Before you embark on this world of stock trading, you must do one simple, but oftentimes overlooked thing.
You must establish your goals.
One of those goals is deciding how much time you are going to devote to the profession. Whether or not you’re going to be a full-time or part-time trader.
When I started trading, I was essentially glued to my chair from 8:30 in the morning until market close.
As sad as this may sound, on many days I wouldn’t realize until about noon that all I did was wake up, go to my computer, and start staring at charts and looking for trades to make all morning.
Yea… that’s bad.
Now granted I wasn’t fully employed at the time and eventually got a full-time job that derailed my “full-time trader” status.
Most traders do spend all day at their computers from market opening to close, trying to take advantage of any opportunity to profit.
Others have other jobs, maybe full or part-time, and only trade a couple of days a week. Still, others may only trade a couple of hours each day.
So in order for you to set your own goals and decide what type of trader you plan to be, here are a few questions you need to ask yourself in order to define your objectives:
- How many trades do you plan to place during the day? Less than five? Three or less?
- Do you want to close all your positions on the same trading day, or are you willing to hold onto positions for several days, in other words being a “swing” trader?
- How much time do you plan to spend refining your trading plan, back-testing strategies, and continuing your education?
- Are you not going to spend most of your days and spare time preparing and studying?
When you consider those questions and answer yes to them or any of these describe the plans that you have for yourself as a trader, more than likely you’re going to be better suited to being a part-time trader.
Now how do you know if the full-time trader is who you are, plan to be, or want to be?
Consider these questions:
- Are you going to be consistently trading every market day and trade more frequently, such as more than four trades per day?
- Will you be very specific about your trading strategy to the point where you have very specific entry plans and mental or real stop orders in place in order to exist a trade according to your rules?
- Do you expect to place trades that you’ll only be in for a few seconds or minutes, focusing on momentum trades or quick reversal trades for example?
- Is your ultimate goal to trade in order to make a living?
Now if the latter points really resonate with you and the plan and goals you’ve laid out for yourself, you’re a serious trader who wants to do this full-time. You are going to make a bigger investment in your infrastructure such as your internet connection, and your computer and you will likely have a home office in which to operate.
There is certainly no wrong decision here, you just have to decide on your goals and what you are able to do based on where you are at and what resources you have.
Everyone is in a different place, with different obligations, different amounts of capital, and different goals, not to mention different knowledge and experience.
Just focus on what you want to accomplish and be realistic about your expectations.
You can be successful whether you are part-time or full-time, just make the decision based on what you want to achieve.
Follow my free 4-step roadmap to gain the insights you will need to:
- Develop consistency
- Make trading into a career
- Succeed for the long term
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