Recent figures suggest that there are more than 10 million online traders worldwide, with more than 300,000 based in the UK alone. Online trading has increased dramatically in light of the Covid pandemic, with more investors taking complete control of their future. This prompts the question, why has day trading become so popular?


Online trading revolution


It is no secret that recent developments in electronic trading have made it much easier to trade online from the comfort of your own home. This has prompted a vast increase in the number of online traders, making use of a raft of research now available to the masses. While initially, the financial sector was a little reluctant to embrace the digital revolution, the shackles are off, and the changes keep coming!


Competition in the online trading sector has also seen commissions fall and the quality of services increase. However, as a day trader, it is crucial to focus on established reliable trading platforms, as literally every second counts.


Low-latency online trading


While online trading has been around in some shape or form for numerous years, specific developments in the area of latency are making a massive difference for day traders. Latency measures how quickly your instructions are passed across the network and executed. Those who monitor stocks and shares regularly will know the dramatic speeds at which prices can change. As a result, a profitable position can turn into a loss in the blink of an eye!


Online trading systems have certainly benefited from competition in the industry and considerable investments in technology by leading trading platforms. This has had a massive impact on latency, bringing the measure lower and lower, increasing trading speeds and giving day traders more confidence. Automated stop-loss limits, whether trading stocks and shares, crypto or on foreign exchanges, allow you, in theory, to protect your capital.


Popular markets amongst day traders


Online trading headlines tend to focus on stocks and shares, but this is now a much broader field. There are numerous opportunities for day traders with some of the more popular markets including:-


• Stocks
• Commodities
• Cryptocurrencies
• Forex
• Derivative contracts


Active markets attract online traders, and the asset classes above have experienced regular volatility. Whether looking to scalp, swing trade or use technical analysis to identify potential breakouts, there are numerous opportunities. 


Risk reward factor


When looking at any investment, it is essential to understand the markets and individual assets. Even though online tradingis heavily regulated, this does not eliminate the excess risk associated with some markets. For example, the emergence of cryptocurrencies has been dramatic, but these are currently unregulated markets and highly volatile. In recent times, those looking for volatility would only need to look as far as traditional stock markets!


Many day traders also use financial leverage, which allows them to create relatively large positions with limited capital outlay. This can prove highly lucrative when markets are going in the right direction but can decimate finances once markets turn. As a day trader, the main goal is to protect your capital going forward and maximise gains while minimising losses. Easier said than done!




Day trading was once exclusive to wealthy, well-connected investors, but times have changed. The introduction of the Internet, electronic trading and low-latency trading platforms has revolutionised the industry, making it accessible to the masses. Consequently, over the last 20 years, we have seen an enormous increase in the number of day traders globally. The UK is one of the leading lights in this area, boasting the most day traders amongst European markets.


Often seen as glamorous and lucrative from the outside looking in, day trading can be challenging and stressful. However, taking a risk-adverse structured approach to online trading, maximising gains and minimising losses, has proven beneficial for many online traders.

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