Survival of the Fittest
(Source: Bear Stearns, March 2002)
Amy Butte, an analyst at Bear Stearns, is the only person I know of on Wall Street who pays attention to the importance of day traders in the U.S. financial markets. Her first report, published in April 2000, was called Day Trading and Beyond: A New Niche Is Emerging. She updated that report in January 2001, and most recently wrote another update, Survival of the Fittest: The Semi-Pro Trader Is Alive and Well, in March of this year. Drop me an email if you're interested in reading them.
As you can see in the graphic above, the semi-professionals (meaning full-time, direct-access traders) numbering only 40,000, just two-tenths of one percent of all online traders, account for over 83% of daily trades, and average nearly 50 trades per day. These are the "best" (i.e. most profitable) customers a broker could have, and they're not just surviving the bear market, they're thriving.