Updated from its original posting on 2013-08-09
Financial asset trading has been around for over a hundred years, but it’s only been over the past decade or so where, thanks to the advancement in technology, retail trading became accessible to just about anyone. You no longer need to be a full-time broker or trader to have access to the markets. You can simply hop onto the Internet and trade from the comforts of your toilet seat.
This, in turn, has led to an increase in part-time traders. This group of people includes students, young professionals, and old retirees – basically anyone who has to allocate most of his or her time to other endeavors, but still want to dip their hands into the markets.
The problem with part-time trading is that trading itself is very difficult and that there are many obstacles that one needs to overcome before becoming consistently profitable. That said, here are some helpful forex trading tips for all you part-time traders to help you along your path:
1. Stick to a trading method or style that suits your schedule
The biggest problem for part-time traders is time. If you only have an hour to commit to trading every day, this can severely limit your options. What if that one hour comes during a trading session that has low volatility? Strategies like day-trading or catching short-term trends probably don’t make sense right?
In that particular situation, you may want to take a look at scalping or maybe switching to longer-term swing and position plays. In any case, the lesson is that before settling on a trading style, figure out your schedule and move on from there.
2. Maximize your trading time
Again, in line with the idea that time is crucial to part-time traders, managing your time is a very important skill to master, especially during the early stages of your development. It is imperative that you make the most of every single minute you spend trading.
When trading, we have to build our trading muscle by repetition of key drills. This doesn’t only mean actual trading, but also includes other core tasks like chart reviews, back testing, journaling, etc. On days when the market is slow, you can’t just sit there staring blankly at your charts and not get anything done. Take that down time as an opportunity for intense skill building by engaging in those core trading tasks.
3. Do your homework
This is a no-brainer, common sense tip, but it’s even more crucial for part-timers to follow. Since time in front of your trading station is limited, you most likely won’t be available during market shifting events or surprises. So, it’s even more important for part-timers that you know what’s driving the markets.
Educate yourself by reading forex books, by going through our blogs on BabyPips.com, and bookmarking our forex calendar. You will need to map out different scenarios and strategies, because your time away from the charts will keep you from being flexible to move as the market does.
4. Trade journaling is key
Trade journals can help offset the time that you don’t spend on the charts. How, you ask?
Journals not only keep us in line and help ensure we follow our trading rules, but they serve as a tool to help us remember what happened during the hours we were trading.
Entering and reviewing your journal entries acts as more “trading reps,” in that it turns that one trade into two or three experiences, bringing you that much closer to trading mastery.
5. Have the right mindset
You are not a robot, which means that you cannot be in front of your trading station watching the charts 24/7. This means that you shouldn’t sweat when you miss on the big moves. As long as you are patient for a setup to materialize, there are always pips around the corner.
6. Participate in forex communities
Due to the popularity of discussion boards, trading doesn’t have to a lonely endeavor anymore. Know that you are not alone anymore as there are thousands of other part-time and full-time traders that can be found online in our forums. Spend a small part of your day socializing and learning from them as they can point out things that you weren’t able to spot.
Most of you are probably part-time traders, which mean that your main source of income comes from somewhere else. The fact of the matter is, this income is what puts food on the table and pays the bills, so do not compromise the quality of that work for forex trading. Furthermore, if you’re always worrying about other, non-trading related stuff, your trading will suffer as well, and it will be a lose-lose situation.
These tips apply to traders of different shapes and sizes. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a pro or a newbie, this should be helpful to you. However, if you’re a part-timer, you have to keep your game extra tight. Since you’re less flexible with regards to time, you have to be really prepared and disciplined when trading.
While it may be difficult for part-timers, it doesn’t mean that it is impossible to be profitable. You can achieve it, as long as you set your heart and mind to it.