This is potentially a very, very important thread topic - if it gets the attention and input that it seriously deserves.
You are right that many long term traders (including me) will confirm from their own experience that day trading is one reason why there is such a high percentage of failed accounts. But there are others (also including me!) that have a consistent track record based on day-trading! And there are other experienced traders that will still recommend trading methods that are very short-term in nature even though they are longer term traders themselves!
So where does the truth lay in this issue?
To start with I think it is important to define exactly what we mean when we are referring to day trading. It certainly does not (have to) mean sitting in front of a PC all day every day. For example, a scalper may decide only to trade 1min charts during the 3 to 4 hour London/NY overlap and then walk away for the rest of the day… My own short term trading is based on 1 hour charts, looking for specific set-ups. This means only a quick check on the hour and, in practice, only focusing on the screen when a set-up seems imminent. And once a trade is opened it is usually on a “set and forget” basis unless a new set-up occurs in the meantime.
Day trading also means the freedom not to trade. There are days when we either don’t feel like it or have other things to do and, of course, the luxury of never having an open risk over weekends!
But there is no doubt that very short term trading often ends up in just treading water, going nowhere, and even in complete failure. And it can also involve incredible stresses and strains in one’s life.
There are many trade journals on this site and I would encourage short-term readers to read through this award-winning journal, which gives an open and very honest insight into the “day-in-the-life-of-a-day-trader”.
I consider the author, @alphahavoc , a personal friend even though we have only met on this site, and I am sure he will not mind his journal being linked to this thread in this way:
I would also link here an article that arrived yesterday in my email from Nial Fuller, in which he posts a damning critique of Day Trading:
But, on the other hand, I could point to one simple trading method called “The Three Ducks”, devised by Captain Currency which has been around for years and has established threads on many forums as well as twitter feeds, e-manuals, and so on. It has been on this site since 2007 and is still running:
I have seen many experienced traders recommending this method because it is based on multiple TF’s but it is still a method based on discretionary entry/exits off a 5min chart.
The point I am making here, by way of a discussion stimulant rather than an answer, is what exactly is day trading. After this, we can more clearly look at what works and what doesn’t - and why.