How many trades a day?

How many trades a day do you need to take to make a decent living as a day trader? Let's see ...

Have a look at this picture. It shows the P/L of one trade in my favorite e-mini futures market (ES) executed with 4 contracts. Would that be enough for you for a day? I bet that most people, even in the richest country in the world would agree that 5 or so grand a month is a pretty decent income for one person.

But, suppose you took another trade and ended up with a P/L that looks like this. What are you saying now?

As you see, it's really not the number of trades, but their quality that makes all the difference. I would rather be lazy and rich than hyperactive and poor. For some strange reasons, it's the latter that seems to be the choice among many day traders. Working harder does not always translate into bigger profits, certainly not in day trading where working smarter is way more recommended.

But then again, if you are capable of taking more trades without compromising your winning rate, there is no reason not to. It's just that you don't have to.

So, next time you see some vendor promoting his wares that give you 10 or more signals a day, you can be assured that he is selling this stuff because he went broke using it himself. Unless he can show evidence to the contrary, but don't count on it too often.