I hope you are doing fine and enjoying your well deserved weekend as you guys have realized an amazing result this week!
As much as we’d like to trade full-time, we still have to stay realistic and keep our feet on the ground. Trading is a great way to make money but I don’t recommend trading full-time to anyone who hasn’t achieved consistent returns in less than two years! And even with two years of consistent returns, I don’t recommend becoming completely dependent on your trading. The reason why I don’t recommend full-time trading is purely for your own mental health and the results of your trading.
Imagine for a moment. You trade full-time, you have to pay your rent, you have to pay your insurances, you have to pay off your car, you have a family and you want to keep some money on the side to save. The end of the month is approaching and you haven’t taken any position yet because the market doesn’t present good set-ups, unconsciously you feel the pressure increasing because ‘the rent, my insurance, my car etc’ has to be paid. And the mind is a special thing, even if you are not aware of these thoughts and of this (unconscious) pressure, believe me, your mind feels this and will look for opportunities in the market even if they are not there. You will force positions so that at the end of the month you can still ‘live’ from trading.
The scenario as described above I experienced myself a while ago, so I speak from my own experience. I was injured in the middle of the soccer season. So my income from soccer was partly lost, but what doesn’t disappear are your costs of course. This was the first time in my life that I was completely dependent on a single source of income, my Forex income. These were personally my two ‘worst’ months of Forex trading. Not necessarily in terms of results, but it just didn’t feel good. I was stuck behind my computer all day, my mind started playing games and I was emotionally involved in my positions, I simply didn’t have a routine.
I recommend that anyone who goes / wants to go full-time should first build up a nice reserve so that you can bridge ‘bad months’ with ease. I also advise you to do this in steps. Never quit your job right away, maybe go part-time for a while and see how this works for you before you take the final step to go full-time.
Let me be clear, going full-time is certainly not impossible but it is not for everyone. Not everyone feels comfortable with it and this is not a bad thing at all because here is the good news. You don’t have to go full-time to earn a full-time income with trading. 😉
Provide peace in your brain and your brain will thank you in the form of good results. Adapt your trade style to your ‘normal life’ and not the other way around. If you want a 9-5 job, get it. Do you still want to study, go to school. Do you want to start a business, do it. Don’t let trading limit your life, follow your brain, listen to it and let it feel comfortable.
This is the exact reason why our style of trading is ‘swing trading’. We try to stay in our winning positions for as long as possible. I am talking about weeks and months in 1 position. A few years ago I had to change my style of trading because of soccer and my studies. I used to have the urge to close my position at the end of the day, but this simply meant limiting my winning positions. For the same money, this position could have given me 10% more if I didn’t close it at the end of that day. I was more of a day-trader back then. And as I just mentioned, always adapt your trade style to your life and not the other way around and that’s exactly what I did.
If you combine trading with your job or school, it is very important to create a routine that you can keep up. There is no point in giving yourself immense daily goals that you cannot carry out consistently, you do not get strength from that. What you do get strength from are small goals that you carry out consistently!
An example of a healthy routine:
06:45-07:00 : -Look at pairs of your watchlist. (watchlist = most interesting positions)
07:00-07:30 : -Half hour back testing.
19:00-19:30 : -Half hour educational view.
19:30-19:45 : – Analyze the market to possibly execute the next day.
If you follow this routine you will spend an hour and a half every day, trading. Get up 45 minutes earlier and spend 45 minutes of your evening in trading instead of Netflix. Priorities… Where there is a will there is a way.
Of course you can always change this routine. If you see that this routine is going well and you are profitable, keep it. If you see that you can invest more time, make it more intensive. If you see that this routine is too heavy, make it lighter. But remember, and this is and remains the most important thing, just make sure you are consistent with your routine!
What will be very important for you to combine trading with your job/school, is your preparation at the weekend. 80% of my ‘work’ is done on the weekend, as you know it, the Sunday Market Breakdown. Make sure you provide an hour or two on the weekend to prepare your watch list. Make sure that you have analyzed the 6 most interesting pairs and clearly marked your levels (zones of interest). Once you have indicated the zones of interest you can set up alerts on them, so you don’t have to check your computer/phone every hour of the day. It doesn’t matter if it’s Monday, Tuesday or whenever, you will get an alert once the market has reached your zone of interest. At that time, you still have the choice to get involved in this position or not. Our way of trading allows you to make money in a fairly passive way, but for that you need to be well prepared on the weekends. A good preparation in the weekend is worth gold and will save you a lot of work through the week!
I hope you’ve learned a lot!
The Forex Dictionary Team