Forex Basics

How to Successfully Trade Forex While Working a Full-Time Job

When you consider becoming a forex trader, do you find yourself thinking of a list of reasons why you just can’t realistically do it?

We could probably debunk a lot of those, but today, we will talk about time. As far as excuses NOT to trade go, the lack of time is one of the top reasons why many people never even try. Many of us are already juggling full-time jobs while struggling to keep up with our personal lives, run errands, clean our houses, raise children, and the list goes on. How could you possibly add trading into the mix when there’s so much going on already? 


Believe it or not, it’s possible to take up trading in your free time, even if you do work full-time. This might mean taking on more responsibility, but isn’t it worth it if you’re getting paid? Allow us to provide some tips that can help you with time-management so that you don’t have to miss out on all that trading has to offer: 

Study Charts in Your Free Time

A lot of people assume that traders sit around looking at charts all day long, therefore, they don’t think they have the time to study charts as they should. In reality, it’s possible to do analysis around your job’s schedule. This means nighttime analysis if you work during the day and vise versa. Research and planning can also be done in one’s spare time, including weekends and non-market hours. 

Don’t forget to do the following when you run your analysis:

  • Keep your specific strategy in mind when studying the charts. Stop for the day if you don’t see a set-up that supports your strategy.
  • Try not to perform analysis if you’re stressed out or emotional. If you often feel this way after work, try to do as much as you can on the weekends when you aren’t as burned out or get some of it done before you head to work for the day. 
  • Set a time limit for analysis and stick to it.

Avoid Trading if Necessary

We mentioned earlier that you shouldn’t analyze charts when you’re stressed out or emotional, but you’ll also want to take it a step farther and avoid trading altogether during these times. If you don’t have a clear head, you’re more likely to make mistakes, such as overlooking data, entering trades without proper evidence that you should, putting yourself down if you lose money, and so on. If you simply avoid emotional trading altogether, you’ll be less likely to make mistakes that are influenced by those strong emotions. Likewise, you aren’t doing yourself any favors by forcing trades when there isn’t any evidence to do so. Both of these issues will likely cause you to lose money when you could have kept your account balance the same by knowing to do nothing. 


You want to be sure that you can focus solely on trading when you decide to do it, so try to plan it around your schedule the best way you can and avoid distracting situations. If you can, try trading in your car while on break at work or take your laptop into another room if you have household distractions to deal with. Silence your phone and avoid background noises as well if possible. It might be difficult to find the time for distraction-free trading at first, but there are usually ways to make this possible if you’re creative enough, even if you have to tweak your daily schedule. It also helps to make yourself available during specific times, like when a certain currency pair you’d like to trade is most active. Most movements for currency pairs occur during two different timeframes:

  • From 8 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. EST
  • From 1:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. EST

This provides separate opportunities to trade when the market is more active, so you’ll want to take advantage of these two options. You could trade before going to work by waking up earlier, for example. 

Use the Right Strategies 

Those that are juggling trading with working a full-time job can take advantage of certain strategies that involve holding trades for shorter periods of time, like scalping or day trading. Scalping provides an advantage because traders often open and close trades quickly in order to profit from small price movements, meaning that you could accomplish some trading activity during a short break. Day trading is another potential solution where traders only open trades for a few hours at a time and close them out by the end of that trading day. You could open a few positions, check on them during your break, and close them if necessary. You’ll basically be making money in the background while you work your regular job if you can get the hang of multitasking. 

Remember that Consistency is Key

If you can develop a solid trading plan and follow it consistently, you’ll be more likely to bring home consistent profits. This means you need to set a schedule and stick to it, so it isn’t a good idea to switch strategies. Instead, traders should follow the same rules and guidelines, even if they do take a loss, and stick with their trading plan through thick and thin. This can also help you get into a good trading routine that will keep you going if you ever quit your job to become a full-time trader.

Do You Want to Become a Full-time Trader?

If you’re dreaming of quitting your desk job, know that you aren’t alone. However, there are a few things to consider first, so don’t march out without thinking things through. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Full-time trading won’t be as time-consuming once you’ve developed your strategy and gained enough practice, as many trading decisions will come to you without much thought. You’ll have a much easier time analyzing charts and information as well, which cuts back on time.
  • Think before you quit your job and remember that profits aren’t guaranteed in trading, while you know you’ll be bringing home a paycheck from your regular job. You need to be making consistent profits before you make the decision to let everything ride on trading profits. 
  • If you quit your job at the wrong time, you’re more likely to make emotional trading mistakes because of the financial burden that will be on your shoulders. This is why it’s a good idea to ensure that you’re earning enough to support yourself and to have some backup cash in the bank to ease some of that post-job stress.
  • Consider copy trading or using a trading robot if you’re still feeling pressed for time. Both can trade for you automatically, but you’ll want to be sure to choose a reliable option and keep a close eye on the results. 

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