a 40 point range intraday but over a week it only trades between 80 points. Thus if you are trading bigger swings over a few days you might feel safer. It is up to you to find out what you want to trade.And I think this is a key point. . One you know what you want to trade you can go about making some sort of method to trade it. If you want to trade intraday then dont hold over night or enter trades during closed markets hours just because the Spx has moved up 5 points. Otherwise you will find yourself thinking you are trading intraday but you are actually trading 3 days swings (as an example) Thus, your whole entry and exit and potential profit are all acting against each other. So in short,
Decide want type of moves you want to trade and stick to it.
Try and keep it simple but more importantly try to trading using methods that interest you personally.
Dont listen to the guy who can trade using price only, dont listen to the guy who can trade using moon cycles. Ultimately it doesn't matter what gets you in and out it's making money that counts. You just have to find which is the best way for you.
Have targets. If you want to make a living from trading. Decide how much you need to make a living. Dont just think "I want to make a living trading" . Your mind can not process general tasks like that. Decide I want to start make £250 pw by the end of the year trading intarday swing. Or whatever. You get the idea.
If you need to have piece of paper in front of you to say....do not trade out of hours, do not try to pick bottoms or whatever is making it difficult for you so be it. So what ever it takes to break those bad habits.
Long term habits start to set in after 6 months. That gives you an idea how long it takes to change habits!
It's going to take time. However quickly you expected yourself to learn this "game" double it. For me I gave myself 2-3 years...3-6 is now my target.
Find support from other traders. Ignore the one who just post exits points. You know the ones "just closed Dow long for 73 points". They will not help you develop and get better.
If you can't afford to trade and not work don't.
If you dont like the isolation of trading from home...don't.
Think positively about yourself and your ability to learn and change.
Within financial reason, never quit!. YOu never know how close you are to making that next break through.
and so on and so on ...............there are too many I have learnt over the last two years...and probably alot more to learn still
I suspect there are more self employed traders earning their living from primarily day trading than anything else. It is all about methodology and discipline. If you do not have a "boring" system that you honestly believe will give you an edge then don't even start.
Same goes for any type of trading whether tick chart or monthly chart. You have to have an edge somewhere.
might sound stupid Sun but have you thought about going back to work for a year and trade as you did before..if you continue your previous success analyse your trades. Then you could give up work again a return to full time trading. The only thing is you will have to make sure you dont fall into the " if I can make x amount f money trading part time I can make twice as much full time" your profit reflects your entry and exit not your time!
I think most try to see if they can trade (possibly in roughly the same basic way) over various time frames.Try to get hold of someone you can share ideas with and make sure you understand the maths behind any indicators you use,if you do.Better still go for 'indicators' based on how the market works.