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Jack Shepherd

Jack Shepherd

5 months ago

A Dog's Guide to Every Type of Zoom Call Participant

More on Society & Culture

Scott Galloway

Scott Galloway

5 months ago

First Health

ZERO GRACE/ZERO MALICE

Amazon's purchase of One Medical could speed up American healthcare

The U.S. healthcare industry is a 7-ton seal bleeding at sea. Predators are circling. Unearned margin: price increases relative to inflation without quality improvements. Amazon is the 11-foot megalodon with 7-inch teeth. Amazon is no longer circling... but attacking.

In 2020 dollars, per capita U.S. healthcare spending increased from $2,968 in 1980 to $12,531. The result is a massive industry with 13% of the nation's workers and a fifth of GDP.

Doctor No

In 40 years, healthcare has made progress. From 73.7 in 1980 to 78.8 in 2019, life expectancy rose (before Covid knocked it back down a bit). Pharmacological therapies have revolutionized, and genetic research is paying off. The financial return, improvement split by cost increases, is terrible. No country has expense rises like the U.S., and no one spends as much per capita as we do. Developed countries have longer life expectancies, healthier populations, and less economic hardship.

Two-thirds of U.S. personal bankruptcies are due to medical expenses and/or missed work. Mom or Dad getting cancer could bankrupt many middle-class American families. 40% of American adults delayed or skipped needed care due to cost. Every healthcare improvement seems to have a downside. Same pharmacological revolution that helped millions caused opioid epidemic. Our results are poor in many areas: The U.S. has a high infant mortality rate.

Healthcare is the second-worst retail industry in the country. Gas stations are #1. Imagine walking into a Best Buy to buy a TV and a Blue Shirt associate requests you fill out the same 14 pages of paperwork you filled out yesterday. Then you wait in a crowded room until they call you, 20 minutes after the scheduled appointment you were asked to arrive early for, to see the one person in the store who can talk to you about TVs, who has 10 minutes for you. The average emergency room wait time in New York is 6 hours and 10 minutes.

If it's bad for the customer, it's worse for the business. Physicians spend 27% of their time helping patients; 49% on EHRs. Documentation, order entry, billing, and inbox management. Spend a decade getting an M.D., then become a bureaucrat.

No industry better illustrates scale diseconomies. If we got the same return on healthcare spending as other countries, we'd all live to 100. We could spend less, live longer and healthier, and pay off the national debt in 15 years. U.S. healthcare is the worst ever.

What now? Competition is at the heart of capitalism, the worst system of its kind.

Priority Time

Amazon is buying One Medical for $3.9 billion. I think this deal will liberate society. Two years in, I think One Medical is great. When I got Covid, I pressed the One Medical symbol on my phone; a nurse practitioner prescribed Paxlovid and told me which pharmacies had it in stock.

Amazon enables the company's vision. One Medical's stock is down to $10 from $40 at the start of 2021. Last year, it lost $250 million and needs cash (Amazon has $60 billion). ONEM must grow. The service has 736,000 members. Half of U.S. households have Amazon Prime. Finally, delivery. One Medical is a digital health/physical office hybrid, but you must pick up medication at the pharmacy. Upgrade your Paxlovid delivery time after a remote consultation. Amazon's core competency means it'll happen. Healthcare speed and convenience will feel alien.

It's been a long, winding road to disruption. Amazon, JPMorgan, and Berkshire Hathaway formed Haven four years ago to provide better healthcare for their 1.5 million employees. It rocked healthcare stocks the morning of the press release, but folded in 2021.

Amazon Care is an employee-focused service. Home-delivered virtual health services and nurses. It's doing well, expanding nationwide, and providing healthcare for other companies. Hilton is Amazon Care's biggest customer. The acquisition of One Medical will bring 66 million Prime households capital, domain expertise, and billing infrastructure. Imagine:

"Alexa, I'm hot and my back hurts."

"Connecting you to a Prime doctor now."

Want to vs. Have to

I predicted Amazon entering healthcare years ago. Why? For the same reason Apple is getting into auto. Amazon's P/E is 56, double Walmart's. The corporation must add $250 billion in revenue over the next five years to retain its share price. White-label clothes or smart home products won't generate as much revenue. It must enter a huge market without scale, operational competence, and data skills.

Current Situation

Healthcare reform benefits both consumers and investors. In 2015, healthcare services had S&P 500-average multiples. The market is losing faith in public healthcare businesses' growth. Healthcare services have lower EV/EBITDA multiples than the S&P 500.

Amazon isn't the only prey-hunter. Walmart and Alibaba are starting pharmacies. Uber is developing medical transportation. Private markets invested $29 billion in telehealth last year, up 95% from 2020.

The pandemic accelerated telehealth, the immediate unlock. After the first positive Covid case in the U.S., services that had to be delivered in person shifted to Zoom... We lived. We grew. Video house calls continued after in-person visits were allowed. McKinsey estimates telehealth visits are 38 times pre-pandemic levels. Doctors adopted the technology, regulators loosened restrictions, and patients saved time. We're far from remote surgery, but many patient visits are unnecessary. A study of 40 million patients during lockdown found that for chronic disease patients, online visits didn't affect outcomes. This method of care will only improve.

Amazon's disruption will be significant and will inspire a flood of capital, startups, and consumer brands. Mark Cuban launched a pharmacy that eliminates middlemen in January. Outcome? A 90-day supply of acid-reflux medication costs $17. Medicare could have saved $3.6 billion by buying generic drugs from Cuban's pharmacy. Other apex predators will look at different limbs of the carcass for food. Nike could enter healthcare via orthopedics, acupuncture, and chiropractic. LVMH, L'Oréal, and Estée Lauder may launch global plastic surgery brands. Hilton and Four Seasons may open hospitals. Lennar and Pulte could build "Active Living" communities that Nana would leave feet first, avoiding the expense and tragedy of dying among strangers.

Risks

Privacy matters: HIV status is different from credit card and billing address. Most customers (60%) feel fine sharing personal health data via virtual technologies, though. Unavoidable. 85% of doctors believe data-sharing and interoperability will become the norm. Amazon is the most trusted tech company for handling personal data. Not Meta: Amazon.

What about antitrust, then?

Amazon should be required to spin off AWS and/or Amazon Fulfillment and banned from promoting its own products. It should be allowed to acquire hospitals. One Medical's $3.9 billion acquisition is a drop in the bucket compared to UnitedHealth's $498 billion market valuation.

Antitrust enforcement shouldn't assume some people/firms are good/bad. It should recognize that competition is good and focus on making markets more competitive in each deal. The FTC should force asset divestitures in e-commerce, digital marketing, and social media. These companies can also promote competition in a social ill.

U.S. healthcare makes us fat, depressed, and broke. Competition has produced massive value and prosperity across most of our economy.

Dear Amazon … bring it.

Hudson Rennie

Hudson Rennie

2 months ago

Meet the $5 million monthly controversy-selling King of Toxic Masculinity.

Trigger warning — Andrew Tate is running a genius marketing campaign

Image via Instagram: @cobratate

Andrew Tate is a 2022 internet celebrity.

Kickboxing world champion became rich playboy with controversial views on gender roles.

Andrew's get-rich-quick scheme isn't new. His social media popularity is impressive.

He’s currently running one of the most genius marketing campaigns in history.

He pulls society's pendulum away from diversity and inclusion and toward diversion and exclusion. He's unstoppable.

Here’s everything you need to know about Andrew Tate. And how he’s playing chess while the world plays checkers.

Cobra Tate is the name he goes by.

American-born, English-raised entrepreneur Andrew Tate lives in Romania.

Romania? Says Andrew,

“I prefer a country in which corruption is available to everyone.”

Andrew was a professional kickboxer with the ring moniker Cobra before starting Hustlers University.

Before that, he liked chess and worshipped his father.

Emory Andrew Tate III is named after his grandmaster chess player father.

Emory was the first black-American chess champion. He was military, martial arts-trained, and multilingual. A superhuman.

He lived in his car to make ends meet.

Andrew and Tristan relocated to England with their mother when their parents split.

It was there that Andrew began his climb toward becoming one of the internet’s greatest villains.

Andrew fell in love with kickboxing.

Andrew spent his 20s as a professional kickboxer and reality TV star, featuring on Big Brother UK and The Ultimate Traveller.

These 3 incidents, along with a chip on his shoulder, foreshadowed Andrews' social media breakthrough.

  • Chess

  • Combat sports

  • Reality television

A dangerous trio.

Andrew started making money online after quitting kickboxing in 2017 due to an eye issue.

Andrew didn't suddenly become popular.

Andrew's web work started going viral in 2022.

Due to his contentious views on patriarchy and gender norms, he's labeled the King of Toxic Masculinity. His most contentious views (trigger warning):

  • “Women are intrinsically lazy.”

  • “Female promiscuity is disgusting.”

  • “Women shouldn’t drive cars or fly planes.”

  • “A lot of the world’s problems would be solved if women had their body count tattooed on their foreheads.”

Andrew's two main beliefs are:

  1. “These are my personal opinions based on my experiences.”

2. “I believe men are better at some things and women are better at some things. We are not equal.”

Andrew intentionally offends.

Andrew's thoughts began circulating online in 2022.

Image from Google Trends

In July 2022, he was one of the most Googled humans, surpassing:

  • Joe Biden

  • Donald Trump

  • Kim Kardashian

Andrews' rise is a mystery since no one can censure or suppress him. This is largely because Andrew nor his team post his clips.

But more on that later.

Andrew's path to wealth.

Andrew Tate is a self-made millionaire. His morality is uncertain.

Andrew and Tristan needed money soon after retiring from kickboxing.

“I owed some money to some dangerous people. I had $70K and needed $100K to stay alive.”

Andrews lost $20K on roulette at a local casino.

Andrew had one week to make $50,000, so he started planning. Andrew locked himself in a chamber like Thomas Edison to solve an energy dilemma.

He listed his assets.

  • Physical strength (but couldn’t fight)

  • a BMW (worth around $20K)

  • Intelligence (but no outlet)

A lightbulb.

He had an epiphany after viewing a webcam ad. He sought aid from women, ironically. His 5 international girlfriends are assets.

Then, a lightbulb.

Andrew and Tristan messaged and flew 7 women to a posh restaurant. Selling desperation masked as opportunity, Andrew pitched his master plan:

A webcam business — with a 50/50 revenue split.

5 women left.

2 stayed.

Andrew Tate, a broke kickboxer, became Top G, Cobra Tate.

The business model was simple — yet sad.

Andrew's girlfriends moved in with him and spoke online for 15+ hours a day. Andrew handled ads and equipment as the women posed.

Andrew eventually took over their keyboards, believing he knew what men wanted more than women.

Andrew detailed on the Full Send Podcast how he emotionally manipulated men for millions. They sold houses, automobiles, and life savings to fuel their companionship addiction.

When asked if he felt bad, Andrew said,

“F*ck no.“

Andrew and Tristan wiped off debts, hired workers, and diversified.

Tristan supervised OnlyFans models.

Andrew bought Romanian casinos and MMA league RXF (Real Xtreme Fighting).

Pandemic struck suddenly.

Andrew couldn't run his 2 businesses without a plan. Another easy moneymaker.

He banked on Hustlers University.

The actual cause of Andrew's ubiquity.

On a Your Mom’s House episode Andrew's 4 main revenue sources:

  1. Hustler’s University

2. Owning casinos in Romania

3. Owning 10% of the Romanian MMA league “RXF

4. “The War Room” — a society of rich and powerful men

When the pandemic hit, 3/4 became inoperable.

So he expanded Hustlers University.

But what is Hustler’s University?

Andrew says Hustlers University teaches 18 wealth-building tactics online. Examples:

  • Real estate

  • Copywriting

  • Amazon FBA

  • Dropshipping

  • Flipping Cryptos

How to swiftly become wealthy.

Lessons are imprecise, rudimentary, and macro-focused, say reviews. Invest wisely, etc. Everything is free online.

You pay for community. One unique income stream.

The only money-making mechanism that keeps the course from being a scam.

The truth is, many of Andrew’s students are actually making money. Maybe not from the free YouTube knowledge Andrew and his professors teach in the course, but through Hustler’s University’s affiliate program.

Affiliates earn 10% commission for each new student = $5.

Students can earn $10 for each new referral in the first two months.

Andrew earns $50 per membership per month.

This affiliate program isn’t anything special — in fact, it’s on the lower end of affiliate payouts. Normally, it wouldn’t be very lucrative.

But it has one secret weapon— Andrew and his viral opinions.

Andrew is viral. Andrew went on a media tour in January 2022 after appearing on Your Mom's House.

And many, many more…

He chatted with Twitch streamers. Hustlers University wanted more controversy (and clips).

Here’s the strategy behind Hustler’s University that has (allegedly) earned students upwards of $10K per month:

  1. Make a social media profile with Andrew Tates' name and photo.

  2. Post any of the online videos of Andrews that have gone viral.

  3. Include a referral link in your bio.

Effectively simple.

Andrew's controversy attracts additional students. More student clips circulate as more join. Andrew's students earn more and promote the product as he goes viral.

A brilliant plan that's functioning.

At the beginning of his media tour, Hustler’s University had 5,000 students. 6 months in, and he now has over 100,000.

One income stream generates $5 million every month.

Andrew's approach is not new.

But it is different.

In the early 2010s, Tai Lopez dominated the internet.

His viral video showed his house.

“Here in my garage. Just bought this new Lamborghini.”

Tais' marketing focused on intellect, not strength, power, and wealth to attract women.

How reading quicker leads to financial freedom in 67 steps.

Years later, it was revealed that Tai Lopez rented the mansion and Lamborghini as a marketing ploy to build social proof. Meanwhile, he was living in his friend’s trailer.

Faked success is an old tactic.

Andrew is doing something similar. But with one major distinction.

Andrew outsources his virality — making him nearly impossible to cancel.

In 2022, authorities searched Andrews' estate over human trafficking suspicions. Investigation continues despite withdrawn charges.

Andrew's divisive nature would normally get him fired. Andrew's enterprises and celebrity don't rely on social media.

He doesn't promote or pay for ads. Instead, he encourages his students and anyone wishing to get rich quick to advertise his work.

Because everything goes through his affiliate program. Old saying:

“All publicity is good publicity.”

Final thoughts: it’s ok to feel triggered.

Tate is divisive.

His emotionally charged words are human nature. Andrews created the controversy.

It's non-personal.

His opinions are those of one person. Not world nor generational opinion.

Briefly:

  • It's easy to understand why Andrews' face is ubiquitous. Money.

  • The world wide web is a chessboard. Misdirection is part of it.

  • It’s not personal, it’s business.

  • Controversy sells

Sometimes understanding the ‘why’, can help you deal with the ‘what.’

Hector de Isidro

Hector de Isidro

4 months ago

Why can't you speak English fluently even though you understand it?

Many of us have struggled for years to master a second language (in my case, English). Because (at least in my situation) we've always used an input-based system or method.

I'll explain in detail, but briefly: We can understand some conversations or sentences (since we've trained), but we can't give sophisticated answers or speak fluently (because we have NOT trained at all).

What exactly is input-based learning?

Reading, listening, writing, and speaking are key language abilities (if you look closely at that list, it seems that people tend to order them in this way: inadvertently giving more priority to the first ones than to the last ones).

These talents fall under two learning styles:

  • Reading and listening are input-based activities (sometimes referred to as receptive skills or passive learning).

  • Writing and speaking are output-based tasks (also known as the productive skills and/or active learning).

by Anson Wong

What's the best learning style? To learn a language, we must master four interconnected skills. The difficulty is how much time and effort we give each.

According to Shion Kabasawa's books The Power of Input: How to Maximize Learning and The Power of Output: How to Change Learning to Outcome (available only in Japanese), we spend 7:3 more time on Input Based skills than Output Based skills when we should be doing the opposite, leaning more towards Output (Input: Output->3:7).

I can't tell you how he got those numbers, but I think he's not far off because, for example, think of how many people say they're learning a second language and are satisfied bragging about it by only watching TV, series, or movies in VO (and/or reading a book or whatever) their Input is: 7:0 output!

You can't be good at a sport by watching TikTok videos about it; you must play.

“being pushed to produce language puts learners in a better position to notice the ‘gaps’ in their language knowledge”, encouraging them to ‘upgrade’ their existing interlanguage system. And, as they are pushed to produce language in real time and thereby forced to automate low-level operations by incorporating them into higher-level routines, it may also contribute to the development of fluency. — Scott Thornbury (P is for Push)

How may I practice output-based learning more?

I know that listening or reading is easy and convenient because we can do it on our own in a wide range of situations, even during another activity (although, as you know, it's not ideal), writing can be tedious/boring (it's funny that we almost always excuse ourselves in the lack of ideas), and speaking requires an interlocutor. But we must leave our comfort zone and modify our thinking to go from 3:7 to 7:3. (or at least balance it better to something closer). Gradually.

“You don’t have to do a lot every day, but you have to do something. Something. Every day.” — Callie Oettinger (Do this every day)

We can practice speaking like boxers shadow box.

Speaking out loud strengthens the mind-mouth link (otherwise, you will still speak fluently in your mind but you will choke when speaking out loud). This doesn't mean we should talk to ourselves on the way to work, while strolling, or on public transportation. We should try to do it without disturbing others, such as explaining what we've heard, read, or seen (the list is endless: you can TALK about what happened yesterday, your bedtime book, stories you heard at the office, that new kitten video you saw on Instagram, an experience you had, some new fact, that new boring episode you watched on Netflix, what you ate, what you're going to do next, your upcoming vacation, what’s trending, the news of the day)

Who will correct my grammar, vocabulary, or pronunciation with an imagined friend? We can't have everything, but tools and services can help [1].

Lack of bravery

Fear of speaking a language different than one's mother tongue in front of native speakers is global. It's easier said than done, because strangers, not your friends, will always make fun of your accent or faults. Accept it and try again. Karma will prevail.

Perfectionism is a trap. Stop self-sabotaging. Communication is key (and for that you have to practice the Output too ).

“Don’t forget to have fun and enjoy the process.” — Ruri Ohama

[1] Grammarly, Deepl, Google Translate, etc.

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Patryk Nawrocki

Patryk Nawrocki

6 months ago

7 things a new UX/UI designer should know

If I could tell my younger self a few rules, they would boost my career.

1. Treat design like medicine; don't get attached.

If it doesn't help, you won't be angry, but you'll try to improve it. Designers blame others if they don't like the design, but the rule is the same: we solve users' problems. You're not your design, and neither are they. Be humble with your work because your assumptions will often be wrong and users will behave differently.

2. Consider your design flawed.

Disagree with yourself, then defend your ideas. Most designers forget to dig deeper into a pattern, screen, button, or copywriting. If someone asked, "Have you considered alternatives? How does this design stack up? Here's a functional UX checklist to help you make design decisions.

3. Codeable solutions.

If your design requires more developer time, consider whether it's worth spending more money to code something with a small UX impact. Overthinking problems and designing abstract patterns is easy. Sometimes you see something on dribbble or bechance and try to recreate it, but it's not worth it. Here's my article on it.

4. Communication changes careers

Designers often talk with users, clients, companies, developers, and other designers. How you talk and present yourself can land you a job. Like driving or swimming, practice it. Success requires being outgoing and friendly. If I hadn't said "hello" to a few people, I wouldn't be where I am now.

5. Ignorance of the law is not an excuse.

Copyright, taxation How often have you used an icon without checking its license? If you use someone else's work in your project, the owner can cause you a lot of problems — paying a lot of money isn't worth it. Spend a few hours reading about copyrights, client agreements, and taxes.

6. Always test your design

If nobody has seen or used my design, it's not finished. Ask friends about prototypes. Testing reveals how wrong your assumptions were. Steve Krug, one of the authorities on this topic will tell you more about how to do testing.

7. Run workshops

A UX designer's job involves talking to people and figuring out what they need, which is difficult because they usually don't know. Organizing teamwork sessions is a powerful skill, but you must also be a good listener. Your job is to help a quiet, introverted developer express his solution and control the group. AJ Smart has more on workshops here.

Micah Daigle

Micah Daigle

5 months ago

Facebook is going away. Here are two explanations for why it hasn't been replaced yet.

And tips for anyone trying.

We see the same story every few years.

BREAKING NEWS: [Platform X] launched a social network. With Facebook's reputation down, the new startup bets millions will switch.

Despite the excitement surrounding each new platform (Diaspora, Ello, Path, MeWe, Minds, Vero, etc.), no major exodus occurred.

Snapchat and TikTok attracted teens with fresh experiences (ephemeral messaging and rapid-fire videos). These features aren't Facebook, even if Facebook replicated them.

Facebook's core is simple: you publish items (typically text/images) and your friends (generally people you know IRL) can discuss them.

It's cool. Sometimes I don't want to, but sh*t. I like it.

Because, well, I like many folks I've met. I enjoy keeping in touch with them and their banter.

I dislike Facebook's corporation. I've been cautiously optimistic whenever a Facebook-killer surfaced.

None succeeded.

Why? Two causes, I think:

People couldn't switch quickly enough, which is reason #1

Your buddies make a social network social.

Facebook started in self-contained communities (college campuses) then grew outward. But a new platform can't.

If we're expected to leave Facebook, we want to know that most of our friends will too.

Most Facebook-killers had bottlenecks. You have to waitlist or jump through hoops (e.g. setting up a server).

Same outcome. Upload. Chirp.

After a week or two of silence, individuals returned to Facebook.

Reason #2: The fundamental experience was different.

Even when many of our friends joined in the first few weeks, it wasn't the same.

There were missing features or a different UX.

Want to reply with a meme? No photos in comments yet. (Trying!)

Want to tag a friend? Nope, sorry. 2019!

Want your friends to see your post? You must post to all your friends' servers. Good luck!

It's difficult to introduce a platform with 100% of the same features as one that's been there for 20 years, yet customers want a core experience.

If you can't, they'll depart.

The causes that led to the causes

Having worked on software teams for 14+ years, I'm not surprised by these challenges. They are a natural development of a few tech sector meta-problems:

Lean startup methodology

Silicon Valley worships lean startup. It's a way of developing software that involves testing a stripped-down version with a limited number of people before selecting what to build.

Billion people use Facebook's functions. They aren't tested. It must work right away*

*This may seem weird to software people, but it's how non-software works! You can't sell a car without wheels.

2. Creativity

Startup entrepreneurs build new things, not copies. I understand. Reinventing the wheel is boring.

We know what works. Different experiences raise adoption friction. Once millions have transferred, more features (and a friendlier UX) can be implemented.

3. Cost scaling

True. Building a product that can sustain hundreds of millions of users in weeks is expensive and complex.

Your lifeboats must have the same capacity as the ship you're evacuating. It's required.

4. Pure ideologies

People who work on Facebook-alternatives are (understandably) critical of Facebook.

They build an open-source, fully-distributed, data-portable, interface-customizable, offline-capable, censorship-proof platform.

Prioritizing these aims can prevent replicating the straightforward experience users expect. Github, not Facebook, is for techies only.

What about the business plan, though?

Facebook-killer attempts have followed three models.

  1. Utilize VC funding to increase your user base, then monetize them later. (If you do this, you won't kill Facebook; instead, Facebook will become you.)

  2. Users must pay to utilize it. (This causes a huge bottleneck and slows the required quick expansion, preventing it from seeming like a true social network.)

  3. Make it a volunteer-run, open-source endeavor that is free. (This typically denotes that something is cumbersome, difficult to operate, and is only for techies.)

Wikipedia is a fourth way.

Wikipedia is one of the most popular websites and a charity. No ads. Donations support them.

A Facebook-killer managed by a good team may gather millions (from affluent contributors and the crowd) for their initial phase of development. Then it might sustain on regular donations, ethical transactions (e.g. fees on commerce, business sites, etc.), and government grants/subsidies (since it would essentially be a public utility).

When you're not aiming to make investors rich, it's remarkable how little money you need.

If you want to build a Facebook competitor, follow these tips:

  1. Drop the lean startup philosophy. Wait until you have a finished product before launching. Build it, thoroughly test it for bugs, and then release it.

  2. Delay innovating. Wait till millions of people have switched before introducing your great new features. Make it nearly identical for now.

  3. Spend money climbing. Make sure that guests can arrive as soon as they are invited. Never keep them waiting. Make things easy for them.

  4. Make it accessible to all. Even if doing so renders it less philosophically pure, it shouldn't require technical expertise to utilize.

  5. Constitute a nonprofit. Additionally, develop community ownership structures. Profit maximization is not the only strategy for preserving valued assets.

Last thoughts

Nobody has killed Facebook, but Facebook is killing itself.

The startup is burying the newsfeed to become a TikTok clone. Meta itself seems to be ditching the platform for the metaverse.

I wish I was happy, but I'm not. I miss (understandably) removed friends' postings and remarks. It could be a ghost town in a few years. My dance moves aren't TikTok-worthy.

Who will lead? It's time to develop a social network for the people.

Greetings if you're working on it. I'm not a company founder, but I like to help hard-working folks.

Justin Kuepper

Justin Kuepper

9 months ago

Day Trading Introduction

Historically, only large financial institutions, brokerages, and trading houses could actively trade in the stock market. With instant global news dissemination and low commissions, developments such as discount brokerages and online trading have leveled the playing—or should we say trading—field. It's never been easier for retail investors to trade like pros thanks to trading platforms like Robinhood and zero commissions.

Day trading is a lucrative career (as long as you do it properly). But it can be difficult for newbies, especially if they aren't fully prepared with a strategy. Even the most experienced day traders can lose money.

So, how does day trading work?

Day Trading Basics

Day trading is the practice of buying and selling a security on the same trading day. It occurs in all markets, but is most common in forex and stock markets. Day traders are typically well educated and well funded. For small price movements in highly liquid stocks or currencies, they use leverage and short-term trading strategies.

Day traders are tuned into short-term market events. News trading is a popular strategy. Scheduled announcements like economic data, corporate earnings, or interest rates are influenced by market psychology. Markets react when expectations are not met or exceeded, usually with large moves, which can help day traders.

Intraday trading strategies abound. Among these are:

  • Scalping: This strategy seeks to profit from minor price changes throughout the day.
  • Range trading: To determine buy and sell levels, range traders use support and resistance levels.
  • News-based trading exploits the increased volatility around news events.
  • High-frequency trading (HFT): The use of sophisticated algorithms to exploit small or short-term market inefficiencies.

A Disputed Practice

Day trading's profit potential is often debated on Wall Street. Scammers have enticed novices by promising huge returns in a short time. Sadly, the notion that trading is a get-rich-quick scheme persists. Some daytrade without knowledge. But some day traders succeed despite—or perhaps because of—the risks.

Day trading is frowned upon by many professional money managers. They claim that the reward rarely outweighs the risk. Those who day trade, however, claim there are profits to be made. Profitable day trading is possible, but it is risky and requires considerable skill. Moreover, economists and financial professionals agree that active trading strategies tend to underperform passive index strategies over time, especially when fees and taxes are factored in.

Day trading is not for everyone and is risky. It also requires a thorough understanding of how markets work and various short-term profit strategies. Though day traders' success stories often get a lot of media attention, keep in mind that most day traders are not wealthy: Many will fail, while others will barely survive. Also, while skill is important, bad luck can sink even the most experienced day trader.

Characteristics of a Day Trader

Experts in the field are typically well-established professional day traders.
They usually have extensive market knowledge. Here are some prerequisites for successful day trading.

Market knowledge and experience

Those who try to day-trade without understanding market fundamentals frequently lose. Day traders should be able to perform technical analysis and read charts. Charts can be misleading if not fully understood. Do your homework and know the ins and outs of the products you trade.

Enough capital

Day traders only use risk capital they can lose. This not only saves them money but also helps them trade without emotion. To profit from intraday price movements, a lot of capital is often required. Most day traders use high levels of leverage in margin accounts, and volatile market swings can trigger large margin calls on short notice.

Strategy

A trader needs a competitive advantage. Swing trading, arbitrage, and trading news are all common day trading strategies. They tweak these strategies until they consistently profit and limit losses.

Strategy Breakdown:

Type | Risk | Reward

Swing Trading | High | High
Arbitrage | Low | Medium
Trading News | Medium | Medium
Mergers/Acquisitions | Medium | High

Discipline

A profitable strategy is useless without discipline. Many day traders lose money because they don't meet their own criteria. “Plan the trade and trade the plan,” they say. Success requires discipline.

Day traders profit from market volatility. For a day trader, a stock's daily movement is appealing. This could be due to an earnings report, investor sentiment, or even general economic or company news.

Day traders also prefer highly liquid stocks because they can change positions without affecting the stock's price. Traders may buy a stock if the price rises. If the price falls, a trader may decide to sell short to profit.

A day trader wants to trade a stock that moves (a lot).

Day Trading for a Living

Professional day traders can be self-employed or employed by a larger institution.

Most day traders work for large firms like hedge funds and banks' proprietary trading desks. These traders benefit from direct counterparty lines, a trading desk, large capital and leverage, and expensive analytical software (among other advantages). By taking advantage of arbitrage and news events, these traders can profit from less risky day trades before individual traders react.

Individual traders often manage other people’s money or simply trade with their own. They rarely have access to a trading desk, but they frequently have strong ties to a brokerage (due to high commissions) and other resources. However, their limited scope prevents them from directly competing with institutional day traders. Not to mention more risks. Individuals typically day trade highly liquid stocks using technical analysis and swing trades, with some leverage. 

Day trading necessitates access to some of the most complex financial products and services. Day traders usually need:

Access to a trading desk

Traders who work for large institutions or manage large sums of money usually use this. The trading or dealing desk provides these traders with immediate order execution, which is critical during volatile market conditions. For example, when an acquisition is announced, day traders interested in merger arbitrage can place orders before the rest of the market.

News sources

The majority of day trading opportunities come from news, so being the first to know when something significant happens is critical. It has access to multiple leading newswires, constant news coverage, and software that continuously analyzes news sources for important stories.

Analytical tools

Most day traders rely on expensive trading software. Technical traders and swing traders rely on software more than news. This software's features include:

  • Automatic pattern recognition: It can identify technical indicators like flags and channels, or more complex indicators like Elliott Wave patterns.

  • Genetic and neural applications: These programs use neural networks and genetic algorithms to improve trading systems and make more accurate price predictions.

  • Broker integration: Some of these apps even connect directly to the brokerage, allowing for instant and even automatic trade execution. This reduces trading emotion and improves execution times.

  • Backtesting: This allows traders to look at past performance of a strategy to predict future performance. Remember that past results do not always predict future results.

Together, these tools give traders a competitive advantage. It's easy to see why inexperienced traders lose money without them. A day trader's earnings potential is also affected by the market in which they trade, their capital, and their time commitment.

Day Trading Risks

Day trading can be intimidating for the average investor due to the numerous risks involved. The SEC highlights the following risks of day trading:

Because day traders typically lose money in their first months of trading and many never make profits, they should only risk money they can afford to lose.
Trading is a full-time job that is stressful and costly: Observing dozens of ticker quotes and price fluctuations to spot market trends requires intense concentration. Day traders also spend a lot on commissions, training, and computers.
Day traders heavily rely on borrowing: Day-trading strategies rely on borrowed funds to make profits, which is why many day traders lose everything and end up in debt.
Avoid easy profit promises: Avoid “hot tips” and “expert advice” from day trading newsletters and websites, and be wary of day trading educational seminars and classes. 

Should You Day Trade?
As stated previously, day trading as a career can be difficult and demanding.

  • First, you must be familiar with the trading world and know your risk tolerance, capital, and goals.
  • Day trading also takes a lot of time. You'll need to put in a lot of time if you want to perfect your strategies and make money. Part-time or whenever isn't going to cut it. You must be fully committed.
  • If you decide trading is for you, remember to start small. Concentrate on a few stocks rather than jumping into the market blindly. Enlarging your trading strategy can result in big losses.
  • Finally, keep your cool and avoid trading emotionally. The more you can do that, the better. Keeping a level head allows you to stay focused and on track.
    If you follow these simple rules, you may be on your way to a successful day trading career.

Is Day Trading Illegal?

Day trading is not illegal or unethical, but it is risky. Because most day-trading strategies use margin accounts, day traders risk losing more than they invest and becoming heavily in debt.

How Can Arbitrage Be Used in Day Trading?

Arbitrage is the simultaneous purchase and sale of a security in multiple markets to profit from small price differences. Because arbitrage ensures that any deviation in an asset's price from its fair value is quickly corrected, arbitrage opportunities are rare.

Why Don’t Day Traders Hold Positions Overnight?

Day traders rarely hold overnight positions for several reasons: Overnight trades require more capital because most brokers require higher margin; stocks can gap up or down on overnight news, causing big trading losses; and holding a losing position overnight in the hope of recovering some or all of the losses may be against the trader's core day-trading philosophy.

What Are Day Trader Margin Requirements?

Regulation D requires that a pattern day trader client of a broker-dealer maintain at all times $25,000 in equity in their account.

How Much Buying Power Does Day Trading Have?

Buying power is the total amount of funds an investor has available to trade securities. FINRA rules allow a pattern day trader to trade up to four times their maintenance margin excess as of the previous day's close.

The Verdict

Although controversial, day trading can be a profitable strategy. Day traders, both institutional and retail, keep the markets efficient and liquid. Though day trading is still popular among novice traders, it should be left to those with the necessary skills and resources.