Until recently, the name forex inspired fear and mistrust for many people not familiar with it. Not so long ago, the financial opportunities that came with trading currencies and other CFDs were only available to big businesses. Now, thanks to advances in personal computing and internet connections, markets can be accessed by nearly anybody who considers themself ready to trade.
There are people all over the world who made a choice to pursue trading as a full-time activity. The life of a full-time trader from home can be lonely, as is often the case for work-from-home activities such as freelancing or blogging. It’s not for everyone. If you’re thinking about pursuing trading as a daily activity, read this first. Of course, this does not represent every stay-home trader. This is just one of many versions.
Fly on the wall: the life of a trader
New traders who have a knack for reading markets often set a goal to make trading a full-time career. The concept of building a bank account, quitting the job, and being your own boss is an attractive one, but this is the dream, and very few people have the character or patience to make it happen. Those select few who made it to the top now enjoy financial freedom, freedom to spend their time doing whatever they want to do, but they are the minority. It’s not impossible, but it takes skill, hard work, patience, determination and a long time. As with almost everything in life, there’s no guarantee.
Like many of us, a stay-at-home trader’s day might start with a cup of tea and a phone at the kitchen table. They start by checking the news to see what might be affecting the markets. Checking the economic calendar is a must. News can greatly affect prices and often run counter to technical analysis. Too many traders reading trends get caught out by reversals or spikes that commonly follow important announcements.
If the news is clear, it’s time to open MT4 or MT5 and start glancing over charts and taking notes. When everyone else is getting ready for their morning commute, a full-time trader is already working. A trader’s commute might be from the kitchen to the sofa or garden area (if weather permits), but they are already on the job.
Research and patience
Research is key and patience is often the thing that keeps it all together. There’s no hurry. A trader might spend the whole day viewing charts without making a single trade. If something catches the trader’s eye in the morning, they’ll place an order or two. The day is starting well, time for a break.
Your money is working for you now, even when you’re not there. Take a shower, do the dishes, go jogging. Your trades will be waiting for you when you get back. Of course, you can stay at home and keep a close watch too! Some traders decide to claim that small storage room in the house, put in a desk and a handful of monitors and call it ‘the office’.
Others sit in coffee shops, restaurants and even pubs, connecting to the internet there and making trades at their leisure. Some simply trade on their mobile phone using mobile data in the great outdoors. The options are practically unlimited.
Smart trading from home
There are ways to protect yourself from unexpected events. Two musts are the stop and target. When traders place an order, they can set an amount they’d be happy to earn. There’s no absolute rule for this, it’s a personal preference. The same goes for stops.
How much are you prepared to lose? These two functions are automatic and activate when orders hit the parameters you set. This lets a trader open multiple orders throughout the day without having to keep a minute-by-minute vigil. Opening multiple contracts is often referred to as diversification (not putting all your eggs in one basket). This way, you can still meet your goals of the day, but your results won’t be tied to one decision. It also means that you can use your free time to do other things. Watch a movie or check out some trading tutorials, read a book, do the shopping.
The day is running. Time to check your laptop and see how your orders are doing. Check the graphs and see the movements for the morning and maybe add a few more orders on anything that caught your eye. What are you going to do now?
How to become a full time trader
You can’t just quit your job and jump in with both feet. Some say fortune favours the brave, but such impulsive action will likely end badly. Every mountain is climbed one step at a time. The very first step is to open an account and gain access to markets. It can be scary at first, but it’s not as hard as you think. Learner drivers don’t learn by reading, they get in the car and start driving. They have a professional by their side to keep them safe, but brokers have a much safer way of learning, the demo account.
Tip: once you’re up and running, play with the demo account for a few hours. Check the economic calendar, look for a trend, and make some risk-free virtual trades. You’ll know when you’re ready to start pursuing real results.