Part-Time Trading – Making The Most Of Your Time
It seems like I am always answering the question as to whether trading can be done meaningfully on a part-time basis. My answer is always the same – “Absolutely!” Somehow people have been convinced that you have to spend hour upon hour in front of computer watching the markets in order to have a chance at success. That is simply just not true. Part-time trading can be extremely worthwhile – in some cases even more so than trading more actively. I am proof of that. Even though I sometimes do have the opportunity to trade more frequently, my best trades always seem to be the ones I do on a more part-time basis – the ones that only require an occasional check of the markets.
This may sound strange coming from someone who used to be a professional analyst and really does enjoy the markets, but I really have no desire to spend all day in front of the trading screens. It’s a grind, and I have a lot of other things I enjoy doing a whole lot more than watching price quotes tick up and down. I’m sure you could say the same. Effective part-time trading is simply a matter of maximizing the time you have available. That might be an hour a night, or maybe a couple hours on the weekend.
Maybe it’s even less than that. It doesn’t matter. If you make the most of what you have, you can do good things trading part-time. Doing so is a matter of developing a method for your work and applying it consistently. I’ll use myself as an example. My schedule is somewhat convoluted. I travel frequently and my activities have a seasonal nature to them. There are points in the year when I have almost no time to devote to the markets. At other times I can maybe put in an hour each morning. Then there are also times when things are more open and I can be a bit more active.
Regardless of my time availability, though, I always do the same thing. I scan the charts for the markets I’m interested in trading and look for something specific. If I don’t see it, I move on to the next. If I don’t see anything good, I don’t trade. It’s as simple as that. My available trading time will dictate which timeframe charts I look at when doing my scan. If I’m at a point where I can be more active, I’ll perhaps look at the hourly charts. If I can only check in on things once or twice a week, I’ll look to the daily and/or weekly charts to find possible trades with longer holding periods. In that way, I can choose the best timeframe for me to operate in for my schedule at that point. What is more, I don’t ever have to trade.
That’s a major advantage for part-time traders. Unlike our full-time peers who are under pressure to produce results every day, we can pick our spots and only go after trades likely to be big winners. I’ll take that relaxed approach any day! Let’s face it. Full-time trading is a commitment most of us will either never be able to or never be willing to make. That doesn’t mean we cannot make excellent use of the markets to better our financial situation. Part-time trading can certainly provide the opportunity to do just that.
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