TD Ameritrade, another brokerage popular with active traders, is seeing record levels of trading activity, according to representative Kim Hilyer. New assets for the first 20 days of October were approximately $2 billion, compared with $2.8 billion for the entire fourth quarter.
"Traders are taking advantage of the volatility in the markets-making more intraweek and intraday trades than we've seen before," Hilyer says. "Clients are not quitting their day jobs en masse to trade full time, but we are seeing casual traders becoming more active."
TradeStation, another firm that markets itself to high-volume investors, reported record net revenues of $41.8 million in the third quarter. The company's brokerage commissions and fees increased 22 percent year over year as a result of higher trading volume by the brokerage firm's client accounts, due mainly to increased market volatility and net account growth, according to SEC filings.
"High volatility means you have a lot of ups and downs in the market, and that allows you to trade," says CEO Solomon Sredni. "When the market is flat, there isn't as much opportunity."
Here's some more from the article:
Cathy Stockstill, a day trader who began playing the market during the first dot-com boom and, unlike many of her fellow investors, stayed with it, says the seesawing stock market has been "excellent for me."
She claims to have made $500,000 trading stocks, options, and exchange-traded funds in the last eight months. But she cautions: "This is work. This isn't easy."
Stockstill, who ran her own clothing and furniture businesses before deciding to invest full time, is constantly monitoring markets around the world, looking at futures, currencies, and other investments. She is an ongoing student of using various technical indicators to divine the direction of share prices. Bloomberg and CNBC are on in the background in her home office throughout the day. "There's a lot to know," she says. "If you don't understand charts, you can really get killed."