Day trading can be extremely risky. As regulatory agency FINRA says, “Day trading generally is not appropriate for someone of limited resources, limited investment or trading experience and low risk tolerance. A day trader should be prepared to lose all of the funds used for day trading.”
Simply put, stocks can be extremely volatile over short periods of time, and it can be painfully difficult, if not impossible, to predict their movements. There’s no such thing as a 100% reliable day trading strategy, or anything close to it.
Plus, the odds simply aren’t in your favor when day trading, thanks to the bid-ask spreads of stocks. In simple terms, the price you can readily sell a stock for is typically lower than the price you can buy it for at any given time. Usually, the difference between the two is just pennies, but when you’re trading in and out of positions all day, you’d be surprised at what a disadvantage this creates.
Day trading can be especially risky if you’re using margin or options to trade, or if you trade by placing short sale transactions, as these can make your account especially volatile. In fact, in some cases where trades go wrong, it’s possible to lose more money than you invest.