Does anyone daytrade ETF's for a living?

Discussion in 'ETFs' started by Steve Tvardek, Apr 11, 2016.

  1. Hi All-

    Curious if there are any traders out there (reading this board) who are daytrading the SPY, QQQ etc intraday successfully? Most of my trading contacts from the past are no longer in the game (or are managing family money from a longer term trading perspective) so I don't know anyone who is still daytrading fulltime for themselves. When I left trading in 2011, I know many non-quant traders were struggling with liquidity issues and adapting to a world with HFT, but am now wondering if these issues are relevant in the large liquid ETFs today?

    If anyone is daytrading liquid ETFs fulltime, would love to hear your thoughts. Thanks!

  2. rmorse

    rmorse Sponsor

    I have met SPY day traders. Many have moved over to ES futures for the better tax treatment and longer trading hours.
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  3. What about it in particular are your questions o_O
    I don't trade those direct stock indexes -- but rather options on them.
  4. I've traded NYF futures in the 1990's, SP / Nasdaq 100 e-minis up until a few years ago. Now I "compound" assets over long time frames / holding periods using tactical models within tax deferred account using QQQ, small cap value, sectors, bonds, money market. Less transactions / more free time for the same results as the futures "trading" days.

    Director of Quantitative Research
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  5. I day trade volatility ETFs (XIV,VXX,SVXY,UVXY) for a prop trading firm. Plenty of opportunity.
  6. Get a list of all of the ETF's out there...I was away from the game for awhile and came back and there were probably 25x more ETF's out there than I could have imagined...SPY/QQQ are kind of a throwback to some of the 2x/3x ETF's that people are slinging around nowadays.
  7. I actually tried somewhat unsuccessfully to scalp the ES. I had very good success in NYSE issues prior to automation of the exchange (2003-2007). My issue with the ES was the tick size coupled with low volatility. My thinking with the SPY is there is more granularity with penny spreads. I was finding myself getting out flat (minus commish) in the ES whereby in the SPY that same trade could be +.02. Or worse, losing a tick when I may have been able to scalp out flat in the SPY. Of course losses are part of the game but the above two scenarios were a constant theme.

    So while I loved the idea of liquidity and tax benefits, I'm regretting not switching over to liquid ETFs before I left the business. Now, years later, this itch that I can't seem to scratch (daytrading) is flaring up again :)
    murray t turtle likes this.
  8. Robert Morse

    Robert Morse Sponsor

    Whatever works best for you.
  9. What kind of leverage are firms providing these days? About 10 yrs ago I was getting 100:1 (10k up, 1M in BP).
  10. #10     Feb 27, 2017