If you are like most people (or at least the sane ones), you probably want to start trading by doing it as a part time thing. Chances are, you won't drop everything you are doing in life at one go to start trading.
I'm talking to you guys:
- Folks with a full time job
- Stay at home parents
- Full time students
If you'd ask me, I'd recommend not to give up on the pay cheque you are getting every month too quickly, nor quitting school and definitely not abandoning your child to trade full time.
You'll need to start of learning and trading Part Time.
I'll give you a few shortcuts. Let's go!
Here's what we will be covering.
1. Typical Struggles Of Part Time Trading
2. Managing Your Expectations
3. Trading Part Time Successfully
Let me go over a few hurdles you may face if you are trading part time.
A. Not knowing when to trade.
Here's something you need to know. Markets don't travel 100 pips all the time. Depending on the timeframe you are trading (we will get to this in a bit), you need to choose when to trade, wisely.
It's not possible to just open the charts when you are on your lunch break and make a 100 pips profit.
B. Not knowing how to manage your trade.
This should be easy to understand. If you are trading part time and are occupied throughout the day, it's very difficult to put your attention on a trade and manage it properly. Here's a typical scenario:
1. You take the trade as it sets up
2. First hour you checked, it's in profit.
3. 2 hours later when you check again, the position is gone.
It's either a win or a loss when you check your trade history. Sorta feel like playing Russian Roulette every time you take a trade.
C. Balancing Studying (trading) and Trading.
If you are starting off, knowing when you should prioritize your time studying the charts is equally if not more important than taking trades. And sometimes, it gets tricky to find a balance there.
Now, these are the top 3 most common hurdles trading part time in the beginning, and I'm sure you can think of a lot more. But let's keep it at that. Before going any further, I just wanted to make sure you know that, this thought:
'I'll just sleep less.'
That's not the way to go if you are wondering.
As a trader myself, I see myself perform the best when I have at least 7 hours of sleep. Being well rested and sharp is required to trade well.
This is extremely important. Especially when you are just getting started, learning and trading part time. Just know that I'm not here to burst your bubble, and I'll give you some solutions later. But these are some really toxic expectations you want to avoid.
A. Giving yourself a Timeline.
There's a difference between expectations and aspirations. Now, you don't want to expect anything from your progress, ie, 'I'm going to be able to quite my job in 1 year if I start learning and trading part time now'.
You can aspire to reach that goal, but not expecting it as though it's guaranteed.
Trading takes time. You'll be able to earn as much as doctors, engineers, lawyers combined if you are able to do this well. But there is a cost, you need to put in the work, and be patient.
So take things at your own pace. Not saying you want to slack, do as much as you can, but be patient. Some people take a year to master this, some take 10, and both are fine.
B. "I'll need to make x amount each month."
You have to remember, trading is not a typical 9-5 job where you'll be getting a pay cheque every month. So, having an expectation of making a certain amount is very dangerous. Understand that you want to aspire to make certain amount and not expecting yourself to.
Your goal as a part time trader instead has to be, being able to trade profitably consistently. That's what you want to strive for.
As ironic as it sounds, giving yourself monetary goal could be extremely risky and dangerous.
So don't expect to replace your current income in the first 6 month of trading.
C. Expect losers.
This is the only thing you can guarantee. As you are learning to trade part time, you may be expecting a smooth learning curve with a smooth equity curve on your trading account. It's logical right?
'The more education I gain, the more I will be profitable'
Unfortunately in trading, it's not going to be like that. There will be times where you know so much, and have analysis paralysis.
My point is, don't expect a smooth ride. Be okay with that, and you'll be fine.
In no way I am trying to discourage you. All I want to do is to lay out the facts. But if you are able to accept these facts, let's move on to some tricks you want to use for trading part time.
Now, not everything here can be applied to you, but I hope some of it will help. Let me break it down into a few points:
A. Time Management.
This is the obvious one. But you want to manage your time carefully, both for learning and trading. I would say split your time equally where you can spend 50% of your free time trading whilst the other 50% on learning. Although it's important to have a solid education, but like everything else, without the practice, the education would be good for nothing.
B. Choose Your Trading Timeframe Wisely.
Depending on the timezone you are in, and how available you are, there are 2 ways you can approach this.
Say you get off work at 5PM, if you are still within the active trading hours, you can spend the rest of the day trading on a smaller timeframe. Using the cheese trading strategy taught in the Mastering Price Action 2.0 Program.
This would be ideal if your free time aligns with the active market hours, ie London or New York opening hours. My suggestion would be to trade the smaller timeframe during that time, ie the 5minutes.
If by the time you get off work markets are already dead (Not Active Trading Hours), I would suggest not looking at the smaller timeframe whatsoever. Just put your attention on the higher timeframe.
The way you want to do this is plan out your trades on the higher timeframe, ie, 60min. Then, you would want to check the charts every 1-2 hours throughout the day to see if you can execute any trade.
This leads to the next point.
C. Planning Your Trades Carefully.
Whether you are working 9-5, going to school or a full time parent, your time will be limited. You'll have to make sure when you do trade, you don't find yourself rushing into anything.
Hence, it's absolutely key that you have a very solid Pre-Analysis.
Say your working hours collide with the active hours and you'll have to resort to trading on the higher timeframe, you'll need to formulate a plan on how you are going to approach a particular setup every day.
With that plan, you'll know exactly what you need to do when the market reaches a certain price throughout the day.
The same thing applies if you are trading on a lower timeframe. You don't want to just sit down on your desk and start clicking away on your broker's platform. You need to know exactly what you are looking for coming into each trading session.
And the only way to know that is through practice.
D. Getting Enough Practice.
Practice is, and always will be, an important part when trying to achieve any goal or learn a new skill.
If you find that you are not taking enough trades for enough practice, here's something you want to do:
On the weekend, spend sometime practicing on Simulators. We recommend using the 'Bar Replay' feature on Trading View.
With that, you want to simulate the live market as much as you can and 'pretend you are trading it'. It's just another way of Backtesting.
Having that said, it's important not to get too hung up on the results from your backtests. With these exercise, you still want to look for time to trade the live markets throughout the week.
Part Time Trading is the best way to begin your trading journey. At least the safest way. Just know that, it will take time.
To achieve greatness, like everything else, you'll have to be patient, but working smart throughout this journey. I hope the tips in this blog were able to help you.
If you are unsure when's the best time to trade depending on the timezone you are in, just fill up the form below this blog and we will help you out with that.
There's a trade setting up for me now and I'll leave you with this,
Understand the difference between 'Taking Time' and 'Wasting Time'. Know that it will take time, but don't waste time just gambling in the markets.
With Pip Love,
Lucas at Urban Forex
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