Table of content

traders losing money in stock market

Table of content

Why Do 95% of Indian Traders Lose Money?

Intraday trading is quite popular with traders in the Indian stock market because of its potential to deliver quick returns. However, data shows us that over 95% of Indian traders are prone to losing money in the markets. A vast majority of traders also tend to stop trading within 1 to 3 years. This all points to one thing — there are some common yet avoidable errors that are pulling the profits down and discouraging aspiring traders.

If you want to avoid this pitfall and learn how to day trade smartly, this trading guide can help. Let’s begin by exploring the common mistakes that cause most traders to lose money in the markets.

5+ Common Reasons Traders Lose Money in the Markets

  • Lack Of Discipline

    Trading requires a disciplined approach and a clear understanding of your risk tolerance and investment goals. However, many new traders enter the market with a casual mindset, often influenced by the stories of quick riches. This lack of discipline leads to impulsive decisions and poor trading plans that fail to analyse the market thoroughly.
  • Not Adding A Stop-Loss Limit

    A stop-loss limit is a critical tool in trading. It helps limit the potential losses on each trade you enter. Many traders in the Indian market either do not set stop-loss limits, or set them too liberally. Without a tight stop-loss, traders are susceptible to the market's volatility. In such cases, one bad trade can result in substantial losses.
  • Trading Against The Trend

    Another common mistake is trading against the market trend. The old adage ‘trend is your friend’ is particularly relevant in trading. However, many traders place orders that go against the prevailing market trend in an attempt to outsmart the market. This strategy can sometimes pay off, but more often than not, it results in losses.
  • Hitting The Panic Button

    The emotional aspect of trading often leads to irrational decisions like panic selling. When the market moves unfavourably, many traders, especially those who are inexperienced, tend to panic and exit their positions hastily. This panic selling often occurs at the worst possible time, leading to significant losses.
  • Overtrading To Cover Losses

    Overtrading is a common trap that traders fall into, especially after facing a loss. In an attempt to recover losses quickly, traders often place more orders than usual or trade with higher volumes. This behaviour increases the risk and can lead to a vicious cycle of losses as it often involves making impulsive and poorly thought-out trades.
  • Relying On External Tips

    Lastly, a significant reason for the high rate of losses among Indian traders is an overreliance on external tips and advice. Many traders base their trading decisions entirely on trading tips from friends, TV experts or unverified online sources. These trading tips are not always reliable and can lead to misguided trades or poor trading choices.

Trading Tips to Avoid These Common Mistakes

Now that you know what causes traders to lose money, you need to learn how to day trade without committing these mistakes. To this end, here are some effective trading tips and guidelines that you can follow to ensure that your losses are minimised and returns are maximised as much as possible.

  • Develop a Trading Plan

    A good trading plan acts as a roadmap, guiding you through market volatility and helping you make rational decisions. So, focus on creating a well-thought-out trading plan that includes your investment goals, risk tolerance and strategies for entering and exiting trades. Also, stick to your plan rigidly; don't let emotions drive your trading decisions.
  • Use Stop-Loss Orders Effectively

    Incorporate stop-loss orders as a fundamental part of your trading strategy. Determine the maximum amount you are willing to lose on each trade and set your stop-loss orders accordingly. This not only limits your losses but also removes the emotional burden of deciding when to sell.
  • Follow the Market Trend

    Following the trend is a key principle in trading. To do this, identify the overall trend of the market and align your trades with the direction in which the market is moving. While counter-trend strategies can be profitable for experienced traders, beginners should focus on trading with the trend. This reduces risk and increases the likelihood of success.
  • Manage Your Emotions

    Emotional discipline is crucial in trading. Don't let fear, greed or panic influence your trading decisions. Learn to accept losses as part of the trading process and avoid emotional reactions like panic selling or revenge trading. Mindfulness and emotional control can also significantly improve the decision-making process in your trading strategy.
  • Avoid Overtrading

    Recognise that not every trading day is ideal for trading. Overtrading, especially to recover your losses, can often lead to more harm than good. So, be patient and wait for high-probability trading opportunities. This approach means sometimes sitting on the sidelines, but it also helps preserve your capital for more opportune market phases.
  • Do Your Own Research

    Relying on tips and hearsay can be extremely dangerous to your capital. Instead, take the time to do your own market research and analysis. Understand the stocks or assets you are trading in and keep yourself informed about the general news. This personal due diligence helps you make informed decisions and develop a unique trading style that works for you.


This trading guide sheds light on the mistakes that most Indian traders are prone to. However, knowledge is power, and the first step to avoiding these pitfalls is to be aware of them. You’ve got that covered, so all you need to do is follow the trading tips and strategies outlined above to ensure that your returns are optimised.

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