Trading With a Full Time Job


There’s a fair chance that a number of you will be attempting to forge a career in trading whilst also trying to hold down a full time job. I’m sure you’ll agree that trading is a tough endeavour at the best of times but when you throw in a ‘normal’ job as well the it gets even harder.

Fortunately with some planning and preparation it is possible to manage both without neglecting either pursuit. This article will cover a number of things you need to consider to give yourself the best chance of success.

  1. Your Motivations

It’s important to understand why you want to become a trader. Are you purely trying to escape the job you hate? If that is your motivation then this may cause issues in your trading performance. The need to succeed and make money will undoubtedly cause flaws in your decisions making. Your general approach to the markets and the results you get will improve when you disassociate your 9-5 job from your trading. From a psychological perspective it will also be far easier when you don’t need to rely on the income you generate from the markets.

  1. The Strategy

Depending on the nature of your job you need to make sure the strategy you trade is conducive to your work life. It should go without saying that if you can’t look the charts throughout the day then trying to trade the 5 minute timeframe is going to be difficult. It would be much more manageable to focus your efforts on the daily and potentially the H4 whereby the time required in front of the charts will be minimal.

  1. Your Preparation

This point is relevant regardless of whether you work full time or not but even more crucial if you are going to be away from the markets and focusing on other things.  It’s vital that you prepare properly and have a clear idea of what you need to see before executing your trades. Here is our suggested process for keeping yourself organised:

  • Every night after the New York close analyse the daily chart to determine any particular bias for the following day, this obviously needs to be in line with your strategy rules. If you know what you’re looking for then it should no more than a few minutes per chart.
  • If your strategy requires you to drop to lower time frames then do that making sure you follow your rules
  • Write your plan for the following day to capture the trades you intend to take should the setups occur. Your plan should also take into account key news releases that are due to happen that day so you can stay appraised on any developments
  • Use price alerts to keep you informed on price approaching key areas. These are particularly useful if you are not able to keep a close eye on the market. A number of brokers and charting providers have alerts functions built in.
  1. Weekend Routine

If you are working full time during the week then how you use your time at the weekend will be very important. We recommend that you take time to complete your journal and analyse the trades you took during the week. Did you follow your rules? Are there any key observations that you can learn from going forward. You can also use this time to prepare for the week ahead.

In summary trading with a full time job is perfectly achievable if you keep yourself organised and stick to your routine. Make sure you complete your preparation to give yourself the best chance of trading professionally and maximising the opportunities in the market.