There are a lot of people out there that are trading part-time, these traders are doing it after work, before work, between child care or simply just don’t want to put the effort into it in order to become a full-time trade, and that is perfectly fine, many people would not like trading if they did it all the time, so having it as a hobby on the side is perfect. Trading is becoming increasingly accessible to those that would not have been able to trade 10 years ago.
The problem is that trading can take a long time, it can be difficult and it can be a slow process, there are a lot of obstacles that need to be scaled in order to become successful. This makes it far harder for someone who is trading part-time rather than full time. Due to this, we are going to be looking into a few different things that you can do as a part-time trader to help improve your chances of being a successful trader.
Choose a Style that Suits your Schedule
If you work in the middle of the London session, then there is no point in developing a strategy that requires you to work during that session, you just won’t be able to get on. If you arrive home at the start of the New York session then it would be far more appropriate that your strategy reflects this and you trade during that session. The same thing can be said for the style of trading. You have limited time, so do not devise a strategy that requires you to spend an hour plus analysing the markets before each trade, instead you will want one that is slightly more quickfire, this will allow you to fit it into your own schedule and work and home life balance.
Plan Out Your Time
Something that is a very valuable asset to part-time traders is time, there just is not a lot of them and so a part-time trader will need to be able to make the most out of the time that they have. This is more prevalent within the first stages of trading, the learning, and developing of a plan, two of the things that take the most time for any trader. Once you have this done, you need to ensure that you can maximise your time, avoid distractions so that you can be concentrating 100% of the time that you are trading. Ensure that you have something to do when the markets are quiet and slow, learn something, just make sure that you’re not saying they’re doing nothing. Once your strategy and plan are in place, it will become a routine that will make the process a lot quicker and a lot easier to fit into your busy life.
Use Your Commute to Learn
Not everything that you need to learn has to be done in front of a trading terminal or computer. What are you doing on your commute to and from work each day? If you are a driver this is slightly less relevant, but if you use the train or the bus, you can use this time to help you to develop your understanding and mindset. There are a lot of fantastic books out there, books that can help you to better understand what it is that you are doing and why you are doing it. Use this time to read and to learn, get up to date with the world news that could affect the markets. What is important is that you are able to use the time that you have to continue your trading development.
Use a Trade Journal
A trading journal is an incredibly valuable tool for any trader, and even more so for a part-time trader. The trading journal basically details every single thing that you do to do with your trading, the trades you put on, how long you hold the trade for, the result of the trade, the reasoning behind entering and exiting, and much more. The journal can also offer you a lot of valuable feedback in regards to your trading, it helps you to understand whether you are still following your trading rules, it also helps to remind you of both the good and bad things that have happened with your trading and allows you to work out why. Ensure that you use it and use it a lot, it will help you improve on your trading tenfold compared to someone not using one at all.
Developing the Right Mindset
To be honest, this is something that you either have or you do not. The right mindset will enable you to be patient, even when you have little time, you need to be sure that you are not trying to force any trades, you need to be able to be patient, even though the slowest and most boring times. You won’t be in front of your computer 24/7, so you will miss opportunities, just don’t allow that to take over and to then force a trade to make up for it, this will result in your losing more often than not.
Take Part in Trading Communities
You do not have a lot of time to get acquainted with a lot of traders on a personal level, but you can certainly join a number of different trading communities. This will give you people to talk to, people to question things that you are not sure about, and a place to get support when you need it. These online forums allow you to get involved at any time, when you are sitting on the toilet, on your way to work, or in the doctor’s waiting room. It is a valuable resource for feedback and help and something that you certainly should be using.
Prioritise your Trading and Time
You do not have a lot of time as a part-time trade, so it is important that you are able to work out how you will use that time. Prioritize the things that need them. You also need to prioritize your own life, if you have a job and a family, they should always come first, look after what you have before you look for more. Once you are trading, prioritise on your learning and your strategy on what you need to do to improve, not what you think would make you the most money.
So those are a few of the things that could help you as a part-time trader, you may not be able to do all of those things, but the more that you are able to do, the more successful that you will be able to become a part-time trader. It is not an easy process, but if you manage to plan your time and workload properly, then there is no reason why you cannot become profitable and successful.