What I really enjoy, for better or worse, about day-trading is how unforgiving it is towards people in their “reality-distortion-bubbles.” Nowadays, it’s become en vogue to wander the planet with your “own truth.” And for the most part, that’s fine. You’re welcome to believe whatever you want about gun rights, gay marriage, abortion, etc. No one is going to fight you on it; at least there’ll be no consequences re what you believe.
But with the market, there are consequences.
The market is anything but simple. But it does offer something simple that is rare nowadays: A single objective reality. At any given point in time, all of the world’s nuances, complexities –geopolitical risk, a company’s performance, expectations, scandals (or rumors thereof), etc– are reduced to a single number– the price. You can believe all you want… but it won’t do a lick of good unless you’re right.
In this post-truth era, such a stark, unforgiving black-and-white worldview is refreshing. There are no gradations here. On any given day, the price will move either up or down– there are no alternatives.
The other feature fascinating about day-trading is how merciless and agnostic it is from a time perspectives. Years of gains can be lost in a single week or even day. Months and weeks of gains can be lost in a single hour.
On the flipside: A single day of gains could exceed everything you’ve made in the past week or month.
There is something, to me at least, that is very intriguing and counter-intuitive about this: The lazy trader who rolls out of bed late one day and makes the right trade could very possible win bigger than the diligent trader who rises at the crack of dawn every day and meticulously sits at his station every day of the year. Nowhere else have I ever seen the saying more true than in day-trading: “Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good.”