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In my entire life, as far as I know I've only ever met one person who played the stock market manually and did well at it. It was almost a hobby for him. He enjoyed analysing individual businesses very carefully, and would look for clearly financially sensible opportunities that were effective at relatively small scales but overlooked by the big players.

A favourite type of investment that came up now and then would be a stock that had seen a sudden sharp drop in share price triggered by some announcement that sounded scary but actually made perfect sense if you understood the industry, so it panicked investors who were only looking at the numbers and left the price-to-book low or sometimes even below 1 at the time he bought. That's probably as close to a certain profit as you're ever likely to find trading stocks.

In any case, he almost always invested in "real" businesses and for the long term. He would set stops to protect himself, but he wasn't really a day-trader in the sense we're talking about here.

The last I heard, his average annual returns were something like 15-20% before taxes and fees, which is a pretty impressive record given he'd maintained it for many years and through both bull and bear markets. I doubt most people could do what he did -- the amount of patience and discipline he had were extraordinary -- but it was fascinating discussing it with him, and strangely satisfying to watch him do well by going with common sense and considered choices against a market that was temporarily confused about something.

This is warren buffet style value investing.

"Day Trading" is actively taking positions with the intent to sell in the "short-term".

Yes, exactly. My point was just that anecdotally, literally no-one I know who has attempted "day trading" style investing has made good money from it over the long term. In contrast, the one person I know who has attempted "value" style investing and done it seriously actually has made quite good money from it consistently. This is in line with the article's conclusions, but in another context: it looks like an individual trying to day-trade in today's markets is probably setting up to fail.

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